Dear friends and parishioners of St Stephen’s,
In much the same way as any household St Stephen’s has to plan for the future and think about the resources at its disposal. As Christians how we use the gifts we have for God’s glory is an important aspect of our faith. That’s why we need to talk about money at St Stephen’s now.
The PCC has been planning for a renewal and development programme to equip our building for the next phase of its life. As we look to the future we are launching a Stewardship Campaign so that we all have an opportunity to show our commitment and faith.
I invite you to read the enclosed leaflet. It shows quite starkly how few of us are presently contributing regular financial support to St Stephen’s, and it invites us all to respond generously.
The aim of this Stewardship Campaign is a simple one - to increase the level of giving in the congregation, and to increase giving by Standing Order. This would help us to cover the cost of Sunday Worship so that we can then use the ‘historic assets’ that we are fortunate to have for the renewal and refurbishment that the building so desperately requires.
I would also like to make two fundamental points absolutely clear: Firstly, St Stephen’s is a church for everyone, regardless of income. We will be giving at different levels. I only ask that we all aim to give a realistic proportion of what God has given us –and to do so through Standing Order. This would mean that our church can be confident to budget for this regular income and be able to plan for the future. Secondly, your giving will be treated confidentially and will be only known by the Parish Administrator who will process your contribution, and not by me. I will not know who is giving what, but I will simply trust that you are joining me in giving as you are able.
It’s perhaps also worth saying that giving by Standing Order replaces the need to give cash as the offertory is taken on a Sunday morning, and we will be producing ‘giving cards’ for those who contribute in this way to place in the collection bag instead.
Please use this opportunity to support our life together and to make a contribution that comes from the abundance of your heart, and which tangibly and joyfully expresses your Christian faith.
With my love, thanks and prayers,
Fr Philip Barnes