Congregational Letter - January 2014

Posted by Richard Jones on 17/01/2014 13:21

Dear friends

May I begin this letter by wishing you a happy and blessed New Year and also by thanking you for your support of and participation in our Christmas events and services. It was encouraging to see many visitors at church over the Christmas period.

As we commence a new year together, I am looking forward to going deeper with God as we continue to grow as disciples and share His love with others. I continue to be most grateful to all those who serve in existing ministries and am excited about their development and also new initiatives that are planned. Thank you for your commitment to prayer, which should always be the foundation of our fellowship in Christ.

I write to update you on a number of matters.

Vision Statement and Core Values

Following much prayer, discussion and reflection, towards the end of last year the PCC and staff team agreed a vision statement, statement of belief and ‘core values’ for us as a church. You will find these on the accompanying sheet and they will also be on our website shortly. These are intended to summarise our vision as a body of followers of Christ and also to help us develop our understanding and living of key aspects of our faith. Today we commence a new teaching series on these ‘Core Values’ which will run over the next two months.

New baptismal font

We are very grateful to the family of Tony Birch who, with the approval of the PCC, have kindly donated a new baptism font to St John’s in Tony’s memory. A short service of dedication with Tony’s family took place just before Christmas. We look forward to using it at forthcoming baptisms.

Firm Roots – Cancer Support Ministry

I am delighted that Helen Jones, with the support of Jeannie Holman, our Pastoral Coordinator, is setting up a cancer support ministry based out of St John’s. This has been agreed by the PCC and further details will be given at services today, as well as on the website and in the next edition of the Bridge magazine. Please pray for Helen as she develops this ministry which will further develop our pastoral care as a church.

Financial Giving

The leadership of the church is very grateful to all who give financially to support our ministry here at St John’s and also in the Diocese of Liverpool, which receives a large proportion of our income through the parish share. Every parish in the Church of England is required to contribute towards the ministry of their Diocese through the parish share system. This pays for clergy and ministry across the Diocese, recognizing that larger churches must support others. Parish share is calculated according to several factors including attendance and socio-economic indicators. Our parish share for 2014 has been set at £97,745 - this equates to just over 80% of freewill giving last year.

As mentioned by our Treasurer, Peter Dorling, at services last term, regular and planned giving is most helpful to us and also usually the most tax efficient way to give. If you are able to gift aid your donations, this increases your gift by 25% at no extra cost to yourself. If you would like to find out more about giving by standing order, or have any other questions about giving or financial matters, please contact Peter. His details are on the term card, website and in the magazine.

Visit to Liverpool Cathedral, Saturday 1 March

Please read the flyer you have received today about our church ‘day out’ to Liverpool Cathedral. We would love as many people as possible to come along. This will be followed up by the Dean of Liverpool Cathedral, Ven. Pete Wilcox, visiting St John’s to preach on Palm Sunday.

Joint Morning Service on Mothering Sunday

Finally an advance notice that there will be a joint service at 10am on Sunday 30 March, Mothering Sunday, for all ages.

Thank you for your continuing prayers and support for myself, the staff and leadership team.

In His Love

Richard

Richard Jones

Vicar



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