Congregational Letter - 11th November 2012

Posted by Richard Jones on 11/11/2012 20:27

Dear friends

May I begin this congregational letter by thanking you for your great generosity towards our Harvest appeal. Your kind donations and those of the three primary schools will help to make a transforming difference to peoples' lives in Skelmersdale, Belarus and Paraguay. Bishop James greatly enjoyed his visit to St John's and we were also blessed by the Pearl of Africa choir. Many thanks to all who helped with and participated in our celebrations that weekend, which concluded with a tea in the hall for elderly friends who then joined us for the evening service.

I write to update you on several issues. Firstly, it is with sadness that I inform you that Jenny Cosslett has decided to step down from her role as Pastoral Coordinator at the end of August 2013. Jenny has done a wonderful job, along with many volunteers, in developing pastoral care over the past seven years and has given a great amount of her time and talents. We will miss her on the staff team (although she will still be a member of St John's) but understand her desire to ‘slow down' and spend more time with her family. Please pray for Jenny as she finishes in this role and as we consider how best to continue developing pastoral care at St John's. We will of course thank Jenny and mark her leaving this role appropriately when the time comes.

Secondly, you may well be aware that further work has been carried out in the church hall in recent weeks. This is part of our ongoing refurbishment programme to develop the hall to meet new and growing ministry requirements. With the unanimous approval of the PCC and within budget (currently being funded by hall reserves) the stage has been removed, flooring underneath repaired and storerooms constructed in part of the old stage area. A new wheelchair ramp from the fire exit doors has been built and also a new, efficient boiler installed. Also new windows have been installed in the toilet and store areas. A new speed bump will soon be placed. This is all part of the planned refurbishment to change the layout of the hall to include offices, an improved kitchen, meeting rooms and hall space, as resources allow. My continuing grateful thanks go to Ian Bailey and David Orritt for overseeing and progressing this work. Please do speak to either of them, myself or the wardens if you have any queries.

Finally, as the winter approaches, please be assured that we will endeavour to keep the church building warm – the heating will now come on at 4am on Sundays to ensure the church is warm for 9am. As utility costs continue to be high and we strive to manage our finances prudently, thank you for helping to conserve heat and energy by not having doors open or lights on unnecessarily. Given the limitations of the construction of our ageing

church building, we are doing what we can to ensure that is a warm, safe and welcoming space.

Thank you for your continuing partnership in serving our gracious God. Myself, the staff team and PCC greatly value your support and encouragement. If you have questions or issues that you wish to discuss, please do feel free to speak with us.

I look forward to the forthcoming season of shared ministry together. Finally, I hope you can join us on Sunday 25th November at 4pm in church for Brian's thank you tea followed by a Songs of Praise service at 6pm.

In His Love


Rev. Richard Jones, Vicar


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