St. Piran’s Church, Perran-ar-Worthal
Perran-ar-Worthal Parochial Church Council
Annual Church Reports - year ending 31st December 2022
The principal objective of the PCC is to further the work of the Church of England in the Parish of Perranarworthal. St Piran’s Church is situated in Church Road, Perranarworthal.
The PCC is a body corporate and a charity excepted from registration.
Review of the Year
The Parochial Church Council for 2022:
Paul Stuart Churchwarden and Lay Chair
David Simmonds Churchwarden/ Ringing Captain/Deanery Synod Rep
Jacqui Hopwood Secretary
Patricia Wilcocks Treasurer
Juliet Dundon Organist
Heather McCombie Electoral Roll
Sue Perry (resigned mid-year)
Lorraine Rogers Safeguarding
Rosemary Aitken Deanery Synod Representative
The full PCC held 4 virtual meetings via zoom and met 4 times in the Church Hall, plus the APCM and one vestry meeting.
Priest in Charge
Priest in Charge: Revd. Karen Wilson
Lloyds Bank plc
11 Killigrew Street
Cornwall TR11 3RA
Mrs J Hopwood
Truro TR3 7QB
Mr Tim Best
All financial reports have been independently checked and approved and are available on request
This has been a year characterised by recovery from Covid, getting back to where we were before the pandemic and moving on with the development of The Waterside Benefice. Services and other events have been well supported and, thanks to the hard work of many people, we are now well set on many fronts.
We wish to thank all the clergy, lay and local leaders, who led our worship throughout the year, as well as all who regularly take prayers, do readings, ensure a warm welcome as people enter the church and make sure we are fed and watered after services. Our special thanks must be extended to Janet Thomas, who made sure we emerged from lockdown in a meaningful and prayerful way.
Our grateful thanks are also extended to so many of the congregation who reliably assist with all the tasks required to keep the church, hall and grounds clean, well maintained and ready. It is important to recognise the commitment of people who continue to give generously both of their time and money. Without this we could not maintain or improve our lovely church.
The striking thing must be just how we have continued to come together and support each other in so many ways. Attendance has remained strong and we look forward to building on that base. We are blessed with a special congregation and we are surely growing stronger and more united. We have managed to ensure our numbers attending services have not only remained stable, but have gradually increased through the year. This has been achieved against a background of uncertainty in the areas of finance and structure in the Diocese. We have been protected from the “On The Way” initiative for the initial three years of The Waterside Churches”. This does mean pressure to ensure it is a success and we continue to work towards sustainability and fruitfulness.
Revd. Karen has been with us since July 2021 and she has certainly hit the ground running. She has set up a collection of teams which deal with specific aspects of our work. A Joint Council now has oversight of the mission of the three churches, the Ministry Team looks after how the churches deliver the mission agreed at the outset, the Church Wardens’ get together to address matters of mutual concern. and the PCCs remain intact to look after more local matters, including our finances and assets. We look forward to working with her as we strive to look after and increase our congregation, become more central to the life of our parish, and reach out to the younger people around us.
Last year’s report highlighted the lack of work with young people and the need, now more than ever, of the importance of tackling this issue. We are pleased that we now have a Craft and Activity Group. This meets on the second Sunday of each month and different activities are planned by our volunteers each time. We hope this is a success and helps point the way to more involvement with the young in our community and their parents. We also know that we must forge closer links with the village school.
Our Methodist friends have been worshipping with us for some years now and there is a real feeling of harmony and friendship in our integrated congregation. That strength and unity will stand us in good stead as we move forward with our new arrangements.
The website for the Waterside Churches is recording an increasing number of “hits” each month, culminating in December 2022 in which 22,391 “hits” were recorded. It is playing an increasingly important role in outreach and improving our communication with the community and beyond. This can be found at www.thewatersidechurches.com
Prior to lockdown, the Fellowship Group met regularly and there are plans to get this going again as soon as possible. The weekly Coffee Stop continues to provide a much appreciated meeting place.
