Welcome

Update

11 June 2021

Dear friends,

 

Thought for the Week

 

I’ve told this story once before, but perhaps you won’t mind me telling it again: someone with a bumper harvest kindly dropped round runner beans one year to the vicarage, which were eaten and enjoyed.  We were growing our own runner beans, and one of the children said, ‘We must say thank you to so-and-so by giving them some of our beans.’  I suggested that perhaps so-and-so already had quite enough runner beans of their own!

But the reason I tell this story is because – as much as so-and-so didn’t need any more beans that summer – the child had the right instinct: that when someone has given to us, we want to thank them, and to respond with gratitude.  And that’s one of the ways for us to think about our giving to church: that God has given so much to us – and one of our responses is to give back to him.  Of course there are all sorts of ways we give to God: giving worship and praise, giving time in service to others, caring for the good world he has given us.  But one aspect of giving is to think about our money, and part of that is to think about giving to support our church.

We’ve so grateful to all those who give to our church – both those who give regularly and those who make one-off donations.  Particularly in this last year, when our income from the hall and from collections in church has dropped significantly, we’re thankful for all those who have continued to give – because of course we continued to have outgoings, even when the church building was closed.  Without generous giving, we simply couldn’t carry on with church life: maintaining our buildings, paying our Parish Share, buying the resources we need for work with children and so much more.  Thank you, everyone.

Each year we ask people to consider their giving, and to do so carefully and prayerfully.  Perhaps you don’t give regularly but feel you would be able to start doing so.  Perhaps it is a question of thinking about the amount you give and whether that amount should be adjusted.  Our church costs increase year by year, and personal circumstances change, so we realise some people may be in a position to increase their giving, others may need to reduce their level.  For those not wanting to become regular givers, we welcome all one-off donations, big or small, and if you’re a tax-payer we’d encourage you to think about gift aiding your donation.

We are grateful to God for all his good gifts to us, and grateful as well to all those who give to the life of our church: giving generously of time, skills, gifts, and money.  Let me say it again: thank you.  Here’s some practical information about ways you can give to church, starting with the Parish Giving Scheme which many are finding a convenient way to give regularly to church funds.

 

  1. You can give by the new Parish Giving Scheme. This is a simple, secure way of giving which is run centrally (so we have no administrative work to do) but where the parish receives all the money donated.  The scheme will also invite you to consider your level of giving each year, and you can give anonymously or make your donation inflation-proofed if you wish.  You can set up a donation by calling 0333 002 1271, you will need your bank details and the Parish reference number 270627450. You can also contact Mary in the Parish Office if you would like a paper form or want to know more.  You can give anonymously, but if you currently give by direct debit / standing order / envelopes and are switching to the Parish Giving Scheme, it’s a great help if you can let us know (by emailing [email protected]) so that we can keep our records up to date.
  2. You can make a one-off online donation to PCC ST PETERS EARLEY, Sort Code: 30-91-31, Account Number: 01825668. If you want us to be able to claim GiftAid, you will need to use your surname as a reference and fill out a Gift Aid form if you haven’t already.
  3. If you are coming to church, you can leave a donation in the plate as you leave the service – we can now accept cash donations or cheques.  Alternatively, cheques (payable to Earley St Peter’s PCC) can be sent to the Parish Office, Church Road, Earley RG6 1EY.
  4. If you have any questions on giving or the church’s finances please contact our Treasurer, Helen Price, on [email protected] or leave a phone message at the Parish Office number.  The Parish Office can also send you a Gift Aid form if you would like to give under the scheme which allows us to claim back 25p from the Government for every pound you give.

 

In these challenging circumstances, thank you for all you are doing to keep the work of the parish sustainable.

 

The week ahead

This week’s assembly on ‘Trinity and Community’ available here and here.

 

Sunday 13th June
10am: Morning Prayer with Choral Group in Church
Reading: 1 Samuel 15.34-16.13

3.45pm: Bible Explorers in the Church Hall

4pm: [email protected] in Church

6.30pm: Evening Worship on Zoom. To join, contact [email protected]

 

Tuesday 15th June
9am: Morning Prayer on Zoom. To join, contact [email protected]

 

Wednesday 16th June
10.15am: Tots & Teddies in Church

 

Thursday 17th June
9am: Morning Prayer on Zoom. To join, contact [email protected]

 

Sunday 20th June
10am: Holy Communion in Church
Reading: Mark 4.35-41

10am: Children’s Church in the Church Hall

4pm: [email protected] in Church

6.30pm: Evening Worship on Zoom. To join, contact [email protected]

 

‘Creeds’

In most of our church services we recite a creed, an ancient declaration of what Christians believe.  Ever wondered where these came from?  What they meant then, and what they might mean now?  Our second sessions run on Tuesday 22nd in the daytime (11am-12.15pm) and evening session (8.15-9.30pm) on Zoom.  Do come along, and think about who you might invite (you’re welcome to the second whether or not you could come to the first).   You’ll find it helpful to have a Bible and something to write with.  The links are below.

 

Children’s Church

We’re planning to run Children’s Church again at 10am on Sunday 20th June and Sunday 18th July.  Downstairs we’ll sit in family groups (please bring a blanket!) and there’ll be a group upstairs which older children (in KS2 and above) can go to if they would like.  Adults and children aged 11 and over will need to wear face masks unless exempt.

Watch out for more details in the Children and Families Facebook Group or contact Hannah for further details.  You can just turn up for the downstairs session, but please let Hannah know if your child plans to attend the upstairs group.

 

Tots and Teddies

After the short service in church last week, Tots and Teddies families enjoyed time outside church in the sunshine – with bubbles, chalk, some toys and a craft, and a socially distanced chat for adults.  Everyone agreed it was great to be able to be together.  If the weather is good, we’ll do just the same this coming week.  Do keep an eye on the Tots and Teddies Facebook page.

 

Restrictions

We are expecting UK Government announcements next week about further easing of restrictions.  We don’t yet know what (if any) changes there may be for church services and activities, but there will still be significant restrictions on what we can do.

 

Olive Knight

Olive, a very longstanding member of our congregation, died last week aged 95.  Please remember Olive’s family in your prayers.  We will share any information about the funeral once it is confirmed.

 

Coming up

Tuesday 22nd June
11am – 12.15pm ‘Creeds’ – session 2 / 2 on Zoom. To join, contact [email protected]

8.15 – 9.30pm ‘Creeds’ – session 2 / 2 on Zoom. To join, contact [email protected]

 

Wednesday 23rd June
11am    Coffee Morning and Midday Prayer on Zoom. To join, contact [email protected]

A chance to catch up over coffee!

 

Prayer Points

  • Pray for the UK Government as it makes decisions over the coming days on what restrictions to ease;
  • those being ordained in the coming weeks, especially our former placement student Miles Welborn;
  • pray for those who are sick or mourning, among them the family and friends of Michael Dyer, Rex Edwards, and Olive Knight.

 

Prayer for the week

Thanks be to thee, my Lord Jesus Christ,

for all the benefits thou hast given me,

for all the pains and insults thou hast borne for me.

O most merciful redeemer, friend and brother,

may I know thee more clearly,

love thee more dearly,

and follow thee more nearly, day by day.  Amen.

a prayer of St Richard of Chichester (c.1197-1253), whose life is commemorated on 16th June

 

With greetings and prayers from the Vicarage,

Hannah and Philip