Cost of Living Fund
Cost of Living Fund
Dear Church members,
We are writing to update you on the new Cost of Living Fund set-up by the PCC. You may have heard Simon Brindley talk about it in church last Sunday. The fund is one way we can show love to one another and offer practical support and be supported in this difficult financial climate.
We want to let you know how you can be part of this initiative by:
- supporting the fund through a one-off or regular donation
- or, by applying for a grant if you need help with food or domestic fuel costs
- and, by praying for one another and that this fund will be a blessing to our community.
All of these ways of being involved are important and we want to make clear that we realise that maybe many people, not only those that might need help, are not in a position to contribute to the fund. Please do not feel under any pressure to give.
Why we set-up the fund:
You don’t need us to tell you that the country is facing a cost of living crisis right now. People are already facing higher food and domestic fuel costs and the experts think the situation is likely to get worse. At the same time, inflation is eating into monthly budgets, unless people are fortunate enough to get large pay rises. The government has provided a lot of help but the experts think this is unlikely to be enough.
What we plan to do:
We know that we cannot solve this problem, but we do think that if we work together as church members we can make things better for some of those in our church and Parish community that need help.
The PCC has decided to set up a Cost of Living Fund to run for at least a year. New donations from church members will be used to do two things. First, between 10 and 20% of money raised each month will be given to support local foodbanks through the Trussell Trust. Secondly, grants will be available to help with the costs of food and domestic fuel in any month.
Those who might benefit will be regular members of both churches or anyone else living in the Parish of Herne Hill who comes across our radar, eg through Hope Café and our Christian’s Against Poverty (CAP) work. We may be able to do no more than help with some of the costs, but we will be doing what we can. Grants will normally only be made after the recipient has already obtained any help available from the government. Decisions on any grants will be made by the parish clergy together with our Christians Against Poverty workers.
We are currently drawing-up the detailed rules for how the Fund will work. We want the scheme to be easy to use, properly targeted to need and private for those who apply, while also allowing for proper oversite of the scheme as a whole by PCC. Please ask if you would like to be sent the Fund rules when they are agreed.
How you can help:
The Cost of Living grants we can offer will all come from donations from members of the congregation. If you think God is prompting you to help in this way, then this is an opportunity to give either by way of a one-off donation or by monthly payment.
Some of your money will go to support local foodbanks and the rest be available for grants to help people with the costs of food or domestic fuel. Any help is of course most welcome, however small or large.
If you would like to help in this way, please make sure you mark the donation “Cost of Living Fund” and make payments (either online or via the Parish Office) to:
Parish of Herne Hill
Account number: 00024868
Sort Code: 40-52-40
Donations to the Fund are eligible for gift aid. You can complete a gift aid declaration via our website, if you haven’t done so already. You can email your declaration to our Parish Treasurer, Peter Calderbank
If you think you might need help:
If you are struggling and think you might need help with food or fuel bills, please do speak to any member of the parish clergy (contact details here) and they will set up a confidential conversation to discuss whether you might be eligible for help from the Cost of Living Fund and to talk through what other help might be available. The Fund is still being set up, but we will get on to this as soon as we can.
If you think you might need help with costs other than food or domestic fuel, the existing Parish Hardship Fund may be able to help. See below under “What else are we doing?”
What else are we doing?
We already have a Parish Hardship Fund to give or raise money for serious needs. This will continue to operate alongside the temporary Cost of Living Fund. If, as the cost of living crisis bites, you need help with things other than food or domestic fuel, then the Hardship Fund may be able to provide some help. Just ask one of the clergy for a confidential conversation as to whether you might be eligible.
We also continue to provide money courses to help you manage your personal budget better and debt counselling if you are in difficulty with debts, through our Christians Against Poverty work. Hope Cafe – all day Thursday at St Paul’s Church – is one way to get help here. Just pop in, have a drink and some food and ask to speak to one of the CAP workers (contact details here).
Please pray about this work and for those particularly affected by the Cost of Living Crisis.
We are always ready to answer any questions you may have about the Fund. If you would like to know more the best people to contact are me and Simon Brindley, our contact details are at the bottom of this email.
Rev Susan Wright, Parish of Herne Hill
07706 755 018
Simon Brindley, Reader