Dear Brothers and Sisters
I have just finished reading the revised and updated “History of St Mary’s”. Before I was inducted, Keith Tugwell kindly gave me a copy of the previous ‘history’. We owe Trish Royle a tremendous debt of gratitude for producing this ‘magnum opus’. It covers the ground of 75 years and brings us bang up to date. It has obviously been a labour of love. Thanks to Nicholas Royle, our brilliant webmaster, for all the photos. I know you will all want to buy copies when it rolls off the press.
In reading the history I was forcibly reminded that there is nothing new under the sun! I chaired my first PCC last Tuesday and want to share some of the business that was transacted.
Our very assiduous Treasurer Mrs Joan Hooton gave a comprehensive financial overview. In short the budget set for this year has a £5000 deficit. [I found a certain irony in this. When I was a baby vicar in Wales I found that the parish I had gone to had…..a £5000 deficit!! We decided to hold a gift day. The wardens and I sat in church all day and, by the end of evening prayer, the deficit was cleared.] The stark reality is that it costs £2100 a week to keep St Mary’s open. Offerings etc come to £425 per week. The shortfall is clear. We could not run our homes on such a budget and neither can we run St Mary’s like this. A serious stewardship campaign must happen once the 75th anniversary celebrations are finished.
It is no secret that thanks to careful husbanding of resources and some good business acumen we have a very healthy balance in the deposit account. It is no secret that there are things that we need to do in church in order to better witness within the community for whom St Mary’s was built. We will also need to clean the church.
As a starter the PCC agreed, unanimously, to
Install an automated bell ringing system. This will enable the Angelus/Regina Coeli to ring out daily at 9, 12 and 6. It can do other things as programmed.
This ringing out of the memorial of the incarnation/resurrection is a witness to the Kenton Road and to the Parish. We have had letters of appreciation from people who, as they did in former days, stop to pray the angelus as the bell rings. Now it will ring out 3 times each and every day.
The 7cwt E flat ‘Our Lady of Kenton’ bell will be kept busy! The Bishop of London will dedicate this apparatus in September. [Cost £5000]
Install inner glass doors at the West end. This has been discussed down the years. It will now become a reality. Bishop Peter will dedicate the doors on December 3rd [the 75th anniversary Mass]. This means that throughout the day passers by can look into the church. Spotlights will be placed, so as to highlight the Tabernacle, The Rood and Crucifix on the high Altar. Peoples’ eyes will be drawn to the most important points in the Church. The abiding presence of Jesus Christ in the Tabernacle, the Rood and the crucifix, summing up His love for ALL.We have engaged Harry Cardross (who has undertaken similar projects) to execute this work. Please see his artists impression which is on the notice board. The cost is £12000. If anyone would like to give a contribution to these doors, there will be place on them for donations to be recorded.
The PCC also agreed to fund any of our young people who wish to go to Walsingham for the October fun weekend. This support for our youngsters is vital.
Please pray for me as I pray for you