Members of All Saints and St Oswald’s in the centre of Bradford have demonstrated tremendous generosity, raising funds to meet the churches debts that have occurred as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The situation for All Saints Church looked bleak at the start of the year, explained the Revd Stephen Treasure, vicar at St Oswald's and All Saints.
When the pandemic emerged back in March, income from the churches rentals and other activities vanished. Many of the congregation members are also asylum seekers or refugees, with only a small proportion with the means to continue to make donations. This meant All Saints had to stop their monthly Parish Share contributions to the diocese.
After receiving a letter to parishes from the Bishop of Leeds, the Rt Revd Nick Baines, and holding discussions with Becky Nicholson, Lead Stewardship Officer for the Diocese of Leeds, the church decided to make a special Harvest Festival appeal. They explained to the congregation that £7000 needed to be raised by the end of the year if they were to meet their debts, including the Parish Share that was due.
In response an asylum seeker from the congregation immediately gave £100. The PCC from All Saints sister church of St Oswald’s voted to give All Saints £2000 as an outright gift. Other donations and small contributions also continued to be sent through.
The Revd Stephen Treasure said, “Following this demonstration of generosity I suggested to the church that we should aim to have all the debts paid by 31st December. The congregation responded with a resounding chorus of Yes, and by God's grace we will.”
“A Church never runs out of money, it only runs out of people and when the people know there is a need, they will respond out of their poverty.”