News from All Saints’ PCC

The parents of our Sunday Special and Pathfinder children met together in the Barber Rooms one Friday in September. They enjoyed a meal, a quiz and an interview with the Vicar. They were asked how All Saints’ can best help them and their children. Following on from this we now have a Bible Study evening for young parents and lots of new ideas for the children’s groups on Sundays.

Parents and children will again be able to enjoy a Messy Nativity on Thursday 21st December (4.00-6.00pm), just after they break up from school. We hope that the crafts, food and Nativity they enjoy together will get their Christmas holiday off to a very happy start. The Christingle service will be at Epiphany on 7th January, when we celebrate the coming of the Wise Men. Information on all the Christmas services and activities will be detailed on a card to be handed out in December.

The first of the Church Prayer meetings was also extremely well attended, and more chairs needed to accommodate everyone. We discussed and prayed in small groups, and together, and found the evening and the handouts very helpful. It was good to get a full picture of all that goes on in our church and community and be able to pray about it together. The next meeting will be on Wednesday 1st November.

Our new Church Administrator, Margaret Townsend, started on 2nd October, and her office in the Barber Rooms is almost ready for her. Thanks are due to the newly formed Fabric Group, who has driven this, and many other necessary jobs forward.

The PCC, at their last meeting, spent some time discussing the Deanery Mission Action Plan (MAP). This is a five year programme, and aims to look at where we are now, what progress we have made, and set goals for the future.

Next year, 2018, sees 100 years since the end of World War 1, and the town is planning to celebrate this with a number of events. All Saints’ will join in with this by staging a Flower Festival during the August Bank Holiday weekend. We also hope to ring the bells and serve teas to those visiting the flower festival.

Finally, a reminder to put Friday 8th December in your diary for the Town Nativity in the Market Square at 6.00pm.

Church Bell

On the 22nd March Norman and myself were invited to Whitechapel Bell Foundry London where a Bell was being cast for Norman, his twin brother Dennis and a very good friend Frank White (Dennis and Frank both deceased). The Bell was one of the last two to be cast at Whitechapel as the foundry is closing at the end of May this year after 500 years of bell casting.

This trip was only possible due to the kindness of Mr & Mrs Frost, who donated the Bell to go as a Treble with the remaining five bells after restoration is completed at Longworth Church. The Frost family has worshiped at Longworth Church for a very long time.

Mr & Mrs Frost came to the Bell Foundry with us, and we all thoroughly enjoyed the day.

Norman and myself felt very privileged –a day to remember with excitement and emotion.

Doreen and Norman Leslie

(All Saints’ Bellringers)

APCM 2017

All Saints’ Annual Parochial Church Meeting

All Saints’ APCM was held after the 10.30am service on Sunday 2nd April.  At the APCM the officers are elected for the coming year, the Annual Accounts are accepted and the reports from the previous year are presented.

The following people were elected:
Church Wardens:               Katie Foot and Jim McGowan
Assistant Warden:             Andrew Sargent
Deanery Synod Representatives – to serve from 2017 to 2020:
Peter Foot, John Seedell, Margaret Starr,
David Wilson
PCC Members – to serve 2017 to 2020:
John Coleman, Kate Crebbin, Joanne Raybone,
Wendy Tynan

PCC members already serving are:
Until 2018:                  David Barber, Jon Chamberlain, Geoff Edgington
Until 2019:                  Kate Butcher, Julie Campbell, Elaine Cox,
John Hignett, Ibby Southerden, Peter Southerden
Invited to attend:       Bruce Garfield  (Buildings Consultations)

Our Licensed Lay Ministers also serve on PCC:
Graham Scott-Brown and Helen Wilson

The bi-monthly PCC meetings are chaired by the Vicar

Independent Examiner:       Gill Garrard was appointed

A short meeting of the above members took place after the formal meeting and the following were appointed:
Honorary Treasurer:            Dave Wilson
Secretary:                              Beryl Begg

In his summary of the Annual Accounts, the Treasurer, Dave Wilson, said we are recovering well from the building of the Barber Rooms in that the loans are now paid, the Parish Share of £63,248 was paid in full, we made donations to Missions and Charities which were over 10% of our income, and with improvements in the value of investments in the Stock Market we are now in a good financial position.

