The Parish Magazine
of Saint Faith's Church, Great
Saint Faith’s Prayer for
Faithful God, in baptism you have adopted us as your children,
made us members of the body of Christ and chosen us as inheritors
of your kingdom:
bless our plans for mission and outreach; guide us to seek and do
empower us by your Spirit to share our faith in witness and to serve,
and send us out as disciples of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
the Ministry Team
The Feast of St. Columba falls on June 9th. In St. Columba’s
there was that mixture of waywardness and heroism which never fails to
fascinate. It remains a problem for the historian to sift fact
from legend in any account of Columba’s life. But the rumours which
have clustered round this vivid personality are pleasant, not ugly. In
him the turbulence of a St. Peter is combined with the warm love of a
St. John. The incidents which filled his life with originality and
adventure served in turn to inspire subsequent Christians – not unlike
Brother Juniper, who discovered the secret of blending devoted ardour
with gay merriment – in God. Whether in sordid disputes, or out at sea,
alone with the birds under a wide sky, he displayed the apostolic
qualities of vigour, zeal, determination, and a rare gentleness which
have captured the admiration of all those who have learned of him
through song and saga.
His was the energy of a missionary. Facing the unknown, he had the gift
of improv-isation. An essentially lonely person, he loved people. He
delighted to see others working together for a common aim. The
monastery for him was community rather than isolation. The monks formed
his family. His approach to them was unconventional, yet always human.
He drew from them the best of art and craft; under his exacting
leadership, their readiness and devotion in all their work and prayer
laid the foundations of a Columban tradition. Severe on himself, it may
be guessed that he was less strict towards those whose failures he was
sure to have understood. His early life gave him his insights. In his
“Study of History”, Dr. Toynbee quotes Columba as an example of those
who respond in their achievement to the stimulus offered by new ground
and fresh environment. Iona was not a life-sentence; it became a
His zeal, which at first appeared to be his undoing, sprang from his
love of truth. The Columban tradition has been associated with the
copying of the scriptures and the exquisite illumination of their text.
Here were signs of concentration, attention to detail and devotion to
the word of God, which gave ample evidence of work freely and zealously
offered for the love of the Creator. The word
of scripture may have landed him in controversy, but
the same word supplied him with weapons
of defence against the enemies of the faith. His beloved psalms, sung
with full-throated conviction, flouted the druids and confounded the
bards. The mighty tradition of saint-cum-scholar came to stay.
A secret discipline and a life steeped in hidden prayer fortified the
will of him who was too easily dismissed as stubborn, whose versatility
appeared at first as craftiness. But the hymns, the prayers, the rule
of life did not crush the buoyant spirit of this saint. Nor did his
twinkling humour fade beneath the adventurous asceticism. The gentle
dove-like Columba was no insipid saint. He was not called this name to
command a meek and mild religion. Is it a coincidence that Iona recalls
the Hebrew word for dove? The island serves to symbolise in its rugged
independence amid the stormy seas the indomitable spirit of one who
lived in such a setting; who as it were, having loved God, did what he
With my love and prayers,
Sunday 3rd June
THE VISITATION OF THE BVM TO ELIZABETH (transferred)
10.30 am CONFIRMATIONS & PATRONAL FESTIVAL EUCHARIST
in S. Mary’s (no 11am service at S. Faith’s)
Preacher: The Right Reverend Ian Stuart (Asst. Bishop in the Diocese of
followed by BBQ lunch
Thursday 7th June at 8pm
SOLEMN MASS FOR CORPUS CHRISTI
with blessing of those who serve as Eucharistic Ministers in the United
Preacher: Fr. Daniel Humphreys (S. Augustine’s, Kilburn, London)
Following the mass the ashes of George Smith (RIP) will be interred in
the Garden of Remembrance and there will be a bring-a-bottle party in
the Vicarage Garden
Hope in the Holy Land
A pilgrimage to the Holy Land in April 2008 led by the former
Archbishop of York, David Hope, will be visiting all of the main sites
associated with the life of Jesus.
Dr. Hope (now Lord Hope of Thornes) last visited the Holy Land for his
millennium pilgrimage in 2000 and he is looking forward to leading this
first pilgrimage since he retired as archbishop.
