Thanks to one and all for their help. St Faith's is a team, and everyone plays a part in what we are. Brenda and I would like to thank all those who took a lead in the past year, whether or not you have been named in the report. I will not tempt fate and name names, but those who organised rotas, cooked food, helped with services on Sundays, cleaned and polished, counted money, lead youth groups or whatever your contribution was - you know who you are and on behalf of the entire congregation I say thank you.
During an interregnum we are all basically working without a captain on the bridge, and from time to time we find ourselves in tricky or unknown waters. It is then that the team provides the energy to ensure that we keep moving forward. I add my personal thanks to the Standing Committee for supporting me in some tough decisions.
The accounts that David Jones has prepared for us show a relatively healthy financial position, but not a very healthy situation going forward. It has been several years since we had a stewardship campaign, and it is likely that we will be starting one this year. Just to give you something to consider, if we take the figure of £91,680 from the accounts as our expenditure, and divide it by the 52 weeks of the year, you will see that it actually cost us £1,763 each week to keep the doors open for our Sunday worship.
There have been difficulties during the year, as we try to discern our relationship within the Anglican churches in Waterloo, and many of us have spent a considerable time meeting with fellow Christians from the other three churches. Much of this time has been productive, and has convinced us all that there is much common ground between us that can be happily shared and enjoyed. It has also demonstrated that there are differences between us, and that they need to be both acknowledged and nourished.
We are currently in a joint benefice with St Mary’s, as we have been for 15 years or so. This has made us very aware of the huge problems that they are now facing as they close their church building, and possibly even their church hall. We are fortunate that our church is in relatively good condition and our hall is well used and fit for purpose. Our church is seen and used by thousands of non-churchgoers every year as we host concerts, festivals and other events – a benefit for the wider community.
Our new PCC will have as its first priority to consider the formal relationship with not only St Mary’s, but also with St John’s and Christ Church. Indeed there will be a joint meeting of all four PCCs on 8th April when we will have the opportunity to hear from the Archdeacon his vision of what he wants for the future of Waterloo.
So today I cannot announce an end to our interregnum, and to be honest I cannot even offer you an idea of what or when that end may be. What I can tell you is that the spirit of St Faith's is alive and kicking, and with your help and support, both physically and financially, we will come through it all with a renewed vision of what Douglas Horsfall set out all those years ago.
Thank you for the trust that you put in
your Wardens and PCC – let us all hope and pray that our
own incumbent will lead the next APCM!