Our Annual Parochial Church Meeting took place this Sunday instead of the 10.30am service. This is the meeting at which we give account of the life of the church during the previous year. We elected Lorraine and Carol to be our churchwardens for a further year. The wardens are the senior lay people and act to ensure that the church is run properly and that the building is in good repair. We also elected three new members to the PCC (Parochial Church Council) – Claire, Eunice and June to serve for a period of three years. The PCC shares in the leadership of the church alongside myself and the wardens. Please pray for them as they take up their new posts.
We also received the results of the new Electoral Roll. The numbers registered has fallen from 98 last year to 82 this time. Whilst this seems like a dramatic reduction, Stewart who organises the roll has explained that because the Roll last for 6 years it will always contain an number of people who are no longer eligible, through having left the church, moved away or died in the previous 12 months. This number is obviously at its greatest in the last year of the previous Roll. We have removed 30 names from the old Roll and added 14 new ones which accounts for the difference.
We also received reports on the life of the church (do ensure you have a copy and that you read it because it contains a mass of useful information and some valuable prayer points. Thanks to Natalie and Mark for all their hard work in producing it.
Alongside this, Victoria presented the Accounts for 2018. Sadly the news is not good. We are not meeting our commitments to the Diocese by a considerable amount. It was for this reason that we have been working through our GIft Campaign both in the messages on Sundays and via the Life Groups in the midweek. We need to do something drastic to get us closer to meeting our commitments. We have sought to cut expenditure but the giving has gone in recent years and we felt that it was important to bring this to your attention via the campaign. Everyone will have received an envelope outlining the campaign and how to respond to it. When you return your response form we will add another leaf to the tree of Time, Talents and Treasure. So far we have had 45 forms returned. Can I encourage you that if you have not returned your form by last Sunday’s deadline then please do not despair. There is still time. The box for returns will still be in church for the next two Sundays in order for you to add you return to the pile.
This week the theme of our teaching was appropriately: ‘HOPE’. As Christians we have a sure and certain hope in Christ. We know that we will spend eternity will Jesus once we have put our trust in him. However the hope which is referred to in our passage Revelation 21:1-7 is far more than that. The image is of God coming down to dwell with us not us going up to dwell with him. The implication being that we are called to express the Hope of the Kingdom in our daily lives. The things we do matter – they are not just a means of making life more bearable. The text of the message given at the 9.15am Communion can be found as usual at the conclusion of this Update.