However, we should not be complacent as in the coming year we face an increase in the Parish Share, Quinquennial repairs to the Church, and the need for a new heating boiler before next winter.  Dave asked everyone to carefully consider their giving, and maybe continue with pledges made to the Barber Rooms, which would enable us to deal with the maintenance of the Church and outreach to our town.

In his report to the meeting, the Vicar the Revd Steve Bellamy, thanked everyone for the warm welcome he and Wendy had received on their arrival. Thanks were also expressed to all those who help with the running and outreach at All Saints’, particularly Joy Blake, who is to retire after 40 years dedicated to the music at our Church.

Steve urged us to look forward to where God is leading us, and to identify His mission for us. This may mean changes that we will need to dig deep to fund, and work hard to fulfil, but by being committed, prayerful and open to the Holy Spirit we can achieve great things together, as we witness to the people around us.

Joy Blake’s Retirement

At the Civic Service on Sunday 23rd April, Joy Blake was presented with a crystal bowl by the Church Wardens to mark her retirement after 40 years as Organist and Choirmaster.

There was full congregation of Church members and many civic dignitaries to thank her for all she has so willingly offered to God and his people at All Saints’ over the years.

We all wish Joy all the best in her retirement

Faith For All Seasons: Jeff Lucas

This new book by Jeff Lucas, published this year, is a commentary on the life of Elijah. One of the most important men of the Old Testament: some said that Jesus was Elijah returned from the dead, Elijah was there at the Transfiguration of Jesus, but he was no super hero, always triumphant. He had a period when he hid in a cave, fearful of death from his enemies and wishing he could die. But God was there, always calling him forward, saying, I am here with you, take courage, follow me.

This book is an encouragement to those of us who have periods when we feel disheartened or that God is far from us. The motto of the school in Uganda where I taught for a few years, was “Never give up”. That too was true of Elijah, who learned that, whatever he felt like, God never left him.

Joan Plumptre

Good News for the New Year

GOOD NEWS for a New Year
UK ratifies Paris Climate Agreement

In November, during the UN climate talks in Marrakech, the UK government ratified the Paris Agreement. Let’s celebrate!

A quick catch up

One year earlier in Paris, 197 countries met at the UN climate talks. They collectively agreed the Paris Climate Agreement, which was to limit the global average temperature increase to well below 2°C, although they hope to further limit that to 1.5°C.

So far 110 countries have ratified the Paris Agreement, including China and the US, two of the largest polluters. In November these nations once again gathered for another set of UN climate talks, this time held in Marrakech, Morocco. It was hoped that these talks would put action to the promises made in Paris last year.

This is an incredible achievement and presents us with a great opportunity to congratulate the UK – Theresa May and Nick Hurd, Minister of State for the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy – on their commitment to ratifying the Paris Agreement.

But what does this mean?

The Paris Agreement is a commitment to move faster towards a clean energy future so that the poorest communities can thrive. Our ratification is a great step in turning that promise into action.

While it is great to celebrate this achievement, the announcement also gives us a great opportunity to show we support our government in making this commitment to tackle climate change, and to stand in solidarity with those who are most vulnerable to the effects of a changing climate. We can do this by thinking about they way we live.

Is our lifestyle aligned with the commitment our government has made? How can we show love and respect to those living in poverty who are particularly vulnerable to climate change?

If you are looking for some ways to do this why not check out www.lifestyle.tearfund.org

From EARTH & FAITH (edited from Tearfund)

Thank you from Wendy & Steve

Wendy and I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who was involved in planning for my induction service and taking part in any way. We so grateful for the warm welcome we’ve received, for all your cards and many expressions of kindness and promises of prayer as we settle in to this new calling. Some fantastic work has been done by a dedicated band of folk who have worked so hard inside and out of the vicarage to prepare it for our coming, thank you for that labour of love which has been such an obvious sign of welcome.

Special thanks also to our churchwardens and the parish reps, not only for the great job they’ve done during the interregnum for also for the way they were so helpful in our initial discernment about coming. And I know how grateful everyone is to our dedicated ministry team and all who’ve worked alongside them in keeping on faithfully serving God through the work and witness of All Saints’ and St Mary’s during the interregnum, thank you for all you have done and continue to do in sharing the good news of Jesus.

