Where our money comes from and where it goes

We're a charity relying on generous donations from our church members for most of the income that is spent on regular ministry. From time to time, we receive large grants from donors for special buildings projects, such as the Heart of Islington.

We use the money we receive to be a parish church, putting into practice the Bible's call to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and to love our neighbours as ourselves.

The figures below refer to 2016 and have been rounded.

Where our money comes from:

We received £528,000. This was made up of:

  • Donations £305,000
  • Grants £99,000
  • Rents and investments £96,000
  • Solar electricity generation £10,000
  • Other income £18,000

Where our money goes:

We spent £372,000. This was made up of:

  • Basic contribution to the Church of England: £77,000*
  • Grants to partners for mission: £81,000
  • Buildings repairs: £92,000
  • Parish ministry: £113,000
  • Other spending £9,000

*We gave a total of £87,000 which is shown divided between the basic contribution and £10,000 which is included in the grants figure.

Details of our accounts can be found here.

Major donors

Our grant income comes from a number of sources, including those which we gratefully acknowledge below:


Cloudesley makes grants to churches of the Church of England in the borough of Islington and St Mary's has benefited from 500 years of grants. In recent years, these have been spent on repair and upkeep of our buildings.


Listed Places of Worship Roof Repair Fund gave us nearly £52,000 in 2016 towards the cost of the church roof repair.

Planned giving

Exciting things are happening at St Mary’s. 

Our growing church is doing more to share in God’s mission and to make a difference in the world. Regular planned giving from our church members is the biggest part of our income. We are also grateful to our church members who have responded  so generously to our Heart of Islington appeal.  But although our church is growing, the income from donors that we use for general running purposes is considerably lower this year than last. 

The challenge for 2018 is to close that gap in contributions to our core funds so we can continue to invest in ministry, such as:

  • Our work with young people, in church and at St Mary’s Primary School.
  • Investing in outward-facing ministry, rather than back-office administration.
  • Open Church, enabling the people of Islington to use their church.
  • Supporting mission partners overseas and vital UK charities.
  • Doing important work to our buildings.
  • Music ministry, to enrich our worship.
  • Developing our partnership with Mary’s to enable our local community work.

All of this is in addition to the cost of our regular ministry: providing 150 services of worship each year, professional pastoral care, teaching and evangelism, daily prayer and outreach, children’s and schools work, counselling, bereavement support and funerals, marriage preparation and weddings. It’s amazing that we do so much on a monthly budget of around £20,000! 

Children and youth work

As well as working throughout the year with children and young people in school and colleges in Islington, St Mary's has its own youth group - ‘SMS’. 
We go on two trips, each different in location and emphasis.  These are essential to achieving our goals of creating healthy relationships between young people and giving them space and time to explore the Christian faith. 

During Easter we go away by ourselves for a weekend to Tunbridge Wells and stay at a Christian outward bound centre. During the summer we go camping for a week on the North Devon coast to join over 80 young people from across the country. 

These trips build on and strengthen SMS. We rely heavily on the generous giving of church members to subsidise places for young people connected to our church who are less able to pay. 

Heart of Islington

We are very grateful to our church members who have given generously to the Heart of Islington appeal. Almost half of the recommendations in our architect's 2015 Quinquennial Inspection report have now been met. The steeple has been repaired and the main church roof is now watertight.  
Some of the most visible symbols of our extensive building works are the shining newly refurbished eagle lectern, and the weathervane restored to its pristine glory atop the church spire.  

To reduce energy demands, the Neighbourhood Centre roof has had a thick layer of insulation fitted and the windows have been replaced with double-glazed units. Plans are underway to progress repairs to the portico, redesign of the gardens, and refurbishment of the church interior. 

Mission Partners at home and abroad

We support a range of great projects here in Islington and around the world. We do this because we believe that the gospel of Jesus Christ isn't just about Sundays or church or what happens when we die. Everlasting life begins here, now.

