Church Accounts for 2015

Copies of the OHSS Annual Trustees Report and Annual Accounts for 2015 are now available from Sandy Cumming, Church Treasurer. Please click the links to download them:

Annual Trustees Report

Annual Accounts

At the Annual Business Meeting held on 17 April at the Old High Church, the main income and expenditure items were presented and explained by Sandy Cumming, our Treasurer. The following Financial Review forms part of the Trustees Annual Report. If you have any questions or comments, please contact Sandy Cumming on 01463 795533 or by emailing sandy.cumming<a>btopenworld.com.

Financial Review for 2015

Offerings fell from £93,246 in 2014 to £89,255 in 2015, a fall of some 4.3 per cent. Tax recovered under Gift Aid decreased from £20,426 in 2014 to £18,808. The reduction in offerings is a serious concern.

The number of members using Freewill Offering Envelopes was 66, and the number of members using bank standing orders was 90. Several successful fund raising events took place throughout the year, contributing a total of £4,932 to Fabric Funds. Two legacies, totalling £3,000 were received.

Income from halls’ letting was £10,048, very similar to the sum raised in 2014.There were several items of property expenditure during the year. The Old High Church roof repairs cost £28,600. Electrical works at the Old High Church amounted to £5,149, and £934 was spent on repairs to the Old High Church Halls roof. An insurance claim for the Old High Church roof repairs generated £5,649. VAT on eligible repairs was reclaimed under the Listed Places of Worship Scheme. The Manse had a room decorated at a cost of £600.

During 2015, efforts were made to redevelop the Old High Halls following an approach from a local charity for office space. Gross expenditure of £6,248 was incurred on the Old High Halls project in 2015, albeit this was offset by a contribution of £4,386 received from the potential tenant.

In preparation for the staging date of 1 April 2016, registration has taken place with a workplace pension scheme called NEST (National Employment Savings Trust).

A major review of the congregation’s financial situation was undertaken in 2014 in two phases – firstly, a comprehensive Financial Appraisal was carried out followed by a Next Steps Action Plan. It is very evident that status quo is unsustainable since income is barely covering annual running costs. As a result, no funds are being added to reserves which have been depleted by some £40,000 in past two years. The Trustees are reviewing whether the current size of congregation can sustain the overheads of two places of worship and halls.

Property Programme Approved by Leadership Team
At its meeting held on 15 May 2016, the Leadership Team approved a programme of necessary property expenditure costing some £9250. At the Manse, the bathroom will be replaced and a new garden shed will be erected. The external doors of St Stephen’s church will be painted. New lighting will be installed in the central area of the Old High church. New radio microphone equipment will be purchased for both places of worship. Various minor maintenance works, such as cleaning gutters and down pipes, will also be undertaken. For further information, please contact Joan Darcy about Manse and St Stephen’s works, and Richard McIntosh or Chrissie Lacey regarding Old High works.

Old High Church media report: a correction

Following a media report about the Old High Church, the Minister, the Rev Peter W Nimmo, has issued a statement:

Old High St Stephens’ congregation has been very grateful for the coverage in the media given to our attempts to secure the future of the Old High Church.

However, a media report has today appeared suggesting that we have been receiving a large number of donations. This is not the case.

Although the local community and various bodies have offered support, the support we have been receiving has not, yet, been financial.

The support at this stage is from many people and organisations who have stated that they are willing to work with us to ensure a future for the Old High.

We are having many positive conversations, in which it is apparent that people understand the importance to the city of the Old High building, with many good ideas being suggested to help resolve the situation.

We are very grateful for the moral support from throughout community. That goodwill is also an encouragement to me and the congregation.

Although it is early days, I am hopeful that, eventually, with the support of partners in the city, we will be able to secure the future of the Old High Church as a place of worship and an important landmark in our city.

 

Rev Peter W Nimmo, minister of Old High St Stephen’s Church of Scotland, Inverness.

Congregation information evening 13 January 2015

We had an excellent information evening for the congregation about our finance and property action plan on Tuesday 13 January. Our Session Clerk, Linda Philip, took some notes. Here is her report. If you would like more information, please contact us.

Report of Congregational Information Evening
held on Tuesday 13 January 2015 in Old High Hall

The minister, Rev Peter Nimmo welcomed everyone and opened the meeting with prayer. He outlined the church’s Mission statement. He then highlighted the items on the Action Plan followed by an update on each item.
Insurances: Christine McKenzie said that the renewal date was shortly coming up but it was unlikely that there would be a reduction to the cost of the Old High church insurance. The church is insured for £9.5 million. As this was a Grade 1 listed building it was possible that grants might be available. Inverness Council has offered their services to look at the insurance. It was also important that a more positive approach is taken with the media.
Ministries & Mission: This is a complicated calculation taken over 3 years but there would be no reduction for this year.
Outside Agencies: Peter has met with David Stewart MSP who has offered to set up meetings with national and local government bodies. Peter has also met with the council, BID and has had interest shown from the Civic Trust. It was noted that Historic Scotland will amalgamate with Ancient Monuments in May this year.
‘Friend’s scheme: Jennifer Morrison has written to various churches who have a ‘Friend’s scheme in operation and has had several replies to be followed up. It would most likely be necessary to have a constitution and a charitable trust drawn up.
Old High hall: The plans for Phase 1 and Phase 2 were available for consideration. Further provision has been made for storage comparable with the area we now have. Phase 1 funded by Birchwood Highland would allow them access to the building, followed by Phase 2 which would see a change mainly to toilets, kitchen and committee room. We hope to source funding for this. The final stage will be to renovate the hall. Rent and terms of the lease have to be agreed. The plans will shortly go before the various stages of Presbytery. We should know their decision in February 2015.
Energy costs: Joan Darcy explained that the energy costs at St Stephen’s had been looked at by professional services who recommended changes to the heating operation. We will find out how effective these changes are with the next bills.
Running costs: The Treasurer has a tight grip on the day to day running costs.
John Craigie legacy: This had been used to fund the Pastoral Assistant’s expenses which are now being paid for by the church. The Education team will look for a project for the John Craigie legacy.
Informing the congregation: This was the second congregational meeting. It may be necessary to hold a few more meetings to keep the congregation well informed.

The congregation were given time to ask questions and the meeting closed with prayer.