As you can imagine Ashburnham Place is very exposed to the impact of the Coronavirus outbreak as a place that depends on people wanting to meet together. With the most recent government advice, the number of groups and guests coming to stay with us will almost disappear. We find ourselves in an extremely serious and precarious situation.
While we have been in a good position financially, we do not have sufficient reserves to survive an extended period of little to no income. We have already taken some decisive steps to try and reduce our risk including; stopping all non-essential spending including capital expenditure, actively marketing individual retreats to try and fill capacity left by groups and have put in place a non-essential recruitment freeze. We have also approached our bank and a couple of other institutions requesting short term loans.
Alongside these steps, we are in the midst of a 3-phased strategic plan that outlines the further steps we will take in certain scenarios. We are hopeful we will come through this, but it will be not without significant challenge and cost to the team here. We are preparing ourselves for that cost. The Trust has weathered storms before and the way through has always involved the support and generosity of friends like you. One aspect we are hoping you might be able to help us with is by providing interest-free (or low interest) loans? The immediate challenge for Ashburnham Place is likely to be cash flow. If we can secure enough cash to cover essential costs over the next 3 to 4 month period we will then be able to continue with ministry activity; particularly caring for our young people and serving our neighbours. It will also enable us to be prepared to relaunch once this restrictive period is over.
Alternatively, any gift small or large would make such a huge difference to us at this critical time and enable ACT to be a gift for many years into the future.
Our hope is that with sufficient funds in place we will emerge the other side even fitter for service and ministry. If you feel able to help with a loan, we would be extremely grateful and ask that you contact us to discuss the details and to make the necessary arrangements. Thank you all.
Ultimately our security and future rests in Jesus so we aren’t approaching this with anxiety, recognising that our role has always been to simply steward the gift of Ashburnham Place as well as we are able.
Paul and Andy
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