It costs a great deal to run St. Mary’s church, and keep it well maintained. In 2014 those costs amounted to £77,000, or £6,400 per month. We have to find all of this money, from regular donations, from collections, and from fund-raising. We have to pay regular monthly contributions to Chichester Diocese, to meet costs paid centrally on our behalf. In 2014 the monthly charge was £3,600, and this met only approximately 80% of actual costs. We expect to be required to meet our full obligations in the not too distant future, an additional £1,000 or so per month.
In January 2015 we were greatly delighted to obtain, with the support of Chichester Diocese, a grant of £77,200 from the Government’s “Licensed Places of Worship“ scheme to pay for essential repairs to the leaking church roof. The work, which was carried out by Valley Builders of East Grinstead during July and August. Despite some initial anxiety, Petworth Festival events were able to take place in the church during this period without any disruption at all. Community use by such events as the Festival was a very important element in obtaining the grant. The project was overseen by architect Jane Jones Warner, who described the project as remarkably trouble free, despite plenty of rain in the early stages.
We currently await, with some trepidation, a report on St. Mary’s electrical circuitry. An expensive assessment of work needed would need a fund-raising campaign; such has been carried out in the past in similar circumstances.
We are very fortunate in having the substantial support of the Friends of St. Mary’s in securing improvements to the church premises in their role as a community facility.
If you feel able to support us in either fund-raising, or in regular giving, please contact the Treasurer about Fund-raising and Church Stewardship. Gift-aiding your contribution is a simple and enormously beneficial way of helping St. Mary’s.