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- Bounce Back Appeal
In March 2020, Hexham Abbey closed its doors to visitors for the first time since the Black Death. This event had a huge impact on us all but whilst the building was closed, the Abbey continued its ministry in different ways. The weekly pewsheet became a lifeline for many; people were supported through pastoral phone calls; our community worshipped and remained connected via Zoom services; the choirs rehearsed on-line. Once we could, we ensured that worship in, and visits to the Abbey began safely again.
However, the Abbey suffered a massive financial loss. With a huge drop in visitor numbers and the decimation of occasional offices, lettings, concerts, trading activity and donations, the Abbey's income is down by at least £100,000.
A Covid-19 Bounce Back Appeal
For many, lockdown has been anxious and difficult and some will face real financial challenges. However, many of us will have made significant financial savings during lockdown; no petrol, no meals out, no gym memberships, no holidays and no overseas travel.
Could you give a proportion of your savings to further the Abbey's ministry and help us to meet the financial crisis we face as a result of Covid-19?
During this October, you are invited to make a pledge of money. For each pledge that is made, a candle will be lit in the Abbey crossing, and together the candles will form the shape of the Abbey emblem and be a sign of our faithfulness and of our commitment to the life and work of our Abbey community. On all Saints' Day, Sunday 1st November, we will celebrate and give thanks for all that has been offered and rejoice in our shared life together.
Thank you for prayerfully and carefully considering this and thank you for your generosity and support.
I could not have arrived in Hexham at a more anxious, unprecedented or challenging time. And yet, despite all the circumstances of Covid-19 I have discovered an Abbey community which has been welcoming, caring and committed to doing everything possible to support each other in these tough times and to keep the Abbey vibrant and alive.
And I am determined that we will emerge out of this terrible time into a bright and exciting future in which the Abbey will flourish and be a huge blessing to our town and our region. But part of enabling that is to make sure we are financially viable. Our finances have taken a massive hit in 2020, and 2021 looks to be equally challenging. We will save money where we can but we will also need to use up a huge and alarming chunk of our reserves- and a building like the Abbey requires significant reserves because of the extraordinary and unexpected costs that can be involved in maintaining such a large and renowned place.
Are you able to help? Could you contribute to a Covid-19 bounce back? Together, could we dig so deeply and give so generously that we delight and surprise ourselves? Could we raise such a significant amount of money that we relieve our worries and help to secure our future?
Asking for money is never easy, especially as I am really asking for people to think big and give a lot of money, but our Abbey life is too precious to see diminished and we are children of a generous God, called to be generous. Thank you for the time you will take to think about how you will respond to this appeal and thank you for all the love, generosity and care you bring to the life of our Abbey and town.
With every blessing