Stage 1 complete
Stage 1 is by far the biggest, and if you have come to church or even just walked past since the scaffolding came down you will know how dazzlingly clean and crisp it now looks.
Stage 2 hasn’t a timetable yet, but it will tackle ground-level detail and final cleaning at street level. We didn’t dare spend more than the £204,000 it has cost so far, but that has meant that the detail which can be tackled from a small scaffolding tower can be done once we have raised a bit more. We have raided our reserves to do as much as we have so far. It was safety considerations that necessitated the work, but the aesthetic improvement, taking us back to our founders’ vision for the building, has been quite wonderful and made a significant difference to Heath Street.
To help us with affording the work this year (and drawing on our precious reserves that bit less) we have had some really generous gifts towards the eye-watering costs. Up to mid-November we have been given £29,240 in donations and have claimed nearly £4,000 in Gift Aid from HMRC. There are about three dozen specific individuals in the list of donors and lots more who gave in joint fundraising efforts.
We have been blessed by many donors – individuals and families who attend services at the church; those who visit for music; people who have organised concerts to raise money for us or who have given a bit more than the price of a concert ticket; the congregations who also worship in our building – Korean and Brazilian; and friends and family of our local people. There have been welcome donations from overseas, from people who used to worship with us but are now scattered to the four winds. We have had donations from the Netherlands and Germany, Canada and the USA. We know there is at least one generous gift in the pipeline too.
The government has done its bit too, as well as Gift Aid. We have been fortunate in being able to reclaim nearly £32,000 from the government as a refund for our VAT on the work done. This is a special programme to support repairs and improvements in listed buildings, not guaranteed, but happily there was enough money for us.
If you are one of the people who have already given – heartfelt thanks. If you haven’t yet helped us, please will you consider giving something? Any more funds that come in will be hugely welcome and will relieve the pressure on our income in covering all the other costs we have to run our many different activities and keep the building warm and functioning. The church bank account is:
Heath Street Baptist Church
Sort code 40-52-40
Account number 00014178
If you give direct to the account please add “stonework” to your name as a reference. If you pay UK tax and haven’t signed up for Gift Aid, please let me know (email@example.com). It is very easy to do and at no cost to you it adds 25 pence to every pound you give.
Gaynor Humphreys, Treasurer