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Question 213

My nearest church is 30 odd miles away in Leicester as a member of that church I use to pay a yearly subscription of 100 per year it's now gone up to 120 per year yesterday the church had one of its many functions were people can buy food cooked on the premises and giving the fact the church rents out it car park during the week and also expects people to contribute some money if we have a cup of tea or snack which the volunteers sometimes provide,the question I would like to ask you Father Klito is how do feel about this 'buisiness ' approach to running a church can it go too far?

 

Answer to Question 213

 

I suppose it all depends on the expenses of each church and the size of the community she serves. I have never heard of a yearly subscription and I can't believe that it is compulsory for all members of the community. Running a church is very costly. Many churches do not own the church building outright, but have a very large mortgage, on top of this they have to pay wages for priests, chanters and cleaners. Then you have running cost like electricity, heating and building repairs and many other hidden costs. The Orthodox churches in England don't have a central treasury for all these things, each church must find ways to to be self sufficient and if there is no income then the church would be forced to close. Thus because the church exists for the needs of the community, the community is responsible for providing the necessary funds required to allow the church to continue to operate. I understand that sometimes the way churches find to accumulate funds can be interpreted as milking the faithful at every opportunity, but if everyone voluntarily subscribed to the needs of the church, then there would be no need for the church to ask for money for a cup of tea and a snack. Many people say that the church is a business, and granted, sometimes there are priests and council members who place too much emphasis on raising cash, rather than spreading the Gospel message, but in general churches find it very hard to make ends meet.