St Marys Church
It has been a huge sadness for us that we have had to close the church during this crisis, but I do hope that some of you have been able to enjoy our outside spaces as this beautiful spring has unfolded. The community garden is being tended and is there for you to enjoy. The mange tout peas are ready to pick and the ruby chard and tomatoes will not be far behind…. oh and if you are lucky there may be a strawberry! Remember this is is a ‘Garden for You’, come and harvest (and weed!) and sit under the shade of the birch tree; make yourself at home.
We are also working to get the new ‘St Marys Meadow’ open for you. The entrance will be through the graveyard to the field that leads to the stream. We have some fencing and a compost dog bin and some strimming to do and then it will be another place for you to ‘get out of the house’ and meet a friend in the safety of the outdoors. Bring your garden chairs, the children and a picnic; do you remember lying in the grass making daisy chains and watching beetles and butterflies? Bring your paints and your knitting or just stretch out and sunbathe. We have all learnt so much during this time of enforced stillness as we have cared for each other and had time to notice ourselves and our environment. Everything that we do in and around the church will continue to remind us that our neighbours are precious to us, that our local environment is a fragile gift and that life is something to be truly thankful for and celebrated. There will be lots of new things happening… watch this space.
One thing that has been a huge blow, however for the church, due to this crisis, and on through the rest of this year, has been our financial position. For years the loyal and generous congregation have kept the church building maintained but as we look into the future that will no longer be the case. The historic building of St Mary’s and the graveyard maintenance costs approximately £20,000 a year with insurance, grass cutting, yearly repairs and a contingency for the bigger jobs on the fabric of the building. Each church in the country is an independent charity that receives no financial help from the central church. In order to secure the future of the church for the town the Friends of St Marys was formed and all the money raised goes to pay for these maintenance costs. None of the money goes to the vicar or towards the services or the diocese… it all stays in your town to protect your beautiful church for the future. All of the fundraising activities that had been planned, and the regular giving, has been decimated by this pandemic and the future looks seriously uncertain. If just 200 people pledged £10 a month… £2.50 a week….. then we could meet those costs and the church would be safe. Please consider helping. There are leaflets outside the church with membership and direct debit details or you could easily set up a standing order now, with your name as the reference, to the account 20-79-31, 10205842 and we could sort the paperwork for your membership later. (email firstname.lastname@example.org or txt 07500007437 to let me know)
Everything that we are planning and dreaming about is for you, because God is not a distant imaginary being, but the Spirit of Life that we all share and is in All Things. The church celebrates life, witnesses to the of lives of the past and holds our memory as we die; it cherishes our well-being and is here for us when we are lost or lonely…… It is here for you. See you in the garden! God Bless. Ali