We’d never heard of it – experts moving into the parish to increase church income. We were told the experts would call to the parish homes (no newsletters in those days) and talk about the needs of the church.
My parents were upset. They knew what pressure was. Would they fall for the smooth talk of the clever (of course) men who wanted more money? I was there when the smoothies came and I listened, old enough to understand but young enough to say nothing.
Now, whenever the church asks for more money, I feel the anger rise again. Never mind the reasons. I have been grateful over the years for generous parish and personal support, very grateful. But my bias goes back to that first time. Those four priests lived in a huge presbytery and employed a housekeeper and two maids who lived in their own wing of the presbytery. I knew how stretched my parents were on my father’s wage (Mum had no job) and I’m listening to salaried smoothies persuading them to give more.
My fellow students, especially from Ireland, and I talked about this in Rome and they had sad and angry memories of the coming together of families on appointed dates and the priest publicly announcing what each family had given. They hated the embarrassment of it and they would never do it themselves when they returned home. You trust the people to give and if they don’t – you go without.
Every parish has a finance committee and we are well served here at St Joseph’s. We could not ask for better service and I am grateful. And to wise counsellors I can always turn to. I trust their goodness for myself and for you.
You know that we must find the money to pay for a new roof, a new heating system for the hall, solve the problem of the church tower (they were called “follies” in the old days), and continue to maintain the church, hall, garden and house. However we ask you, please hear my not wanting to ask you.
[Below] are the reminders for those who’ve asked about continuing their giving in these difficult times. Thank you for asking. I hope the advice is just what you wanted and will not upset you in any way.
God bless us to do what we can and be at peace.
Rev Fr John
(31st May 2020)
John, who is our fine head of finance for the parish, has asked me to thank you for your continuing support of the parish income in these difficult times and I add my voice to his. Please do not worry about not giving at the present time.
Some of you have lost your jobs, many of you are on a reduced income and fearful of losing your jobs, a number of you have been ill and are struggling to bring your lives back in balance.
In comparison to your personal and family worries and responsibilities church income is of much less importance. God will guide us to be the church (the people of God) whatever the circumstances and guide us through our prayer and wisdom to do all that needs to be done.
At present we are receiving about 35% of what we normally receive to maintain the running of the parish. We shall recover. All our reserves must go on the three big but necessary projects (mentioned in the letter over the page). Anything I write for you here is to answer questions you have raised:
(1) See “Parish Finance” box for paying directly to the parish bank account.
(2) You may post cheques or leave them in the house post box.
(3) You may leave cash in the house post box.
NB If you have an offertory envelope number please write it on your envelope. The offertory boxes will be given out when we return to normal.