The pilgrimage is open to everyone from the parish. After making your
way to the airport you will be looked after all the way, with your
direct flight to Tel Aviv followed bus luxury coach travel, lovely
hotels and the services of a Palestinian Christian guide throughout.
“We will have a reading and say prayers at key sites and
celebrate the Eucharist at very special places associated with Jesus’
life,” Lord Hope said earlier this month.
On the programme are visits to the Galilee region, taking in Cana of
Galilee, the lakeside and the Mount of Beatitudes. Pilgrims will go on
a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee where Bishop David will pray for
peace in the world.
After visits to the Mountain of the Transfiguration and the renewal of
baptism vows it will be off to Jerusalem for five days of worship,
touring and reflection, including visits to the Mount of Olives and the
Old City of Jerusalem where Bishop David will lead the Via Dolorosa.
Full colour brochures can be obtained from 0845 610 6447
In October it will be three years since the first band of intrepid
pilgrims from our United Benefice ventured into the unknown on
pilgrimage to Conques.
What was experienced in that very special place by the thirty three
people who went is very hard to put into words. We went as individuals
and came back as a united band, many of us changed by the experience we
Being in a place that has seen thousands upon thousands upon thousands
of pilgrims over the centuries, where the relics of S. Faith are kept
and treasured, was a truly remarkable time.
October will also see the first anniversary of the United Benefice
Pilgrimage to Rome. This was in deep contrast to the quiet beauty
and tranquillity of Conques, entering the busy bustling streets of Rome.
Nonetheless, it was a pilgrimage full of adventure, sights, sounds and
being in the place where Christianity was founded was truly
emotional. While we were in Italy we went to Assisi and Orvieto,
two truly beautiful places.
We will celebrate the anniversary of the pilgrimage to Conques on
Thursday, 4th October, and the pilgrimage to Rome on Thursday, 1st
The reunions will be opportunities to reminisce, take a fresh look at
our photographs and revive memories. On each occasion there will
be a celebration of Mass followed by light refreshments.
If you were one of the pilgrims, please put the dates in your diary as
we look back at our time together in Conques and Rome and forward to
the next pilgrimage – Santiago de Compostella in 2008?
Three entertaining items, courtesy of
Zoo bosses have been told that they can’t advertise for a Fat
Controller to work on their Thomas the Tank Engine ride. Legal advisers
have warned the East Sussex Park Zoo that specifically requesting a fat
man for the job would be discriminatory, and they should at least
interview a few thin men.
A Weymouth baker has been ordered to rename her cakes because they fall
foul of trading standards. Officials say that her ‘Robin cakes’ – which
feature a marzipan likeness of Kermit the Frog’s nephew Robin – are
misleading because they don’t actually contain robin meat. The same
applies to her Miss Piggy tarts, which are not made with pork, and her
Paradise Slice, which does not actually come from heaven.
John Humphrys has put the record straight about his feelings for Moira
Stewart. A BBC insider recently claimed that, after reading the news
with her one evening, Humphrys turned to Stewart while the credits were
rolling and said: ‘You’re the most sensationally sexy lady I know. The
best thing we can do for the next few hours is make mad passionate love
in the basement.’
‘I did indeed say it,’ he admits. ‘But it wasn’t the news, but a
programme for the deaf, and viewers were able to lip-read it…’
On Tuesday, May 8th, the people of St Faith’s said a sad farewell to
George Smith, one of its most loyal members over many years. Three
former vicars joined Fr Neil for the marvellous and uplifting funeral
mass. The vicar’s address is printed below.
I am very grateful not only to former priests for making the journey to
be here today but grateful also to a number of people who have shared
thoughts and words with me about George because, perhaps I speak only
for myself, in many ways George was a private person and so although
various people knew various chapters of George’s life, not everyone
perhaps knew it all.
To describe George as a paid up local would be an understatement. He is
not the only Smith on the Wardens board at the back of church, there is
a family history and connection.
George had retired from work by the time I arrived on the scene, so he
was very much a face seen on a daily basis in and around Church.
