S T A L P H E G E MO T H E R S ’ U N I O N
· Team races and special races for tiny tots
· Children’s Tombola
· Pancakes to eat
· Home-made Cakes and Produce for sale
· Bar with soft drinks
Tickets: Adults £2.50 Children £1
On sale at Sunday coffee/squash in the OBH
or pay on the night
A GREAT FAMILY EVENT
in the Oliver Bird Hall
5.00pm – 7.00pm
to be stored here
From Malawi :
was a wonderful day when the community received the
Are you able to help us in 2014 by giving up a small part of your time?
Even on a sunny winter’s day, it is quite common to find more than one person just sitting in our churchyard – perhaps having their lunch, taking a few moments to rest from a busy day or even just being near the grave of a loved one. Whenever I speak to them they are all appreciative of a quiet haven. Many visitors will also comment that we are fortunate to have such a well looked after churchyard when compared to so many others they have seen elsewhere.
As a church we pay each year for the grass cutting, including strimming around the gravestones (some 14 times a year at a cost of thousands of pounds), as well as for any major items like tree surgery. We do not currently have the funds to pay for the other ‘normal’ gardening activities, which are really needed. The Church and Churchyard committee has been operating on a level funding basis for some years now, despite costs increasing each year, meaning that we have had to look carefully as to how we could trim our expenditure to suit or use different strategies to cope.
This is therefore a good opportunity to record my thanks to the small number of individuals who voluntarily give up some time on a regular basis, whenever they can, to sweep paths, collect leaves, pull out weeds, cut back overgrown items etc., just like we would all want for our own gardens. Some I see, when walking through the churchyard and there are others I am sure that I have missed, but their efforts are visible and enjoyed by all. They are the reason it looks better than it might.
The two front flowerbeds each side of the north door path are another area where volunteers have taken on not only the winter planting but also the spring and summer work as well. They have also continued to tend to them on a rota basis. Their next proposal is to plant soon with poppies to flower over the summer to mark the start of First World War celebrations. If anybody would like to make a small donation towards the cost, specifically of this planting, this would be appreciated.
Are you able to help us in 2014 by giving up a small part of your time?
Perhaps you could join in just two of the four Saturday morning churchyard tidy up sessions planned for this year (1000 – 1300hrs), especially if you normally not available during the week? These mornings are set as 12th April (ready for Easter), 21st June, 13th September and 8th November (for Remembrance Sunday). Even coming along for an hour on any of the sessions will help. It is always a good opportunity to meet and talk with other church members, of all ages, over a break with refreshments. Reminders will appear in the pew slip a few weeks before each session.
Or, if you have more time available during the week, you are welcome to just come along occasionally as an individual and carryout out any tidying up items that you feel are required. Such tasks could include picking up fallen small tree branches, dead flowers/general litter or old wreaths – all of which makes it easier for the grass cutting contractor to do a better job for us. We also appreciate the help of volunteers to sweep paths, to carry out general weeding or helping to control some of the more invasive weeds we have. Some volunteers like to adopt a particular area. You will always have a lot of passers by stopping to talk with you!
If you would like further information about which specific item(s) to undertake or look after in the churchyard, then I am happy to meet with you, or talk to you on the telephone, at any time during the year. I can be contacted on 0121 711 1726. Alternatively, could you be part of the rota group that maintains the front flowerbeds? Please contact Anne on 0121 722 2274 for details.
2014 STEWARDSHIP APPEAL
The information below will provide you with the background to the 2014 Stewardship Appeal and explain why an increase in regular planned giving is needed if we want the church to continue to develop its work within and outside the Parish of Solihull.
The work being carried out by our church community is so extensive that it can’t be done entirely by volunteers. So, in addition to our clergy, the church employs specialist staff to lead
areas of our activities that require professional skills.
For the last year or two we have not covered all the cost of our activities and this needs to be corrected if the church is to continue to be a witness to the love of God among the people of
Solihull and the wider world.
Our challenge is to build on existing goodwill by increasing the number of planned, committed givers, and increasing the amount of existing giving. Being a regular giver does not mean you have to be in church every Sunday. You can arrange to give a regular amount by standing order.
Our church is important to each of us and to the local community, but many of us take it for granted. We believe that it will always be there. There is no national or local government funding of the church so the bulk of our income needs to come from the congregation.
Could you help us reach our target of a £30,000 increase in regular giving to St Alphege by becoming a planned giver or by reviewing your current giving?
