Our Christmas Cards are now printed and on sale. You can pick them up at our Sunday morning in person services, or buy online at this link: https://pay.collctiv.com/christmas-cards-88627 Please provide your address in the payment link comments box so we can pop them through your letter box. All money raised goes towards the ministry of St James. Thank you.
Next Sunday evening, join us for Darkness To Light, a special candlelit Advent Carol Service at 6pm as we start our journey towards Christmas.
Our next Men’s Breakfast is on Saturday 20th November from 8:45am until 10am in St James Church Hall.
Bacon butties & a cuppa await.
🎁🎁🎁Thank you to everyone who’s contributed to the Andover foodbank’s Christmas shoe box appeal. We estimate that we have collected enough gifts for 25 shoe boxes this year, which is amazing because we would normally collect enough for six or seven. We were also able to forward on a cash donation, which the Food Bank staff said they would use to assist families in the most need. So thank you to everyone who has been so generous this year! 🎁🎁🎁
🧤🧤🧤Churchyard Working Party 🧤🧤🧤
This Saturday 13th November, at 10am, with a maximum working time of two hours, we will be tackling the North hedge. All welcome to join in as many hands make light work. Please wear gardening gloves and bring rakes, wheelbarrows, or hedge trimmers if you have them available. Thank you!
Dear members of St James, and our wider church community,
Now that the Diocese’s Generous Giving Campaign has come to a close, we wanted to update you on the financial picture at both parish and Diocese level. You may like to take one of the small Generous Giving booklets from church for further reading.
Broadly speaking, the Diocese has been running at about £1million annual deficit, and have been borrowing money and digging into reserves to make ends meet. The Diocese collects money from all the parishes using The Fairer Share, and then uses that money to pay the clergy for each parish and benefice. A small amount is used to pay for the salaries of a small team of support workers at Church House, in Salisbury, who provide assistance with faculties, emergency or unusual situations, ongoing training, property maintenance and a number of other essential tasks. So pretty much all the money collected by the Diocese is then spent on our clergy salaries. The Fairer Share is a way to make sure that even a poor parish can have access to a priest, by using richer parishes to subsidise poorer ones. We are in the latter category and are heavily subsidised.
Share money pays for a Parish Priest – her/his training, housing, stipend, pension. If you want a priest in your parish you have to pay your share, and if you don’t, you are more likely to be amalgamated with other parishes and share a priest across a bigger benefice. Fortunately this year we will probably manage to pay our share but with share contributions next year going up by 5% – to over £30K – we may well struggle.
Right now, with the deficit that the Diocese has been running, they have had to make a number of people redundant and they have joined more parishes into benefices because they/we cannot afford to pay the clergy we would ideally have. It is a tremendously troubling and difficult time.
During the Generous Giving Campaign, the Diocese tried to provide some simple statements and diagrams to help us at parish level to
understand the challenge we face. One of these has caught the attention of the PCC, our church leadership, as a useful one: on average across the Diocese, our people give £10 per week; by national standards this is rather low! If this £10 were to be increased to £12.50 per week, there would no longer be a financial problem with paying our clergy.
We, in your PCC, found this helpful and striking. Of course, we know that many of our givers are in no position to consider such an uplift in giving. But some of us could, and some from our wider church community, who do not currently give, might consider giving £2.50 per week to support the ongoing ministry of our church here in Ludgershall and Faberstown.
Sometimes the financial situation of the church is misunderstood and some imagine that huge investments mean that the national church is incredibly wealthy. This is a misconception. Yes, the church does have many investments but the return on those at the moment is negligible as every one with any investments of their own will know and such money as is generated is used to pay the stipends of the bishops. Our share money does not go to any of that. Equally, there are no government grants whatsoever.
Please take time to consider these issues, and should you have any questions, or like more information, please come and discuss it with a member of the PCC. We welcome an open conversation about these financial matters because they are going to influence our parish and benefice’s future shape and clergy provision.
Thank you for all you do, and thank you for your kind gifts to the ministry of this place. Those gifts do make a difference and enable so much good to be done.
St James PCC
It is with great joy that we are able to let our wider community know that we will be welcoming Rev’d Sue Hart to the Benefice, as our Associate Priest in Tidworth. Rev’d Sue will have particular pastoral responsibility for Tidworth, and will be working closely with the church family at Holy Trinity. We pray for Rev’d Sue and her husband, that their move goes smoothly in the New Year, and God blesses her ministry here. We are tremendously excited to see how the Spirit might move and lead us!
For those who use online shopping, especially in the lead up to Christmas, please do consider using the Easyfundraising site to add a donation to the ministry at St James at no additional cost to yourself. The pennies do add up. If you are not already registered, click the link below. Thank you!
Christmas Cards for sale. The designs are shown below and can be purchased from the church at our In Person Sunday services from mid November onwards, or you may choose to buy online by clicking the link below, and provide your address in the comments box at payment, so we can deliver your cards to your letterbox. All money raised is used for the ministry of St James Church. Thank you!
Click here for online purchasing: https://pay.collctiv.com/christmas-cards-88627