I am writing to you firstly to thank you for your past and indeed on-going generosity to St Mary’s R C Church Saltcoats. Your financial commitment is greatly appreciated.  You may have noticed a difference in the income this weekend, this was due to our celebration of First Holy Communion last weekend which encouraged additional parishioners and visitors alike to contribute to the weekly collection.

The economy is very much in the news at present and affects us all in different ways. It will be no surprise to hear that St Mary’s is not immune from the effects of rising prices and sadly also falling contributions with Parishioners leaving us through death and going to God throughout the year. We are used to the idea of our Sunday services being there for us in a well-maintained building, but we might overlook on-going activities that all contribute to building up our church family, welcoming visitors and reaching out to those in the surrounding community. But it all comes at a cost, however small.  We are also a high income Parish which means we pay a diocesan tax of £2218.78 every month to the Bishop.

However as a result of the generosity of the Parishioners in 2012 we were able to refurbish the Church Hall at a cost of over £30,000 without having to resort to borrowing any funds. During 2013 we have already re-painted the Church internally and are in course of considering upgrading the Church’s heating system, which may cost in excess of £20,000.  We are also considering new flooring and in time this will add and hopefully enhance our Church.  This may happen over the next year or so.

Your financial commitment significantly helps to meet these on-going essential refurbishments costs which in turn greatly assists in maintaining the fabric of St. Mary’s for the future generations.  Could you remember St Mary's in your will?  Could you do more to contribute to parish life, not only financially but offering a service that you have?  Did you know that if you are a tax-payer for every £1 donation the Church could claim back from the Inland Revenue an additional 25pence at no extra cost to you?  In effect therefore for every £1 you give is worth £1.25 to St Mary’s.

On this basis therefore, if you are a UK income tax payer, I would ask you to seriously consider downloading and signing a Gift Aid Declaration Form by clicking on the icon, below, and return it either by post to St.Mary's or by handing the Form into the Parish Office.

Thank you for making the time to read this and with all my good wishes and prayers.

God Bless.

Fr. Graeme.