Throughout his working life as a civil servant for Liverpool City
Council he caught the same trains every day. He was self-effacing and
didn’t like to be the centre of attention. It was typical of George
that when he retired he told no one in the office until after lunch on
his last day, even though he had worked with some of his colleagues for
over thirty years. He didn’t want them to make a fuss.
Although his sister Margaret tells me that in earlier years George was
known to entertain at 42 Milton Road, his way of life in recent years
had made him a more private person. He liked to keep his private life
private and was horrified one Sunday morning, when we couldn’t find the
black curtains to hang behind the high altar, to find that we rang the
Cathedral Close at Wakefield to ask him where they were.
George’s love of Marks and Spencer comes a pretty close second to his
love of music and as someone who lives on their own I can appreciate
that! There was certainly no shortage of meals being offered to him
when George found getting out difficult and getting around the house to
do things difficult. Typically George wouldn’t want people put out and
would rather struggle on than, as he would see it, be a burden. He was
ever grateful to those who would get his shopping though and particular
thanks must be given to Irene and Eric Salisbury who knew what George
needed from the shops (his ordered and methodical mind made that task
easy) and to Laura and Ron Rankin likewise, neighbours of George for
many years and among some of those to see George in his last days. He
had many visitors to the hospital from the family of St. Faith’s
and Bill Tudhope must be thanked for the many hours and days he
acted as chauffeur to George for hospital appointments. If any of you
had to take people for hospital appointments you know there’s not much
chance of fitting anything else in that day!
All in all, such acts of kindness are typical of many at St. Faith’s
and its extended community, but also displays of affection and respect
for the person whose life we come to celebrate today.
Our prayers and thoughts naturally are with Margaret today, George’s
sister, and all the members of his family. It is a sadness that in
recent times George has been confined to this side of the Mersey and
unable to cross the river to visit family.
Long-serving fellow warden, Chris Price said:
'George served alongside me as Warden for many years and was a devoted
servant of St Faith's and all that it stood for. He sat opposite me in
the back pew and together we belted out the hymns from the new-fangled
'Blue Book' when Fr Charles introduced us to Appleford tunes, although
I guess he always felt on safer ground with Ancient and Modern and the
English Hymnal, as he was a traditionalist with his roots firmly in the
past of St Faith's.'
George could also adapt to the new, however, as a letter of 10th June
2006 to Fred Nye suggests:
Could I thank all who organize the family services each month? They are
lively services and a lot of work goes into them. We are given a lot of
lasting images, such as the decorated umbrellas at the Christian Aid
Service, filmic flames of Pentecost, the doves flying in the chancel
and our own small versions to take home!
In addition to the Eucharist George was also a regular member of the
monthly Benediction Service on a Sunday evening and was a great support
over the years of joint services taking place at other churches in the
area, even if getting there was a bit of a hike.
Fr. Richard Capper says:
Throughout his whole life George was a member of St Faith’s and
displayed a constant faith, a caring attitude and an attention to
detail. He was churchwarden for many years. In my time as vicar he
attended Evensong most days and would happily take the service if a
clergyman was not present. He was observant about people and events. He
liked things to be systematic. No job was too little for him and he
regularly (religiously?) put out the bins (and always knew when the
collection days were different).
I personally have realized in recent months how much we have missed
George’s keen attention to detail, when finding posters on
the boards that are 8 months out of date: or a service on a Saturday
night being advertised at both 6 and
7pm, with people turning up at both times, in some cases to find out it
has finished and people have gone home! That probably wouldn’t have
happened in George’s reign as there would have been one of the famous
notes, on a piece of scrap paper, put through the vicarage letter box,
mildly pointing out this or that that needed attention or
George acted as honorary verger for many years, opening up and setting
things up for weddings, and for baptisms in my time, and many a funeral
has gone smoothly thanks to his quiet unassuming attention to detail.
When I took Communion to Edwina Harding some weeks ago she spoke about
how George would arrange not only the readings rota, but would rehearse
people, thoroughly and meticulously, so that they felt confident to
read in church and use the microphone. Come back George, all is
forgiven! I have never had to walk to the microphone so often because
people haven’t checked whether it is on or not before they speak.
