We aint doing bad.
In accordance with our commitment to transparency, the Archbishop's Appeal has produced its second financial report. Measured against the original goal set for annual fundraising of TT$3.5 million per year over 10 years, the Archdiocese has done remarkably well. Total contributions raised as at May 31, 2011 are $4,392,123.49.
The special collection in November 2010 represents 41% of this total and the remaining 59% represents ongoing contributions. The level of ongoing commitment is a positive reflection of the generosity of donors supporting the Appeal. Our annual fundraising effort is in support of the Mission of the Church; Pastoral priorities, programmes and restoration/renovation of aging churches in the Archdiocese, in particular, our Mother Church, the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.
Statue of Mary at the cathedralSince our last report in February, we have received the dilapidation report from our team of professional contractors. This report details much more accurately, the scope of the work necessary to restore our Cathedral to its former glory. Restoration is scheduled based on the critical nature of the works and available funding. There are eight phases over a five-year period, each phase tendered separately to facilitate fund raising, and work phases following immediately one after the other. The Cathedral will be kept open to the public during restoration.
Given the long duration of the overall Cathedral restoration project, we are concentrating on raising funds on a phase-by-phase basis. Phase 1 includes emergency works such as the replacement/repair to areas in an advanced state of deterioration and where the deficiency is critical, life-threatening and rapidly advancing to a state of total disrepair. Phase 1 will address repairs to the leaking roof and upper walls, cast iron clerestory rose windows and clerestory exterior walls, pest eradication and purchasing of scaffolding. The crypt where our past Archbishops are interred, including our own beloved Archbishop Anthony Pantin, will be outfitted with a water pump to stop the severe flooding which occurs with rising tides.
Our financial goal for Phase 1 of the Cathedral restoration is TT$15M. We need to raise this by October this year, the target start date for the project. We therefore encourage you to continue to honour your pledges and get your Appeal envelopes from your Parish or the Chancery at Archbishop's House. Many people have chosen to give under a Deed of Covenant to take advantage of the tax benefits allowed by so doing. We also invite you to remember the Appeal in your Estate Planning. To simplify your ease of giving, you can donate directly through the online facility at our website: www.rcposappeal.org. Simply click on the donate button and you will be guided accordingly. Our note below on “Ways To Give” is self-explanatory.
In addition to your generosity, we rely on funding from our Government, the Corporate Community and our own fundraisers to meet our target of $15M. We are attempting to reach the international market through a watch listing of the Cathedral on the World Monument Fund and placing collection boxes at Piarco International Airport and the Port. The charitable silent auction planned for October 1, 2011 at Archbishop's House will be publicised on our website and will facilitate bidding from both local and international markets.
We are greatly encouraged by your tremendous response to our Appeal. We know that together, we have the capacity to fulfil the Church's Mission and offer our sincere thanks for your financial and prayerful support. – Archbishop’s Appeal Commitee