Chelston fund-raising campaign update

Torbay fund-raising leafletJudging by the progress that Torbay Ordinariate Mission’s campaign to purchase the redundant Methodist Church in Chelston has made so far, it looks likely to achieve or come near to its initial target of raising the £150,000 purchase price by April as planned. The current amount raised (on the morning of 22nd February) is £91,532.41  (or £95,245.27 including gift aid), representing almost £60,000 since the beginning of the internet campaign on 16th December.

So can I please encourage all our readers once again, and anyone of your friends who might be enthusiastic about the development of the Ordinariate, to contribute generously to the Chelston appeal. Help to provide a base for Ordinariate worship, fellowship and outreach in the Torbay area and thus promote Pope Benedict’s prophetic project .

Thank you all in advance.

David Murphy

P.S. The similar fund-raising project at St. John the Evangelist, Calgary, Canada, is apparently also progressing well, with 61 individuals and families pledging the equivalent of more than £150,000 on one single Commitment Sunday. Their long-term target is, however, much higher at 1,685,000 Canadian dollars (or approx. £870,000). They hope to raise a significant initial sum by way of specific donations and finance the remainder through regular mortgage payments as part of the running expenses of the parish. Your support for this campaign would also be most welcome.

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5 Responses to Chelston fund-raising campaign update

  1. EPMS says:

    It is perhaps not entirely fair to compare this fund-raising campaign with that of St John the Evangelist, Calgary. In the latter case people are committing money for the building they are currently worshipping in; some (most?) of the pledgers may have been worshipping there since their Anglican days. They have also pledged the money over a period of three years. And the pledge period closed ahead of the recent economic crisis in Alberta, owing to the falling price of oil. Papers in Canada are full of stories about layoffs, public service wage cuts, and falling real estate values in Calgary. A campaign launched today might not get the same response.
    I know you are a strong supporter of the symbolic and practical importance of an Ordinariate group’s worshipping in its own building, but not everyone feels this imperative. Perhaps the lack of more widespread enthusiasm among British Catholics represents their experience of the drain of maintaining the fabric of their own place of worship.

  2. Scotrhodie says:

    There is certainly a stronger culture of giving in the US, encouraged by a favorable tax regimen, cultural norms, and the lack of the Church Commissioners as a backstop. But British Catholics have been fabulously generous in the past, as the Brompton and Oxford Oratories bear witness.

  3. EPMS says:

    We are regularly told that married clergy would impose a crippling financial burden on the Church, yet Protestant denominations with far smaller congregations, on average, manage to provide housing and stipends suitable for men with families. My random survey of Catholic parish bulletins which publish attendance figures and weekly offerings suggest that the average giving level is not robust by local standards, before we get into questions of national giving patterns. This is of course a question of leadership and education about the appropriate level of giving, not innate personal qualities.

    • Rev22:17 says:

      EPMS,

      You wrote: We are regularly told that married clergy would impose a crippling financial burden on the Church…

      I don’t think that anybody has used the word “crippling” in this context.

      >> I have said, many times, that large numbers of married clergy will require a substantial realignment of diocesan budgets — either growing revenues or cutting in other line items — to cover the additional cost of just compensation for married clergy.

      >> I have also pointed out that many rectories and seminaries would require major reconfiguration to provide housing suitable for clergy and seminarians who are married with children, and that such remodeling would require a major capital investment.

      But nowhere did I remotely suggest that such considerations would be crippling in any way. These financial commitments are substantial, but not impossible. My guess is that many dioceses can make the necessary funds available by closing schools that are not instilling Christian faith in their students or that are falling short of providing education at least comparable to that of the local public schools in the secular subjects — and in my archdiocese, many of the Catholic schools tragically are failing on both of those counts. And in all likelihood, that’s probably only the tip of the iceberg of cuts that should be made.

      Of course, all of this requires a major change of mindset on the part of those who see schools and other ministries as sacrosanct.

      You wrote: My random survey of Catholic parish bulletins which publish attendance figures and weekly offerings suggest that the average giving level is not robust by local standards, before we get into questions of national giving patterns. This is of course a question of leadership and education about the appropriate level of giving, not innate personal qualities.

      I rather think that this is a question of how effectively the clergy in each parish are preaching the gospel and instilling faith in their parishioners. When I find a parish with serious financial problems, the first thing that I examine is the message coming from the pulpit — and that’s usually where the problem lies. People who have a commitment of faith give to their parishes very generously!

      Norm.

  4. EPMS says:

    http://www.ncregister.com/site/article/keep-the-flame-of-the-christian-faith-burning
    This article by Joanna Bogle in the National Catholic Register implies that the Ordinariate purchase is definite.

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