In this edition of Triangle
Parish Vision Morning
On a Saturday morning in January members of the three churches of the Parish met at St. Michael’s Church to begin the process of trying to define our parish vision. Many changes have taken place in recent years in each church which now makes possible new opportunities for the future. Just which ones should we take? Many changes are taking place in our communities - not least in the centres of Madeley, Sutton Hill and Woodside. How can we best witness to God and his goodness here in these places and across the parish?
We identified that at present there are some 50 activities undertaken by church members under the umbrella of our churches. The more obvious ones, worship, baptisms, weddings and funerals are complemented by others less apparent, Meals on Wheels, Adopt a Cop and the Community Orchard. Work in schools and our churches with young people and young families is complemented by bereavement support, taking services in residential homes and fellowship at the Rest Room. There is a wide involvement by many church members and this defines our presence in the community.
But what exactly is our vision? What do we regard as being priorities? If someone were to ask - ‘What would you like to see happening in our churches and communities in 10 years’ time?’ – How would we reply?
These are questions that cannot be answered in one Saturday morning! What we did conclude in the time available however was in three areas of church life which are already considered important – it would be useful to continue the good work:
Prayer – before we worship, and discovering new opportunities and ways
Young People and Families – a warm welcome and provision of appropriate activities
Worship – the core activity of the church with attention to content and flow
The PCC and DCCs will continue to look at ways in which we can explore the identification of our vision – perhaps with further opportunities for fellowship and food as on the Saturday in January.
Our prayer is that God will help us to discover what is really important in this parish and at this time – ‘Ask and you will receive.’ - I hope that you too will be pleased be part of this process.
Rev.Henry Morris - Vicar of Madeley
at Sutton Hill Church
Good Friday Service
At St Mary’s Church and walk to Madeley Centre
At St Michael’s and Sutton Hill Churches
At St Michael’s Church
at Sutton Hill Church
Good Friday service
at St Mary's church and walk to Madeley Centre
at St Michael's and Sutton Hill churches
at St Michael's Church
Greetings from Kuwait
At last! My book finally cleared the legal hurdles and was published last week. It is actually a historical moment. This is the first book about Christianity in Kuwait which is actually printed in Kuwait. There were doubts that it could be done, as other Gulf countries for sure would not allow such a publication. It has been in the national media and is slowly becoming available for sale in outlets around Kuwait. Below is the press release which went out in the local media yesterday.
New Book Celebrates Religious Freedom in Kuwait.
The Reverend Andrew Thompson of St Paul’s Anglican Church has recently authored a book recording the history of the Christian Church in Kuwait. “The Christian Church in Kuwait, Religious Freedom in the Gulf” surveys the formation of the many different Churches in Kuwait. It includes the origins of the American Mission hospital, the Evangelical Church, the Roman Catholic Church, the Armenian and Greek Catholic Church, the Anglican Church as well as the many different kinds of Indian Churches. Today there are an estimated half a million Christians living and working in Kuwait.
The Reverend Andrew explains “the purpose of the book is to show the massive contribution that the Christian community has made to the people of Kuwait and in turn to thank Kuwait for the freedom of religion that is allowed here.”
Other chapters in the book examine the Biblical context of Kuwait and in particular highlights the Abrahamic connection. Reverend Andrew elaborates. “Abraham was born in the Kingdom of Ur and at that time, the Kings of Ur ruled over a huge area including what is now Southern Iraq and Kuwait. It is not unreasonable to suppose that Abraham himself could have travelled through Kuwait”. The book took over two years to research and was written over the summer of 2009. It is presented in coffee table book format with many photographs and pictures littering the text.
Since we last wrote, Navina and I travelled to Lebanon for an amazing visit in which we encountered for the first time the Maronite Church community. We sped through snow clad mountains, took a cable car up to a panoramic view of Beirut, climbed around stunning Roman ruins, and ate heartily the justly famous Lebanese food. The following week I travelled to Cyprus to attend the Anglican Synod. There we learned of the sobering death toll of church members from the Church in Baghdad (over 90 killed in 2009), applauded the amazing eye clinic ministry of the church in Yemen, where they literally give sight to the blind, and we rejoiced at the raising of a Church building in Qatar – the first since 670 AD.
New Year’s Day was special as we witnessed two new Chinese Christians begin the new year with marking their new life in Christ through baptism by immersion. Both had come to faith from an atheist background and they just glowed with joy. It was a privilege to have my parents as witnesses for this event and it was a reminder that God is at work in Kuwait.
Please stand with us in prayer as we continue to wait on God for His guidance. We sense that there may be big changes ahead of us this year. Pray too that the educational needs of our children will be met. Thank you again for your interest and partnership in mission.
What’s so significant about that? Might it be the sum total of pairs of shoes the ladies of the parish own? Or the number of elastic bands the postmen drop on their deliveries in a year round Madeley? Or even how many rolls of wrapping paper Tesco sold last Christmas?
Well actually, it’s the number of shoeboxes sent out to Kyrgystan from the Telford warehouse during the 2009 campaign.
It’s 8253 children who received a wonderful, magical gift, a shoe box filled with love and joy.
