January 10

posted 28 Dec 2009, 10:22 by Richard Jones   [ updated 28 Dec 2009, 10:26 ]

The Vicar writes .  .  .

Now that we’re into a new year, here at Mellor church you’ll soon begin to hear talk about fundraising and how, soon after Easter we’ll be holding a Stewardship Campaign.  It’s necessary to have one of these every now and again because we all tend to forget over time, just how much inflation has risen and also, although many of us might not be quite so ready to admit it, how much our income has gone up too.


     And it’s all too easy to easy to forget that our Church has just the same inflationary pressures as we do and that our giving, as a proportion of our available income has probably gone down in value with the passage of time.


     I was talking to someone the other day about my childhood and how I ran to Sunday School clutching a sixpence.  They made the comment that my sixpence when I was seven, was worth a great deal more then than it is today.  And that set me thinking, and I decided to find out just what today’s equivalent was.


     According to the Bank of England’s inflation figures it would take £20.92 in today’s money to be equal to £1.00 in 1953.  That means that today I would need, not merely 2½p for my collection, but 52 pence.  Two bob in 1953’s collection would have to become £2.08, half-a-crown would have to be £2.62 and a ten shilling note, £10.46.


     But when you think just how much (or little) the money will actually buy today the difference is even more startling.  For instance, I noticed in another book, that my 1953 sixpence would have bought a pound of cod fillet.  Today on Oldham Market (where else?) I found that it would cost £3.64.


     It’s just mind-blowing isn’t it, using the “cod fillet” scale, a pound on the plate in 1953 would have to go up to £145.60 today.  And how many would send their children to Church or Sunday School with £3.64?  It’s no wonder we always seem to be struggling to pay the everyday bills, let alone the Parish Share is it?


     Whichever way you look at it, one thing is quite clear, a major review of our giving is long overdue.  But I, for one, don’t know whether or not I’m brave enough to be as realistic as I now  know  that I should be.


     Next time any of you hear me tell the story of my childhood, watch out for the look of pain on my face when I talk about running down the street to Sunday School clutching my “sixpence” in my hand.


 May you have a peaceful, healthy and prosperous New Year and may God’s blessing be with you all