Rector's Letter - August 2016

Dear all,

I am often asked "How much do you charge for a christening?" The answer is a surprise. Nothing! It is completely free. It has to be as it is God's gift of love. I feel that the church has failed to communicate what an amazing offer this is. I recognise that I have a special responsibility here! But it is really too good to miss, to know that we are loved and accepted children of God, safe in that love for eternity. And it is ours as a free gift!

But if that were not wonderful enough, the Christian church has a lot more to offer. It also provides a firm, if often unsung, foundation to our British society and a quiet but powerful influence for good and harmony in our communities

We have lost our village "Bobby", Post Office, doctor's surgery, but the parish church is still going, offering Sunday services, weddings, funerals, baptisms and pastoral care for the whole community. The church is there for everyone, but there is a cost.

There is a widely held myth that the Church of England is fabulously wealthy. This is sadly no longer true. Each local parish church is entirely dependent on freewill offerings and voluntary work from its congregation. This must cover all the upkeep of the building and churchyard, heating, lighting, clergy stipend and housing and even a sizeable contribution towards the expenses of the Diocese, which is struggling financially.  

St Katharine's has lost a number of generous supporters in the last few years, through death or moving away. A legacy has helped fill the gap, but our monthly outgoings are some hundreds of pounds in excess of our regular income. Of course, this cannot continue indefinitely and we are seriously concerned about the long-term financial viability of St Katharine's Church.

A parish church is entirely dependent on the generosity and support of the local community. Large town churches have a large pool of parishioners to draw upon and can raise funds much more easily than a village like ours with a population of only 1200.

We would really appreciate it if you felt able to give a small regular donation to St Katharine's to ensure its future. If you feel unable to support the religious activity, there is a special fund supporting only the upkeep of the church building, or maybe you would be able to help in other ways. Please ask for more details from myself or Churchwardens. I am sorry to have to make this appeal, but regrettably we have no option.

With my thanks, prayers and very best wishes,
Yours, in Christ, John.

Verse for the Month

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
John 3:16


2016
Webpage icon Rural Dean's Letter - December 2016
Webpage icon Rev'd John Benson's Eulogy
Webpage icon Rector's Letter - October 2016
Webpage icon Rector's Letter - September 2016
Webpage icon Rector's Letter - July 2016
Webpage icon Rector's Letter - June 2016
Webpage icon Rector's Letter - May 2016
Webpage icon Rector's Letter - April 2016
Webpage icon Charity Visit to The Gambia - February 2016
Webpage icon Rector's Letter - March 2016
Webpage icon Rector's Letter - February 2016
Webpage icon Rector's Letter - January 2016