‚What a year!’
Dear Friends of St Catherine’s,
How many of you started your Christmas letters, e-mails or other greetings with these words? What a year 2020 has been! Many of us will be glad to see the back of it, not least, as a year when life at St. Catherine’s, as we knew it, was changed beyond recognition. For most of our congregation, it has been many months since we could sit on the familiar wooden pews, hear the familiar liturgy, see the familiar faces and share coffee. And yet, St. Catherine’s life has gone on: we have all felt it touching us, even if it was different than usual.
A team of tireless volunteers, led by the Chaplain, has learnt new skills and kept us going with:
- Online services that have been available week after week, with familiar voices reading, preaching and singing for us. Music from our own organist and organ – it just feels like “home” to hear those familiar tones and sounds.
- E-mails with messages, greetings and information. Calls and WhatsApps from the Chaplain and others. People have found ways to keep in touch where they can.
- Sunday Zoom coffee, Zoom Bible Study and other online opportunities to meet and pray together
- Keeping in touch with our refugee volunteers and those in need of our assistance.
- “Corona Care” being made available where needed.
I’m so proud of our church community and the very special glue that holds us together.
We all can’t wait until things can get back to some form of normal again. What a dream to be in Church on Sunday morning for a “normal” Eucharist.
As treasurer, I have the rotten job of reminding you we all need to do what we can to make sure there is something to come back to! You are all aware of the struggling finances of the Church and sadly, most of our expenses are fixed. They do not go down when we are not physically in Church.
The main expenses we have, which make up 85-90% of the total, are our Chaplain’s salary, the rent of our Anglican Centre and our contributions towards the Old Catholics for use of the Church and the Diocese of Europe (also salaries and other mainly fixed costs).
At the same time as still incurring these fixed costs, we could not hold some of our main fund raising events such as the Annual Booksale, the Annual Bazaar or our ‘live’ Carol Service (which raises funds for our charitable giving). Some of these missing funds have been made up for with a grant from the diocese but our general position is the same, income down whilst expenditure remains almost the same.
As we have hardly been able to hold services in Church, we have of course also had no Sunday collections; a loss of between €100 and €250 a week. I’ll let you do the maths! The “virtual collection” and generous bank transfers made by some members and friends of St. Catherine’s have helped go some way to fill this gap. But more is needed.
Maybe not everyone is aware of the fact that the lack of physical services widens the gap, already present, in our finances? If this is you, maybe you can help to fill this gap a little?
I’d like to say thank you to those people who have given extra this year and worked so hard to keep St. Catherine’s going during 2020 and the Covid-19 pandemic.
We give thanks for them and for our Church!
Thanks be to God for all that we have, for our health, our sorely missed families, including our Church family and we pray that all of these will be with us in 2021, not just online but also physically!
If you’d like to make a donation, please use the following bank details
Friends of the English Church e.V.
IBAN DE39 6009 0100 0587 2530 02
or contact me, Jackie Wellhäußer (treasurer) at firstname.lastname@example.org
We can issue an official German tax receipt (Spendenbescheinigung) or a simple confirmation letter for the donation if the donation can be clearly connected to you. For this we need:
- your address
- for 2020 receipts the money has to be on our account on 31.12.2020 or before
Later donations are still gratefully received – we can issue a 2021 receipt
With very many thanks for whatever you can contribute,
Treasurer, St. Catherine’s Anglican Chaplaincy, Stuttgart.