- Vicarage Gate
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Vicars Quarterly update
Vicar’s Quarterly Update, 13th January 2019
So what’s been happening at All Saints over the past few months? And what lies ahead in the coming few months and the year ahead?
The last few months have been quite busy with the run up to Advent and Christmas.
- Harvest festivals – including two for Queen Eleanor’s School, totaling 360 children and the Dray court service.
- The Watson’s Kenyan trip where it was inspiring to see Hannah and Peter’s work and the cathedral in Nairobi
- Over 50s event during half term, involving 15-20 people and including a tech corner. We’ll run this event three time per year
- Confirmation class for four people over six weeks – run by Martyn, Jeanette and Beverly. Nobody felt it right to be confirmed now but are likely to In the future
- Light Party by Pippa on Halloween. Approximately 30 people attended.
- Fireworks evening – thanks to the whole team for a lovely community event.
- Patronal Festival – lower key this year as the choirs couldn’t get together.
- Remembrance Sunday – this was our biggest yet with an attendance of 250 included several of our uniformed organisations. We may need to consider capacity for next year.
- Living with Loss service, also on Remembrance Day and was well attended.
- Messy Church at Queen Eleanor’s School. This was our first one at QE and they are now in the diary for once per term. Pippa takes responsibility for the 3 Messy Churches with Alison taking the lead on the QE one. Many thanks to them both.
- Murder Mystery at Willow Grange. Attendance of just over 40 people. Wonderful food. People brought friends and family. Good way to welcome new people and two of the young guests are now going to be involved in the pantomime.
- PCC Vision Evening with Danny Wignall – an inspiring meeting for the PCC to develop the vision of All Saints.
- Advent Sunday joint service at St Nicolas
- Queen Eleanor’s School Carol Service at the cathedral for 650 people. Beverly speaking.
- Wonderful to have Trish as Administrator and Communications Officer. Helpful to have expanded the role, and it’s working extremely well.
- Windows Project phase 2 completed; huge thank you to Paddy, and all who’ve given financially.
Looking ahead to the next few months, and the coming year:
- PCC working on Vision+Values; seeking our core purpose and vision for this church. Living joyfully as followers of Jesus, is a core vision; welcoming everyone, growing disciples, deepening community are our values. Hopefully that will inform our planning, and everything we do in the year ahead
- Hoping to replace the Sound System in the coming months – with some outside funding. Should provide much better, reliable sound for Services, and for other groups which use the building
- Hoping to increase support for our Work Days over the course of the year, encouraging many more people to help with practical jobs. Starting with a Painting Party next Saturday, to repaint the inside of the church; lunch included
- Panto coming up soon – March 15th+16th – Cinderella Rocks! Very much looking forward to that
- Needing to address our finances for 2019. Looking as if there will be a deficit of 11k or so; and we’re hoping to raise awareness of that in the next couple of months, and hopefully spread the net wider in terms of financial giving. We’re totally self-funded as a church, and need to raise about 110k per year; so we’ll be looking to encourage generous giving across the congregation, and from others who use our buildings in the coming year.
- Lent Courses again in March; 2 courses this year – one on Wednesday evenings, and another on Fridays during the daytime. Also offering a Reflection Day (day of prayer) at Willow Grange during Lent – 23rd March; open to everyone. More details in next month’s Magazine (do sign up for a month Mag if you’ve not done so already)
- Pilgrimage in May this year – 3 day event, walking to Winchester; over the May Day bank holiday weekend. Do keep and eye out for that, or have a word with Peter+Carolyn if you might be interested
- Summer Fete again this year, 22nd June. Thanks to Henrietta for taking charge of that.
- Big Thing: Pew/Chairs. 7 years ago we were given a large donation, 10k, to replace the pews with chairs – if that’s something we feel we’d like to do. PCC has decided that 2019 is the year to make a decision about that. The Worship VG/Premises VG will do some preparatory work on that; and then we’ll hold a Parish Consultation to discuss things. We’ll prayerfully consider whether replacing the pews with either more comfortable pews, or chairs would be beneficial; and how people feel about that. Then the PCC, as trustees of our church will make the final decision. And if we decide to keep the pews, we’ll simply hand back the money that was given. If you have thoughts please join the PCC at our APCM in March! We need to have a wide range of views and voices as we make this important decision
- Few other things – we’re becoming an Eco-Church; more to follow on that as the year progresses. Already going ‘green’ when it comes to consumable items in the church and the hall
- Personal things: Pippa will be coming to the end of her curacy quite soon, and will be starting to look for her next post after Easter. Pippa has been with us for the best part of 2 years now; and before that did a year as a curate in Burpham. Please pray for Pippa as she looks ahead to the next stage in her life and ministry
- I’ve taken on a new role in the Diocese as Assistant Area Dean for Guildford. This is a post that sits alongside my role as Vicar here. It involves offering pastoral care for clergy in this Deanery; working with parishes during vacancies, and offering support to Church Wardens and other during those times; and seeking to set the strategy for the Deanery – so that we’re working well with other churches in the local area; sharing our resources and expertise and opportunities as best we can. I imagine it will take me out of the parish for about half a day a week; but hopefully it will bring back new ideas and fresh thinking to All Saints as well
So, lots going on! And there’s much else that I’ve not mentioned. Hopefully it will give you a snapshot of what we’re about, and plans for the new year. I’d like to thank you once again for all you do and all you give; I always feel it’s a great privilege to be the Vicar of this lovely parish.