The fundraising team was again busy, despite lockdown difficulties. Tim and Lorraine’s lunches have had to be put, sadly, on hold, but will return in 2023. Sales on the Market Place have been very good as we all de-clutter. Paul’s book sales raised a good deal of money, and they are still available. The Plant Sale defied Coranavirus to become its usual success. The Oggymen concert in the church was a wonderful occasion, as was the evening with Will Keating and John Dowling. Both events will happen again in 2023. The Really Easy Quiz filled the Perranwell Centre and is already booked for a second appearance in September 2023. Various other events were held and without the funds raised by the team, and supported by all, our finances would be far less healthy. Thanks must go to all who helped in any way with all of these. We are grateful to everybody who donated so generously in all sorts of ways. We purchased some furniture for the back of the church with some of the funds raised, and this has made it much smarter and more tidy.
We must pay special tribute to our Treasurer, Trish Wilcocks. She looks after our finances with an eagle eye, a firm grip accompanied by a smile and her knowledge and advice are always correct!
We know our church is valued by the community, and we hope people will remember that it’s not here just for baptisms, weddings and funerals. However, we should also remember that we have a responsibility to play our part in reaching out to our parish community, regardless of age, if we are to grow in number, become increasingly relevant and central.
Finally, we would both like to thank all who have helped us during the year. The job of Church Warden has grown incredibly and we really value the support we receive.
Since taking over as a Parish Safeguarding Officer I think we have made significant progress. Thank you to everybody for their cooperation and good humour. Six members of the PCC are fully up-to-date with training including the Leadership module, five members have either CO or C1 training and three more members will complete their training later this year.
Updates and events are reported and recorded at the PCC meetings so that members are up-to-date with ongoing issues.
Events held on the church premises or church hall are now fully risk assessed and this risk assessment is made available to all taking part.
Following Covid, and the disruption we all felt, I intend to have a big push on training this year, possibly in groups which might make it easier for some people.
As PSO, I have only had one significant safeguarding event to deal with this year. This is being dealt with appropriately involving adult social care, and a record of this case is being held in the locked safe in the church.
As you will be aware, with the formation of the Waterside Churches, St Piran’s Perranarworthal has become formally part of the Powder Deanery (of which Devoran and Feock were already members).
There have been three meetings of the Deanery Synod since the last parish AGM, one a day session at Kea church, one at the old school site at the cathedral and one at Ladock, all of which were attended by your representatives, and the open day session was also attended by several other parish officers. As usual, there was discussion of finance, and it is pleasing to report that – as of the last meeting – out of 13 groupings within the Deanery making MMF contributions, only three had contributed a higher proportion of their expected total than the Waterside Churches.
The chief business of the meetings throughout the year has been the implementation of On the Way, the Bishop’s Mission Initiative. In the absence of sufficient clergy, and sufficient income to support enough new appointments to existing vacancies, the Deanery had drawn up a plan dividing the Deanery into a reduced number of benefices, and calling for a worship leader in each church (not necessarily - and generally not - a paid member of the clergy) to be responsible for the leadership of services and if necessary to oversee pastoral matters where there is no curate or clergyperson available. This plan, having been presented to the Bishops and the Episcopal College and approved in principle, was formally voted on and accepted at the June meeting, and a steering committee and new officers were appointed to oversee its implementation henceforward. This includes not only parish planning, as above, but Creation Care and Global Mission, which are also part of the bishop’s vision for On the Way, and in which we at St Piran’s are full participants.
However, because we have become part of ‘a new benefice, exploring togetherness’, we have been temporarily permitted to continue in our current form, without being obliged to conform to the new Deanery requirements for church leadership, and without being drawn into a larger grouping which would necessarily diminish the amount of support the church currently enjoys from our vicar.
As a parish St Piran’s has found this arrangement very satisfactory, and we are not alone in this - but there have been teething problems elsewhere, and the whole future of the experiment may be under threat. Your prayers for unity and compromise are sought. This is a practical way in which you can assist and influence the future of our parishes and the continued independence of our benefice.
