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Treasurer's letter

Money matters

The November church meeting is due to look at a financial report for the first nine months of our financial year, January to September. While you cannot expect me, as Treasurer, to suggest we are comfortably off, our bank account was looking a bit healthier than usual at the end of September. Some of this is simply because we did relatively little work on the building in the period, though we have now done improvement work on the sanctuary daïs–which by the time all the bills are paid will have dented the savings a bit. It does look good, though, with gleaming wood instead of tatty carpet, and a discreet hinge in the brass rail that will allow us in due course to have a small grand piano and manoeuvre it round the pulpit as needed.

Two factors have recently helped our cash position. A wonderfully generous local donor has given two donations from his business which together add up to £7,000 and which he wants to see us using to improve the hall and kitchen area downstairs, as his big interest is our work with homeless people and therefore the facilities we have for the Contact Club to use.  Also, I did battle (that is what it felt like) with the Government’s appointed agents who administer a listed buildings scheme that refunds some VAT on building work. We received a refund and, after a bit more argy-bargy, two more chunks of money, all amounting to £21,541.

We still need, and use well, every scrap of funding we receive from the congregation and visitors and people who hire our space. If you are a regular giver (on any scale) and a UK taxpayer and you haven’t a PIN to write on your offering envelope, do let me know as every claim we can make under Gift Aid adds 25% to the value of your gift.

An old friend

It was good to receive an email recently from Lilli Schott whom some of the congregation will remember worshipped with us a few years ago while she was a student in London, before going to Thailand with a German missionary organisation. She sends her best regards to everyone who remembers her: “my time at Heath Street Baptist Church is related to a very good and blessed time!”. Lilli has gone back to Germany and is living in a small city almost in the centre of the country. She says “Somehow Thailand did not work out as I hoped many years ago but I still believe that God has good plans for me. Since last year September I am at World Vision Germany; it is a pleasure to be part of this large Christian INGO and working for the good of children as Assistant to the CEO.” She has found a good church and wonderful friends and is thrilled to have three new little nieces. I have an email address for Lilli if anyone wants to be in touch.

Come to church?

I can’t resist sharing some church publicity I found while I was on holiday on the west coast of the USA in the autumn. You may have seen the first two elsewhere, though they were new to me when I saw them on huge billboards outside churches

"God wants you to be fishers of men. You catch ‘em, He'll clean ‘em."

"Don't let your worries get you down. Remember, Moses started out as a basket case."

But maybe the best one was for Cowboy Church, 9.30 a.m. every Sunday – "Put some YEE-HAW into your life!".

Christmas post

Quick reminder as we are coming to the time of year when most of us get more post than usual. For some time we have been collecting stamps to be sold in aid of Baptist Home Mission. Any stamps, however ordinary, UK or foreign, torn or cut from envelopes (with about half an inch of margin if possible)–all are welcome (and odd foreign coins too. There’s a box for them on the vestibule table. It is astonishing how much money is raised from this and it very easily becomes a habit to open a letter and tear off the stamp before you recycle the envelope. Thanks!

Let me know if you want to see the church finance report or if you have any questions about the accounts or how Gift Aid works.

With love and best wishes,