Vicars’ Blog November – Get Involved 2019 Vicar letter

Get Involved 2019-20 Sunday 17th November

‘Member 100’ to meet regular church expenditure

Dear Friends,

Thank you for your prayer, loving service and giving to God through this church in the last year. During 2019, our Vision Priorities have made an impact: we have increased our focus on Welcome and explored what it means to be a closer Community of God’s people. Focus on prayer and hearing one another’s stories have encouraged us in our faith in Jesus and we have invested in Under-fives and Families outreach ministry including Messy church.

Since Amy left this role in August, we have continued to invest in children’s ministry. We are grateful to the church members who have stepped up to cover Under 5’s Sunday school on a temporary basis. We are the envy of many churches in the country. Why? Because only 30 churches in the Church of England nationally have over 100 under 16’s weekly and we are one of them. We have a huge responsibility to and opportunity with these children and young people.

Christians, we are part of God’s mission in the world. As someone put it “we have to find out what God is doing and join in!” In one week recently, here’s what God was doing: helping teenagers say why they want to follow Jesus in the Admission to Communion service, comforting the broken-hearted in Babyloss awareness week, Open the Book assembly at Ashley school, building community in the Life Groups celebration evening. How wonderful to be part of what God is doing. As members of the church (anyone who attends for more than three months) we commit to pray, serve and give (and get onto Church suite) as we invest together in what God is doing in his kingdom in Walton on Thames.


“Vicars stop asking for money!”

That’s a headline we would all like to see. So, we have a new initiative called “Member 100” so that the church regular giving covers regular expenditure. Over the last year the average giving has decreased and does not cover our expenditure.

Here is a reality check and some numbers:

INCOME – is entirely from donations of attenders (and Gift Aid) and some from hall rental. As a fall back there is also a Trust that we can apply to to cover essential maintenance and worship items.

2019 ANNUAL EXPENDITURE – £270,600

As you can see, our expenditure is pretty fixed.

See chart (Halls not included)

44% Parish Share to Church of England                                            £117,800

(pay for one Vicar and house, Curate pay, contribution to Diocesan costs. Based on numbers attending church and where we live.)

20% Salaries for 2nd Vicar, Admin staff, Verger, Music               £  54,490

18% Buildings & Maintenance of church and halls                        £  49,750

10% Youth and Children salary, materials, safeguarding             £  25,800

5% Mission locally and to world church                                           £  13,500

(this is 10% of general income)

3% Administration and other                                                            £    9,260

100%                                                                                         Total     £270,600


Member 100 – every family unit attending any service gives £100 per month to the regular work of God through the church. Then, to invest in Youth and other additional ministry please add an extra £25 per month.


Dividing the monthly expenditure by the number of attending family units, we arrive at the number £100. Member 100 is a simple message: We are asking every family unit attending any service to give £100 per month to the regular work of God through the church. If this is more than 10% of your income, please consider giving less. If your household income is £50,000 pa £100 per month is 2.3% of our income. While the Bible guideline is 10% of our income, it’s fine to give some to other Christian charities, so we agree with the national church guideline of 5% of our income to God’s work through the local church because it is where we are being fed spiritually. The Bible says people gave “According to their ability to give…”


Member 100 will sort out our regular needs… and then we want to do more: with children and youth, with Messy church, with older people and serving our neighbours on the estates.

We want to ask you to give more, so we can fund more ministry including:

  1. Youth

Focusing on the exciting story of our new ministry among youth and bucking the national trend. Needed right now is equipment for the fortnightly Youth groups and termly Youth services. Games like table football, table tennis, musical equipment and amplification and storage for this equipment. We need personnel paid and voluntary to develop this ministry.

  1. Serving our neighbours

This year we have seen an increase in take up for the food bank. As a church, we provided weekly Summer lunches through the school summer holidays. There are more opportunities opening up on the St John’s estate as our links with Families’ Matter and Primary school link workers develop. We would love to fund an outreach worker to spearhead this ministry. And it’s not just St John’s, what about Vicarage Fields, Field Common or Thames Mead? Do you know Walton-on-Thames has the third largest number of social housing homes in the Diocese of Guildford? Do we have a big enough vision to plant congregations into these areas?

The Diocese of Guildford want to support us in these ministries, but we have got to be committed to these ministries ourselves first!

Please commit to Member 100,

What can you do?

  • Pray asking God how he wants you to invest in ministry at St Mary’s and St John’s church.
  • Decide on your monthly amount to provide regular ministry and invest in extra ministry such as youth
  • Fill in the Get Involved Giving and Serving forms attached or online

The best way is either a direct debit through the Parish Giving Scheme or a simple Standing Order with Gift Aid for taxpayers. If you wish to donate a lump sum this can also be Gift Aided.

Thank you so much for being part of what God is doing in Walton-on-Thames and beyond!

Jonny and Cathy