Funding the Future of Bowdon Parish

From time to time all organisations need to take stock and Bowdon Parish is no exception. Over recent months we have been looking in particular at what money we need to sustain our present work and have also been considering our ambitions for the future.

The Parish is a thriving centre of Christian worship celebrated at St Mary’s Church, St Luke’s Church and at the Parish Centre where Zone2 meet, adjacent to St Mary’s. We are also grateful that we often have the chance to engage with the local community in myriad different ways. For the old and the young there are opportunities throughout the year to meet, socialise and have fun in the community facilities offered at St Luke’s and the Parish Centre.

Naturally, for the future we want to sustain all this, and especially to develop our work with young people. They are the ones who will generate the energy and life to create a new future for the Church, our community and our society. They also face significant challenges as they navigate the pressures of social media, a world flooded with information and choice, and rising expectations to perform.

We want to continue to provide somewhere safe, positive and interesting for them to go so that they can experience great social, personal and spiritual rewards. Our volunteer youth team make this happen but they need the leadership and support of a full time Youth Missioner to be fully effective.

All that stands in our way is lack of funds.

There is a myth that Bowdon Parish receives funds from the government, or the national church, or the diocese. Nothing could be further from the truth. All the £330,000 a year it costs to run our Parish – that’s about £6,500 every week – has to be found from within the Parish. Half of it comes from hiring out our buildings – the Parish Centre for example – but the other half – over £3000 per week – comes from giving by the members of the Parish.

At the moment there is a shortfall between our income and expenditure of about £25,000 per annum, and that is before we fund our full time Youth Missioner. Properly funded work with young people adds about another £40,000 per year, so we have a significant challenge on our hands.

Not surprisingly, Bowdon Parish has embarked on a fund raising drive! The centrepiece is a Future Fund for Youth, through which we hope to raise £200,000 to meet the costs of our youth work for at least five years. The great news is that we have already raised £100,000 towards our target.

At the same time, we are also working on increasing our regular income to support the day to day work and running of the Parish.

We would like to say a big thank you to all those who have already made generous gifts, and do urge you to keep in touch with our progress on the Parish Website.

Philip Smyth

If you would like to help with funding the future of Bowdon Parish please get in touch with Ian Rumsey at
ian@bowdonchurch.org, Philip Smyth at philipsmyth@bowdonchurch.org or Simon Wood at simonwood@bowdonchurch.org