We promised at the start of our interregnum (the period without a permanent vicar) that we would do our best to keep you up to date with what is happening, so here's a summary of the latest news.
Most people are wondering when we might have a new vicar and at Thursday's PCC we read a letter from our Archdeacon Cherry explaining progress of the recruitment process. In short the post will be advertised during March aiming to appoint somebody during Summer.
In the meantime we continue working hard to maintain a vibrant Christian presence in our local area. One of the things people tell us they like about our church is that we are welcoming of everyone, whatever race, ability, gender or sexuality. That's why we often display the message 'Everyone is Welcome Here' on our notice board. It's also why our church is a member of the Inclusive Church network.
We were disappointed, to say the least, at the news that the long awaited report to the House of Bishops on same sex marriage had recommended that there be no change to the status quo in the Anglican Church. The reaction of members of our own congregation was much stronger, so we resolved as a PCC to write to our General Synod representatives and urge them to vote against accepting the report at next week's Synod. Though not everyone finds all of the issues easy to think about or discuss we all agreed that a better way of being accepting and loving to all our fellow Christians is overdue and that the report falls well short of it. You can see the letter we sent here.
As usual at the PCC meeting we reviewed our expenditure and financial position, we have had some routine maintenance carried out recently but are managing to keep on top of the challenges of maintaining a historic building. We have been in touch with our diocesan stewardship officer to make sure we keep up to date with the most effective ways of funding the work we do at St John's. One notable and interesting point is the preference for people under 40 to be able to give money on line, in preference to cash. Given that the majority of adults at our Thursday service are under 40 (not counting the wardens and music group!) we decided to investigate on-line giving methods. We will soon have an account with BT MyDonate which is, in our view, the most cost-effective way for charities to collect on-line donations.
We also hope that by communicating with all of our congregations you will understand better where your money goes and also what work we are carrying on doing. That way you can make better decisions about how and what to donate to support the work of St John's.
To help us to do that we are establishing a communications group to review all of the ways that you get information and to make sure that everyone is catered for in the way we share messages.
Our young people's groups are as popular as ever with the children and young adults that attend them. Unfortunately it is looking increasingly unlikely that we will be able to sustain all of them unless we have any volunteers to take over in the coming months. Please, if you are thinking about where to give your volunteering time, consider this important work.
Don't forget if you use the internet regularly you can keep up to date with church events on our blog , on our Facebook page and of course there is a host of information on our website. The full minutes of all PCC meetings are in a folder at the rear of church. In the meantime if you have an opinion or a suggestion about church let us know, or let one of the members of the PCC know.
With best wishes,
Brian and Eddie