What a lovely surprise a few Sundays ago to find bunches of flowers and pots of daffodils outside the church porch, with a note saying that they had been provided by ‘CHAOS’. Few of us knew what this organisation was: it was set up in our neighbourhood to help the disadvantaged in society in many practical ways. ‘Random acts of kindness’ include the distribution of supermarket goods donated to the charity close to their sell-by date: hence the gifts of flowers. Recipients are asked in return to do something for someone else, so passing on the ‘kindnesses’. The ‘chaos theory’ is the one that says that if a butterfly flaps its tiny wings somewhere on the planet, some time later somewhere else a chain reaction will cause something interesting to happen… We hope to feature the work of CHAOS in a future issue.
THE CHURCH CLOCK
has temporarily lost one of its faces: the huge gale in early March took the whole of the face from the north side of the church, fortunately causing no real damage to people or to the building, but requiring a major repair. Our insurers have been informed, and we await its restoration. Meanwhile many thanks to David Truscott for dealing so competently with the situation.
The ANNUAL PAROCHIAL MEETING will be held in church at 7pm on Wednesday 13 April, followed by a PCC meeting. If you are not on the Electoral Roll but would like to be , contact Sarah Rundle [01872 500950]
Every parish has recently received two letters from Bishop Tim which were to be read out in our churches at the beginning of Lent. One asks us to care for our environment by thinking about what sources of energy we currently use and trying to reduce our ‘carbon footprint’, at home and in church. He suggests a ‘carbon audit’ – we can measure what we use, even if it’s only reading the electricity meter regularly, looking at our car mileage, and trying to reduce them. Christian Aid is also campaigning to get churches and congregations to switch to renewable energy – there’s a helpful website: www.bigchurchswitch.org.uk
The second letter suggests that we all talk about our faith, and tell other people our ‘stories of faith, love and hope’ in order to ‘grow the church’….
Our PCCs are considering how much we can afford to give towards the overall expenditure of the Diocese: these include costs of clergy, clergy houses, training, all the legal and financial advice available from Church House, and a contribution towards the cost of the archdeacons. Previously the calculation was based on a formula which should have meant that richer parishes helped those less able to contribute (except that not every parish paid its quota in full); now the suggestion is that each parish should be assessed on what its own actual costs are. As Veryan’s treasurer points out, “our income is largely unpredictable, and depends on several key items: how many extra services are held in the Church (marriages and funerals principally), how much is donated through collections and additional fund raising. The latter consists mainly of the parish magazine, booklets and guidebooks, the annual fete and 100 Club, all of which remain profitable, but which are small in the context of the Diocesan requirements. In addition, we can reasonably expect costly repairs to the Church building in the short to medium term. As we have asked our parishioners to help raise significant sums of money over the last 5 years for new windows and heating, it would be difficult to ask for more. Therefore, we need to keep some reserves for this.”
Your PCCs have some serious thinking to do!
We are very grateful to our visiting priests who have taken services during Fr Doug’s absence in January: Revd Anne Shaw, Canon Ken Boullier, our Rural Dean, and the Revd Martyn Pinnock. Thanks too to Joyce for doing ‘double duty’ at the organ! Our Christmas services seem a long time ago now, but huge thanks to our wonderful team of flower arrangers who transformed our church once again: and to everyone who made the whole festive season so special. The comments after the carol service were very much appreciated by members of the Roseland Churches’ Choir who supported the congregational singing and sang three ‘choir pieces’ . It is a lovely church to sing in, and Martin Davies did us proud on the organ.
Bishop Tim’s two visits to our benefice were greatly appreciated; he managed to squeeze an amazing amount into the time available.
Bishop Tim spent most of the day in the parish on Friday 4 December . He visited the school and celebrated communion with members of the congregation who are unable to attend church on Sundays. He was delighted to find that he had an ‘ecclesiastical’ connection with Bill Hunkin!
In the Evening Father Doug demonstrated his wonderful culinary skills. He had invited all members of the PCCs to meet Bishop Tim at Portloe for supper.
While Fr Doug was preparing the food the churchwardens were able to talk to Bishop Tim informally about the future.
It was reassuring to find how approachable Bishop Tim is and how supportive he will be when Fr Doug retires. He expressed his confidence for the Roseland Cluster, he listened carefully to our concerns about dwindling numbers in the congregation and an ageing PCC, and how we shall miss Fr Doug’s leadership.
Bishop Tim responded with sincerity and warmth. He felt that the future must lie in all the Roseland cluster parishes being flexible and able to respond to change. This might include the provision of a broad base of clergy, both ecumenical and non-stipendiary, presiding at our services.
There might also be opportunities for ‘job-sharing’ between PCCs, thus reducing the workload. Reassuringly, Bishop Tim does not want churches to close but saw working together as a way forward for us all.
It was late in the evening before Bishop Tim left, having heard and exchanged many tales including the prowess of one of our number who had swum the Channel