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40 Days of Giving 

Why have Forty Days of Giving?

Each Lent we have Forty Days of reflection and giving, looking outward. For the past few years we have given generously to BACE – a charity in The Gambia.

This autumn we are having Forty Days of reflection and giving, looking inward. We are asking everyone to give generously to our two churches. To ensure that we flourish, our parish needs money. But we currently spend more than we raise. And we need to change this.

What we already do

Worship, prayer and pastoral support

Three services every Sunday and five during mid-week. Acts of worship at our church school. Weddings, funerals, baptisms and other special events. Home and hospital visits . . . and much, much more.

Education and Spirituality

Study groups. Quiet days. Christian meditation groups. Pilgrimages. Confirmation classes. Projects with young people. Sunday schools.

Work with St Clement and St James Primary School – including children from diverse backgrounds, many severely underprivileged.

Looking after our churches

Over the past five years, our two lovely Victorian churches have been carefully restored – both inside and out. More needs to be done, and they really eat up money! Last year a boiler disaster at St James cost £25,000. Such events happen all too often.

What we want to do

Extend our work with teenagers and young people

We are committed to helping young people in our churches meet the challenges of growing up a stressful world. We want to help them to deepen their faith. We want to build on links with our church school, to reach out to children and their parents. Some of these projects won’t cost anything. Others will. But the care and service will be worth it.

Open up our churches

Our churches are a fantastic but under-used spiritual resource. Other organisations already use our buildings. But we want to do more. We want our churches to be a community hub, helping vulnerable and under-supported groups. Beginning with St James, we also want to open our churches for those seeking peace and reflection. These initiatives will be a leading part of our mission in the community.

How our money is raised

We are fortunate. Through hard work, over 50% of our income comes directly from church letting. This is good news. That’s about £93,000 that doesn’t need to come out of our own pockets!

But rental income isn’t enough. We already spend more than we raise. And we haven’t got nearly enough to grow. Alongside a further rise in rental income, a rise in giving is needed from the congregation.

Which means we all need to embrace Christian Giving as an essential feature of our shared life.

What is Christian Giving?

Giving has a spiritual dimension. It is our direct response to God’s overwhelming love and generosity.

We can give our time in prayer and helping others. We can give our talents in a variety of ways. But we must also give our money, if we want to make God’s love known in the wider community.

How can we raise our giving?

Here’s how!

95 of us already give up to £50 a month

If just one of us were to give an extra 90p per day – the price of a daily newspaper – this would raise an extra £6.30 per week.

£27.37 per month, or £328 per year.

If only 50 of us gave the cost of a daily newspaper to the church, we would raise an amazing extra £16,400 a year!

Think how much we could do for the price of a daily newspaper!

11 of us give between £50 and £100 a month

Could six of us raise our contribution by £1.60 a day – or just over the price of a bus journey? These six alone would raise an astonishing £3,504 a year!

Are we able to contribute the price of a daily bus journey?

13 of us give over £100 a month

Could eight of us contribute a daily Starbucks latte – £2.25 – to help the parish? That would raise an astounding £6,570 a year!

So let’s all ask ourselves. Can we find the price of

a daily newspaper
a daily bus journey
a morning cup of coffee

to help our churches?

For some, that might be impossible. For others it would be a worthwhile sacrifice. But for others still, it would not be so very hard.

And we might even be able to give more!

So let’s all . . .

Think about this.

Give regularly.

Give by Standing Order, or through the yellow envelope scheme.

Give gift- aided (if we are eligible) so that the parish can reclaim the tax.

Thank you for taking the time to consider this important issue.