St Andrew’s Church & Star Centre
Registered Charity No: 1134166
London W14 9SA
Tel: 020 7385 5023
Vicar: The Revd Lesley Bilinda
Dear Member of St. Andrew’s
You are receiving this letter as a member of the community of worshippers at St. Andrew’s, regardless of whether you have worshipped here for decades or this is the first time you have joined us.
The Parish Church Council (PCC) has been reviewing the work St Andrew’s does, and that picture is, on the whole, incredibly positive:
the number of people worshipping at St Andrew’s on a Sunday has grown slightly, despite the national picture of falling church attendance;
the church is involved in a myriad of ways in the local community, for example through the homeless project, youth clubs on the estates, groups for the elderly, and for small children, a community café, healthy eating workshops, working with the local Youth Offending Team and mental health groups, and working closely with our local schools;
we continue to offer pastoral care to our regular members, and conduct funerals, weddings and baptisms, and opportunities for study and prayer to deepen our faith;
on an average week, roughly 750 people use our building in one way or another – an incredible number of our neighbours benefiting directly and indirectly from the work we do.
However, the costs of providing these ministries is immense: it costs over £200,000 a year to keep the building maintained, the utility bills and salaries paid, and to make our contribution to the diocese. These costs are expected to go up in the coming years. The traditionally held view of the Church of England as a wealthy landlord able to support local parishes is now, sadly, very out of date. Increasingly, it is for each parish to sustain itself financially if it is to thrive into the future.
The largest share of our annual income comes from hiring out spaces in the church and Star Centre, which we have grown very successfully over recent years. Bookings are close to full capacity at the moment, so there is little scope for us to increase our income in this way.
And so we must continue to look to the Lord and ask ourselves, as members of St. Andrew’s, what we can do to enable God’s work here to continue and grow. In this context, the PCC is concerned to note that the level of personal giving has been steadily falling over past years and asks each of us to reflect on whether we could increase our giving to the church.
If you already give to St. Andrew’s on a regular basis, please accept our heartfelt thanks! It is due to you that we are able to continue to worship here and to serve the local community in a wide range of ways. If you have recently started worshipping at St. Andrew’s and would like to support its work and ministry, please consider becoming a regular giver. We would ask each of you to reflect prayerfully on the following and respond as God leads you.
How much should I give? This is a matter between you and God: each person’s circumstances will be different and will change over time. The issue is not who gives the most, but honestly examining ourselves before God and giving what we can. If you have been giving the same regular amount for some time, might you be able to increase the amount?
Would you consider joining the Parish Giving Scheme (PGS)? Please read through the pamphlet to find out more about the benefits of this scheme to you and to the church. You will have complete control over your giving: to increase, decrease, or stop. It is easy to set up and the amount you give is known only to you and the parish giving scheme administrator – or you can be completely anonymous.
We have so much for which we have to grateful here at St. Andrew’s and our hope and prayer is that our church and its mission can be made secure to carry on the work of Christ for years into the future.
With many, many thanks.
For and on behalf of the PCC.