St Mary’s Church is a grade 1 listed building. It is one of the oldest buildings in South Gloucestershire. It costs £55,000 each year to run and undertake basic maintenance. That is over £1,000 each week, just to keep going!
Churches, even very ancient ones like St Mary’s, receive no government funding to maintain the buildings, so any repairs, maintenance, salaries and any other costs are almost wholly dependent on church giving and fundraising; and on the efforts of volunteers.
What is Stewardship
We are the temporary stewards of this church, just one generation among many who have looked after and provided for St Mary’s Church over the years. There have been many generations before and, we hope, many more in the future. What we have inherited we seek to make a better legacy for those who come after us.
Keeping St Mary’s Going
St Mary’s is a well maintained church. The building is structurally sound and for the past 50 or more years has been looked after well. Because it is an old church, it does have a number of legacies and investments, but these are almost entirely ring fenced, so that they can only be used for specific purposes. Whenever it is possible these investments (or, more usually the interest) is used to maintain or replace items. But to maintain the church and its work on a day to day basis, it is almost wholly dependent on the generosity of the congregation and the local community and through fundraising efforts.
It is also dependent on many people in the parish who give their time to keep the church clean and in good repair and who volunteer to help at church events.
Increasingly churches are also being encouraged to look at how their stewardship affects the environment and its impact on God’s creation. It is the policy of the Diocese of Bristol to reach net zero by 2030. As a grade 1 listed church we are exempted from some of the structural changes that are needed to be made to buildings to achieve this but there are many other ways in which we can look to how we use the church and in what we do that can contribute to this target overall.
Parish Giving Scheme
Like many other churches, St Mary’s now uses the Parish Giving Scheme for regular fundraising. This scheme enables people to give whatever they choose each month. You can find out more about the Parish Giving Scheme below.
Scroll down for other information on church attendance, accounts, maintenance and our environmental footprint.