Why we ask for your generosity

There is a widely held misconception that Anglican Churches are funded in part by the state. The Church of England receives no money from the state for mission or ministry. In turn we here at Hornsey Parish Church receive no funding from the Diocese.

We survive and serve our community due to the generosity of our congregation and by careful stewardship of our resources, such as income received from rental of our hall spaces and through fund raising events such as jumble sales and our Christmas Market.

To put this in context please read the Annual report below which outlines why financial support is so important.

Annual Report on givingThis year we want to broaden our horizons, and talk about something different. Our life as a church. What have we achieved. What are our plans, our aspirations?

We are poised on the brink of perhaps the most exciting development of our generation in the life of Hornsey Parish Church, as we contemplate the radical redevelopment of our hall spaces.

This will require the mobilisation of all our resources, our time, our talents and our treasure. A ‘call to arms’ to encourage the active involvement of the whole church community and a rallying cry for the positive engagement of the wider community.

Stewardship, according to the dictionary definition, is ‘the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to our care’. Here at Hornsey Parish Church, we are stewards of the generous giving legacy of past generations, and we have a duty to preserve and enhance that legacy for the benefit of future generations.

Thinking of the future in 2013 the Bishop of London launched the initiative called Capital Vision 2020. In it he encouraged us to do three things in particular:

be confident in speaking and living the Gospel of Jesus Christ,
be more compassionate in serving communities with the love of God the Father,
and be more creative in reaching new people and places in the power of the Spirit.

Co-incidentaly, at about the same time, here at Hornsey, we too had started to look to the future and face facts about the challenges we faced.

Three years on, it’s interesting to reflect on the road we’ve travelled, the journey to come and consider whether we too have embraced those three aspects of our shared ministry, of being confident, compassionate and creative.

Well…in terms of creativity, we are truly blessed here at Hornsey with the wealth of ability, much of which you can see in evidence on the boards around church. From our wonderfully imaginative productions such as the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, which reached out to over 500 members of the community and drew them into the body of our church.

Then of course we had the Art of Peace concert which drew still yet more people into our church from different parts of the community.

Even last night our hall was reverberating to the sound of dancing feet at our barn dance, yet another great success in reaching out to the community.

Be in no doubt, this is a vibrant community.

Of course music has been, and will remain being, central to our life in church/ and we give thanks to Louisa for her enthusiasm and leadership/ and the choir’s generosity in the giving of their time, a gift more precious than any other and a commodity that is in such short supply.

Another facet of church life that relies almost entirely on the giving of time is our youth work. Whilst some of it is funded by the generous grant made available by the Friendly Hand charitable trust, we do need more people to come forward to work with Lotte and help expand our work within the younger age groups on youth work that is both creative and compassionate in its engagement, a fact well demonstrated by its recent Amnesty Film Festival.

Time and compassion are of course the driving forces behind the many activities we support in the community. The Winter Night Shelter and the Food Bank are great examples of compassion in action and many members of our congregation give so generously of their time to help make these happen.

Our chaplaincy at the YMCA, led by Fr Ben and assisted by Patricia Dankwa, or ‘mother’ as she is known amongst the residents, is yet another example of outreach into a community who face many challenges on their life journeys.

So creative? Definitely. Compassionate? Certainly.Confident? Well yes that too and one sign of that new confidence is our investment in Churchdesk.

Churchdesk marks Hornsey Parish Church out as clearly being a church of the 21st century. One that is looking confidently to the future. This powerful software system enables us to reduce the burden of administration, thereby releasing valuable time of our clergy for ministry. It also helps us improve our communication, not only within the congregation (the new Rector’s Jottings being a excellent example), but also and perhaps more importantly, with the community at large.

And that is all important as we embark on two significant initiatives.

St Mary’s Church Tower preservation project.

The Tower as a historic monument, is a building of great significance within Horsey specifically and North London generally. While some in the congregation may not be very familiar with it, for the PCC it is – and indeed has long been a cause for concern as ultimate responsibility for its upkeep lies with Hornsey Parish Church and its incumbent. As a result it has been the reason for many a sleepless night for clergy, wardens and PCC members over the years.

However we have now instigated the start of a project, in co-operation with the Diocese, the Friends of the Tower and the Hornsey Historical Society that we hope will help clarify the future of the tower / and open the way to securing its future for years to come, whilst at the same time relieving our church of the long term financial liability.

Confident may be too strong a word to use at the moment with regard to the future of the tower, but we have started to engage with the stakeholders with a firm resolve to find a lasting and satisfactory solution.

Which brings us at last to the really exciting stuff we mentioned earlier – and perhaps the strongest statement about our confidence in the future.

The hall redevelopment programme.

You may have thought little has happened with this project, but actually much time has been spent in research and consultation with other churches and architects, in order to discern the best way forward. All that preparatory ground will finally start to bear fruit when the feasibility study we have commissioned will be delivered next month.

We are told that there may be up to three options that will be put forward for our consideration and these will be shared with the PCC and the congregation as part of the consultation process to decide the way forward.

Now – whilst the proposals may not be ready for consideration at the church away day on November 12 – we really would urge you to try and make time to attend as it will be very much at the top of the agenda for consideration and discussion.

We will have to wait for that report – BUT one thing we can anticipate is that it will require enthusiasm / and commitment / to carry the programme through – not only from the church officers directly involved in managing the project – but from us all / as there is no doubt it will engender a fair degree of disruption to church life and indeed to our neighbours.

The hall redevelopment will we hope be a signpost to the community at large of a vibrant church community that is at work here at Hornsey Parish Church.

But it will not happen overnight and we expect that 2020 might well mark the opening ceremony of the new building.

We’ll no doubt have some challenges to overcome along the way, but in one challenge at least we have come a long way in overcoming. That being finance!

Stewardship summary

As was reported at the APCCM earlier this year, in 2015 we achieved an overall increase in giving of 14%, bringing us to a total of just over £50,000 including Gift Aid.

However this year we are currently forecasting a drop of around 10% because we have lost, due to a variety of reasons, several members of the congregation. This has impacted particularly on our receipts from planned giving.

So what we would ask is, if you are not currently a planned giver, please give it serious thought. Planned giving helps us manage our resources so much more effectively and plan for the future with confidence.

Equally if you are a planned giver, should you be in the position to increase your sum, however small it might seem, it will be gratefully received. As an example, if each member of our congregation who are planned givers could increase their monthly amount by just £1 a week, this alone would make up our anticipated shortfall this year. But regardless of whether you are in a position to increase your giving or not, we thank for your generosity and support.

As the Archdeacon said last Sunday, what we have to do is plan ahead, decide what is important to us, where our priorities lie. For example, if we set out on time because we value an appointment, we aren’t late; if we value an event, we’ll try and organise our time to help a bit; if we want to give something financially, however small, we will budget to allow it.

So here we are. Standing on the threshold of a new era of Hornsey Parish Church. Led by Fr Bruce, assisted by Fr Ben and the rest of the team. We are very blessed as a church of possessing compassionate people who give so generously to each and every one of us. Giving that is done out of love.

Now, perhaps more than ever before, is our opportunity to give something back be it time or money or even better both, to the church which our has given so much to each and every one of us.

To give something back to help take our church community forward towards 2020 and to continue and grow in our ability to be creative, compassionate and confident. To invest in the future viability and vitality of this place.