Finance Update 2021
In 2021, The Forge achieved its balanced budget, with income and expenditure both totalling £363,000. Consequently our reserves stayed at the historically high level we reported in 2020 (around £130,000). Our Finance Team reported to the directors its gratitude to those who give to support the church and thanked staff for managing costs effectively during a difficult and uncertain year. They noted too that the strong level of reserves puts the church in a strong position to build and grow in 2022.
Taking note of that, the directors approved a deficit budget for 2022. A number of people have moved on from The Forge and income has fallen. Although meeting in one location is less expensive than three, as we return to in-person gatherings across adults, youth and kids, our costs in 2022 will increase significantly compared with 2021. We want to maintain the quality of what we do as we believe this will lead to growth. We’ve already seen evidence of that over the past 6 months with new people becoming a regular part of us. However, it takes time for that growth to be reflected in new givers, and the steep increases in the cost of living are affecting us all financially. The directors have decided to use some of our reserves during 2022 to maintain our current weekly programme so we can really invest in adults, youth and kids. The budget for 2022 show income of £359,000 and costs of £395,000 giving a deficit of £31,000. Some more of our reserves – about £20,000 – have been used to re-equip Debenham Community Centre for our activities. Clearly, if we don’t see the growth we expect we will have to reduce our costs longer term.
I’m pleased to say that between January and March we did slightly better than budget. Income was £77,700 and costs were £91,500. This gives a deficit of £13,800 which is about £1,000 better than the budget.
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