If you’ve made it here it means you’ve read the recent update and have a question. Please do ask whatever you would like and be assured that submitting your question here is anonymous. We will post the answers further down on the page.
We’ll look to publish responses here too as soon as we can, but please note that if answering your question requires the use of personal information we may not be able to answer it here. Don’t forget you can access our annual accounts on the Charity commission website.
It’s both! Grace Church is a charitable company limited by guarantee. We report to both the Charity Commission and Companies House.
Currently the church has 4 staff. Andrew and Matt – full-time elders. Rachel Bennetts – part-time administrator. Liam Brannigan – part time with Anchor of Hope (AoH), Falmouth.
All governance for AoH currently sits within the Grace Church charitable company hence Liam being employed by Grace Church. That being said, all costs related to AoH are covered by the giving of those who are part of AoH (this is one of the “restricted funds”). Chris Ward (from AoH) sits as their representative on the Grace Church trustee board.
The church does have what’s known as “reserves”. As a charity these are made up of Unrestricted, Designated and Restricted funds. Unrestricted funds are free to be used for any purpose; Designated funds are funds set aside for specific purposes, and Restricted funds are funds which have been raised for a specific purpose, e.g. An appeal such as the “In need” COVID-19 appeal.
The Unrestricted fund also includes an element of “Contingency” which we are legally required to keep in the event of the charity needing to be wound up.
What’s left after Restricted, Designated and Contingency is what’s called the “General Fund” which is what we are free to use in line with the charities governing documents.
So far we haven’t had great demand for the fund but it is likely that we start to see the full impact of the pandemic in the days ahead and as government help reduces. To date we have helped some where working hours have been affected.
It’s important that our giving is not governed by rules but that it is done willingly, cheerfully and generously. Paul writes, ‘Each person should give what they have decided in their heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver’ (2 Corinthians 9:7). We don’t insist that every believer gives a set percentage of their income, although we’re convinced that giving some percentage is a good practice in the Christian life. Whatever your level of income, the question of how much you give is for you to decide before God.
So at Grace Church we want people to give as part of their worship of God. We give to the Lord because he has given to us. His generosity inspires us to be generous too. The New Testament shows us that the early Christians’ lives were characterised by sacrificial generosity. This is one of the things that should mark us out as God’s people in the world!