The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Deuteronomy 31:8
Hope you have had a good week.
On Monday evening, the leadership team met to share updates and discuss the various areas of church life. There was much to give thanks for. We are particularly thankful for all those who give of their time to the various areas of church life.
Whilst there is much to celebrate and give thanks for, we have real concern over our church financial situation. Currently it is forecast that we will have a shortfall of nearly £6,000 at the end of the year despite continuing to pay the URC a considerably smaller monthly amount to that which they had requested. It is worth noting that even despite having a full time minister in previous years, it has been several years since we paid the full amount requested by the URC. We are thankful that there has been sufficient money to enable us to maintain the various areas of church life but the budgets we set for each area of church life really only enable us to “maintain” the work and not develop things further nor look to do more mission work. Our income has been going down considerably over the last few years, since before Covid. We received a large insurance pay-out for loss of income following the Covid pandemic and additional expenses incurred over this period which has papered over the cracks to some extent. .
Sadly we have two leaking roofs. The one over the crèche area will hopefully be able to be repaired at a cost of a few hundred pounds. Unfortunately the roof over the large hall is going to require in excess of £20,000 to repair.
Making requests for financial contributions is not something which sits comfortably with us at this time when the costs of living and financial insecurity are rising. However, it is these same rising costs and insecurities which the church faces. We still have to pay for our heating, lighting, licences and insurances.
As a church we try to respond God’s word of tithing our income by setting aside 10% of our income for Christian charities and agencies around the world, nationally and locally. Sadly over recent years we have had to reduce the amount we can give to these charities and agencies because our income has fallen.
We try as a church and as individuals to be generous with what we have. Many churches for example make a charge for coffee after the service, we don’t but factor in the costs in our budgets. Many individuals contribute to the work of the church and don’t claim any expenses, we cannot continue to always rely on this generosity.
We would ask everyone reading this letter, to prayerfully consider their giving to the Lord’s work. If you currently give financially, thank you! If you are able to consider increasing your contribution – thank you again! If you currently don’t give to the church finances we would ask you to seriously and prayerfully consider giving. The main way to give is through the church bank account. Please do speak to David Bird about Gift Aiding your contributions if you are a tax payer and do speak to either him or Paul Hampshire for other ways of giving.
The church bank account details are:
Bank: CAF Bank Ltd
Account name: Plume Ave URC
Sort code: 40-52-40
Account no: 00006934
Important Please use your surname and initials as a reference.
We do want to thank our finance team for their huge amounts of time they spend overseeing our finances and producing the reports for us.
Service of Remembrance
Many of us have lost loved ones over the years, some more recently. Whilst we were in the Covid lockdown periods, many were unable to attend the funeral services for those who they loved and knew well. We would like to invite everyone who might want to come and spend time remembering a loved one who is no longer with us to a service on 6th November at 3pm. This will be a short, quiet and reflective service where we will have the opportunity to light a candle in memory of our loved ones. Following the service we will have tea and cake and share a short time of fellowship together before returning home. If you would like the name of your loved one(s) read out during the prayer, please do e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Service of thanksgiving for Brenda Gaisford
The service of thanksgiving for Brenda will take place on Monday 14th November at 10 am at church. There will be a family committal afterwards at the Crematorium. Please continue to pray for Brenda’s family at this time.
Warm welcome hub
Thank you to all those who have expressed an interest in being involved with this project. We would like to invite everyone who is interested in helping with this to a meeting on Monday 7th November at 2pm to explore this further together.
Men’s Chat and Chill
Peter and Adrian write: “The Men’s Chat and Chill group will be meeting on Monday October 31st at 1.30 pm in the church for coffee and cakes and the usual chat and laughter. Guys, feel free to join in, just let us know so we don’t run out of cakes!!”
Lunch in aid of Macmillan and St Helena Hospice
Andrea writes: “Thank you for supporting my charity lunch. I made £270 which will be divided between Macmillan and St Helena Hospice.”
There will be the normal Zoom prayer meetings on Wednesday and Saturday this week, both at 9.30am. The Zoom details for these will be sent out early in the week.
With love and blessings.