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Views from the Vicarage - December 2014

Dear Friends,

'Giving is good for you'

Christmas is a wonderful time of the year. It incorporates the basic Christian values of giving and sharing, family and friends. God so loved the world that He gave us His only Son that we might have life, and life in all its fullness. If you recognize Christmas as God giving us His Son, the Saviour of the world - that is His great gift to us all - then we too can see the joy in giving.

I don't know about you but I really get a great satisfaction and joy out of giving Christmas presents to my family and friends. I don't leave it until the last minute and then panic and anything will do. I get pleasure out of planning and deciding what to get and then go and do my shopping. If I get most of what I had planned I am really happy. Now I only hope that the recipients will get as much joy out of the gifts as I have in getting them. Christmas would not be Christmas if it weren't for going to church and sharing in the Carol Services and Midnight Mass or Christmas Day Eucharist with family and friends and then going home to have a glass of champagne and opening the Christmas presents and having a wonderful Christmas dinner. But I am always mindful of all those less fortunate than ourselves. Those for whom Christmas is a lonely time. For those who get no presents or who don't share in any joy. It is always good to give to others.

You may be aware that we have started a Stewardship campaign. It was meant to be for this Advent. But some have suggested that we should take our time. Time to explain why we need your help to put our church on a sound financial footing. We have just done our Budget for next year 2015 which estimates that we will have an income of £53,950 but an expenditure of £66,800 giving a shortfall of £12,850. We had a deficit last year and this year which meant we did not pay our parish share in full, and this rolls over into next year. It doesn't go away! We have cut our expenditure to the bone. It is time now to ask everyone to be more generous in your giving. How long is it since you increased your giving? Is your giving realistic? Can you help more? All this we will be discussing in the coming months and eventually you will have a response form with Standing Orders/Envelopes/Gift Aid on them to return. Like the joy of giving at Christmas you should not find giving to God and his church difficult if you put God first. If you decide on what you can give then make a Standing Order, like you do for most of you bills, your mortgage, heating and lighting, insurance etc then you don't have to worry about it. There is a great satisfaction if you are generous in you giving. In generations gone past the Church Commissioners paid for the running of the church (as well as most rural people paying tithes to the church). This is not the case today. Today we pay for our church and the cost of ministry. So please don't be deaf to our call for help. If we all help it will be easy. There is more joy in giving than in receiving.

Please have a wonderful Christmas.

My prayers and best wishes,

Fr. Philip Edge - Vicar