Dear Church member,
I want to thank you for your partnership in the work of St Matthew’s Harwell and All Saints’ Chilton. We are a Christian community at the heart of our village communities, seeking to serve our neighbours in love, share with them the good news of Jesus, and help one another to deepen our lived-out faith. We are about growing God’s Church, wider, deeper and closer.
We do this through teams of people who run our worship services, in-person and now also on-line, small groups such as home groups and the Alpha Course, our baby and toddler groups, baptisms, weddings and funerals, Generation Gold and Evergreens, children’s, youth and women’s groups, Holiday Club, pastoral work, hosting repair cafes, concerts and other community events, sponsoring a Scout Group, supporting our local Christians Against Poverty (CAP) Debt Centre and a number of mission partners further afield, and more! Enabling and underpinning much of this activity are our church buildings and Church Hall, lovingly cared for, maintained, cleaned and decorated, our leadership and governance teams, and the generous financial giving of many.
Our church is one body but made up of many parts, each able uniquely to give their time, talents, and “treasure” to enable the work of our churches and fulfil the mission of God amongst our communities; to do so is an act spiritual worship that glorifies God (cf Rom 12).
At our annual meetings this month we reviewed what God has been doing amongst us, and where he is leading us. Our annual reports focus on 2019, but we reflected also on 2020 so far, with its considerable challenges, but also opportunities. Do please look at the annual reports, and be encouraged!
I am asking us all to take the opportunity to review our financial giving to our churches in Harwell and Chilton, taking account of our individual circumstances. Many individuals and families in our church and community are finding themselves in financial difficulty at this time; our churches are here to support them in various ways, including through the provision of our CAP Debt Centre. Others will not be struggling in the same way and may even have made savings over the last few months. Our churches are facing a particular challenge this year to balance the books and ensure that we are able to continue to do all that we wish to do, and even do exciting new things, but we know that God is able to provide for all our needs. God’s plentiful resources are there, some of them within our own bank accounts!
Following this month's Harvest focus on stewardship - of making wise, generous use of all that we have been given - I would encourage each of us to review how we are using our God-given time, talents and "treasure", especially in relation to the ministry and mission of Harwell and Chilton Churches in our communities and beyond.
“All good gifts around us are sent from heaven above, so thank the Lord… for all his love”
This coming Sunday, 1st November, is our a Gift Day, which is an opportunity for us to individually respond to God’s goodness to us, and to support the ongoing work of our churches. It is also All Saints' Day - a great occasion to celebrate the rich diversity of individuals and their gifts that make up the Church, and to offer ourselves and our resources to serve God and one another.
There are two main ways that we can respond. The first is with a one-off gift. The second is to pledge to give on a regular basis, e.g. monthly, perhaps for a set time. There will also be the opportunity for our gifts to be used in one of four ways. More information on each can be found by clicking the links.
General giving, to support the whole work of our churches, and used in the way most needed
To enable us to continue to employ our Children and Families’ Workers, Sarah and Melanie, beyond the end of the year; this has the exciting possibility of securing match-funding from the Diocese
To support the work in our communities of our local CAP Debt Centre, which has to date enabled 42 individuals and families to become debt free, and will be even more needed in the coming months
To maintain and develop our beautiful church buildings, and particularly in the case St Matthew’s to cover the cost of essential roof work following last year’s lead theft
Yours, in Christ,
Giving can be electronic - one-off or regular (click here) – or by cash or cheque by using the yellow Gift Aid envelopes which are available in both churches near to the entrances to then put in the wall safes or pass to either of our Treasurers.
If you are a tax payer, the value of your gift is increased by 25% through the Gift Aid scheme, but as with the five small loaves and two fish, whatever our tax status, be assured that all that we give back to God is hugely multiplied by the Giver of all good things (cf James 1)!
"Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God - this is your true and proper worship" Romans 12:1
Revd Dr Jonathan Mobey
Rector of Harwell with Chilton