First Sunday Giving
I now have the figures for all our giving through the First Sunday scheme from last year and can report that between us a total of £4,345.14 was raised for the missions and charities selected. Of this £1,319.48 was collected for The Connection at St Martins-in-the-Fields, the homeless charity supported in December. As ever, my sincere thanks to you all. This month we shall contribute to the Diocesan Lent appeal to support church educational projects through the Angola-London-Mozambique Association (ALMA). The Association was established in 1998 and in 2003 our Diocese held its first Lent appeal, when £130,000 was raised for HIV/Aids work. Each year visits are made from and to the link dioceses and the partnership is celebrated and maintained through events at St Paul’s and elsewhere. Sunday, 5th is the first Sunday of March.
Preaching during Lent
For the last few years I have arranged a set of visiting preachers for our evening services in Lent, and very interesting and stimulating they have been. This year I thought I would impose a more severe Lenten discipline upon you so that, not having arranged any such speakers, you will just have to put up with myself as usual. I am hoping that between now and then an appropriate Lenten theme will emerge to take us through. At least I certainly hope so! Look out, though, for the special evening service on the 19th when we shall capture the spirit of the season in word and song.
When the bells fall silent
Before very long the bells of St Giles will fall silent, though only for three or four weeks. The clappers (the iron balls inside the bells which cause the ringing strike to be made, and as found in the phrase ‘going like the clappers’) need re-clappering. To be honest, I just made that word up, but I do know that the ‘swing time’ of some of them needs improving so that those bells can ring more easily. Quite soon engineers from the Whitechapel Bell Foundry (soon, alas, to close) will take the clappers away to their workshops and will then return them again in due course. The annual meeting of The St Giles Society, as the ringing team is officially known, met on 16th February, which prompts me to renew our thanks to Tom, Linda, Ruth, Adrian, Martin, Eva and others who play an important part in the ringing life of not only our own church but a good many others as well.