Messages from around the Benefice

May 8th reflection from my daily calendar

I’ll admit, I want joy, not trials, I want steadfastness, not testing. May be you too? Yet, God often uses the hard to refine us. To continue to transform us into the person we were created to be …. more like Christ. As absurd as it may sound, God allows the hard to make us more holy. Christ is the hope lying ever before us, ever behind us and ever with us.

For His anger lasts only a moment, but His favour, a lifetime. Weeping may stay overnight, but there is joy in the morning. PSALM 30:5

Why our Church Building is important

Surely our parish churches are some of the most sparkling jewels in the precious crown that is our historic environment? They contain history, architecture and art, and memories. For many they are precious places of spirituality, prayer and worship.

But then folk have all sorts of reasons for valuing the church: some value the way in which the church serves the community, others subscribe to the way the church shares faith and values. Yet others appreciate the opportunity the church provides to meet friends regularly, some welcome the quiet place for prayer and reflexion. In all, surely the church has a strategic part to play our rural lives?

Our forebears gave little thought to the cost of maintenance and repair. With most of our churches hundreds of years old the cost of maintaining and repairing these buildings can be overwhelming. Research suggests that, on average, repairs to all listed places of worship will cost an average of around £11,500 a year over the next five years.

An estimated thirty-five per cent of repair costs are currently met by grants and independent trusts, but that leaves sixty-five per cent having to be found by congregations and the local community. The bigger the ‘pool’ of local people connected to the church the better.

Funding for the future possibly needs to be reviewed. Few doubt that the Covid-19 lock-down has resulted in less revenue to the Church. Yet the buildings still require maintenance, and the Vicar hasn’t yet been furloughed!

Perhaps now is a good time to review your contribution, and even update the means by wish you pay. A local church must be seen as an organisation that collects money efficiently, and spend money wisely.

Tax efficiency, for example taking full advantage of Gift Aid, is part of this. But have you also considered using Gift Direct? These are the advantages:

  1. You, the giver, are always in control
  2. Its easier both for you and for the church
  3. Its reliable, your gift is certain to arrive each month, and direct to your church’s bank account
  4. It means gift aid can be claimed, adding a minimum of 25p for every pound (£1) donated, and
  5. No more will you need to frantically search for change, envelope or write a cheque before the Sunday service.

For further information either contact your Church Treasurer (see this magazine for details) or

Speak with Glenda Edwards, The Church in Wales, 4th Floor, 2 Calllaghan Square, Cardiff CF10 5BT Telephone: 029 2034 8216

E-mail: giftdirect@churchinwales.org.uk

Benefit yourselves, and the church, and act today.

[Written by David Flint, and inspired by John Sherlock, a Reader in the Parish of Rudgwick, West Sussex and in the Diocese of Chichester.]