Alleluia! Christ is Risen! I trust that you are enjoying the ‘Easter Season’! Thank you to all of you who have helped to make Easter so special as always in Hope and Penyffordd churches.
It is easy to think that now Holy Week and Easter Day are over and the chocolate eggs are no longer on the shelves, that Easter is over. Yet did you know that Easter is actually the longest season of the church year? Easter lasts fifty days and doesn’t end until Pentecost Sunday (‘pentecost’ being Greek for ‘fiftieth’). With Easter having been so late this year, the Easter Season will run through all of May and won’t end until Sunday 9th June. The Easter Season may begin with the resurrection of Jesus on Easter Day, but it also includes Sundays where we focus on the resurrection appearances of Jesus; forty days in we celebrate the Ascension of Jesus into heaven (this year, 30th May) and then Easter ends with the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost – what is considered to be the ‘Birthday of the Church’.
Celebrating our churches
I would like to take the opportunity here this month too to thank all of you who attended our Celebration and Vision Night last month. More than forty of us gathered together from across our four congregations to celebrate all that we achieved in 2018 and to look forward to where we trust God is leading us in 2019.
As part of the evening, members of the congregation shared some personal highlights of 2018. Here are some of those shared:
· The new All Age event in Hope Church at 4 o’clock every Sunday – Hope.4.All
· Our new look parish church magazine (Also called Hope 4 All!) – 1-year-old this month!
· Our Remembrance-100 commemorations in both Hope and Penyffordd
· Hope’s new midweek Holy Communion – also 1-year-old this month!
· Emmanuel’s first Carols by Candlelight Service with Ordinand Simon Piercy and St John’s Community Choir
· Emmanuel’s TiddleTots, Toddler Specials, All Age specials
· Emmanuel’s two young people confirmed
· Hope Church’s Pop-In, now with regular visitors from Chestnut House and musicians from Castell Alun High School
We also thanked Barry and Angela for their tremendous contribution to the church in looking after the church hall so well during the past thirty years. A new hall management group incidentally is now set up and in full swing! You can now book the hall via the website or by calling Sue Pickering on 01244 660364. Please don’t call Barry!
Our Church Budget
The 2018 accounts for Hope Church and Emmanuel have now been presented too.
It is wonderful to learn that in 2018 we again made a surplus in both Hope (£2,000 approx) and Penyffordd (£36). However I do stress that our church contributions to the Mission Area Share (what we pay to the diocese and what gives the clergy an income) have again increased in 2019. Also in Hope our surplus in 2018 was made possible largely due to generous legacies.
I wonder if I might encourage our readership (and we have more than 500 subscribers) to review your giving to Hope or Emmanuel Church? One very simple projection is that if each of our 500 readers gave an extra £2 per year then our combined income to Hope and Penyffordd churches would increase by £1,000. If our readers each gave an extra £1 per week (£52 per year) then our collective income would increase by £26,000!
Please don’t ever give more than you can afford. You of course have a duty of care to yourself and to your family, but as we consider what we ‘save’ and ‘spend’, may I invite us to each prayerfully consider too what we ‘give away’ to our church (and or charity) too?
Thank you to you all for what you our readers bring and give to God’s church each week here – of your time, talents, gifts and prayers – all done very often so selflessly and generously.
Finally do remember it is still the Easter Season this month too! Alleluia! Christ is Risen!
In Christ, Adam
Rev Adam Pawley