Rosemary Aitken and David Simmons
THE ORGAN AND OUR CHOIR
I am pleased to report that the Church Organ is in very good condition, and well maintained by Lance FOY. It is tuned on a six monthly basis.
Our choir is very supportive, with their attendance and singing at our services, although small in number, and I give them my thanks.
TOWER BELLS REPORT
The bells at St Pirans continue to be rung for Sunday worship and we try to hold regular practices on Tuesday evenings. Sadly though in recent times, we have found it difficult to ring all of our 6 bells because of difficulty in raising enough ringers to form a band to ring.
This sometimes results in us only ringing some of the bells and we have had to cancel a considerable number of our practices during the past year.
We currently have 6 ringers registered to our tower.
We are extremely grateful to Christine Isles from Stithians tower who regularly attends our practices. It is with the help of visiting ringers like Christine that we can ring the full 6 bells for special occasions such as weddings.
Our tower secretary Christiana Hancox resigned from the position in the autumn. On behalf of all our ringers, I would like to thank Christiana for all the hard work she did.
We therefore currently have a vacancy for tower secretary which we hope to address at the upcoming tower A.G.M.
We are hoping to encourage people to learn to ring or lapsed ringers to return to what is an extremely interesting art.
David Simmons, Ringing Captain.
PERRANARWORTHAL HANDBELL RINGERS
The handbell group continues to meet regularly for practice on Monday mornings in the Church Hall.
We have 14 members plus myself as leader. This year 2 members have left the group, and we have gained two new members.
We have hosted a Handbell Rally on behalf of H.R.G.B. South West. It was the first time that teams from around Cornwall had got together since the Pandemic and it was a great success. We have entertained social groups across the area ranging from St Austell to Threemilestone.
As yet it has not been possible to visit small Care homes because of the continuing risk from Covid 19. In Church we played for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, and our usual Christingle and Carol Services.
Many thanks to the whole Team for their loyal support.
PERRANWELL CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP
The Fellowship has always met together in people’s homes, but since the Pandemic this has not been possible. Every time we considered starting again, another local outbreak of Covid19 prevented us from doing so. However, members of the group have joined Advent and Lent courses organised for the Waterside Churches.
We met briefly to select Charities for the Lent Lunches, and chose Truro Food Bank and Save the Children. Sadly, an outbreak of Covid19 meant that we only able to hold two of the five Lunches. Nevertheless, through the generosity of the Congregation we were able to send £540 plus an extra £90 with gift aid to Save the Children and £475 to plus an extra £45with gift aid and donations of food to Truro Food Bank.
Many thanks to all who contributed to the Lent Lunches in any way.
FUNDRAISING AND SOCIAL REPORT, 2022
The fundraising team are Jacqui Hopwood, Veronica Eccleston, Heather McCombie, Janet Thomas, Tricia Wilcocks, Ann Rawlinson, David Simmons. Paul Stuart, Kay Lobb, Tim and Lorraine Rogers and Jan and Clive Buckingham.
With Covid restrictions lifted we wanted to get the fundraising and social activities going as soon as possible. A meeting was held early in the year to plan a programme of events but other new ideas were incorporated as the year progressed.
The sale of goods donated by parishioners in 2021 and kindly managed by Tim and Lorraine Rogers raised £887. Hand-made Christmas cards made by Tim raised another £45. In February we had the very popular Will Keating and John Dowling Candlelit Concert which made £143. During March and April Clive and Jan sold some jugs and plates and Sue Perry had crocheted some pretty cot blankets. The sale of these amounted to £60. The annual Plant Sale organised by Janet Thomas and Heather McCombie raised a magnificent £1,476.45 but even more importantly everyone who bought plants had a wonderful display of colour in their gardens throughout the summer. In May it was time for the Bridge Drive and my thanks go to Malcolm Parker for running it with all the profits of £358.50 coming to the church. In 2022 we celebrated Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee year and we took the opportunity to hold a Jubilee Cream Tea with Andy Llewellyn singing and entertaining us. £222.50 Then, in September Paul Stuart and David Simmons put together a very enjoyable Quiz Night in the packed village hall. A chance to get the grey cells working again. £310 This was quickly followed by clearing out our cupboards and supporting a Table Top Sale held in the village hall which raised an amazing £844. In November, Will Keating and John Dowling returned for another Candlelit Service. The church looked lovely with the candles glowing, all adding to the atmosphere and music. £105. Tim and Lorraine continued to be busy throughout this year selling more of our donated items and raising an astonishing £1023.42.