What a fantastic effort by everyone who joined in, be it by knitting, buying fillers, packing boxes, collecting boxes, giving talks, working in the warehouse, driving, wrapping boxes and more boxes and more...Well enough of wrapping but, and this is absolutely brilliant, we collected and sent more boxes than we did the year before, and were the only warehouse in our region to increase our numbers. So a huge thank you to everyone who made the Operation Christmas Child 2009 campaign such an outstanding success.
Last year we were desperately short of hats, scarves and gloves, flannels, small soft toys and oddly enough pencil sharpeners! If you would like to knit for the children, please do but sadly, we cannot send any knitted stuffed toys, so no more teddies please. Hand puppets are welcome though. We have patterns available-please contact Rita or myself.
It’s never too soon to start, so with your help let’s send even more gifts this year, and remember, every box we send brings love, joy and delight to some child, somewhere. Let’s do it!
It’s all about the children.
Carol Hill, presenter for Operation Christmas Child
Meeting The Bill for St Michael's Church Refurbishment - Progress Report One Year On
It's now been almost a year since we moved back into the recently refurbished St Michael's Church. Many of us will have been inside the building and will have enjoyed the new facilities, flexible layout and particularly in the recent cold weather the warmth generated by the new heating system! The total cost of this work has been about £550,000. The bill has been met from our local church funds, a number of small grants and through the giving of church members and members of our local community. We are very grateful to everyone who has given so generously so far. In addition some £210,000 has been raised through interest-free loans and we have now begun to repay these loans. We anticipate that this will take some 10 years if we continue to raise money at the current rate.
One of the ways we have done this is through fundraising events. You may have been to one of the concerts, the barn dance or the recent "Attic Sale" - some of the events that have taken place in the past year. More events are planned and details of these are elsewhere in this issue of Triangle. Please do come along and enjoy the warm welcome that you will get at all of these events.
If you wish to make a direct contribution to the St Michael's redevelopment fund then information about how you can do so is elsewhere in this issue.
Rev Matthew Lefroy
Gift Aid or How to Help the Church Without Really Trying
First, a little history. Many years ago the government, in a fit of generosity towards charities agreed that if people promised to give a certain amount of money in a year for a minimum of three years the charity could claim the tax back at no cost to the donor. Many people were concerned about making this promise. They worried about promising a fixed amount (what if couldn’t afford it later?!), they worried about the length of time (what if they lost their job?!) and unsurprisingly, the take up was small and few people were happy about it. Then around 1998, the Chancellor, in a fit of generosity towards charities agreed that no promises of any kind would be needed from then on. Any amount could be given to a charity and the tax man would give the tax deducted from it to the charity. The only stipulation was that the money should be from an identifiable source so that the Inland Revenue could be certain that tax had been paid on that amount.
Making use of Gift Aid can increase your gift by 25%. Every £4 you give becomes £5 for the charity. It does not cost you anything extra and you have to do nothing except give the money so that it can be identified by the tax man as coming from you. We have tried to make this easy for you so if you pay tax would you please consider taking a little time to choose one of the following methods of giving and then, please act.
In order of simplicity for the church we have:
Standing order. Ask your bank to make a regular payment (anything from monthly to yearly) directly to the church.
Use the numbered envelope scheme. Take a numbered envelope pack from the table at the back of church , note your name and the number on the envelopes on the paper with them and put your donation in an envelope each time. The advantage of this method is that you can give as much or as little as you want, when you want. It does not have to be a regular payment.
Fill in a Gift Aid envelope each time (also at the back). This can be a bit tedious as you have to fill in your details each time. (Please do not use these envelopes for open plate collection. We have to get more printed every time they run out).
Confidentiality at our end is maintained by the use of numbered envelopes that are opened by the Covenant secretary with the tax reclaimed by the treasurer. These two church officials have years of working with confidential items and you can place your trust in them.
A little known extra benefit (for charities) is that we may claim tax back on donations that you have given in the past, up to the start of the scheme in 1998. Just say what you have given and sign it.
Thank you for reading this, and if you can act on it, our heartfelt thanks go out to you.
Norman Coats.PCC Treasurer
St Michael's Fellowship Programme of Events
April to July 2010
Blists Hill School
A True Romance
Fellowship meetings are held in St Michael’s Church unless otherwise stated and commence at 2.30 pm.
All are welcome
Tea, coffee and biscuits are available afterwards.
Dates for your Diary
Sunday 28th March
(after morning service)
St Michael's Church annual meeting
followed by Welcome to Pastoral Roll and bring and share lunch
Sunday 28th March
(after morning service)
Sutton Hill church annual meeting
Sunday 18th April
Monday 10th May
Start Course* begins at St Michael's
Fund Raising Events (at St Michael's Church)
Wednesday 24th March
Saturday 10th April
'Telford and Wrekin-Then and Now' Richard Bifield
Saturday 15th May
Temponilla concert with Lord Silkin Steel Band
*START’ – asking questions about life and exploring the faith
at St. Michael's – from Monday 10th May 7.30pm
for six weeks
Thank you to all who have contributed to this edition of Triangle. The closing date for articles for the next edition will be announced in the church notices. Please pass to your church representative:
Woodside: Angela Handley, Sutton Hill: Anne Koe, St Michael’s: Hazel Shipman. Or if possible e-mail: triangle(at)tf7.org.uk