Shoebox Appeal – 2020

By |2020-11-10T12:06:21+02:00Tuesday, 10 November, 2020|Church Plan: Children & Young People, Church Plan: Church Family|

Although we are unlikely to be able to pack shoeboxes with the children this year due to covid, we are still able to collect items for the shoebox appeal. As with last year, we are supporting Link to Hope, who donate the shoeboxes to families and to the elderly. We will be collecting, toiletries, stationery items, playing cards, sweets, as well as gloves, hats and scarves for the boxes. There will be a box for donations at the back of the church in the coming weeks.

Any questions, please contact me, a box will be provided for your gifts at the back of the church in the coming weeks. If you would like to know more contact Sue Clack at the Sunday service or telephone the parish office. Although Sunday Club is not running at present, it would be great to include drawings from the children in the shoeboxes.

Sue Clack

How then shall we live?

By |2020-10-17T20:01:17+02:00Saturday, 10 October, 2020|Church Plan: Church Family, Church Plan: Community Networks|

One of the PCC’s key goals for the year was encouraging us all to grow in confidence and action as an eco-congregation. With this is mind we are looking forward to all that God will
teach us over the next two months through our sermon series.

This week can we recommend the excellent free podcast which can be heard on BBC Sounds entitled ‘What planet are we on?’ launched last Thursday with Sir David Attenborough giving a perceptive interview. Also please consider joining the staff team on one of the series of five webinars produced by the Bristol Diocese Deconstructed Environment Online Conference starting on 19th October when Ruth
Valerio will speak on Why should Christians act and why now?

You can sign up here: https://www.bristol.anglican.org/news/deconstructed-environment-conference-online-thisoctober.php

Take a look at our Children’s resources page

By |2020-09-24T13:04:24+02:00Saturday, 29 August, 2020|Church Plan: Church Family, Services|

Each week, Children can join in with our services listening to bible stories and using fun resources on our Children’s corner pages.

We are posting a variety of materials to help our younger parishioners and friends enjoy and understand our Bible stories.

https://www.christchurchswindon.co.uk/blog/children/

Online Bible Course

By |2020-05-09T15:21:10+02:00Thursday, 23 April, 2020|Church Plan: Church Family, Church Plan: Mission & Evangelism, Services|

Bible Course
The Staff team recommends to you this excellent Bible Course which is produced locally by The Bible Society. It is available here free online.

If you would like to join 12 of us who are doing the course on Wednesday evenings at 7.30pm by Zoom, you would be very welcome. Please let me (Simon@christchurchswindon.co.uk or Tel 01793 529166) know if you would like to take part. It would be helpful if you could look at the first session before next Wednesday. Equally, if you want to do it in your own time do have a word with one of the staff team if you would value mentoring support.
Simon

Coronavirus advice

By |2020-03-14T17:52:31+02:00Friday, 6 March, 2020|Church Plan: Church Family, News|

Advice from the Bristol Diocese Alongside the general public health advice, we have received specific advice from the Diocese. As the sacraments are physically distributed, it’s sensible for us to take special care. As well as the specific concern about Coronavirus, this advice is generally applicable for all infectious disease. At Christ Church we will be reviewing this advice and taking the necessary steps as the situation develops.

  1. Wash Hands Priests presiding at the Eucharist, communion administrators and servers are reminded to wash hands. We strongly advise the use of hand sanitizers immediately before the Preparation of the Table and Eucharistic prayer.
  2. Do not intinct (dip the wafer into the chalice) Because hands can be as much a source of pathogens as lips, intinction is no safer than drinking and can introduce germs into the cup itself. Intinction (dipping the bread into the wine) can also threaten those with certain immune or allergic conditions. For instance, those with gluten intolerance for whom traces of gluten can be hazardous are at greater risk when other communicants have dipped their communion wafer into the wine. Ensure purificators are used to wipe the chalice thoroughly after each communicant. Silver chalices are best as they are made of non-porous material and have anti-microbial properties.
  3. Consider receiving Holy Communion in one kind It is Anglican teaching that to receive the sacrament in one kind only (i.e. just the bread) is to receive the sacrament in its entirety. The celebrant should always receive from the Chalice. Should a communicant feel ill or not wish to drink from the chalice then he or she ought to receive the consecrated bread alone. There is no need at this stage to cease offering the chalice.
  4. The Peace. At this time there is no need to refrain from sharing the Peace. Possibly further advice will need to be given where the virus to spread widely in the UK.
  5. Visiting Pastoral visitors to homes and hospitals should observe all precautions in personal hygiene before and after such visits.