The finale of the year was the Oggymen concert held on a dark and chilly evening in November in the church. The scene was set. The church was packed with people. The Oggymen started their walk up the aisle to start their performance and the lights go OUT ……. No heat, no lights, no power. The Oggymen carried on with their singing, which was excellent, whilst we scrabbled around in the dark finding candles. There were a few remarks such as “we should pay our electricity bill” but everyone was very good natured about it all and stayed for the show. £382. The electricity fault was not resolved until the next day.
My thanks to Jacqui who manned the refreshments table during the very dark interval and to David and Paul for all their help. My very grateful thanks also to everyone who has helped at any of these events and for all the support given. The fundraising raised £5,856.00 this year. Well done everyone. Patricia Wilcocks 19.2.23
REPORT FOR CHURCH FLOWERS
Unfortunately, a number of our flower arrangers have let me know that they feel unable to continue to help as they have done in the past, and the team is now only three strong. This is therefore an appeal to all members of the congregation for new helpers to come forward. Please see me if you wish to learn more. The purchase of artificial flowers has proved to be very successful and means that the flower arrangers no longer have to buy, at considerable expense, the flowers they use and only need a small amount of greenery, that they can usually find in their own gardens.
Last year’s move into the West Room at the village hall has been a great success. It is very pleasing that our weekly numbers have remained steady throughout the year and that there are always people willing to step in at the last minute, if the organiser one week has an unexpected difficulty. Even more pleasing is the fact that, through the generosity of people attending each week, further donations have been made to additional charities. In January this year, £250 has been donated to the Salvation Army in Falmouth and a further £250 to ‘Little Harbour’ the children’s hospice near St. Austell. This means that over £3,000 has been donated to a wide range of local charities since Coffee Stop was launched. A big thank you to everyone who attends and enables us to do this. The Team
TUESDAY WORK PARTY
Although the members of the work party grow a little older each year and possibly slow down somewhat, as is to be expected, it is very pleasing to be able to report that our numbers have grown this year, with the very welcome addition of two more pairs of hands, Keith and Peter. Work came to a temporary halt before and after Christmas because of the rain and the cold but resumed as soon as dryer weather returned. Orders have been issued from one of the Church Wardens that members of the work party should no longer go up on the roof to clear debris from the overhanging trees in the long gulley and have been told that contractors will do this work in the future. We shall see!
VICAR’S REPORT FOR THE WATERSIDE CHURCHES 2022/2023
“I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgement is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of Him who sent me” (Matthew 28:19)
The Waterside Churches Vision is primarily one of mission and growth within an open evangelical and missional tradition, there is a firm commitment to a Gospel proclamation, which places the need for a personal faith in Jesus Christ at the centre of its theology.
We seek together to:
To bring the people of The Waterside Churches and the communities they serve into a committed relationship to God through Christ.
To be a benefice of churches which are inclusive, and which learns to value all persons, embracing diversity.
To become a benefice whose worship and life reflect the variety of ecclesiastical churchmanship within the parishes in an expression of the love of God.
To be a benefice of churches who embrace the Bishop’s Mission Order, The Saints Way and engage with the spiritual, emotional and physical needs of our communities.
To be a community of prayer, mission and outreach.
Benefice initiatives into 2023
Continued ministry of the Benefice Clergy, LLM, our PTO The Revd. Canon Martin Boxall and Lay Worship Leaders. Mr. Chris Wilson will be Commissioned as an LWL on 18th March 2023. The Revd. Canon Martin Boxall is currently presiding at Holy Communion services in Devoran, and the ante-communion is led by our LWL’s or LLM.
