August can sometimes be a time to stop and reflect. It may be a time to take things a little slower. Having said that, for some it will be a busier time than usual, perhaps because of the additional need to care for and/or entertain children.
During the recent warm weather, there were times when I felt that I had no choice but to take things slower. The heat seemed quite exhausting. Jesus was very aware of the need for us to pace ourselves. We read in the Gospels that, for Jesus, intense times of teaching and ministry were followed by time to rest and pray, so that he was ready to go again – a good example for us all.
The same can be true in the life of a church. For a long time, it seemed that were always raising funds for the development or maintenance of our building. When I arrived in 2007, there was an appeal already underway for roof repairs. Then we raised money to install the screen and projector, and the tea and coffee servery, and then there was a big push to get toilets and the new entrance installed.
After all that we needed a rest, so for the last 18 months we haven’t done much to our building. Instead we’ve just enjoyed it. Now it’s time for us to go again. In the next few weeks we will be starting another round of roof repairs. The gully on the north side of the tower has leaked, and there is both internal and external damage to be repaired. Then we want to resurface the drive which is becoming increasingly dangerous and there is work to be in the churchyard, thinning out trees and removing the chalk spoil heap. There are still some minor parts of the new entrance project to complete. All of these things need to be done before we consider the next major project, but these in themselves will cost tens of thousands of pounds.
During our period of inactivity we have managed to build up some funds, but it will not be enough to achieve all of the items listed above. This means that our annual GIFT DAY will be as important as ever. This will be held on Sunday 16th September and will be an opportunity for us to give to God in gratitude for all that he has given us.
If you are on the electoral role, you will receive a letter about Gift Day in due course. If you are not on the electoral role, but would like to give, please do speak to the treasurer or contact the parish office for details of how to do so.
Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. (2 Corinthians 9:6)
Revd Andy Wilson
Vicar, Christ Church Portsdown
Joint Area Dean, Havant
Chaplain, Havant & Waterlooville FC