This email was sent to the church on 14th November 2020:
Dear church family,
Following on from the redevelopment update on 4th November, we wanted to write to you, to appeal for your help.
Over the last twenty years God has shaped our plans for redeveloping the site at Greyfriars. Phase 1, which includes the new café and bookshop, prayer room, Sackville Street offices and toilet facilities, is making good progress and is due to be completed by July 2021.
The final design of Phase 2 is ongoing, but subject to funding being in place we aim to rebuild the Greyfriars Centre in the 15 months immediately following completion of the Phase 1 works in July 2021. The new Centre will have hugely improved space to accommodate the needs of Greyfriars Church family and to serve as a resource for the wider community in Reading.
We are hugely thankful to God that as a result of pledges and donations from trusts, major donors and from the nursery operations, we have gifts and pledges of over £6.5m! Of this total, £650,000 (10%) has been tithed to provide invaluable financial support to mission projects locally in Reading, and overseas.
All of these pledges and loans are conditional upon us raising the remaining funding gap and being able to maintain continuity of delivery. With this in mind, the PCC has led by example and as a result of their generosity, our residual funding need has reduced to £1.35m, which equates to just under £1m, assuming gift aid can be applied to donations.
Corinthians 9 encourages us to “sow generously” and “give cheerfully”, as marks of our maturity in Christ. Whilst we are conscious that this is a challenging time for some members of the congregation, we want to appeal to everyone to give as generously as they can to help with our mission and ministry to Reading and to invest in the future work of the kingdom of God.
Details of how you can give can be found below. A huge thank you to those of you who have already given. We have confidence that as we pray together, sacrificially give together and trust in the Lord together, He will provide for all our needs.
Greyfriars Redevelopment Funding Request – November 2020
We are now on the last leg of fundraising. With works well underway, a desire to move seamlessly from Phase 1 to Phase 2 (thereby saving significant cost) and having a clearer picture of what funding is still required to complete the project, we are launching this final appeal to the congregation.
How much do we still need to raise?
Since the July 2020 redevelopment presentation to the wider church we have had a steady flow of gifts and pledges into the redevelopment fund from trusts and members of the congregation. In October the PCC also showed leadership in gifting and/or pledging future gifts. Separately, we received good news on VAT recovery on Phase 1 and have taken steps to simplify and reduce the overall cost of Phase 2.
Taken together these have reduced the residual funding need from circa £2m in July to £1.35m now. Of this we still expect to receive at least a further £125k from Trusts leaving a shortfall in the fund of £1.23m. If all such gifts are gift aided, then we require a net gift of circa £1m.
When is the funding needed?
Given the timing of gifts and tithes associated with existing pledges we are seeking a further £250k cash this tax year (pre 4th April 2021), £800k during the 2021/22 tax year and the balance in the following tax year. The funding will be held in a designated redevelopment account.
What are the various ways to give?
The redevelopment section of the website has a gifting “button”. When you press it you are taken to page where there are 4 options:
I. Give Now:
This provides a link to confirm how much you are giving now and whether the gift is capable of being gift aided.
A link where you can indicate what gift you intend to make overall and how much will be gifted in each of the next 3 tax years. This process does not require any cash to be paid now.
Should you have spare funds which you would be prepared to loan for the purpose of financing the redevelopment then you can follow this link. It is intended that such loans will be repaid Such loans help us to extend the period over which we can receive development gifts.
Higher rate tax payers may have access to more tax efficient ways of giving. This could include share gifting for example. This tab creates a link for a conversation over how the gifts of higher rate tax payers could be made as tax efficient as possible for both the donor and the church.
When is my decision required?
Members of the congregation are asked to pray about their level of gifting and confirm their response through the gifting section of the redevelopment website by the end of November 2020. We are hugely grateful for all you’re able to give sacrificially.