Father Michael's letter regarding refurbishment and fundraising for the church.

Dear Friends and Supporters of Holy Trinity Funchal Madeira,

First, I trust that you and those you love are well during what has been an extremely difficult time. My sincere thanks to everyone who has continued to support us with donations and regular giving as well as attendance in church over the past two years.

Holy Trinity, although part of the Anglican Diocese of Europe, is totally reliant for income on the incredible generosity of our local worshippers and the many who habitually enjoy worship with us in Funchal during their holidays. Unfortunately, Anglican chaplaincies outside the UK don't benefit from any financial support and hence we are completely self-funded.

As with many other organisations throughout the world, one of the areas impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic has been fundraising. We were forced to cancel almost all of the regular events which normally generate a good portion of the much needed money which ensures the maintenance of our church, its gardens, the large cemetery as well as the running costs of the parsonage and the part stipend of our resident priest. It is estimated that for most of 2020 and 2021 our overall income was reduced by between 70 and 80 percent.

Thankfully, I am pleased to tell you that, very slowly and cautiously, we are returning to some kind of normal but sadly not yet on the scale pre-pandemic.

Through the difficult past two years, the Church Council has remained positive and pro-active in their attitude as does their commitment to maintain Holy Trinity Funchal for the present and future, hopefully well into our church's third century.

We are currently looking forward to October of this year when we will be celebrating the 200th anniversary of Holy Trinity; our Bicentenary celebrations will take place between the 21st and 30th October, and we hope that many of our regular worshippers both locally and from the UK will want to join us during the time of this very significant occasion. The dates for your diary are the 21st through to the 30th October. A programme of the events will be available early in the summer.

It is our plan to have the church building looking fresh and eminently presentable for the Bicentenary celebrations when we can celebrate the part that our Anglican church has played in the lives of the many English speaking people who have enjoyed worshipping here in Madeira over the past 200 years. During the past three years the external walls of the church have been repainted in stages and the church facades are now looking splendid.  Our next objective is to refurbish the interior of the church. This will involve a total restoration of the original wooden flooring and also replacing the pew seating with 'church chairs' as well as the redecoration the walls and ceilings.

We have been assured that the flooring will respond very well to restoration however many of the pews are in poor condition with visible damage by termites, hence the decision to seek alternative seating. After in depth research and much deliberation we have finally selected the new seating. The cost of the manufacturing and shipping of each chair to Madeira from mainland Portugal is 185.00 euros   In order to replace the majority of the main pews we are ordering 150 new chairs. Allowing for a contingency sum for unexpected expenditure the total overall costs for the interior refurbishment is 70,000 euros.

We are hoping that our regular worshippers and friends will generously support our proposals. We would very much welcome donations so that we can meet our target to raise 70,000 euros. The proposal is that for every donation of 200 / 200 pounds or more, the benefactor's name, if they wish, will be added to a board which will be permanently displayed in the church upon completion of the works. Names can be for current family members or in memory of someone you loved.

There are various methods by which donations can be made and details of these - together with the instructions for each, and details of how you can increase your donation by 25% via UK Gift Aid (if you are a UK Taxpayer) at no cost to yourself - are shown in the brochure below.

I look forward to welcoming new and old friends to Holy Trinity and with your support I am confident we will achieve our goals.

With my love and prayers,

Fthr. Michael Chaplain, Holy Trinity Funchal

Brochure - refurbishment of church