I associate this time of the year with big bills, possibly because in September the invoice arrives for the insurance premium for the coming year’s cover. This year it is £10,867.
Why so high? Simply because all our buildings are either listed or in conservation areas and so if they are damaged or destroyed they would need to be replaced as they stand at the moment. But expenses do not end with this particular tab. Adjacent to the Social Centre the boiler house roof has just been replaced at a cost of £2,100. Also, you may have noticed that work has begun on the field below Candlemakers, completing the drainage scheme begun a couple of years ago. This has been agreed at a knockdown price of £800, thanks to voluntary labour and donated materials.
Another cause of concern is the rapidly deteriorating surface of the road between the church and the school. With the school’s help the area will be tarmacked during midterm at a cost of something over £4,000. This is a really low price, thanks to Miles Fox who is both providing the labour and the tarmac at cost.
At the beginning of the summer, Salford Diocese’s insurers inspected the electrical installations in all parishes to ensure that they comply with the latest regulations, the most recent of which only came into force in July! The improvements we must make are costed by the insurers at £7,400. After putting the work to competitive tender and further negotiation, this figure has been reduced to £4,390! This and all our parish’s rebuilding and improvements are done under the supervision of Tony Hargan, a qualified surveyor and parishioner in Sabden whose time and expertise are freely given to the parish, saving thousands of pounds. I can assure you that the money you contribute is cautiously and wisely spent!
This parish resembles the Forth Bridge where maintenance continues the year round. The next job is to hire a cherry picker so that the top of the west gable of the church can be repointed to cure water seepage above the organ loft and to replace roof slates. Does anyone know of a benefactor who could loan us a cherry picker?
We do need to look at parish income which hasn’t risen over recent years in contrast to smaller, nearby parishes which receive considerably more returns from Gift Aid than do we. So the Finance Committee has invited Derek Pearce, a Catholic who has advised a number of dioceses, to speak to us about these issues. He will do so this weekend.