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St. Christophers Letter

Dear Fellow Parishioners:

As a member of the Board of Directors of St. Christopher Camp and Conference Center, Gary has allowed me to send you this information.

St. Christopher received good news a few weeks ago from the courts concerning ownership. It is our hope that this clarification by the courts will lift concerns anyone has about giving.

St. Christopher, besides being a jewel of the Diocese, is a unique ministry that is dependent upon the revenue raised by hosting all of the many guests that come for summer camp, personal retreats, Barrier Island, church retreats, conferences, meetings, etc. As Bishop Lawrence said, “St. Christopher is a ministry with customers”, and right now it doesn’t have very many.

By no means do I mean to imply that St. Christopher is the only organization that has been affected, as every person, church, business, charity, etc., has been adversely affected by COVID-19. With that said I do want to share some facts concerning the impact of the cancelation of summer camp and many other programs. The anticipated total lost revenue will be around $2,000,000 on a budget of $3,400,000 (which is a 59% decrease). During the peak summer camp period there are approximately 85 employees and staff members – as of this writing there are 12 fulltime and 8 part time employees, with more payroll cuts on the horizon – PPP funds were applied for, received, and used to take away part of the shortfall, but no more are available. Below is a list of additional austerity steps that have been taken:

Austerity Measures Enacted
Elimination of food service benefit to Resident Staff – Enacted March 20, 2020
Elimination of phone reimbursement benefit to eligible staff – Enacted April 2020
Elimination of lunch to all staff – Enacted June 22, 2020
Elimination of staff travel reimbursement for official travel – Enacted March 20, 2020
Elimination of staff positions and termination of staff as follows:
Director of Communications
Director of Food Services
Weekend Manager
Facility Technicians (2)
Conference Center Technician
Student Ministry Administrator
Assistant Director of Environmental Education
Food Service Assistant (2)
Naturalist (14)
Summer Camp Staff (32)

Reduction in Staff Hours and Benefits
All Food Service Staff reimbursed for hours worked only
not likely to be sufficient (30 hours weekly) to qualify for retention of health insurance benefit
All Guests Services Staff reimbursed for hours worked only
not likely to be sufficient (30 hours weekly) to qualify for retention of health insurance benefit
Elimination of all staff rates and discounts for use at St. Christopher.
The Reverend Bob Lawrence is the Executive Director of St. Christopher. He has provided incredible leadership, strength, and guidance during these trying times and has made the tough decisions when they have had to be made. We are fortunate to have Bob at the helm.

We look to Christ, through prayer, that all decisions made are made to benefit HIS Kingdom.

“Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.’” Mark 10:27

All prayers, thoughts, and ideas concerning St. Christopher and helping to keep the gates open are appreciated.

If you would like to donate, feel free to write a check to Prince George and list
St. Christopher COVID-19 Fund on the memo line

or make your check out:

Anglican Diocese of South Carolina – memo line St. Christopher COVID-19 Fund

St. Christopher Camp and Conference Center
2810 Seabrook Island Road
Seabrook Island, SC 29455-6219

Please feel free to contact me concerning any questions you have concerning St. Christopher. The next few months are critical to the life and viability of our beloved jewel on the Edisto.


John E. Benson