What accounts for expenditure?


What is our expenditure?  It is the money we must spend to remain in existence (ie, our costs), plus what we choose to spend to achieve our aims as a congregation.

Some costs are largely non-discretionary, being set by the Church of Scotland, insurers, energy suppliers, etc. Other costs that we must meet, and over which we have only partial control, include cleaning, catering and organ maintenance.  Together, these fixed costs total about £18,000 per annum.  We must meet all of these to simply exist as a congregation and hold services each Sunday.

But it is a third category of expenditure that actually expresses our work as a caring community. This category (which can be embarked upon only after all essential costs have been met) includes our support for other charities, activities to support people in the community, and events to engage them, Eco Group work, and projects such as the Newsletter.

So, less expenditure need not be “better”.  Cutting unnecessary costs is good, but in the critical third category, spending more is actually better, because it indicates a larger contribution by our church to the community. And expenditure is not all about money; our members’ effort, skill and time constitute a substantial “hidden economy”.  Read about that in the next article in this series.