The Church of St. James the Less has continued to do reasonably well financially through August 30, 2015, in terms of the operating budget for the year-to-date. As was the case in my last report, we are at or close to budget in almost all categories of income and expense except for a handful of exceptions. The single most significant savings through August 30 is in the budget line for rector expense. That savings, of course, is mostly attributable to our not having a rector for some six weeks this year. On the other hand, there have been some unanticipated maintenance expenses, which will adversely affect our expense budget. Most notable among these was the recent need for temporary “emergency” repairs to the flooring in the transept area of the church.
We are approximately 9% behind our budget on the receipt of pledges for the year, and this is somewhat troublesome in that our budget had assumed slow pledge activity in the summer months, but receipts were even slower than anticipated. As we approach the fall and winter months, always a period of uncertainty in church finances, it would be very helpful for church members to fulfill their pledges, and, indeed, to contribute even more generously.
One particular happy note, the nursery school is doing very well with all places fully subscribed, and we have children from several new families in the school this year.
Our endowment, now under management by Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, did poorly in August with a negative return for the month of 5.06%. However, that compares favorably to the S+P 500 Index, which was down 6.03% for the month. We have withdrawn $170,000 from the endowment for operating expenses through August 30, which is on budget for the year.
As I have mentioned previously, detailed financial reports are filed with the minutes of Vestry meetings each month, and parishioners may receive these minutes by emailing the Clerk of the Vestry, Wilder Howland or calling 914-960-2614.