St Stythians needs your help!

Is there anything more representative of an English – or Cornish – village than its parish church?

Whether you are a regular worshipper, drop in for special occasions such as Christmas, or never pass through its doors, I expect most of us like the idea that it is there. 

There has been a church on the site since the 6th century, but it was in the 14th century that the oldest part of the church as we now know it was built, and the tower added in the 15th century.  Under its roof generations of local people have had their baptisms, weddings and funerals - and we want to be sure that they can continue to do so indefinitely.

Our purpose is to worship God and to spread his Word, and we would love you to join us on Sundays or at Messy Church. We invite you to pop in and spend some quiet time in our lovely building – it’s open each day. As a PCC though, we need also to be stewards of the church building, and I am sorry to have to write about finances. I know that it makes for very dry reading, but please do read on, as this is important to us, and we hope it is important to you as a parishioner of Stithians.

At a recent fundraiser a person was overheard querying why the church needs fundraising because “after all, the Church of England pays for it”.  This led us on the PCC to consider how much people think the church costs and where the money comes from.  Far from being paid for by the Church of England, our parish church has to make the considerable payment of about £17,000 per year to the local diocese Mission and Ministry Fund (MMF).  This is in addition to the costs of running the parish church itself and providing support and projects for the community, including Messy Church and the Coffee Stop. The full breakdown of costs is available from the Treasurer, but last year our expenditure was £29,211.  We did not manage to meet our full MMF payment, falling about £2,000 short, so the real figure of our costs should have been about £31,000. We will need to add the shortfall to this year’s bills so will expect a higher figure once again. Our basic running costs work out at £460 per week, with the weekly collections contributing about £115 on average.

Our only income is through collections, fundraising and donations. Looking at the figures it is extraordinary that our band of fundraisers have managed to keep it all going so far, and a huge thank you is definitely in order.  The trouble is, with costs rising and congregations falling, we are not sure how long this can be sustained. I should probably point out that on our big “special” services the collections do not go to the parish church eg Remembrance Sunday (Royal British Legion), Christingle (The Children’s Society).

Our greatest wish is to see more people coming through our doors and joining with us to worship Almighty God. You would be assured of a warm and heartfelt welcome, but we understand and respect that people have different beliefs and different commitments.  If, however, you believe that the parish church is a beautiful building that should remain open for the parish if and when they need it; if you believe that it should be available for your descendants to marry in, to christen their children in, to hold their funeral service in; if you believe that any part of the work of the church in this parish is worthwhile – PLEASE do support our fundraising events and please consider whether you could make a gift of time or money to help out. A one off donation would be amazing, or a regular donation would really help with financial planning. If just 100 people gave £1 per month and gift-aided it that would add £1500 per year to our income.  That would really help towards our shortfall. If you feel you are able to help at all, please do contact our Treasurer Nigel, on 01209 901046 or nigelguzek@gmail.com.

I apologise again for having to talk about finances, but thank you for reading on. We hope to see you at a service soon.

God Bless

Wendy Whittaker

For, and on behalf of, St Stythians PCC