Parish Magazine Article - September 2020

Dear Friends

I hope that as you read this you will have had a good summer. For the last few months I have spent a lot of time indoors! However, I’m delighted that as lockdown restrictions have eased a bit I shall be hitting the road around the Diocese on the four Saturdays leading up to our Diocesan Gift Day on September 20th. My plan is to visit every benefice around the diocesan land boundary over those four days and lead whoever joins me in prayer for the life of our diocesan family.The times and venues can be found on the diocesan website or from your parish priest.

All that we do as Christians is based in prayer.  However, the focus of this praying is particularly towards our gift day.  Churches throughout the Diocese have faced unprecedented financial challenges due to COVID-19. Fundraising events have ground to a halt and fee income has dried up. Yet ministry still needs to be funded.In all of our churches what is given is received back in the form of clergy ministry and support.  For most churches this doesn’t cover the actual cost, so the gap is funded either through the generosity of other parishes giving over and above their own provision, or through our historic reserves.

I hope our Gift Day will be an opportunity to give thanks to God for His love and generosity towards us.  I hope that it will enable us to contribute over and above our normal giving to the life changing ministry that is transforming lives all across our Diocese.

The importance of the four days of prayer leading up to September 20 is to reinforce that giving is part of our discipleship. Even if you can’t join us at one of the venues, I hope you wold be able to join us in prayer at home or in your parish.  As someone once said, “prayer moves the hand that moves the world.” As we face the effects of this crisis together, it can also move our hearts to sacrificial generosity and love.

I so look forward to meeting many of you in the coming weeks.

With every blessing

+Richard