2021 and beyond
Over the years, the congregation and friends of Bothwell Parish Church have supported the work and worship of the congregation, the wider work of the Church, and a variety of needs around the world. Allow me to thank you for your generosity and for your practical support which enabled us to continue worship and serving as a congregation. However, we now face new challenges as we prepare for the future and so we are launching a stewardship and fundraising project called 2021 and Beyond. This year I will be sending out a quarterly letter to keep you informed about the project and of other ways to give and get involved in the work of the church.
2020 will be a year not easily forgotten. The Coronavirus/Covid-19, has changed all of our lives and we do not know when it will end or what that end will look like. It is easy to become passive, reacting to events rather than shaping them. However, I am convinced that this is the moment when the world finds out whether being a Christian makes any difference or not. This is our chance to discover what “God being with us” really means. Like the rest of the nation, the Church has been observing the lockdown restrictions. For many months, the walls of our ancient Church echoed with silence, but the time has now come to look ahead and plan for the future of our Church’s worship, fellowship and service. That requires all of us to play our part. We as a congregation need to pull together to support our church to ensure that it is here for tomorrow.
Of course, we are aware that some have been impacted more heavily than others, either in terms of health issues and/or bereavement, or through a significant impact on their livelihoods, and we want to assure you of our continued prayers and support at this time. However, for the rest of us, despite any weariness we may feel, with God’s help, it is time to stop merely reacting to what is going on around us and to start taking proactive steps to thrive instead. As such, we would need your help in getting our church fit for purpose once again.
This letter focuses on two aspects. The first is our general giving. I would like to thank everyone who responded to our earlier call to increase their monthly gifting and was able to. Can I also take this opportunity to remind you that if you are a UK taxpayer, we can claim back 25p for every £1 you donate at no extra cost to yourself.
Despite our earlier stewardship campaign, we are still forecasting a deficit of approximately £3000 a month. Our income has of course been affected by the lack of services and the loss of income from the lets of our centre to other agencies. Inflation also steadily erodes the value of the giftings we receive as we see our costs increasing year after year. It costs approximately £16,000 a month just to keep our Church going. We have cut as many costs as we can, yet we are still left with an approximate £3000 deficit per month, which cannot continue indefinitely.
I am asking everyone to look at their level of giving. For those who are not yet giving to prayerfully consider if you are able to give on a monthly basis. For those who are already giving we are asking you to pray about and consider if you are able increase your monthly giving by approximately 40%. So for example £30 a month would increase to £40 a month, £40 – £55, £50 – £70, £80 – £110, £100 – £140, £150 – £210, £180 – £250 etc
I know that not everyone can afford to give more, whilst others may easily be able to afford more, so please do consider giving what you can and if you are able to amend/set up a standing order. The bank details can be found at the bottom of this letter.
The second aspect this letter aims to address is that of our fundraising project. Alongside our monthly giving we have identified three projects that need to be tackled to allow us to be a Church fit for not only the 21stCentury, but also for a post-COVID world.
We are looking to raise an additional £100,000 outwith the monthly giving. This sum will be used to fund three projects listed below. As well as asking the congregation to support this we will also be applying to grants, the wider community and friends who have generously supported us in the past to support this fundraising endeavour.
Audio and Live streaming: £30,000
We have already started part of this project as we are in the process of arranging the installation of discreet live-streaming capabilities in the building. This will allow us to include everyone, whether in person or online, to participate in our services, weddings, funerals and other events. Live-streaming is becoming more and more commonplace with requests already being made for livestreaming at funerals and weddings here in Bothwell. We would also like to upgrade and replace the sound system in the Church to allow everyone who attends to clearly hear what is being said. The system will be designed to be as future proof as is possible while allowing us many years of superior sound.
Our very dated gas-fired cast-iron sectional boilers are in dire need of replacing after over 20 years of service. When installed, they were estimated to be around 77% efficient which pales in comparison to the 95% efficiency of modern gas-condensing boilers which we hope to have installed. It is important to note that after 20 years of use, the boilers are operating on nowhere near the original estimation, and we are therefore wasting money unnecessarily. Replacing the boilers is not only important for Sunday morning services, but also for the general upkeep of the building. Our beautiful church has to be kept at a constant temperature of 11C during the week to prevent deterioration of the lime, so replacing the boilers is essential to safeguard this historic building.
Music has always been an essential part of worship in Bothwell Parish Church and the organ is now in need of renewal after many years of wonderful service, to allow us to fill the walls with the sounds of praise once again. The present organ dates back to the 1970s and its sound is testament to its age. Distortion can be heard through the speakers whenever the organ is opened up to forte in hymns and voluntaries. There are also notes that no longer sound and it constantly malfunctions.
Any extra funds will be put towards the general Fabric Fund of the Church. As you can well imagine, the work on Bothwell Parish Church, like painting the Forth Rail Bridge, never stops, and there are many projects that keep us busy and keep eating into our limited resources. There is both a need and an opportunity at this time, no-one can do everything, but everyone can do something. Together we can make a difference. Please pray that the Lord will enable us to move forward together. Like you, I am looking forward to the day when we can all meet together face to face once again. Till that day, may God bless you and your loved ones with comfort and peace.
With every blessing,
Revd. Iain Majcher
Bank of Scotland
Uddingston (800993) Branch]
PO Box 1000,
Sort Code: 80-09-93
Account No: 00175778
Reference – please specify for fundraising or monthly giving