I am reliably told that the new Greeks that come from Greece/Cyprus to live here at present think that the situation is similar to Greece, when in fact it couldn't be more different. We do not receive help from the government, Greek or British. Here in the UK people are required to become members of the church, through annual subscriptions/donations. It is our main source of income to keep both the church and community going.
It is with this money that we pay all the other running costs of the church (and also contribute to the running costs of the Greek School). It is supplemented by church collections each Sunday we have church, which are often not sufficient to cover the priest.
Donations & Subscriptions to our Charity, No. 299645 are made to:
The Greek Orthodox Community of Reading
Account No 73694410
Sort Code 20-1174
Annual Membership Donations and The Benefits of Gift Aid.
At the moment, our Church relies on your voluntary annual contributions (Annual Membership Donations), for which we are really grateful. These Membership donations, Gift Aid and all-year-round contributions, allow us to raise money for rent, paying the priests, the occasional Psaltes and the Greek Sunday School.
If a person is a UK tax payer, we encourage these donations under the Gift Aid Rules that enable us to reclaim 25% of the donation. Just ask for a form.
By applying Gift Aid to one’s contributions/donations, it not only benefits Our Church, it also benefits the giver. We would ask you to consider using this scheme. Unfortunately, we are still struggling to cover the bills. We are now since 6th Sept., 2015 (four months into the new host church of St. Mark), and three out of four times our Sunday collections have been less that what we pay the priest. We believe that the parishioners that attend church do what they can and we are grateful to them. What we now need is for more people to attend, preferably on a regular basis, so that we do not have to dip into our savings to cover the weekly cost of the Priest. We hope one day to have our own Church building, but that will cost an even bigger commitment by each and every one of us.
In Greece, the Greek government covers such expenses but in the U.K. we have to work hard and raise this money, in order to keep contact with our Greek Orthodox religion to continue what , and our (and a selection of other Central European nations) community. I fear that unless we all raise our voluntary contributions, our church will struggle to survive.