To: All members and adherents of United Reformed Churches and our Local Ecumenical Partnerships
Is anyone back to normal?
After two years of pandemic and lockdown, and Covid still with us (thankfully, for most, in a much
weaker form), we can now worship together in person and find fellowship again. But for most of us it is
not simply a return to how it used to be; some people have not returned to church, some have died or
become too frail, some churches have closed and others considering it.
Now we have significant European turmoil and its likely effect on fuel and food prices for us in the UK.
Thank God that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Heb. 13 v.8). Whatever
else changes, He is our rock, our cornerstone.
Financially, things were extremely tough for churches in 2021. Plate offerings had collapsed;
some regular givers had to reduce or entirely stop giving to support God’s work; and those
churches which hire out their premises had seen income from that source disappear. Even
those churches where the majority of the giving was by standing order or bank transfer (if you
have not considered regularising your giving in this way, please do – it helps your treasurer
significantly) may have seen a 20%+ drop in income.
If this had been replicated in giving to the M&M Fund in 2021, we might have been faced with a
serious financial crisis last year.
But no, through the generosity of individuals, churches and Synods, we can report that income
only fell by 4.4%. With a similar reduction in expenditure the M&M Fund result was a deficit of
only £80,000 (less than one-half of one percent of income), a deficit that can be comfortably
covered by reserves.
So, thank you to all who continued to contribute to your local church, thank you to all those
churches who met their commitment for 2021 in full, and thank you to all those who, in
adversity, continued to treat the M&M Fund as the first priority and paid what they could.
With churches and individuals under financial pressure, 2022 is not going to be an easy year
either. The M&M Fund budgeted income (based on Synods’ projections) will not be sufficient to
cover expected costs and we are reconciled to dipping into our reserves more seriously as a
However, if we “ordinary Christians” are to fulfil the call of Jesus to be His witnesses in the
world around us we need ministers and other workers “on the ground” and we need shared
resources which are often best created centrally. That all comes from the M&M Fund.
Again, thank you all!
If you have any questions or comments arising from this letter, please speak to your church
treasurer who has been provided with more detailed information. If they are not able to help
directly then they can get in touch with the finance team at Church House.
Yours in Christ,
Ian Hardie (Treasurer)
Vaughan Griffiths (Deputy Treasurer)
The United Reformed Church
United Reformed Church House
86 Tavistock Place, London WC1H 9RT