Thank you for your support
Thank you for supporting the ministry and mission of our St John’s community. In giving to the church you are committing to and responding to God's grace at work in this place and in your life. The giving of your time, skills and financial resources is crucial to living out a mature faith and is a sign of a grateful heart.
Jesus reminds all of us that where we spend and give our money says something about where our heart is (Mt 6:21). Making a regular financial commitment to St John’s is a tangible sign of its importance and value in your life.
Covid-19 financial update
With Canon Paul’s retirement, 2021 will be one of those key times in the life of the Parish. Paul will go on long service leave on 4 January and retire formally on 25 July. Later this year we will be arranging a Parish farewell to him, details of which will be circulated once we know how the coronavirus constraints will affect the style of function we can plan.
We have been truly blest this year, despite the challenges that COVID-19 has presented. We were able to commence worship in the hall from July and are looking to run some of our services in the Church from the start of November.
With the assistance of JobKeeper, help from the Diocese and a cut-back of some expenditures we will finish this year in surplus, and without having to reduce staffing. Given the significant drop in parking income, that is a great result, made possible only through the means I have just mentioned, but also because of the generosity of our parishioners in their weekly giving.
Next year will produce some financial challenges as the JobKeeper program winds back and, understandably, financial assistance from the Diocese cannot go on forever. We will be critically dependent on a resumption of our parking income (which represents about 40% of our revenues) to pre-COVID levels if we are to balance our 2021 budget.
And, of course, expenses are always higher during an interregnum, including the funds needed for the work of the Clergy Appointments Board in finding our next Rector.
If we are to maintain our current level of ministry, we also have to make a clergy appointment for 2021 to assist Canon Margaret, who will be locum tenens. Again, while we will have some Diocesan assistance while Paul is on long service leave, without a full resumption of parking, it will be a challenging year.
We are, however, in the fortunate position of having good trust funds reserves because of the thoughtful generosity of those who left bequests to St John’s. While we try to reserve trust funds for capital works, which are always high in a Parish such as ours with heritage-listed buildings and extensive grounds, Parish Council may have to draw down on them this year as part of our financial recovery from the COVID era. In later messages, I will let you know whether that has been the case.
Because of changes to the make-up of our Parish, offertory income, in dollar terms, has been fairly static over the past decade. While we are very thankful that, in this year of all years, it hasn’t diminished, a small increase in income from offertories would be very helpful in managing in 2021 and may minimise the amount we have to draw down from reserves. If you were willing to review your financial commitment to the Parish we would be most grateful.
Please continue to pray for the ministry team and staff, and for parish councillors as we continue in our management of this exceptional time in the life of St John’s.
Yours in Christ
Presiding Member of Parish Council
22 October 2020
How to give
There are several ways to give from regular or one-off electronic transfers to weekly giving envelopes.
Direct Debit/Internet Banking (our preferred method)
BSB Number: 702.389
Account Number: 05209450
Account Name: St John the Baptist Reid
Most people find it is easier to give to the church via a regular electronic transfer from their bank account. It saves them heading for an ATM before church or finding the right change each week. It is for that reason you will find the offering plate increasingly passing by parishioners.
Weekly Giving Envelopes
2020 Envelopes (to place in the offering plate at worship) are available for you to use.
By placing cash or a cheque in the offering plate
Tap Donation Point
No cash on you when you come to St John’s? You can now tap your debit or credit card to make a donation. Tap once for $10, twice for $20 and so on!
Whatever method you choose, your financial giving to the mission of God’s church is greatly appreciated. All financial information remains confidential.
A tax deductible donation to our Heritage Fund
Your donation to the National Trust - St John's Church Heritage Appeal Fund will help us continue our work in preserving for generations to come the heritage listed St John's Church (1841) the historic churchyard, the Schoolhouse Museum, the Rectory and surrounding landscape which includes trees, hedges and some small, but valued examples, of original temperate grassland.
Donations to the Fund are tax deductible. The Fund is administered by honorary trustees and no funds can be spent on the normal running costs of the parish.
BSB Number: 702.389
Account Number: 05202626
Account Name: Heritage Appeal
To receive a receipt you must send an email to
You can also ring the parish office with your credit card number or send a cheque.
Leave a bequest
Once you have considered your family and loved ones, you may wish to consider leaving a gift in your will to the parish. A bequest is a gift that is specified in your will. Your bequest can make a difference to future generations.
A bequest can be general, which allows the parish to choose how your gift will be applied. This is the preferred option as it allows the parish leadership the freedom to decide how best to use your gift for the mission and work of God’s church.
Your bequest could be designated for a particular use, for example: youth and children’s ministry; church building maintenance; worship; music and pastoral care.
What is in your will is a personal matter. The parish does not need to know. However, if you want to make your bequest very specific (for example a new stained glass window), then it is advisable to discuss this with the Rector or Wardens before you finalise your will.
An appropriate form of words for a general bequest would be:
I give [specify amount or proportion of residue or other asset] to the Anglican Church Property Trust, Diocese of Canberra and Goulburn, (“the Trust”) to be held for the general purposes of the Parish of St John the Baptist, Canberra, as decided by the Parish Council and the receipt of the Registrar of the Anglican Diocese of Canberra and Goulburn as Secretary of the Trust for the time being is a sufficient discharge to my executor(s) for this gift.
For a more specific gift, the words “general purposes” and “as decided by the Parish Council” should be omitted and for “general purposes” should be substituted the specific purpose, e.g. “for church building maintenance, music, etc”.
Making a bequest in your will is a simple procedure, although in preparing your first will or amending your existing will, you should consider consulting a legal professional.
Tap-and-go transactions making inroads to giving
Retail transactions are increasingly going cashless with tap-and-go transactions and mobile payment apps on smartphones. Not surprisingly, new payment systems and online payments are making inroads in the area of church giving.
Offertory collections, by passing around a plate or a bag, developed in the days when people were paid weekly in notes and coins. Today, our salary or income comes via our bank account.
Cash is well on its way out. Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe believes Australia is at a turning point, with cash set to become a 'niche payment'. In 2017 the Salvation Army became one of the first charities to roll out tap-and-go facilities for their Red Shield Appeal collectors to carry. Sweden is on track to become the world's first completely cashless economy.
In 2019 most people find it is easier to give to the church via a regular electronic transfer from their bank account. It saves them heading for an ATM before church or finding the right change each week. It is for that reason you will find the offering plate increasingly passing by parishioners because they give in a different way.
Of course parishioners can still give by using cash on a Sunday. However, instead of sending cash, coins and personal cheques up to the altar they are increasingly being asked to consider giving to the mission of God’s Church in a different way.
Are you one of the growing number of people who no longer carry cash? Enabling people to give in a way that suits them is a challenge that many churches are facing.
Our St John’s bank account details are: BSB Number: 702.389; Account Number: 0520 9450; Account Name: St John the Baptist Reid.
Canon Paul Black
Photos: Our 'tap-and-go' donation station. Fountain at St John's.