Finance report for Session meeting 24th April 2013

Matters discussed at finance meeting on 9th april 2013:-

Accounts to 31st December in OSCR format need to be presented again to Session as they will incorporate both main church records and those of the building extension fund.

Remaining organisation’s books to be inspected for 2012

Accounts for 3 months to 31st march 2013

Progress re updating of gift aid mandates

Building extension fund account and ongoing pledges

Promoting Easyfundraising website

Finance arrangements for Carnival

Potential new members for finance team

How the new GASDS scheme (gift aid small donations scheme) may affect H&K

Correspondance from “121” re our 2013M&M contribution & how it is spent

Looking for successor to current treasurer

Further Notes:-

Ministries and Mission (M&M) payments

Our contribution to the Church of Scotland’s Ministries and Mission fund for 2013 is £91,871 (2012 £92,127). This represents 60% of H&K’s estimated income for 2013.

The following is an extract from a letter recently received from Rev A W Gibson, Head of Stewardship for Church of Scotland.

“I write to thank you most sincerely for supporting the worship, mission and service of the Church through the money you give in your offerings. It is important that you should know what happens to this money and this letter along with the enclosed Ministries and Mission leaflet (which is available at the rear of the church) intends to explain how your congregation’s M&M contribution will be used to enable the work of the Church in 2013.

Ministries (86%)

£79,009 of your total contribution will go towards the costs of providing over 1,000 ministers and other parish workers in communities throughout Scotland and in the Presbytery of England. This contribution also assists with the costs of recruiting and training.

The 2013 cost of a parish minister at the top end of the stipend scale is £39,895 (stipend  plus employer’s national insurance and pension contributions). If your contribution to M&M is above this figure then your church is meeting the full cost of your ministry and supporting other congregations. If it is less , your congregation (or linked charge) is being supported by other congregations.

Mission (14%)


£12,862 of your total contribution will be used to support the Church’s work in:

Resourcing congregations for Christian education and outreach; providing social care services in Christ’s name to further the caring work of the Church to people in need; accompanying partners around the world on our shared Christian journey; contributing the Church’s opinion in public debate and on issues affecting Scotland and the World; providing day-to-day service work in administrative, financial and legal matters; and in planning the General Assembly and ensuring the Moderator represents the Church.

As you will see, the contributions your church makes ensure a very diverse ministry is maintained and that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is shared in many ways and in many places.

Many churches have made additional M&M contributions throughout the past year and these have also been gratefully received.”





In 2012 our income into the general fund was £155,000 of which 76% (£118,600) came from offerings, 15% (£23,600) came from HMRC in the form of tax relief on offerings made under gift aid. Of the balance, £5,700 came from organizations and hall rental, £5,600 from miscellaneous income including weddings and the balance (£1,500) from bank interest.


Income was £7,000 lower in 2012 than 2011.


Our expenditure from the general fund for the year was £146,000, and was made as follows:-


£92,000 (63%) went to the central church via the Ministries and Mission contribution to help meet the running costs of the national church including the enabling of ministries throughout Scotland and to recruit, train and support ministry personnel throughout the whole church; to provide admin, financial and legal support; to resource congregations via elder training, safeguarding, stewardship and mission; to provide social care services to people in need.


The remaining £54,000 is spent on local congregational costs.


 £14,700 was spent on local salaries and ministry travel; £25,600 was spent on maintaining our church buildings, organ and grounds; £8,900 on printing and stationery (including the kirk Record and Life and Work); £1,800 goes to Greenock and Paisley presbytery to cover their local costs; £1,000 is spent on local youth ministry and the balance of £2,000 is spent on other miscellaneous costs.


Our expenditure for the year was £8,000 higher in 2012 than 2011.  


Despite the reduction in income and increase in expenditure we managed to return a surplus of £8,700 for the year.


In addition from our fabric fund we spent £23,000 on the fabric of our buildings and grounds, of which the major item was the repainting of the church which cost £19,800 after recovery of a grant of £4,000.


.We also raised the sum of £70,970 for our building fund from Pledge Sunday, the kirk carnival, and numerous other social events throughout the year.


Please remember the work that goes on in maintaining our church and grounds and the work that is carried on from our church in the local community and further afield as you consider your Christian response to how you allocate your time, talents and money in the furtherance of God’s work here at Houston. 


 December 2012



As this will be the final article from the Finance Committee for 2012, we would just like to thank all church members for their givings during this year enabling our church to continue its work in the community.


Although total givings ( as at 31st October) are down by 3%, by watching our expenditure,  we still hope that by the end of the year we will at worst break even, or perhaps even make a small surplus. This however is well short of our budget for 2013 which indicated that we would make a surplus of £13000.


By the time our next church magazine is produced we will know the final financial position for 2012.


