At last week's meeting of the Parochial Church Council (PCC) we spent some time reviewing the Parish Profile that it has been necessary to produce in order that we can start the process of advertising for a new priest at St John's.
Whilst a lot of work had to go into it from a number of people it made us reflect on how fortunate we are to have a thriving and growing worshipping community. It is a blessing to be able to accommodate such a variety of worship styles and to be able to meet the needs of such a wide range of people of all ages and types in one place. One of the things people say to us is that St John's has a lovely family feel. At the heart of families is love and tolerance; we think it is this that helps us to maintain such a wide appeal to many people and we are thankful for it.
The Parish Profile also includes a description and a few photographs of the church building, we sometimes take for granted that we worship in a church that is iconic in our area and is a beautiful grade 2 listed building. It is hard work and expensive to maintain but with the continued generosity of people we will continue God's work in our area and continue to make our church a focal point for our community.
There are copies of the parish profile at the back of church for you to read and we will publish a copy of it online in due course.
Among the things we discussed during the recent meeting was our responsibility as a church for people sleeping rough, as you know we support the Cold Nights charity but we also discussed whether there may be rough sleepers in our own parish and what our Christian response to them should be. We will keep you updated with any news on practical work we agree to undertake on your behalf. We should also say thank you to the people who quietly and regularly bring food and warm clothing for us to pass on to rough sleepers through Cold Nights.
Please spare a thought for those who won't have a home to go to this Christmas.
The church fair was a great success and thanks are due to many people for making it so. If you didn't get chance to come and would like to make a donation please see either of us or include it with your regular giving.
A great many of us also enjoyed the Seniors' Christmas meal which is provided each year for the older people in our church, again we owe a great many thanks for the work of all those that volunteered to make it a lovely afternoon.
We should soon be able to make it possible for people to donate on-line, this should help the many people that do not yet feel ready to commit to a standing order but equally don't always carry cash but want to contribute to our work.
Again, it is worth reminding everyone that we share this message to let you know what the PCC is discussing on your behalf. If you have particular views on something that you would like us to take into account in our discussions please let either or us, Brian or Eddie, know, or mention it to any member of the PCC.
Our special services for Christmas start this Sunday with our Carol Service at 4pm, followed by our lovely Christingle and Nativity at 6pm on Christmas Eve, then Midnight Mass starting at 11.30pm Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day at 9.30am.
Please join us in worship during this Christmas period as we remember and celebrate the birth of our Lord.
May we take this opportunity to wish you all a very Happy Christmas.