Fr. Charles Billington says:
George was always a loyal servant to St Faith`s and would always go out
of his way to see that things were in order for any event or function.
He always wanted things to go right. Charles adds that George`s view of
what was ‘right’ did not always correspond with what the incumbent felt
was right. No change there then!
St. Faith’s has seen many firsts over the years and I think we managed
another last night. We have had funeral masses when the body has been
brought into church the night before, in some cases the High Mass of
Ascension Day or Candlemas has gone on with the deceased present. But
last night George had a concert all to himself: young Matthew, today’s
trumpeter who has just won a place to Music College in London, is
playing a concerto in the Philharmonic Hall on Sunday. And we had
arranged a rehearsal for last night. My first thought was that we
couldn’t practise last night as George would be lying here. Then I
thought what more appropriate place to rehearse and George would be
secretly pleased that he heard the concerto before anyone else at the
It was Sir Thomas Beecham who said “Brass bands are all very well in
their place - outdoors and several miles away.” George didn’t share
that sentiment: his musical tastes were very catholic and he
particularly loved the blend of music and liturgy which is the hallmark
of Saint Faith’s. In the mass we will have Faure’s setting of the In
Paradisum, at the crematorium the same words set to music by Karl
Jenkins. George’s choice. He loved it at Christmas and Easter when the
trumpeter embellished the musical offering.
Aldous Huxley once said that “after silence, that which comes nearest
the inexpressible is music.” In many ways what we come to express
today is inexpressible for we can only ever glimpse a hint of the
beauty of holiness and the beauty of heaven, the things God has
prepared for those who truly love him. But it is our prayer that the
vision George caught sight of on earth will now be, well and truly,
music to his ears. If God’s gift of music gave him so much pleasure
here on earth, how much more will he rejoice today, for he no longer
has a seat in the stalls, but is finally part of the symphonic
orchestra of heaven.
Two further tributes to George. Rick Walker writes of his membership of
the Men’s Group, following which the editor contributes one of his own
poems, written with someone like George Smith very much in mind, and
dedicated with affection to his memory. May he rest in peace.
George was a founder member of that rather enigmatic and often
misunderstood community of St Faith’s, the Men’s Group. At first
glance it was not perhaps a group that you would think George would
naturally relate to. But in fact I think it gave him a chance to escape
his normal well-ordered world and enjoy the relatively harmless banter
and antics that have been the hallmark of the Group from its beginning.
George will be missed by all in the Group for his quiet demeanour and
surprisingly witty remarks. He always knew how things should be done,
and was a remarkable store of knowledge of names, places and events.
His name will be engraved on the paten of our communion set alongside
those of all our passed colleagues, and he will be remembered by all
with great fondness as a man of principle, character and compassion.
The Person in the Pew
I hail a quiet hero, the champion of the age,
Unknown to fame and fortune, no strutter on life’s stage;
The humble representative of folk like me and you:
I sing an unsung champion: the person in the pew.
He’ll never hit the headlines; he’ll rarely cause a stir
(Forgive me, ardent feminists, if I say ‘him’, not ‘her’)
But faithfully on Sundays you’ll find him on his perch
Upholding the traditions – a pillar of the church.
He sits where he has always sat while, all around him, change
Brings odd new prayers and modern hymns and service orders strange.
He pays his dues discreetly, signs covenants on cue:
What would we do without him – the person in the pew?
Though prelates may pontificate and curates come and go,
The layman’s there to hold the fort, and it was ever so.
Should you seek a staunch supporter, you’ll not have far to search:
His presence keeps the roof on – he’s a pillar of the church!
On High days and on holidays you’ll find him in his place,
In sober dress and countenance, and Church of England face.
But mock him not nor spurn him, but give the man his due:
He’s the ultimate survivor – he’s the person in the pew.
I would like to thank everyone who has given me so much help,
consideration,and support over the last three months since I had my
knee replacement. Also to Fr. Neil who was so considerate in
planning to come to bring me communion around the District Nurses'
appointments. I really appreciate all the help with meals,
transport, flowers and company I have received from my friends at St.