The continued development of our commitment to build upon the work that was done during the Transition process, which led to the mission statement in the Parish Profile.
The JCC will continue to meet every quarter and will focus on mission/outreach within the three churches and their communities. The Archdeacon, the Venerable Paul Bryer, has suggested to the JCC that we meet more frequently and this is to be discussed.
Churchwarden Meetings will continue to be held every quarter.
Ministry Team - The team is led by the Vicar and consists of our LLM, Mrs. Jane Darlington, Mrs. Anne Ramsden, Mrs. Jenny Kemp, The Revd. Canon Martin Boxall, Mr. Chris Wilson, Mrs. Janet Thomas and Mrs. Nina Davey. The Revd. Jeff James (PTO) has taken up a new post at the Cathedral and remains in contact with the Vicar and offers to help to lead services when his time allows, for which we are grateful. The Ministry Team meet every quarter.
Mr.Paul Stuart (Perranarworthal) has joined the Ministry Team. He is currently discerning his calling from God and is giving talks during services of worship. This process is being supported by the Vicar.
The Ministry Team has been joined by Mrs. Ele Buckley. Ele is currently in the discernment process with the Diocese. Ele will be taking on various roles during services of worship in order to discern where God is calling her in her ministry. She is being supported by the Vicar.
The development of a youth ministry team led by Mrs. Anne Ramsden and our LLM, Mrs. Jane Darlington has proved to be very fruitful. The team has worked extremely hard to enable new groups and to extend the outreach to young families. The team will support St. Feock church to encourage and welcome young people to worship and events. We are currently seeking a member of the team from the St. Feock congregation/community. We will be working closely with the schools in Devoran and Perranwell and their head teachers to co-ordinate links and events within the schools both to children and parents. Assemblies, Christmas and Easter events. Devoran School is now engaging once again with ‘Open The Book’ and have held their End of Year and Christmas Carol services in church. KS2 have visited the church as part of their RE curriculum work. A good working relationship has been built with Devoran School. The Vicar will focus upon building a relationship with Perranarworthal school, which has proved to be more difficult over the past year.
The continuing work of the Pastoral team - led by the Vicar with Mrs. Anne Ramsden, Mrs. Jane Darlington LLM, Mrs. Jill Bray, Mr. John Bray and Mrs. Janet Boxall, to support the congregations and communities. The Vicar makes regular pastoral phone calls and visits as well as taking Holy Communion to people at home.
The Devoran W4ALL team will continue to meet and to lead a monthly service, encouraging the engagement with young people and their families.
The monthly BCP Evensong service (led by Jane Darlington LLM) continues to be attended by a regular, dedicated congregation.
A new Celtic Service of worship, held one a month in Devoran Church, is a growing congregation. Each month the service takes a new theme and a new liturgy is written by the Vicar. The service has an open invitation for all congregations across the benefice to attend.
Ecumenical links will continue with my coordination of the CTUTC group and the planned activities in the parishes: Lent Talks, Walk of Witness, Open Air Summer Service, World Day of Prayer.
Advent course achieved.
A new craft afternoon group for young people has been started by St Piran’s Church volunteers. Held once a month it provides opportunity for craft, learning and growing discipleship.
4 x Lent lunches planned for Lent 2023 in The Perranwell Centre, run by volunteers from St Piran’s Church
Parish Lunches, held fortnightly in St. Feock Church and Community Hall continue.
Benefice wide series of four Lent Talks are under way, followed by a short Lent Course. The Vicar is planning an evening event for those who are unable to attend during the day.
Easter 2023 Activities planned for young people and their families. These initiatives are to be based in Perranwell and Devoran, with open invitations to all of the benefice.
Messy Church is now up and running on a monthly basis at Devoran Village Hall and is growing in popularity. It is attended by families from across the benefice. It is organised and run by a team of volunteers.
