Now, this morning I want to provide you with an update about the Building Fund and the building project. As you will have seen in the announcement sheet and on the slides that were shown before the service started, there has been a very encouraging increase in giving to the Building Fund.
The total given to the Building Fund in April was £8509.60. I need to break down that figure slightly so that you understand it better. £7284.60 was received via standing orders, cheques or cash. £1225 was received as gifts in memory of two members of the church family who sadly died this year. That gives the total of £8509.60.
The £1225 received should be viewed as one-off contributions to the Building Fund. The £7284.60 that was received via standing orders, cheques or cash is the key figure because that is what was received through ordinary, monthly giving.
The total given to the Building Fund in March was £6342. Given that the gifts are one-offs, the total normal increase to the Building Fund is £942.60.
Now, you will know that Session set a target for the month of April. That target was not related to the amount given but related to the number of contributors giving to the Building Fund. The target was that 50% of contributing members would give something to the Building Fund.
In March, 78 out of 210 contributing members gave to the Building Fund (37%). In April, 99 out of 210 contributing members gave to the Building Fund. That is an increase of 10% and is very close to the target set by Session.
Overall, Session are really encouraged by all of these figures. The total of £8509.60 is really encouraging for April. But the increase of the number of people contributing to the Building Fund is even more encouraging.
One of the things that is often said of building projects generally is that when the financial load is shared out among the congregation, projects much more viable. In light of the figures that I have shared today, we are beginning to share the load out and that is providing us with real encouragement.
Can I say a big thank you to you this morning for how you have responded to Kirk Session’s target. Session are delighted with the response. The target was only shared on the second Sunday of April and given that there were only four Sundays in April, the response to it is brilliant.
In terms of a target for May, it’s going to remain the same. By the end of May, Session would be delighted to hit the 50% mark – 50% of contributing members giving to the Building Fund. Given that 99 out of 210 contributing members are giving to the Building Fund, we’re only six away from 50%.
Towards the end of this month the tenders will return. As you will see in the announcement sheet, there will be a meeting of the Congregational Committee on Tuesday 31st May. This will be the crunch meeting at which tender offers will be discussed and a way forward decided on. It would be great if we could keep the momentum going at this point.
As I’ve explained before, to take out a loan with a bank, we need to demonstrate that we will be able to repay that loan. For the bank to work with us, they suggested that the Building Fund needed to be bringing in around £7000 a month. In April, we hit that figure without including the one-off gifts.
Normally these updates can be quite difficult to prepare and deliver but I have to say, this has been the easiest one to share with you. It is without doubt the most encouraging update I have provided so far. And with that in mind, let me thank you for your contributions again.
What’s most encouraging for me is that this increase is a sign that God is at work in our church family. One of the things the Bible teaches about Christian giving is that generous, sacrificial giving by believers is a sign that God is at work in our hearts. We should be really encouraged by the fact that God is working in us and through us to help in the work of His church.
So, thank you again for your generous, sacrificial giving. We really don’t take it for granted – especially in light of all that we’re hearing about the cost of living. If you are interested in giving to the Building Fund, there are standing order forms available at all doors. They are also available through the church website as well. You can use your Building Fund envelopes too.
We’re going to pray now and ask that the Lord would continue to help us as the building project continues to move forward.