A sermon preached on the fourth Sunday after Easter
Fr Mark Waters
‘How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us
The people described as ‘the Jews’ in this morning’s gospel reading
want Jesus to tell them plainly whether or not he is the Messiah. The
story is part of a whole pattern of examples across the four gospels of
stories of Jesus’ reluctance to make claims about his divinity.
Scholars have called it the Messianic secret.
What these passages are really saying is not that the Jews didn’t know,
or that Jesus didn’t know, but that the early church didn’t know
exactly how Jesus could be divine. The gospels are witness to that.
They, and the rest of the books of the New Testament, were the first
written attempts to grapple with that central mystery of our faith.
Here we see first century Christians struggling to make sense of what
incarnation meant – how a human being could also be God at the same
And the church continued to struggle with that task for centuries;
holding a series of world councils – with endless arguing – as the
church haltingly tried to define what Christian orthodoxy was. Until we
get to the Council of Chalcedon, the Fourth such Christian council held
in the year 451 and attended by 600 bishops. And this is part of what
they came up with, some of which you will recognise from our creed:
“Therefore, following the holy fathers, we all with one accord teach
men to acknowledge one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, at once
complete in Godhead and complete in manhood, truly God and truly man,
consisting also of a reasonable soul and body; of one substance with
the Father as regards his Godhead, and at the same time of one
substance with us as regards his manhood; like us in all respects,
apart from sin; as regards his Godhead, begotten of the Father before
the ages, but yet as regards his manhood begotten, for us men and for
our salvation, of Mary the Virgin, the God-bearer; one and the same
Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten, recognized in two natures, without
confusion, without change, without division, without separation; the
distinction of natures being in no way annulled by the union, but
rather the characteristics of each nature being preserved and coming
together to form one person and subsistence, not as parted or separated
into two persons, but one and the same Son and Only-begotten God the
Word, Lord Jesus Christ.”
. …….So that’s alright then isn’t it, got that one sorted!
Despite all of those efforts the question hasn’t really gone away. And
never really does go away.
Definitions can never hack it – no matter how many bishops put them
together. We still struggle with the same question now. How is Jesus
T. S. Eliot devotes the whole of his poetry in the Four Quartets to
this question. He talks about ‘trying to apprehend the point of
intersection of the timeless with time’, which, he says, is the
occupation of the saint.’
‘But for most of us’, he says,
‘there is only the unattended moment, the moment in and out of time.
The distraction fit, lost in a shaft of sunlight, the wild thyme
or the winter lightning or the waterfall,
or music heard so deeply that it is not music at all,
but you are the music, while the music lasts.’
‘These are only hints and guesses’, he continues,
‘The hint half guessed, the gift half understood, is Incarnation.’
So we struggle with hints and guesses. Because the answer to the
question of the incarnation isn’t anything that you can sort out in
your head! It’s not a head thing - it’s a heart thing! We can only
really know the mystery by actually living it.
As the American writer Frederich Buechner says:
If God speaks to us at all other than through such official channels as
the Bible and the church, then he speaks to us largely through what
happens to us –because the word that God speaks to us is always an
incarnate word – a word spelled out to us not alphabetically, in
syllables, but enigmatically through events.
That’s what the Jews couldn’t understand in this morning’s gospel.
And that’s why Jesus’ answer to them in the gospel this morning is –
look at what I do, what I have done – there is the answer to the
secret. There you will see God.
And when we look at what he did, it is clear that you can only
understand those things in terms of relationships. Engagements with
people. Part of a process. Divinity understood in a series of
The incarnation, God’s love made flesh, God’s love with skin on, is a
recurring irruption of grace into our lives. It wasn’t an event which
happened all those years ago, it is a process which is going on now.
It happens in the middle of relationships, in encounters between us,
out of the depths. And you can’t bottle it. You can’t ever properly
define it. You can’t preserve in aspic. You can’t nail it down in
church statements. And you can’t conjure it up in liturgies.
We can only experience it in what happens to us, day by day, in our
lives with one another. In the mundane realities of the everyday. In
our encounters with one another.
John Shea puts it like this:
When grace erupts the human condition changes. Grace is a catalyst.
