Following up this item first mentioned last month, an ideas and planning session has now been scheduled for 7pm to 9pm on Thursday, 24th May in the Vestry House to which everyone with an interest in our engagement with the wider world is very welcome to attend. Wil James, one of our churchwardens, will prompt us to think about what sort of church St Giles is, who we are, who we wish to reach out to and how we might best do this. The more we can hear from one another, the better will be our understanding of the task before us and the means to achieve it. Some simple refreshments will be served.
The 2018 Mission Grant
I wrote about the this new project last month and how we had received six applications to consider. I can now report that the grant of £20,000 is to be divided between a small, semi-rural parish in East Sussex and a larger town parish in Shipley, near Bradford.
St John the Evangelist in Hurst Green, Sussex is a congregation slowly growing under a new priest and wishing to forge links with the families of the parish by establishing a junior choir. The mission grant will fund the cost of employing a part-time choir leader for the next two years during which time it is hoped that the choir will become self-supporting. We know from our own experience at St Giles how formative a well-run choir can be and felt that, though the grant was relatively small at £5,500 over two years, it could in time have a significant impact.
A grant of £14,000 will be used differently at St Peter’s, Shipley, for there it will enable the church to continue to employ a community co-ordinator to work with volunteers for another year in running a variety of socially supportive projects, such as a food bank and advice centre. We were attracted to the down-to-earth nature of these projects and how they reflected the parish’s wish to express their Christian faith through practical, non-judgemental means.
Hopefully we can include news of the progress of these projects through the coming year.
Words of Thanks
I can well imagine that neither Thomas nor Alan will relish the following note which I offer by way of thanks but they are going to have to suffer with it anyway. Both stepped down from their respective posts on the PCC at the Annual Meeting on 29th April and certainly deserve at least the following.
The only consolation I can find for Thomas stepping down as a churchwarden of St Giles-in-the-Fields is to know that he will remain with us in the congregation and continue singing in the evening choir! I know that Bill (Jacob) would join with me in saying that Thomas has been a real godsend (intended literally) to St Giles, and that through his faithful and skilled endeavour over the past number of years he has played a significant role in caring for and improving the fabric of the church and extending the range of our ministry and worship within the parish. It has been a real joy to welcome the arrival of Summer and Morgan over the past number of months and we certainly wish Thomas and Sean every blessing on their family. We are also grateful to Thomas for his work as a trustee of the William Shelton Charity on behalf of the PCC.
Some of you may not be aware of the role that Alan has occupied at St Giles these past number of years, but as our treasurer he has steered us through a very difficult series of negotiations at our West Street properties and has brought order and clarity to our church funds, and all with such good grace and forbearance of those, like myself, who can scarcely add up. I do not exaggerate things when I say that we would not have got through the projects of the last number of years without his leadership and guidance and that we shall long remain indebted to him. A deserved period on the Sunday morning pews now awaits him.