2023 Budget Q&A

Last night, as part of the Church Life event, we discussed the proposed budget for 2023.

Attached you will find a copy of the Budget Paper that was presented. Please note that this has changed slightly from the copy that was sent out last week – we will no longer be receiving income from 4Cyte Pathology. We ask that you use the coming weeks to read, reflect and pray on the budget. Praying about a set of numbers may seem like a strange thing to do but, like all we do as a church, we want our budget to be glorifying God. We will then vote on the budget at a congregational meeting on the 13th November.

Some really great questions were asked last night and you’ll find them (and the answers) below:

Q: What are the Fabinrose Distributions?
A: Fabinrose Trust is made up of 3 churches (Living Church, Acacia Ridge PC and Toowoomba West PC) that own AJs Sports Centre – a gym in Algester. For 30 years, these churches have each had 2 representatives on the Board of Directors and the 3 churches each receive a share of the profits. The distributions naturally took a hit during covid and have subsequentlty stayed low due to capital works needing to be done on the building. The 2 Living Church members on the Board are Janet Sutton and Mitchell Claes.

Q: What will happen with PCQ Capital Funds?
A: This question is in relation to PCQ currently being under receivership. As a church, we have $600k in Capital Funds held by PCQ and althought we cannot predict what will happen with these funds, we are working on the assumption that we will not receive them and they will instead be used to pay for the receivership.

Q: How much is in the Projects Account?
A: As mentioned last night, for the past few years we have been transferring money into a Projects Account. This is a bank account we hold ourselves, so it will not get caught up in the PCQ receivership. The transfers to this account are from 2 things – a portion of the amount from our top giver (part of a 4 year plan to reduce our reliance on them for operational expenses) and the funds we receive from Fabinrose. The balance of this account at the end of September was $239k. The total across all our accounts is just over $1mil.

Q: Why do we budget for calendar year when all other businesses budget July to June?
A: Because our ministries all run calendar year, mostly to coincide with school year, we find it makes the most sense to match our budget to this timing.

Q: How does Springfield factor into the budget?
A: All of the Springfield income and expenses are included in the budget paper. As a congregation, they are working towards becoming self-sustaining. Josiah Wilson, the pastor at Springfield, is working closely with James and the board to plan for their future.

Q: How did we decide how much to give to QTC and what account did it come out of?
A: The board came up witht he figure of $10k to gift to QTC for their building appeal, as a way of being generous, but without knowing what would happen. The board decided this was a good figure that would help QTC but not hinder our own ministry. The money came from our usual operational bank accounts and was put to the ‘Gifts’ account. This figure does not appear in the budget paper as it ws gifted after the budget was drafted.

Q: Who approves capital spend from the Projects Account?
A: The congregation approves the operational budget for the church’s day to day expenses and at present, the board make decisions on capital expenditure. There is a set amount ($50k) at which they need to seek congregational approval, but most projects are below this figure. Each year, a rolling 5yr capital plan is presented to the board, as part of the budget pack, so that they can maintain good oversight over the use of our facilities and the funding required to maintain them.

Q: If our giving goes up, do Partnership contributions go up?
A: If our giving is higher than budgeted, we make top up payments to the Partnership account. This amount is reconciled quarterly.

Q: How do I interpret the ‘Actuals & Projected’ column? Do the actual figures perfectly meet the projected costs?
A: The ‘Actuals & Projected’ column is made up of actual figures from the start of the year until the time the budget was drafted and then budget/forecast figures for the rest of the year. These forecast figures are updated every month so that they best reflect our situation moving forward. We cannot with certainty say that the combined ‘Actuals & Projected’ figures will be correct at the end of the year, but based on previous experience, they usually wind up very close.

If you have any other questions, please contact our Finance Manager, Janet Sutton, or our Treasurer, John Wallace. Details of how to do so are on the paper.