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The Parish Magazine
of Saint Faith's Church, Great Crosby

Saint Faith’s Prayer for Mission

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 your will;
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.


June 2007

From the  Ministry Team

  The Feast of St. Columba falls on June 9th. In St. Columba’s life-story 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 heaven-sent opportunity.

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 liked.

With my love and prayers,

Fr Dennis

Dates for the Diary

Sunday 3rd June

in S. Mary’s (no 11am service at S. Faith’s)

Preacher: The Right Reverend Ian Stuart (Asst. Bishop in the Diocese of Liverpool)
followed by BBQ lunch

Thursday 7th June at 8pm

with blessing of those who serve as Eucharistic Ministers in the United Benefice

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

Join Bishop 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

Pilgrims Reunited

Fr. Neil

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 had there.

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 November.

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?

Odds and Ends

Three entertaining items, courtesy of ‘The Week’

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…’

George Smith, R.I.P.

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 have 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 clarification.

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 ‘Phil!

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 to expressing
 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.

Rick Walker

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.

Chris Price


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. Faith's.

Audrey Dawson

Living the Mystery
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 plainly’

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 time.

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 divine?

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 unseen,
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 happenings. Encounters.

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 be thin-skinned.

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!

More 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
3.00 pm       
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

Signs from Above

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)

The Man 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 moving on..

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 the Cathedral!

Donors face 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)

New Hymns for Pentecost

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 website

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