When grace explodes you don’t know what its going to do, but people are
going to move, things are going to happen. There is no predicting it,
but you can be AWAKE! You can be awake when it happens. And if
you are then you kiss the earth, and if you are, then you give praise
to the source of life and the people you live with!
So the key is being awake! Not falling asleep.
Not allowing habit and custom to
blunt our perception of what is happening in the moment. Not to allow
life to just happen to us. Not to be dragged along by events. But to
learn to inhabit events. To be really alive to the moment. To learn to
We need to have faith in that contemporary Christ. The one who is alive
now in the miracles of love which we witness every day. Anytime people
do as he did. Welcoming the stranger. Serving the poor. Healing the
dis-eases of our bodies and souls. This is what it means to be one of
his sheep. To understand servanthood, humility, commitment,
faithfulness. This is the only way we will ever know.
T S Eliot again:
‘We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
Quick, now, here, now, always –
A condition of complete simplicity
(Costing not less than everything)
And all shall be well
All manner of things shall be well.’
Behold, our Christ is Risen indeed. Alleluia!
Dates for the Diary
Saturday 23rd June
2.00pm Open Gardens Day concluding with
7.00pm Pimms and Punch and live jazz in the Vicarage
Garden (later cancelled)
Sunday 24th June
Sunday Schools’ Party, Picnic and Bouncy Castle in the Vicarage Garden
Sunday July 1st
Martin Jones’s ordination day
8.30am Said Eucharist in S. Mary’s
10.30am Ordination of Martin Jones
as Deacon in Liverpool Cathedral
(there will be a coach available to take people to the Cathedral;
following the ordination there will be a reception in St. Faith’s Hall)
6.00pm Said Eucharist in S. Faith’s
Corinne Hedgecock has supplied
details of an entertaining range of
‘sentence sermons’ to be found on church notice boards in America. They
are the equivalent of the Wayside Pulpit messages often seen outside
British churches - but are far snappier and in tune with the current
vogue for witty headlines. Here a just a few for you to judge…
Keep using my name in vain. I’ll make rush hour longer.
(First Reformed Church of Bethlehem)
Looking for a lifeguard? Ours walks on water.
(Shiloh A.M.E. Zion Church)
Swallow your pride. It contains no calories.
(Bridgeton Bible Church)
Let’s meet at my house Sunday before the game – God.
(Christ Lutheran Church)
Give your troubles to God. He’s up all night anyway.
(Christian Assembly Ministries)
Don’t wait for six strong men to take you to church!
(Trinity Lutheran Church)
… and a final ingenious message…
Sign Broken. Message inside this Sunday.
(The First Baptist Church of Montana)
for the Ministry
Hello again, on a scale of 1-9, guess what? I’m on 9! As I write
I am seven weeks from ordination and you would not believe what needs
to be done between then and now! I could list half a dozen or
more things for you but it’s best that I remain calm!
Last term was quite difficult, the academic level was higher and
therefore required extra effort and concentration. The term was
focussed on different ways of discipleship, as suggested by theologians
down the years from Luther to Moltmann. We were concentrating
from the reformation to the present day; anything previous to the
reformation had been covered in another module. April also involved my
third and final Easter school – yes I’m sorry I missed seeing Miriam as
the Easter bunny at the Easter party but believe me I did help in the
‘design’ of the costume.
Easter school was excellent as usual, the planning and dedication of
the staff certainly showed as the week’s programme unfolded. We were
treated to lectures by professors and accomplished authors; the theme
of the week was relationships. That, I know covers a massive
spectrum of relating and no stone was left undisturbed. We considered
same-sex relationships, civil partnerships, age concern, sexual and
physical abuse to children and adults, marriage and divorce,
disability, single issues; in fact we discussed as many of the myriad
of human interfaces as possible.
Naturally such discussions hit raw nerves: with over 90 students
present there will always be somebody who has been or is affected by
one or more of those relationships. So more than one student needed
some sensitive and compassionate pastoral care over the week.