Jane Darlington LLM, is organising a new ‘Tots and Toys’ group, to be held in Devoran Village Hall on Friday mornings. Jane is currently looking for volunteers from across the benefice to help out and for toys to be donated. Jane is looking to begin this new group after Easter 2023.
Men’s Breakfasts - to meet the pastoral care needs of those who are vulnerable to social isolation. These will continue once every three months in the Perranwell Centre and will be funded in their entirety by the Vicar and Mr. Wilson. Any donations, given by guests, are paid into the benefice bank account.
Four young people, from Devoran and Carnon Downs will be prepared for their first Holy Communion and the Vicar will be leading a Confirmation Course.
A programme of fundraising and outreach events are planned by each church for 2023 to encourage non church goers as well as our congregations/communities to attend our church buildings. We will maximise the outreach and fundraising opportunities that our church buildings hold.
The Waterside Churches website (edited by Mr. Paul Stuart) holds a diary for all of the churches events and will continue to be a ‘hub’ for information, events and worship details. Each church has a dedicated page on the website which is open for additions by each of the churches. Dedicated ‘Advent’ and Lent’ pages proved popular as resource for prayer, reflection and Scripture. The website is updated very regularly and Paul provides statistics for each church’s engagement on a regular basis. The Vicar writes a weekly ‘Karen’s Corner’ piece for the website as well as the ‘Lent’ and ‘Advent’ pages.
The parish magazines will be utilised to advertise and to promote the worship/mission/outreach of the churches. The Vicar writes regular articles for the magazines.
The Waterside Churches will continue to form new working relationships and fellowship through Christ. We will work towards regularly worshipping together, encouraging one another, praying together (and for each other) and to support each other, as agreed during the transition process with the Diocese.
(For individual Parish finance reports see reports by the respective treasurers)
The current financial issue faced by the churches is the full payment of our MMF. The MMF is the ‘fund’ that all parish Churches and Benefices have to pay into annually. This ‘call’ is the fund that the Diocese use to pay for the Ministry of the Clergy, covering in general terms their pay, pensions and maintenance of Clergy housing. These monies are the only monies that the Diocese have to cover these costs of Ministry and the monies provided are used almost exclusively for this purpose. Being able to meet our MMF commitments is therefore very important for the continued ministry of the Church both within our Benefice and in the wider Church. The importance of being able to meet this commitment has been highlighted by the Powder Deanery ‘On The Way’ initiative.
I would ask everyone to very kindly consider carefully whether they can please give more either by standing order, Direct debit or weekly in the plate.
If you feel that you can help, then please contact the treasurer of your respective Parish, their details are on the website.
The Deanery plan:
As you may be aware the Powder Deanery has begun the On the Way initiative. We are part of the Truro Renew area. The On the Way Team is prayerfully considering how each of the eleven churches in our area can become fruitful and sustainable into the future. It has been agreed that The Waterside Churches will continue to follow our project plan. The implementation part of the process is now taking place.
All details and documentation with regards to the development of the plan are published on the deanery website www.powderdeanery.org
Vocations within Parish Life:
1 Corinthians 12 vs 4 -7
‘Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.’
One of the biggest challenges for the smooth running of the Parish Church is the ability for Parishes to identify and encourage those with the necessary gifts to agree to take on the rolls needed for the effective running of the Church.
Across The Waterside Churches we are incredibly blessed to have wonderful, committed volunteers who act for us in a whole variety of ways each week on Sundays and who support me with the regular ministry on Sundays, during Weddings, Funerals and Baptisms. We have dedicated members of the P.C.C.’s, Treasurers, Secretaries and Church Wardens, and they each have my huge appreciation and respect. Each of these roles requires God given skills and talents. I am very conscious that these roles are voluntary and that they take peoples time and energy.
I used the passage quoted above from the Apostle Paul in my last report and I can find no better one to describe the gifts which benefit all of us that are gifted by our volunteers. The passage makes it clear that each of us has a ministry of one sort or another and that these gifts are given to us by God through the work of The Holy Spirit. God calls us to recognise our gifts and come forward within the life of our Churches, in response to His love for us. I would be hugely grateful if you would consider what it is you might have to offer the work of our churches in the coming year. Please consider carefully whether you can help in any of the volunteer roles that are so vital to our churches and for their growth and sustainability. Our new groups for young people and their families would benefit from volunteers from across all of our churches.
