BLACKPOOL’S landmark church is facing a cash crisis.
The vicar of St John’s Church in the town is predicting the parish will be £11,000 in the red at the end of the financial year.
Rev Dan Connolly is appealing for parishioners to help meet the shortfall through donations and legacies.
In a parish bulletin, he says one reason for the crisis is a drop in income of £8,000 this year at the parish centre.
He says: “For a number of years now St John’s has finished up with a shortfall at the end of the year, which rolls over into the subsequent year making that increasingly difficult.
“Our deficit last year was about £13,000 and we anticipate a deficit for the present year of £11,000.
“We run our ministry and beautiful aged building on a very slender budget, nevertheless weekly costs are close to £1,800.”
He adds: “Our rental income from the church centre has been seriously hit by the recession, resulting in an income loss of about £8,000 for the current year.
“We have reduced administration costs as much as we can.”
Maintenance of the fabric of the church has been able to continue thanks to a legacy of almost £35,000.
To ease the situation, the church has negotiated a reduction in the amount it contributes to the diocese this year, from £35,000 to £27,000.
A spokesman for Blackburn Diocese said they were aware of the situation.
He said: “The diocese recognises the difficulties faced by parishes in the current financial climate.
“It is seeking to support St John’s as it serves God and its local community as it wrestles with the challenges in resourcing that mission and ministry.”
One parishioner told The Gazette: “Little did I know such a wonderful church is struggling to meet its budget and yet Blackpool must have the resources in its people to help out.”