Monday, 27 January 2014

The Canary is not too well - on a good day!

Canaries used to be used, in coal mining, as an early warning system. The most common toxic gases, which could threaten the life of the miners, would kill the bird before affecting the  miners - hopefully giving enough time to take evasive action.
Within the church we don't like early warning systems. More likely we respond with denial. Our default evasive action is to turn up the volume of our own way, which is usually a past way. Look what happened to the canary!

So when our Home Mission giving, from WEBA churches, is down over £16k and 7% from the previous year, is it the canary …. not yet falling off its perch, but certainly not singing a new song?

On closer look we've seen five churches, previously among our most generous givers, have given over £25k less last year than two years ago. In other words, if they'd maintained their giving, we'd have hit our 3.5% increase target, which we were looking for as a sustainable model going forwards. These were all large churches, once upon a time. Between them, just a very brief look at figures, suggests they've declined by over 200 members during the last ten years. Home Mission giving doesn't keep increasing in those circumstances.

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