I oversee the work done by Martin Parsons (membership administrator), Eleanor Orr (accountant), Wai-Ting So (stationery, post, and fire alarms), Geoff Smith (accounting support), and David Clark (IT support). Martin, Ting and Marcus are employed full time, while Eleanor is employed two days per week. Geoff and David come in one day a week.
A new volunteer, Rupert Rea, a retired GP member, comes in one day a week to help record financial transactions and he replaces Robin Russell who has finished after years of volunteering for CMF since he retired as officemanager in 1990.
Much of the focus of the past six months has been the new database, ProgressCRM from Fisk Brett Ltd, a system specifically developed for membership charities like CMF. The system went live in mid-October, and we are now learning to use it and exploit the benefits it brings. We arehaving to change our procedures, and hope this will make a noticeable difference to our performance for members and for other staff. The next step will be the implementation of direct debits. We have received approval for running a direct debit scheme, and will start offering this as a means of payment with the next reminder letters, followed by a more active campaign in December and January.
The accounts for the 8 months to 31 August show a total income of £647k and expenditure of £737k. This is £1k ahead of our budgeted position at this point, because the budget anticipates income expected later in the year from the Autumn Appeal. Assuming we receive from members the £150k budgeted for the appeal, we would end the year with a small surplus – for which in faith we praise the Lord!
Meanwhile we are preparing workplans and budgets for 2009. In 2008 the amounts were overestimated in both income and expenditure, so we will want to learn from that and continue to improve the quality of the budget for 2009.
Another long-term servant of CMF left this summer. Sandra Hartley moved down from the Midlands in1982 to work with the then all-new computer and many evolutions in her work followed as the technology progressed and roles changed. She gave long notice of her planned return to Newark and stayed with us to see CMF through the move and associated transitions. Weare very grateful for half a working lifetime of service.
She has been replaced by Martin Parsons in his first full time job after training in IT networking. Martin lives in Bexleyheath, worships at St Michael's and All Angels C of E and also at Welling Evangelical Free Church where he plays flute as part of the music group and is the youth club leader. He relaxes with online computer gaming, cricket, and skiing.
Also new this autumn is accountant Eleanor Orr who previously worked at nearby Southwark Cathedral. She cycles to work and last June did the London to Brighton ride for the British Heart Foundation. She is married to Roger and they have lived in the Peckham/New Cross area for the last 27 years. They have three adult daughters, all still in education. Eleanor worships at All Saints Peckham and enjoys its youthful and lively environment.
Marcus Watkins is Head of Finance and Administration.