A message from Andrew our Treasurer

By |2019-11-28T17:09:11+02:00Sunday, 8 September, 2019|Church Plan: Church Family, News|

Since taking on my role as treasurer nearly 18 months ago, there have been very visible signs of major expenditure we have incurred to keep the fabric of our church going. With the roof and organ works now complete, and work on the transept window well under way, this major investment phase in the long life of Christ Church with St Mary’s is now coming to an end. I don’t want to dwell on this aspect of our finances, save to say it has largely been made possible by the generosity of those who have gone before us through legacies.Whilst I think that the excellent work that has been carried out in both churches will stand us in good stead for many years to come, we should perhaps remember that we ourselves, subject to our means, can continue to contribute to the well-being of the church and parish after we have gone, through legacies.

With the fabric of the churches settled, I wanted to focus today on the true purpose of our being here, and what the funds we may be fortunate enough to possess can do.

I mean of course our mission to do God’s work within and beyond the parish. Without a reasonably sound financial operating basis we cannot do this.

We need to keep the ‘business’ of the church going – paying our excellent staff, the usual running costs, and keeping our mission and community work going. Of particular significance is the support we give to the diocese for the employment of clergy. This includes our own, as well as for churches outside our own parish, who may have an even greater struggle than us to keep their missions going. In 2019, the financial commitment to do this amounted to £107,600, and next year the diocese is keen for us to commit a higher sum of up to £119,000.

Where does this money for these things come from? Well, we have the generosity of the Friends of Christ Church, investments, fundraising activities, legacies and our reserves, but the most important is the generosity of yourselves, and I wanted to speak a little more about this.

You may have heard, or you may already be part, of the Parish Giving Scheme which was launched last year. This is a direct-debit based way of giving that is our preferred alternative to having a standing order, and is well-established in parishes across the country. Thank you for all those who give generously through the scheme. We are beginning to reap the huge benefits of this scheme with over 50 us giving in this tax-efficient way. Not least is the weight being taken off the shoulders of our gift-aid manager Stephen Grosvenor, who has cheerfully carried out the task of claiming gift-aid tax back for us for the last 20 years. With no disadvantages, and with the great benefit of this reduction in Stephen’s administration effort, I would urge all those who do not already do so to take part and to give generously in this new way.

It involves completing a simple form, and I have some with me, and (10am: Stephen and) I will be available after the service if anyone would like to discuss this further, or would like helping completing the form.

If you are not able to commit to regular giving in these ways, then whatever you can give is still greatly valued and appreciated. If you are a taxpayer, the Gift Aid Scheme increases the value of your gift by 20% if you make your donations via a Gift Aid Envelope. These can be found at the back of the church or by contacting the Parish Office.

Just to mention in a little more detail our current finances for those interested. This year we have a total income budget of £200,595, which we have to find from somewhere and an operating expenditure budget of £205,886,  ie an ‘unbalanced budget’ in which we plan to draw on some of our reserves. Naturaly costs rise every year, and the more observant amongst you will note this is a significant rise on last year. One particular item is the cost of energy – heating this place for instance – which has risen considerably.

For the year up to the end of July however, we are doing a little better than the budget – by about £3,500 – which is good news but largely due to not having appointed a children’s and young families worker. Our finances are finely-balanced and we must not let up in our efforts to maintain our income, which comes largely through giving and the efforts of our volunteers to fundraise. I should also mention our community centre, which continues to be very successful under tha capable management of Chris Smith and Jenny Hatter, and can help with our finances

So, in conclusion, our operating finances are finely-balanced. We do have major commitments coming up to deliver our mission and one of the most helpful ways in which you can help us is to sign up for the Parish Giving Scheme. You can find out how by contacting Stephen Grosvenor, our Gift Aid Secretary who will explain the process and help you sign up. Stephen can be contacted on 07885 217077 or giftaid@christchurchswindon.co.uk

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