The Waterside administration:
Presently, I undertake the majority of the administration of the benefice with regards to ministry. This is a position that needs to be discussed and considered by the JCC.
The Preaching and teaching of the Benefice:
The preaching and teaching of the Holy Scriptures by the Vicar is supported by the ministries of the our LLM Mrs. Jane Darlington, Mrs. Anne Ramsden, Mrs. Janet Thomas, The Revd. Jeff James, Mrs. Nina Davey, Mr. Chris Wilson, Mr. Paul Stuart and Mrs. Jenny Kemp which is invaluable. The preaching cycle follows in general the lectionary of the Church of England.
The scriptural teaching within the benefice is supported by the seasonal Advent and Lent Courses. The Home Group in Perranwell is looking to re-start. Mrs. Janet Thomas is looking into this as I write this report.
My thanks go to all those who have to all those who have supported our courses this year.
The Pastoral care of the benefice is being managed by the Incumbent and formally supported by the Pastoral Care Team who are kindly given of their time to care for parishioners. I am aware that here are a number of parishioners who informally support fellow parishioners and community members, my thanks to them for your continued support.
There are incidents of significant need within the benefice and the Vicar wishes the Clergy, P.C.C. Church wardens, and Congregations to know that she is keen to be made fully aware of such needs and is very happy to undertake the pastoral care of those who would like his input. The most important aspect in facilitating such care is communication and the Vicar would like to impress on all the need to fully inform her of those situations which require her care and attention.
A final thanks to all:
As your Vicar I am very much aware of the incredible amount of hard work that so many of you contribute behind the scenes on a weekly and monthly basis. These ministries are essential and hugely appreciated: those who help organise services, those who clean, those who make and serve coffee, those who decorate the churches with flowers, those who serve at the Holy Communion, act as sides persons, read at services, lead intercessions, help with festivals and benefice services, the Choir who sing so beautifully and those who organise the music and play the organ, our very committed team of Bell ringers, those who serve on the P.C.C.’s and as Church Wardens and those who help with the admin. I am also grateful to all those who work hard within our benefice communities: visiting, helping to run village events, raising funds and supporting charitable events held within the benefice. These contributions and ministries help us all to feel more a part of one family. My sincerest thanks and heartfelt gratitude to everyone for all that you do.
We continue to live through very challenging times. The steeply rising costs of living, amongst other issues, will continue to make a deep impact upon our communities. As Christians we will continue to be alert and focussed on the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of our church families and communities as these higher costs bite and more local families are pushed into poverty. We are also challenged by the loss of local resources and the overstretching of our health and social services. Our role will continue to be a visible Christian presence which is attuned to the difficulties that these issues raise and to find ways of sensitively dealing with them.
I am very conscious that the past months have been challenging, distressing and difficult for many. I hope and pray that we will move forward together as a group of three churches, united by our shared faith and love for the churches and communities that we have the privilege and joy to serve and to be a part of.
There has been much to celebrate in the last year and there have also been times of sorrow. We have celebrated weddings and christenings and we have also held the funerals of some of our local residents. Thank you to all who have supported grieving families and who continue to do so.
As your Vicar, it is a privilege to minister to you, to serve you and to work alongside our volunteers. It is a privilege that I never take lightly, nor do so without the calling from God, with His guidance and His strength. It is a role that I undertake prayerfully and with humility. Being a Priest is a role which is sacrificial as well as joyful. I am aware that Chris also makes sacrifices in his own life to ensure that I can minister as I am called to do. He does so wholeheartedly and with love and loyalty to the churches which we serve and also to me. Thank you for the love and support that you show to both of us.
I commend this report to you in the hope that we can share this vision together.
Yours in Christ
Thursday 30th March, 2023