For around 800 years, St. Matthew’s Church has hosted Christian worship and fellowship in the heart of Chapel Allerton, originally on the site of the old graveyard on Harrogate Road
see History. The present Church building celebrated its' centenary in 2000 and stands as a grade II* listed building in the Diocese of Ripon and Leeds.

St. Matthew’s is a registered charity (no 1133806). Its Parochial Church Council members are also the Trustees of the charity. How is it financed? With an annual turnover of around £160,000, it is wholly financed by its congregation. In 2012, 150 households contributed £75,000 of Planned Giving via special envelopes, or bank standing order, at an average rate of £9.58 per week. Other significant sources of disposable income are: £17,500 of Gift Aid tax refunds and £10,000 from each of: collection plate donations; fund raising; Stainbeck Hall lettings and legacies.

Maintenance costs at St. Matthew’s remain high. We will shortly face a bill of £34,000 for roof and drive repairs (see Roof and Drive Appeal) and only a few years ago it cost £19,000 to repair the roof after the theft of lead. It comes as no surprise then to report that sadly, like others of the 21 churches in the Allerton Deanery, St. Matthew’s is in financial difficulty. For several years now, we have experienced a recurring annual deficit which, as well as limiting any new developments in worship and community service, also prevents us from paying our full Parish Share to the Diocese. Currently St. Matthew’s ‘owes’ the Diocese over £45,000 of unpaid or ‘historic share’ as it is called. It costs the Diocese about £50,000 p.a. to keep a vicar in post (including housing and pension costs). St. Matthew’s Parish Share has averaged £94,250 p.a. over the last seven years. This figure recognises the perception that St. Matthew’s is among the wealthier parishes in the Diocese and as such, its Parish Share covers not only the costs of its own clergy but also a contribution to sustain churches in poorer parishes.

Prior to being in deficit, we set up a special restricted “Building for the Future” fund to improve the facilities both inside the Church and within the meeting room that adjoins it. Kitchen and toilet facilities in the latter are woefully inadequate for a Church serving such a large parish. The Church reordering was achieved with monies received from the congregation, grants and legacies. Emergency toilet refurbishment has been carried out with some of the remaining funds, but the major work is dependent on our attracting further substantial grant aid with the focus on community facilities. But from our track record of successfully developing facilities for wider community use at Stainbeck Hall, we must remain optimistic.

If you wish to help us to maintain St. Matthew’s as a jewel in the crown that is Chapel Allerton, then please send donations (cheques made payable to St. Matthew’s PCC) to Revd David Robinson, The Vicarage, Wood Lane, Leeds, LS7 3QF. If you are a tax payer, you can Gift Aid your donation by sending a Gift Aid Declaration with your gift. This will effectively increase your gift to St. Matthew’s by 25%.
Please
email Martin Smith to request a form.