From the Vicar
As I write, we have just launched our Stewardship Initiative. Stewardship, as I explained in a recent sermon, is about taking care of what we have been given by God, and that includes our money, time and talents. We last held a stewardship initiative at St.Mary’s in 2018, and therefore it is appropriate that we now reconsider how we put these things at God’s disposal. There are three main things I would like us all to consider. Firstly, are we being called by God to increase what we give financially to the church? Secondly, if we have not yet joined the Parish Giving Scheme, please will we consider joining this? It really does help with our cashflow to know what income we have coming in on a regular basis, and it also saves time administering our finances. Thirdly, is God calling us to use our time and talents to serve Him in a new way? Please do think and pray about these matters. When you have done so, please return the giving and time and talents forms inside the stewardship envelope you have received from church (do let me know if you have not received one and would like one of these). Forms need to be returned in the envelope provided to our treasurer, Julie Shaw, on our Thanksgiving Sunday, which this year is Palm Sunday 10 April. Thank you for considering this, and if you would like any further information, please do speak to myself or to one of the other members of the Stewardship Team (John Taylor, Julie Shaw, Terry Finnegan, and Sue Gibbons).
I mentioned in my last letter that we have been waiting on permission from the diocese to install the new chairs we have received funding for from the Co-op. I am pleased to say that this has now been received and we hope to have the new chairs in place by the end of April. Come and try them out when you can! By the time you read this letter, we will also have applied to the diocese for permission to go ahead with our church extension. Hopefully we can obtain permission from both the diocese and the local authority by the end of the year, and start it soon afterwards.
One other encouraging piece of news is that we have been awarded the bronze eco church award by the Christian environmental charity, A Rocha. Churches up and down the UK are invited to think about how they practically care for the environment, in terms of their buildings and grounds, and to provide an environmental focus through their worship, preaching and prayer. I am pleased that we have received this initial award and hope we can go on to get the silver award during the course of the next 12 months. My thanks go to Margaret Emsley, David Scarisbrick and Clare Grimes, who together with myself, make up our church eco team. Do let me know if you would like to join us!
With my prayers and best wishes for a very happy Easter.
Pioneer Team Rector
I hope this finds you well and able to enjoy something of the summer, which it seems has finally arrived (albeit with big dips in temperatures at times!).
Today, representatives of St.Mary’s and St.James’ are travelling to Swanwick for the ‘Leading Your Church Into Growth’ conference (click here for further information). The conference kick starts a 2 year programme of supported learning for parishes in order that they may be enabled to help their churches to grow. As I am sure you are aware, as a diocese we are committed to seeing ‘a bigger church make a bigger difference’, namely more people coming to know Jesus and more justice in the world. This ties in with the Diocesan Fit for Mission programme, a 6 year programme that is being rolled out across the diocese which has four aims, namely, introducing people to Jesus, deepening discipleship, developing Christian leaders, and working for justice. I’ll share more about Fit for Mission in another letter and how this might impact upon us here in West Warrington but if you are interested to know more at this stage, please click here.
This coming weekend, Rebecca Lloyd, who is an ordinand at St.James’ Church is due to be being ordained by Bishop Bev in the Cathedral (Sunday 26 June at 10.30a.m.). Please pray for Rebecca, her husband Dan, and their two children, Theo and Jonathan, as they anticipate this very significant moment in Rebecca’s life and their life as a family. Please pray especially for Theo who is currently unwell in hospital, having had his chest drained of fluid last week and possibly awaiting further surgery.
Finally, if you can help with the Churches Together stall at the Penketh Carnival on Saturday 9 July, please sign up on the sheet available in your churches or contact me firstname.lastname@example.org. We are looking for people who can give an hour of their time, be involved with nail painting or other craft activities, and give out information about local churches and special Jubilee edition bibles to those attending. Set up will need to take place around 9am on the morning, the stall will need staffing between 12 noon-4pm, and then taking down after 4 pm.
With my prayers and best wishes.
Jeremy Tear, Pioneer Team Rector
P.S. Unfortunately, the Christian Aid event planned at the Cathedral for tomorrow night (21 June) has had to be postponed due to the speaker, William Bell, being unable to attend due to the rail strike. A new date will be set for the autumn.
Get In Touch
ST Mary's Church of England
Liverpool Road, Great Sankey,
Warrington WA5 1RE