Earlier this year at our Parochial Church Council (PCC) Awayday we set ourselves a number of targets in the form of a Mission Action Plan. Some of these targets would be achievable in the short term, others were longer term goals. I am delighted to say that we have just achieved two of the shorter term ambitions. The first is to have the church open most days (not always on a Monday) and, as I always say: ‘If you open the doors the people come in’. This is particularly true over the warmer months of the year and I have been very pleased to meet so many visitors already.
The second target is to publicise the very commendable sums that we as a parish church give to charitable activities. Later in this bulletin you will see a chart which sets out all the donations to charity made via St Nick’s in 2017. Many of them relate to collections at our Congregational Evensongs, others are the result of annual collections, for example Christian Aid and the Poppy Appeal.
The sum which might seem a little mysterious and requires further explanation is the ‘Support to other parishes via the Common Fund’. The Common Fund is the sum we are obliged to pay to the diocese each year to cover the stipend and housing costs of our vicar, plus a contribution towards diocesan expenses, clergy training etc. As a parish in a wealthier part of London, we are also requested to pay an additional sum to help support those parishes in less affluent areas which cannot possibly afford to pay the full quota for their parish priest. Last Sunday I was helping out in such a parish, on the White City estate, where the parish priest, Fr Ben, is off sick after having surgery. We have invited him to come and preach to us in September and explain how vital it is for us to help in supporting financially the life and ministry of his parish. It is very commendable that in 2017 we were able to contribute to the wider mission of the Church in this way, via the Common Fund.
Last, but by no means least, I would like to congratulate our churchwarden’s son Ian Lucy, on his recent achievements in the World Powerlifting Championships in Canada (see below for details). God gives our children some wonderful gifts and talents, but it is not always obvious where they lie. It is great that Ian has found his own niche in life and we wish him well in future challenges.
With every blessing