st mary's church amport
Amport Church costs in the order of £25,000 a year to run. This may be a surprise to many people who are not involved in the running of the church, but what is generally not realised is that we pay for the vicar. The main income of a Church of England Diocese is from donations from the parishes, from which they pay the clergy. Each parish is given an amount which has to be paid to the diocese, depending on the assessed affluence of the area and the number of people who regularly attend the church. Amport’s contribution is now in the order of £18,000 a year, the other costs being heating, lighting, insurance, repairs and other incidentals.
It costs about £70,000 to employ a full time vicar, with his overheads and housing, which is why parishes no longer have their own vicar, but they are one of a group of churches who must together fund the vicar’s salary. That is why many years ago now we were grouped with Monxton, Grateley and Quarley, and more lately with the Wallop churches and Andover. As their income has come down with the restrictions of the last year, Winchester Diocese is considering further changes, making even larger benefices, or groups of churches, and we are currently in discussions on the proposed changes.
Amport has succeeded in paying our way every year with generous donations from a number of families in the parish, from collections at services and money from the fête. This started out as a church fund-raising event, but has now spread further to include the school and other local charities, which acknowledges the wider involvement in running the fête beyond the church community.
The church runs a scheme of monthly donations to the church, on which we can claim Gift Aid, and donors can claim something back on their income tax returns. We have also had some legacies to the church, including two in the last year which helped to fund the recent work on the church.
If you would like to make a contribution to the church, or to include the church in your will, please contact one of the church officers listed. That would be very much appreciated.