2013 will see the fundraising effort for our new church extension  swing into full force as we benefit from the results of our “Pledge Sunday” and the extension team seek grants and funding from other sources to supplement our own efforts.


We would ask that when reviewing your plans for 2013 that you remember the ongoing, everyday work of the church here in Houston,  the costs of which we need to continue to  meet, as well as funding our extension plans.




Gift Aid is the sum of money added by HMRC (tax office) to donations and givings made by our taxpaying members,  which are reported by the church on a quarterly basis.


The only stipulation is that the donor certifies that he or she pays enough in income tax or capital gains tax to cover that addition. This is done by way of a Gift Aid Declaration which is held in confidence by our Gift Aid convernor.


The format of the Gift Aid declaration has recently been changed by Church HQ, and HMRC has instructed us not to use 2 names (most commonly husband and wife) on our quarterly return.


This presents us with an administrative problem as we strive to ensure that all our Gift Aid declarations comply with the new format.


The simplest way for us to deal with this matter is to ask all our gift aid donors to complete a new declaration form and we would ask for your assistance and forebearance as we seek to update our Gift Aid records, which we will start to do in 2013.


The new declaration will require to be renewed every 4 years to comply with data protection rules.


Gift aid adds a quarter to  the value  of your donation to the church and is a very important part of your church’s annual income.






It is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts ch20:v35)


The following monies have been distributed to charities following retiral collections during the year:-


Al Shurooq school for the blind £1500 (during holy land trip)


Tabeetha School in Jaffa            £1000 (during holy land trip)


Our missionary partners             £  318 (Keith & Ida Waddell)


Gifts of produce and flowers donated at the Harvest Thanksgiving service were distributed to the Lodging House Mission in Glasgow.


It is proposed that retiral offerings up to Easter 2013 be made as follows:-


Armistice: SAAFA and Erskine Hospital


Kirk postie: Epilepsy Centre at Quarriers


Christmas Service: CHAS (Robin House in Balloch)


It is proposed in future that other retiral offerings ie after 2 communion services, Christmas services and Holy Week be distributed between:-


Missionary partners in Mwandi


Adams House (Church of Scotland Crossreach social care)


Clippens School in Linwood for disabled children


Alzeimers Scotland




  • Oversee Houston Kirk’s finances (income, expenditure,investments, budgets, forecasts) on behalf of the Kirk session
  • Assist the treasurer with the day to day running of the church accounts, providing support when required,  including counting and banking of weekly oferings, and maintaining WFO and Gift Aid records and claims
  • Define and maintain financial procedures for managing the Kirk’s finances
  • Assist the treasurer to prepare the accounts for the Annual Report in good time, and to a format acceptable to OSCR (Office of Scottish Charity Regulator)
  • Report regularly to the Kirk Session on the current financial position
  • Advise and assist the Kirk Session in developing ongoing financial stewardship within the congregation, keeping the congregation informed about our Christian giving and spending within Houston Kirk and the wider church
  • Promote regular giving combined with Gift Aid
  • Ensure that all new members are visited  and informed as to givings
  • Assisting other KS teams in the development of their own budgets and providing regular updates of expenditure
  • Ensure that insurance policies are regularly reviewed to reflect property values and risks
  • Ensure that maintenance contracts and utility agreements are regularly reviewed and updated
  • Advise on ways to fund special projects either from within the church or from outside sources
  • Ensure that there is a system of internal controls by way of audit to counter bribery to enable the policy of zero tolerance to bribery to be fulfilled.

MEMBERS – Jack Mckechnie ( convenor ) , Irwin Jefferson, John King, David McLay,  Roy Anderson ....Elaine Rowan ( Board member ) Gwen McKerrel ( co - opted ) Fiona Christie ( co opted )

  1. The finance team are reminded that under the Unitary constitution members of the congregation can be appointed to their team and also people from outwith the congregatoin who would assist the team can be coresponding members  


A note for anyone whose circumstances may have changed.

If you no longer pay tax, the church is not allowed to claim gift aid on any givings you make to the church. If this applies to you, could you please let David McLay (our gift aid convenor), John King (treasurer), Irwin Jefferson (WFO convenor) or Jack Mckechnie (finance convenor) know, so that we claim only what is rightfully due.


How to check if you’ve paid enough tax

To work out if you’ve paid enough tax to cover your donations, divide the donation value by four. For example, if you give £100 in a particular tax year you will need to have paid £25 tax over that period. (£100/4 = £25). (Note that this calculation is based on the current basic rate tax of 20 per cent)


If you are a taxpayer and have not yet signed up for gift aid we would encourage you to do so. The church is entitled to receive a supplement of 25% on your givings by making a gift aid claim to the tax authorities for that amount.

This does not affect your tax position in any way.

For further information again please see any of the above named members of the finance team.