St. Martin’s Church,
Bowness-on-Windermere

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Our Mission: As people at St. Martin's by God's grace we strive to live by his values, worship together, reveal the Good News, and see God's kingdom grow Our Vision: To see a thriving, growing Christian community



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If you want some more information first, read on. We are doing what we can with others to support the local congregation and community in Bowness, Windermere and our area during this crisis. But in order to keep doing this, St Martin's needs your continued support at this time. Covid-19 has raised some very particular financial challenges for our church.

Why has St. Martin's income been so affected by Covid-19?

  • Many have generously supported our church for years through plate (over £9000 p.a) and envelope (£8600 p.a.) giving. As we cease meeting for gathered worship they are no longer able to give in these ways. This represents a significant loss of income for our church.

  • Fundraising events such as garden party and cream teas (£2400 p.a.) look unlikely to be able to go ahead, and 'Jennie's books' are not trading (£450 p.a.).

  • We are losing valuable income from ‘occasional offices’: our weddings are being rearranged for future dates and funerals are taking place at the crematorium or graveside, which means the usual fees to the PCC are not coming in. (£5200 p.a.)

  • There is a complete loss of visitor income in what would normally be our busy period for the gift stall (£2500 p.a. net) and donations both generally and for candles at the prayer stand (£7500 p.a.)

We can hope that we will still receive some proportion of this income. It doesn't seem likely, however, that we will see a significant opening up and return of visitors in (say) July, August and September. Taken together, therefore, this all represents a very significant loss of income for St. Martin's. Current cash flow projections show us running out of money at the end of August.

Why do we still need the same amount of income now church has ‘closed’?

Although our normal patterns of worship have sadly stopped, our costs have not. We are still required to pay fixed costs such as buildings insurance, and Parish Offer continues to be as relevant as ever, as clergy like me continue to work and need housing. Although it may not feel like it now, we are also mindful of the fact that eventually this storm will pass, and we need a financially viable church in our community that is able gather in our building to continue to be a worshipping presence once again.

The financial challenges being faced by our church here in Bowness are unfortunately replicated in every parish across the county. The diocese is doing all it can to support churches during this turbulent time, but it is very reliant on Parish Offer, its main source of income. A material drop in this income source across the county will impact the diocese’s ability to pay for ministry during the crisis, and once this crisis has ended.
It is also worth noting that although our routine church activities have stopped, and the building is out of bounds, the church is certainly not ‘closed’. It is very much alive and seeking to be at the frontline of responding to this crisis.

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Rector

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