You and everyone who comes to St Alphege are asked to consider:
1. becoming a member of the Planned Giving Scheme by using a standing order for your giving, or if you are already a member,
2. increasing your contribution, particularly if you haven’t done so recently.
In either case can you please complete and return the standing order form supplied with this leaflet or use the form to request a set of stewardship envelopes? Standing order forms can also be obtained from the Parish Office, from the website (below), or by contacting Frank Upton (0121 705 2963).
We currently have 304 regular givers in the Planned Giving Scheme.
If each current regular giver gave an extra £6 a month (3 cups of coffee), our annual giving would increase by £21,900.
If an additional 30 people became regular planned givers averaging £30 a month, our annual giving would increase by £10,800.
The Gift Aid refund on these amounts would typically be around £7,300, making an overall annual increase of £40,000.
Of course some people leave the Planned Giving Scheme each year for a variety of reasons, and this can typically lead to a £10,000 drop in annual giving. But even with this, our target of £30,000 per annum would still be on track.
Many people are surprised by how much it costs to maintain the life, work and witness of St Alphege. Many people also think that the church has lots of money, but the truth is that as
a local church we have to be self-funding.
The challenge for St Alphege is that it costs £6,350 to run the church every week, but our total weekly income is only £5,770. Most of this
amount (£4,700) comes from the church community and Gift Aid, but over half of it comes from only a few givers, and that makes us vulnerable if for any reason their giving stops.
The balance mainly comes from services such as weddings and funerals. We therefore have an overall deficit and must act now if the church is to be financially secure.
All of us need to be giving an amount which is large enough to be significant to us - it is ‘planned’ regular giving, not an occasional charitable donation. Clearly, we need to fund the
worship, work and witness of St Alphege not only now but also into the future. It’s all about sustaining and growing our church.
Please consider this appeal prayerfully, reflecting upon God’s generosity in your own life and in thankfulness for the ways in which our church makes God’s love known to all in this community.
Forms required to setup or modify your regular donation :
The documents are :
1. Two versions of the standing order form, one for new donors and one for donors who wish to change their standing order. Attached as a single document. The reason that there are two documents is that otherwise, when you amend a standing order, the bank may continue to process the old standing order as well.
However, If you want to use this form please contact Frank Upton, who will advise you about the payment reference number that is needed.
Frank's details are on the form.
2. A standard Gift Aid declaration.
24th Dec 3:00pm - Crib Service
4:15pm - Crib Service
11.30pm - Midnight Mass (Carol singing from 11.10pm)
25th Dec 8.00am - Said Eucharist
9.15am - All Age Eucharist : encourage children to bring a toy
11.00am - Choral Eucharist
26th Dec St Stephen, First Martyr : 10.30am - Said Eucharist
28th Dec Holy Innocents : 9.30am - Said Eucharist
This is a 10 week course which explores the key aspects of the Christian faith.
This is for everyone regardless of their current understanding of faith or their spiritual journey so far.
Starting on 7th Nov at 7.15pm finishing at 9.15pm in the Oliver Bird Hall.
You can register on line at www.justexplore.org.uk or contact the Parish Office on 0121 705 5350 or by email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
This Sunday saw the grand opening of the St Alphege Pre-school ‘all things bright and beautiful’ garden located in the grounds of the Oliver Bird Hall. In just over a year, a dedicated team of parents and staff from the Pre-school have been busy designing, planning and creating the new ‘forest school’ style garden.
The cards are priced at £4 for a pack of 10 (like last year) and will be on sale from the Bookstall, the Parish Office and at coffee/squash in the Oliver Bird Hall after the 9.15am service.
This year’s card is similar to one we had a few years ago, with opening ‘doors’ on the front allowing a view of the chancel. It is extremely attractive and we expect the cards to sell well.
Fr Patrick has been the Team vicar for St Alphege and Director of Lay Adult Training development in the parish since 2005 but is now to leave us to become the next Vicar of Holy Trinity, Stratford-upon-Avon with All Saints, Luddington and St. Helen’s, Clifford Chambers, subject to the normal formalities
His final Sunday with us will be December 8th. There will be a Bring and Share lunch in the OBH on that day so we can make our farewells .
The Collation service for Fr Patrick at Stratford will take place on Wednesday 8 January 2014 at 7.30 pm.
Fr Patrick and Laura would welcome your prayers as they prepare to make their move to this new ministry in Stratford along with their children Edmund and Beatrice.