Easter school wasn’t all work though, there was time enough to play – I
do a smashing Frank Sinatra on the karaoke! Seriously, we as a group
are very much aware that we are nearing the end of our initial academic
training (in reality I’m completing year three of seven in training
terms) and we are doing the ‘last of’ things, and people are realising
that this very intimate and supportive community is coming to an end. I
will continue my training with the other six Liverpool NOC ordinands
but the community as we know it will only continue in small localised
support groups, so there is a sense of loss, a sense of change and
That’s it for this penultimate update; my next article will be post
ordination! See you there. With every best wish,
We all wish Martin every blessing as
his big day approaches. See you at
Gift Aid challenge
Gift Aid donations will have to increase next year to offset the effect
of the Chancellor’s reduction in the basic rate of tax.
Otherwise, the Church of England could be an estimated £7 million
a year poorer, according to Bill Bowder writing for the “Church Times”.
Oxford Diocese would lose £400,000. But richer donors, who
increased their contributions to ensure the church received the same
amount, would not end up poorer, accountants said.
Under present tax law, for every £100 donated through Gift Aid,
the churches can reclaim £28.21. But when the 22p tax band
is reduced to 20p in April 2008, the value of the gift will drop to
£25. To restore the value, the standard-rate taxpayer will
have to increase the donation to £102.57.
Higher-rate taxpayers who made a similar increase would not end up
paying any more money; so they could give more, the accountants Sheen
Stickland LLP advised.
Last year, the Church of England said that giving through Gift Aid had
reached £8 per week per subscriber.
A Church of England spokesman said worshippers would have to face ‘the
challenge of reduced tax rebates on Gift Aid donations’. He
welcomed the Chancellor’s promise to examine the help given to churches
and heritage buildings.
(Taken from the “Church Times” by
David Jones, our Treasurer)
We turn to you, O God of every nation,
giver of good and origin of life;
your love is at the heart of all creation,
your hurt is people’s pain in war and death.
We turn to you that we may be forgiven
for crucifying Christ on earth again.
We know that we have never wholly striven
to share with all the promise of your reign.
Free every heart from haughty self-reliance,
our ways of thought inspire with simple grace;
break down among us barriers of defiance,
speak to the soul of all the human race.
On all who rise on earth for right relations,
we pray the light of love from hour to hour.
Grant wisdom to the leaders of the nations,
the gift of carefulness to those in power.
Teach us, good Lord, to serve the need of others,
help us to give and not to count the cost.
Unite us all to live as sisters, brothers,
defeat our Babel with your Pentecost!
Fred Kaan (born 1929)
© 1967, 1991, 1997 Stainer & Bell Ltd
Holy Spirit, come;
Inspire our praying,
That we may touch your life in God
Beyond our saying
Holy Spirit, come;
Inform our knowing,
That we may follow after truth
Beyond our showing
Holy Spirit, come;
Enrich our meeting,
That we may others now include
Beyond our greeting
Holy Spirit, come;
Direct our living,
That we may share a daily grace
Beyond our giving
Holy Spirit, come;
Comfort our sighing,
That we may hope for life renewed
Beyond our dying
Geoffrey Ainger (born 1925)
© 1993 Stainer & Bell Ltd.
God of every changing season,
inner worlds and outer space,
still beyond the grasp of reason,
yielding still to love's embrace,
We, your people, make thanksgiving,
bridging culture, language, race,
for the faith that Christ is living,
for two thousand years of grace.
When, in savage mock–enthronement,
Jesus died on Calvary,
then was made a real atonement,
rooted deep in history.
Partners now in new creation,
sharing all its joy and pain,
pierced with glad anticipation,
we await his final reign.
God, as Holy Spirit working,
help us meanwhile find and clear
all the mines of hatred lurking
in the no-man’s-land of fear.
Do not let us worship money,
lost in deserts made by greed,
while your land of milk and honey
waits to satisfy our need.
In the world’s ongoing story
now a new page open lies.
Print it, Lord, with grace and glory,
read it with our Saviour's eyes.
Through all trials keep before us
symbols faith will recognise,
cross and crown, to reassure us
God, our source, is God, our prize.
Elizabeth J Cosnett (born 1936)
© 1999 Stainer & Bell Ltd
All words reproduced by licence from
the hymns.uk.com website
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