Wendy and I look forward very much to getting to know you all and to settling in to this community. We’re delighted to be with you and we believe that God has good things in store for us to enjoy as we work together to connect new people with Jesus.

After the referendum

Trinity 5 BCP

8am All Saints 26 June 2016

1 Peter 3. 8-15

Today’s Prayer Book Epistle –from the 1st Letter of St Peter, chapter 3, verses 8-15 was almost certainly written for the weekend after the EU referendum!

After a bruising and divisive campaign – millions of our fellow citizens will be disappointed by the result – and I am writing this homily on Polling day before the result is known.

For whichever side wins – there will be many who will be now be disappointed. This is not a party political point – it’s a simple fact.

And the truth is that whichever way we voted – we in this small island will still need to learn to live together whatever our views, and we will need to try and heal our divisions.

I believe the Church and individual Christians have an important role in a post referendum Britain, and I think our role is beautifully summed up by these verses from the first letter of St Peter.

So perhaps you will forgive me if I simply go through them again – but perhaps allow a slightly more modern translation of the Greek original to amplify the beautiful cadences of the Book of Common prayer.

St Peter starts with these words addressed to the Christian community in our dealings with each other

Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:

The NRSV pew bibles which we use translates this in another way

Finally, all of you, have unity of spirit, sympathy, love for one another, a tender heart, and a humble mind.

Whichever way you translate it – the message is clear

We are to treat each other – even our opponents – with sympathy, compassion and courtesy. That’s our starting point. And for a Christian, it’s not optional, it’s mandatory. That is what the Lord expects from us and nothing less.

But then St Peter goes on to say something even more important

Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.

This is a complicated sentence – so this is what the NRSV makes of it

Do not repay evil for evil or abuse for abuse; but, on the contrary, repay with a blessing. It is for this that you were called—that you might inherit a blessing.

As Christians we are called to respond to abuse – not with more abuse – but with blessing

We are called to be a blessing to other people

And that applies in all circumstances – when we are debating politics – when we are debating religions – when we are driving a car – when we are cross and tired and coping with our colleagues at work or our family, friends or neighbours at home.

St Peter takes this calling so seriously that he even quotes from the bible at this point – so the next 3 verses are a quotation from Psalm 34

“Those who desire life

    and desire to see good days,

let them keep their tongues from evil

    and their lips from speaking deceit;

let them turn away from evil and do good;

    let them seek peace and pursue it.”

So let us seek peace and pursue it, so that we can bring healing to our divided land and become the Blessing for others that God has called us to be.   Amen.

John de Wit

Meetings for Prayer in January

 

All Saints’ seeks to have an active and regular prayer ministry with a number of informal meetings during the month to which all are very welcome.

Tuesday 5th 2.00-3.00pm Julian Meeting (18 Eastfield Court)
Tuesday 5th 7.15-8.15pm Mission for Faringdon (Barber Rooms)
Tuesday 5th 8.00-9.00pm Julian Meeting (Call 244 905 for venue)
Thursday 7th 9.00-9.30am Morning Prayer (Lower Asset Room)
 Friday 8th  7.40-8.30am Parish Prayers (20 Market Place)
Thursday 14th 9.00-9.30am Morning Prayer (Lower Asset Room)
 Friday 15th 7.40-8.30am Parish Prayers (20 Market Place)
Friday 15th 8.00pm Prayer for the World (Call 240 509 for venue)
Tuesday 19th 8.00-9.00pm Julian Meeting (Call 244 905 for venue)
Wednesday 20th 10.30-11.30am Prayer for CMS (8 Coach Lane)
Thursday 21st 9.00-9.30am Morning Prayer (Lower Asset Room)
Friday 22nd 7.40-8.30am Parish Prayers (20 Market Place)
Thursday 28th 9.00-9.30am Morning Prayer (Lower Asset Room)
Friday 29th 7.40-8.30am Parish Prayers (20 Market Place)

 

For further details contact:

Mission for Faringdon (1st Tuesday evening): 241 975

Julian Meeting (Tuesday afternoon): 01865 820 511

Julian Meeting (Tuesday evening): 244 905