Vandals and Covid have big impact on church finances

September 07 2020
Vandals and Covid have big impact on church finances

Almost £400 of damage was done to a Cherry Orchard church in a vandalism attack.

The damage was caused to the roof of St Mark in the Cherry Orchard after a slab dislodged from a wall running parallel to the church’s car park was thrown on to it.

The cost of repairs has had to be borne by the church in Orchard Street due to the cost of insurance excess.

It was the latest in a series of financial hits to the church this year, after income from activities in the church hall dried up during the coronavirus lockdown.

Janet Vale, secretary to the parochial church council (PCC), said: “Like all churches and businesses, St Mark in the Cherry Orchard Church took a big hit when the UK came to a standstill in March.

“Income dried up completely from the church hall and some groups still do not know when they will return.

“There was little funding coming in but payments continued to leave the bank account, which has meant that church reserves have fallen dramatically.

“The biggest outgoing was, and continues to be, to the diocesan for the parish share which, this year, is £16,800, a huge amount for a small church like St Marks to find under normal circumstances never mind the current one.

“However, the PCC is very aware that it is luckier than most to have reserves.”

While damp sealing work was carried out in the church hall during lockdown the floorboards were found to be damp, even wet in places.

A report has identified the cause as penetrating dampness through lateral movement of the back wall that is completely below ground level. The only remedy is to “tank” the whole west wall at a cost of £4,260.

Janet said: “This is a further drain on funds but a necessary expense or the boards will rot.

“The job will be scheduled for October half term with the hope that grant funding might be obtained towards the cost.”

Other redecorating work carried out by Janet has included painting and repainting walls, woodwork and old radiators and pipes in the hall.

Tiles were replaced or added in the kitchen and resealing around the sinks and work surfaces was carried out.

That work cost little as the majority of items were either donated or secured from Worcester Freecycle or Trash Nothing.

The church is appealing for paint for doors and woodwork because the colour is no longer available to buy.

Another issue affecting the church is littering, with polystyrene boxes and cans dumped on the church hall steps by people eating takeaways there.