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Parish plate income up by a full 7 percent

[NOTE: This is the second of a series of three reports in preparation for the annual Parish Meeting on May 25th. Next week the Rector will present his report.]

Calendar Year 2013 was a year of solid income growth for St Stephen’s Anglican Church, with pledged and un-pledged income up by a handsome 7.2 percent from $279,121 in 2012 to $299,281.

This is income the church can rely upon with rather greater confidence than the more unpredictable revenue generated by designated gifts, fees for weddings and funerals, and investment returns from the parish’s endowment fund and stock portfolio.

For example, the year saw the parish’s endowment fund and investment portfolio increase by 1.1 percent from $198,830 to $201,011. The modest rate of growth, however, reflects the conservative nature of our investments during a period of unusually low rates.

Overall, the picture was more robust with total current assets up over the 12 months by 9.5 percent from 2012’s $225,010 to $246,330.

Non-recurring income from such things as gifts to the endowment fund and for memorials declined by close on 12 percent from $22,359 in 2012 to $19,694 in 2014. By contrast, in response to our construction appeal, giving to the building fund shot up by 1,117 percent over the period under review from $1,520 to $18,499.

One can get an idea of the volatility of our receipts. Fees for weddings, funerals and baptisms shot up by close on 150 percent from $2,900 to $7,185. The increase, however, was by no means entirely welcome as a vast proportion of it came from funerals, the receipts for which increased by almost 185 percent from $2,000 in 2012 to $5,685 in 2013.

On the other side of the balance sheet, operating expenses rose by a modest 2.9 percent from $304,682 in 2012 to $313,385 in 2013. Of this, personnel costs accounted for $172,023—an increase of 8 percent on the previous year’s $159,300.

Buildings and grounds maintenance overheads also increased sharply, rising by almost 89 percent from 2012’s $5,469 to $10,309 in the year under revue. The increase, however, was entirely attributable to the expenditure of $5,933 on structural improvements and routine repairs.

Administrative costs declined slightly from $51,720 in 2012 to $51,334, despite acquisition of new computers and a 25 percent increase in the cost of office supplies.

Spending on the music program remained virtually unchanged at $22,884, while much needed new equipment added some $2,000 to the running costs of the Church School.

By contrast, our overhead in the sphere of banking and finance declined by a full 33 percent from $39,175 in 2012 to $25,992. This was largely thanks to the negotiation of a lower interest rate on our mortgage, which resulted in a 20 percent reduction in our annual mortgage bill.

All things considered, it was a satisfactory financial year. Your vestry managed to hold the increase in overheads to just under 3 percent despite rising costs in a number of areas. We hope that we will do as well in 2014. WILLIAM HAWKINS

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