Give and Grow this Harvest Sunday

Harvest Sunday is when we take stock, remember God’s good provision to us and choose to mark the occasion by giving back generously from the plenty we have. At both our morning services this Sunday we will take offerings of food, give thanks for them and then later in the week these will be added to the St Paul’s Hounslow West food bank which provides much needed provisions for those facing hardship.

Harvest is a good time to consider other ways we can give back. For our regulars, our church family, I’d invite you to consider how your own Christian life is marked by giving and growing. Giving – your time and your finances into the life of the church and service of others. Growing – in your faith as a follower of Jesus. Many people give in many generous and selfless ways into our community (Thank you everyone!). Many people will speak of how their faith has become increasingly real and vital at St John’s and St Mary’s (Thank God for this!). But, why not use this time to review again the ways in which you might give and grow? The Give and Grow leaflet which you will find in our church buildings from this Sunday outlines some ways you can do this. Please take a copy home as you think this over.

Looking at finances in particular, it costs £2000 a week to finance St John’s with St Mary’s. This amount covers the expenses for a vicar with housing, our part time Youth and Children’s Team Leader, upkeep of our buildings and regular maintenance. And, of course, we would love to expand the ways we can welcome and be generous to others. Despite some help with income from our church hall, we are still not paying our way as a congregation. Our church is in effect being subsidised by the generous donations of other Christians from around London. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could pay our way and perhaps one day return the favour? Wouldn’t it be amazing to see our church expand its provision of welcome, worship and support to the whole parish from a culture of abundant generosity?

One helpful way to give financially is through regular Standing Order. If you would like to give by Standing Order, we are asking those who earn an income and feel able to each consider giving at least £30 a month. If you are a taxpayer, please consider enhancing your giving through the Giftaid scheme which allows us to claim 25p back for every £1 given.

However you choose to give – may I thank you for your generosity!

David Maclure

Photo by Daniel Hjalmarsson