Dear Mr. Treasurer,
We are not members of your parish but we have been attending the service there, on and off for the last eight months or so. Although we had an idea about the financial condition of the Parish, we didn’t realise it was so bad till we heard your ten point agenda. At the same time, cannot help putting across some of our observations.
If the 3BHK flat purchased for parsonage is a liability, the best and the wise thing to do is to sell it off. I am sure you can make a reasonable profit. Clear off the debts and return the contribution back to members rather than pestering them for their contribution, which I am sure will be written off as ‘arrears’ (kudishika) and later, will be used to harass them. A small parish like yours does not need a posh flat for parsonage. A rented house would do. Sorry to say, it speaks of your extravagance (lavishness) at others cost (public money). I feel the old saying ‘One should learn to live within their means’ is still relevant.
Looks like you are ready to beg, borrow or steal to meet the monthly quota. Nobody will be affected if you don’t continue as the Trustee but the fact is people get turned off when the only thing that they hear in the church is all about collection, contribution and donation. I personally know several of your parish members who are not attending your church because of this fact, or they have moved to other nearby parishes as the monthly subscription is high in your church.
The whole idea of a high level delegation to visit GCC to collect donation is a ridiculous situation these days. Our Gulf based members hate the mention of such collection drives and mocks those who reach there. No one with some self esteem would do it unless they have some personal interest.
By asking for contributions from visitors like us, you are making sure that very few outsiders attend the service there henceforth. We would have been happy to give a contribution on our own but for a more genuine cause. A better idea would be to keep a Rs.100 per person guest entry fee as they have in clubs.
Offertory is a matter of personal choice. One person’s Rs.10 may be equal to another person’s Rs.1,000. You cannot judge the value of the offertory or demand more.
Planning to spend about Rs. one lakh for new microphones and speakers is another example of wasting public money on useless things. The present sound system is perfectly ok but just needs fine tuning of its settings. If somebody is ready to sponsor, then let that money be used for a better and more useful purpose. By the way, cannot help saying that the present choir is miserable, just a bunch of giggling girls who want to show off. If there is no choir, the congregation would sing better.
Summing up, we are extremely disappointed that end of the day, its only money that talks. May God bless you in your endeavours.