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Shaping up for the future

Preparing for a big race is not a new idea. In the first letter to the Corinthians chapter 9 Paul wrote of the strict training athletes undergo to be able to compete and, potentially, win. He also used this training as an analogy of what Christians need to do as a church to be effective in running the race of faith. Paul’s message is just as relevant today as it was then.

I mentioned one of the challenges in the race ahead last month. The number of clergy in this deanery will be reduced. This will impact All Saints. Even if the post here stays, the minister will have a wider workload as a result of fewer clergy elsewhere. Pruning and preparation of the minister’s workload needs to be begun now in readiness for that time. This will be part of the training so we may be fitter to run the race more effectively.

In October we had a church meeting after the morning service, which outlined the challenge. The example was raised of our parish magazine: could it be created or distributed more efficiently, hence using fewer resources? It was only an example, to highlight the sort of questions that need to be asked. In the first instance, my own workload is being examined by 4 other people known as the review group. They will make recommendations to the next PCC. After that, they will look at the wider church and make recommendations to the PCC about how to train for the race of faith ahead.

Physical fitness is not something that just happens. Either we train carefully so improve or at least maintain our fitness, or we lose muscle tone. Spiritual fitness is no different; we practise or get flabby. Let us all be prepared to work on our spiritual strengths, to train and be to become fit.

Every blessing in Jesus,

The Church and its finances

Last month we had our gift day, in which we celebrate God’s goodness to us by giving to his work. Thank you to everyone who gave generously. To date, approximately £6,000 was given, which is marvellous and significantly improves our financial situation. To pay for Simon’s stipend, clergy pensions, training of new & existing ministers and to keep up clergy housing, All Saints is due to contribute approximately £42,000 to the diocese this calendar year. To date we have paid £19,500. Our current projection is that we hope to pay £30,000 or more by the end of the year. This still leaves a substantial shortfall. Although in the short term the diocese has reserves, clearly this can’t continue, especially as we are not the only church to be failing to pay our share. Please pray for both our church and the whole diocese as we meet to the challenges the future brings.

November letter and sermon

Contact vicar:

Rev'd. Simon Gill Telephone: Sudbury 375334

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