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A Message from Our Vicar – June / July 2018

        ‘Working as Christ’s presence within the world’

Revd Lynn Boyle

Revd Lynn Boyle

‘Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.’    Philippians 4: 4-6

As I write, restorations work is now well underway on our lovely church. New drainage has been laid to the north and east of the building; the Narthex has been gutted and pews removed from the front and rear interior. Preparation work for the installation of the new heating system is also underway. Over the next week the task of preparing for the underpinning the Chancel area will begin.

As with any project there are always things you did not count upon, and each step of the way takes us into unknown territory. We are constantly aware of the costings and I am eternally grateful to Mick for keeping everything on track and for checking constantly with the architect with regard to any shift in costs.

But it is not only the cost of the material project we must seriously consider and pray about: as a congregation, we are still falling considerably short in our monthly giving, leaving the housekeeping and budgeting rather too fine. This means that our long term financial outlook is somewhat perturbing and this is, without doubt, a challenge for the future of St Paul’s as a stand-alone parish.

It is at worrying times such as these that I turn to words as these above, written by St Paul to the Church of Philippi. His words encourage us to maintain confidence and faith in God, who will provide for us and who will be there when we need Him.

The figures we received over two years ago with regard to the work urgently needing to be completed on our Chancel ran into hundreds of thousands of pounds – in fact £450,000. We thought we would never get there! But we are now only around £11,000 short of that sum to complete the work. We then, of course need to look forward at the essential restoration work to our stained glass windows.

The work required to restore our church and the funding to keep it open, and with its own Vicar, take us far into the future and we must journey forward with the eyes and hearts of faith and trust. We have to put our faith and trust in God, that all will be well, and that the restoration work will all be successfully completed and that monthly giving will increase enough to maintain St Paul’s as its own parish.

Whenever a challenge is faced, history has taught us that it is when we stand together as a people of God, in prayer and commitment, that we will succeed in our task. It is in Him we trust. And so I ask that as a community we pray:

Ever Loving God, as we face the demands and challenges set before us as a church, help us to put our trust firmly in you.

When we feel our resources are too small, help us to rejoice continually in the extent of your generosity,

When we are feeling anxious about the future of our church and the scale of the work to be completed, fill our hearts with peace and joy, thankful for your faithfulness and constant love.

And grant us good Lord, the grace to continue throughout to serve you as you deserve.

Through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen

God Bless

Lynn

 

 

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