03 Jul 2022

Laois parish accounts reveal Covid-19 hit on church

Laois parish accounts reveal Covid-19 hit on church

The accounts from a Laois Parish reveals the financial hit the Catholic Church has taken on a local level from Covid-19.

The Rathdowney Parish has published its income and expenditure from January 1 to December 31 2020. It reveals the huge difference between finances before the pandemic and during the first year of Covid-19 when lockdown dominated.

And, while income dropped, the costs of keeping the Parish afloat did not vary substantially.

While some compensatory income came in revenue dropped to nearly €133,000 in 200 compared to over €152,600 in 2019.

The cost of running the parish rose to nearly €150,000 in 2020 compared with almost €140,000 in the year before the pandemic.

The parish recorded a loss of nearly €15,300 in 2020 compared with a surplus of over €13,500 in 2019.

Basket collection (Mass plate) dropped to just over €7,700 from more than €24,300.

Fundraising plunged  to nearly €2,800 from €22,300 in 2019. Shrine income dropped from just above €3,800 from over €5,200. 

However, there were some areas where the parish compensated. Donations and bequests went from just €60 to nearly €8,000.

Weekly envelope collections rose to €72,400 from €67,800.  The Covid-19 pay subsidy saw nearly €8,650 coming into the accounts.

Grave income went from zero to €1,750 in 2020 while income from the Parish Hall and Parish Facilities was over €1,800 in 2020 compared to just over €450 in 2019.

While some costs dropped, such as a reduction of €8,000 in the cost of fundraising and €14,000 in once off expenses, there were some big outlays. 

The repairs and maintenance in Rathdowney nearly doubled to €16,000 while repairs and maintenance in Errill almost tripled to over €9,000.

The parish also had to make a donations to the Kilkenny Cathedral Restoration of €20,190. It is the HQ of the Dioceses of Ossory. Contribution to schools and community Groups (Errill Hall) ran to €10,000 in 2020 compared to none in the previous year.

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