By: Gordon Bailey
Chief Executive, Schools Outreach
Source: Special to ASSIST News Service
HEREFORDSHIRE, UK (ANS) — Earlier this year I wrote about the financial crisis with which the English registered charity Schools Outreach was facing.
Four months ago, although the funding for our school-based Pastoral Care Specialists is kept separate for the charity’s core funding (the funding that pays the staff working from headquarters, maintains an office, and provides ongoing training, management and pastoral care for the specialists in schools), we only had sufficient funds to cover our core funding needs for approximately one month.
Now, I know, in terms of the vocation in which many of you are involved, that some evangelicals call ‘living by faith’, to be able to see one month ahead is a blessing. However, charities registered with the UK Charity Commission, a statutory body, MUST have sufficient funding in hand for at least three months, preferably six months. As a charity led by and staffed by committed Christians we do not wish to be in a situation that puts us at odds with the Commission’s expectations.
My wife Corrine and I have been “living by faith” since 1962 and know by long experience the faithfulness of God. The Charity Commission does not share this experience, and I suspect, would neither understand it nor be willing to base their regulations upon it.
I wrote via ASSIST News Service trusting that many of you would be caused to pray for us on reading the piece. Thank you.
I am writing now to inform you that God has answered your prayers. We can now satisfy the Charity Commission’s demands!
As well as asking for your prayers, we issued a letter explaining our situation to the members of our mailing list. To those already supporting us we did not write. About one thousand letters were written. Just before we wrote that letter, I was visited by a trustee from a Christian-led grant-making institution. He told me that, due to the situation in the financial markets, their investments were not attracting the same returns as before and that they would have to reduce their giving. His message was not encouraging as the donations from that source had been paying half of the salaries of the two members of staff at headquarters.
In the two and a half months since we issued our letter two things have happened:
1. We have received a large number of small donations, together with one or two larger gifts.
2. We have received a letter from the grant-making institution telling us they have increased their commitment to us.
We learned only three days ago that one of our school-based Pastoral Care Specialists has just been awarded funding for an extra two and a half years in post.
We say a sincere “Thank You to God” and a heartfelt “Thank You” to you for your prayers. We can satisfy the demands of the UK Charity Commission for a little more than they require.
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