Parish of Laois cuts €1m debt with increased donations during Covid
A Catholic parish in Laois has managed to reduce its debts totaling more than one million euros, in part thanks to generous donations from parishioners during the Covid pandemic.
Mountmellick Parish has published three years of accounts, from 2019 to 2021, which show the recovery of its financial situation.
The parish, led by Father Mícheál Murphy, has successfully reduced its debt from over €1 million in 2015 to just €185,000 due today under a loan to the Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin.
In 2015, Father Murphy launched a “ten-year debt campaign” and asked parishioners to make “meaningful contributions”.
A full breakdown of donations and debts was listed in the recent parish bulletin, showing what he called “steady progress”.
Revenues over the three years amount to €816,861.
This includes €294,838 in basket and envelope collections, €63,407 recovered from shrines, the office, etc. Fundraising, including bingo, raised €263,958. The parish received will bequeath €115,316. The parish lotto raised €79,352.
Parish operating expenses covered insurance, diocesan levies, salaries, church supplies, heating and lighting, pastoral activities, bank charges, repairs and maintenance, stationery, l printing and professional costs and amounted to €514,155.
This left a surplus of €302,716.
An additional annual spring collection called Giving Sunday raised the biggest amount in 2020, held just after the start of the Covid pandemic, with parishioners donating a total of €32,000. In 2021, she raised €17,000 and in 2022, €20,950.
The parish says its current financial situation is with a debt of €185,000.
Their loan from the Diocesan Solidarity Fund amounts to €350,000 and creditors and adjustment accounts to €10,000, less cash in the bank to €175,000.
Father Murphy thanked his parishioners for their support.
“A big thank you to all for the generous contributions to the finances of the parish.
“As you can see, despite the challenge of the pandemic years, we are making steady progress in clearing our parish’s debt, while maintaining the services and facilities we treasure so much. Such generous support is wonderful and if it can be maintained, we will quickly find our parish finances in very good shape,” he said.
It introduces a tax refund form for people who donate €250 per year or more, so that the parish can recover the tax.
“This year, at no cost to any parishioner, we will be introducing the Tax Refund Scheme. Please, if you can, complete the particular form
form for us and help us get that money back from Revenue. The parish, as a registered charity, is eligible to recover from revenue the tax paid on donations made by any individual during the tax year (calendar year) provided that such donations are amount to €250 or more. This includes all the money given to the parish in the year, whether in collections at Mass, weekly envelopes, Sunday donations, collections for the support of priests, etc. in cash, by check or otherwise. CHY 3 forms are available in the Church.
“My sincere thanks to all of you for your continued generous support to the parish and to us priests,” said Father Mícheál Murphy, PP.