Parish Finance Report, End of Year 2022

Canon and charity law require the following annual report to parishioners.  It will be publicised via the joint parish bulletin, on the website, via Facebook and a hard copy will be posted on a notice board in the Church.  Questions and comments are encouraged and can be submitted via the form at the end of this page or by discussion with any member of the Finance Committee after Mass on Sunday.

End of Year Performance Summary

The parish had a £6,882 surplus of income over expenditure in 2022.  There are, however, several factors which mitigate against an overoptimistic view of this unexpected profit.   2 legacy bequests totalling £8,000 made the difference between surplus and loss.  The underlying trend is a £10,000 annual reduction in offertory income compared with pre-Covid levels; this has been compensated in this year by cost sharing income from St Marys, Chippenham but we predict that increasing pressures on our expenditure will see a return to deficit in 2023..

Treasurer Overview

When I last gave a financial update to the Parish in August I predicted a surplus of income over expenditure of around £5k.  That has proved to be an under estimate as the actual surplus was £6,682.  Before the Covid pandemic, I would have welcomed such a result; however there are underlying trends which mitigate against such optimism.

    • Extraordinary income
      • 2022’s income  included one off £8,000 from legacies.  Without these generous benefactors we would have been in deficit.
      • The transfer of standing orders from the diocese to the parish means we receive money immediately into the parish rather than after a 1 to 2 month delay.  The changeover has boosted this year’s income by between £1-2000 because we received money in year that usually would have fallen into the next year.
    • Expected income not yet received
      • We have not yet been able to claim £3,500 Gift Aid rebate due to delays in the transfer of data from the centralised diocesan system to the new parish accounts system.  This will be claimed in 2023.
      • Investment income for 2022 has not yet been distributed by the Diocese; we would normally expect approximately £1,000 investment income and capital growth to have been added to these figures.

The underlying trend

The underlying trend if we adjust for these factors would have been a deficit of around £5,000.

2021 was an abnormal year for our budget due to the pandemic with both income and expenditure below “normal” levels.   Comparing our income to previous years there has been  a drop in offertory and donation income of around £10,000 per year.

    • Our standing order and donation income total is similar to what it was before and sustained us through the pandemic when we were unable to attend Mass.
    • Our weekend plate/offertory income has dropped from an average of £450 per week to less than £200.

This drop in income is possibly due to fewer people attending Mass in the Parish following the reduction in the number of Masses after our communion with St Mary’s.  There are also signs of a reduction in the amount given per head in the offertory, perhaps because people have shifted to another form of giving or because they can no longer afford it.

Receipts and Payments

Categorised Receipts and Payments Compared to the Previous Year


The parish total income increased by £25k compared to 2021.

    • Just over half of this increase (£12k) is due to the Parish in Communion receipts from Chippenham.
    • £8k came from 2 legacies,
    • and the remaining increase. £5k, came from the post covid recovery in hall bookings.

Offertory and donations income has shown a small recovery (~£2k) but remains about £10k less than pre pandemic levels. We have recently restarted plate donations at Mass but it is too soon to tell if this will recover given the reduction in the number of masses after communion with St Marys.

Stole fees etc. are now paid direct to the Parish Priest.


Our total expenditure increased by £19k compared to 2021 as a pandemic spending moratorium imposed by the Finance Committee was relaxed and due to our share of the setting up and runnings costs of the new Parish Administrator post. Employment costs were introduced into the budget starting in October.

Clergy support costs rose by £3,400 due to increased stipend rates and a large increase in mileage costs  resulting from the communion with Chippenham.  Clergy support costs are shared with Chippenham so the net impact on Corsham is a saving due to the Parish in Communion (PIC) income stream.

Premises costs rose by £9k, largely the cost of an architect employed to carry out a reordering study and a quinquennial inspection. These were one off costs but a growing backlog of outstanding maintenance has been identified.

IT and equipment costs rose by £5,500 for the set up of the Parish Administrator but these costs were shared with Chippenham under the PIC arrangements.

Looking Forward

The parish finance committee will now create a budget proposal for 2023.  This will consider:


Given that our income is generated predominantly by charitable donation from our parishioners we only have two options to increase our income:

    • To increase the number of donors, and/or
    • To increase the amount each donor contributes.

We predict that much of our income will continue at the same level as in 2022 as we fear we have reached the end of our post Covid recovery and stabilised at a level some £10k less than we enjoyed before the pandemic.


    • Energy Costs.  The parish has largely been protected from global energy price rises due to a fixed price arrangement which ended in October.  Early indications are that our new prices are 3 times the previous rates. (200% increase), this will increase our annual costs by £7,500.
    • Buildings Maintenance.  Our architect has surveyed our church estate and  has confirmed our fears of a growing backlog of building maintenance.  These reports are yet to be developed into a firm project plan but early indications are a need for expenditure in excess of £300,000 over the next 5 years for maintenance alone, with no investment in improvements to the building.  This is going to require significant fund raising over several years.  In the meantime we will have to tackle some of the urgent repairs in 2023.
    • Inflation.  Inflation of the order of 10% is likely to impact upon much of our church expenditure.

2023 Budget Summary

We predict that 2023 is going to be another challenging year;

    • our income levels are below our current spending, and
    • our expenditure is expected to rise significantly compared to last year.

We expect to have to run a fund raising campaign throughout the year  and to seek to increase use of Gift Aid but anticipate having to dig into our reserves once again