In 2017, we're giving grants of £78,300. It's good to be working together to seek the Kingdom of Heaven in a needy world. 

  • The Children's Society, UK (Vulnerable children) £500
  • Compassion, Haiti and Philippines (Child Sponsorship) £600
  • CARIS Cold Weather Shelter, Islington (Support for homelessness) £800
  • For emergencies, not yet allocated (Emergency relief) £900
  • Working Chance, UK (Offender rehabilitation) £1,000
  • Hospice Care Kenya, Kenya (Palliative care) £1,000
  • Islington Centre for Refugees and Migrants,Islington (Support) £1,000
  • CARIS Bereavement, Islington (Bereavement counselling service) £1,000
  • Islington Foodbank, Islington (Food in crisis) £1,000
  • Bible Society, China (Bibles) £1,000
  • SGM Lifewords, Worldwide (Christian education) £1,200
  • Release International, Pakistan (Support to persecuted Christians) £2,000
  • Medair, South Sudan (Emergency relief) £2,000
  • Keith Waddell, East Africa (Eye health) £4,000
  • Common Fund, Diocese of London (Ministry in other parishes) £10,300 - part of a total donation to Common Fund of £88,600
  • Mary's, Islington (Extending the community mission of the church) £50,000

Weddings, funerals and baptisms

Marriage preparation, weddings, baptisms and funerals are a vital part of the spiritual and community life of our church.

Music at St Mary Islington

Our church has a flourishing choir and contemporary band, and has been going from strength to strength with the support of our new music leader Jakub Tomášek. Jakub founded a choir of 6-7 year old children from St Mary’s Primary School who sang at the Soul in the City Festival, and is seeking to involve people who are less confident singers, as well as expand the range of contemporary music on offer at our Sunday morning services.

Soul in the City neighbourhood festival

For seven years, Soul in the City has been bringing    together citizens of Islington and visitors who seek friendship, community and companionship - reaching across boundaries and class and social divides.  It's free  and everyone is invited.

Soul in the City in 2017 was generously supported by several charitable trusts and Islington Council. Grant funding is not guaranteed, and the costs are underwritten by church funds. We are grateful for the support of our church members, both through donations and volunteer work to organise the extensive programme. 

How does all this happen?
Our monthly income from church members is around £8,750 including gift aid. Thank you so much! The rest comes from one-off donations, rents, energy feed-in tariff payments from our solar panels, and project grants.

By 2018, we’d love to see our monthly planned giving increase to £12,000. That would sustain our current core activities and allow us to invest further in ministry such as youth work and provision for the local community.  

What can church members do?

We’re holding a special campaign to raise our income. Please review your giving in response to all that God gives you.

Over 2300 verses in the Bible refer to money, wealth and possessions. Jesus talked about them frequently and over a third of his parables involved these topics. So we’re not embarrassed to raise the issue and we hope you’ll want to take part. If you don’t regularly contribute to the work of St Mary’s, we hope you’ll join in. And if you’re already a member of our Planned Giving Scheme, we hope you’ll review your giving. 

Without an increase in our giving, it won’t be possible to achieve all that we want. 

There are two things you can consider right now: 

  1. We want everyone who belongs to St Mary’s to join the Planned Giving Scheme.
  2. We want everyone to review the amount they give.

If you have any questions, do ask us.  Christopher McKane is our Planned Giving Coordinator and Caroline Humphries is our Resource Manager, and they’ll be very glad to help you. Contact Christopher at christopher.mckane@gmail.com or  020 7609 7811, or Caroline on 020 7226 3400  
or caroline.humphries@stmaryislington.org.

Use the My Pledge Form to indicate your commitment to giving to St Mary’s. Bring the My Pledge form and completed direct debit form to the Pledge Sunday service on 19 November at 11am, or send the forms to Pledges, St Mary’s Church Office, Upper Street, London N1 2TX.