Collection Envelopes

This is to let you know of some changes we are making as from January 2013 to the way in which we administer our stewardship giving scheme. We will no longer be issuing individual numbered boxed sets of envelopes. We have taken this decision for practical reasons – to reduce the amount of wastage and the cost of unreturned envelopes and to reduce the amount of administrative time involved, all of which is done by volunteers.

If you currently give regularly through the envelope scheme, would you consider setting up a Standing Order to the church instead – or increasing your existing Standing Order? Making a gift in this way greatly reduces our administrative burden and helps us to better plan and manage our finances.

There are Standing Order forms on the table at the back of church, detailing the church’s bank details. There are also a Gift Aid forms; if you are a UK taxpayer, please complete one of these too.

If for any reason, you cannot give by Standing Order, there will be general giving envelopes in church. These can be put on the collection plate during the service, or handed in at other times. You will need to complete the details on the front of the envelope so that we can properly account for your gift.

Please do NOT to use any left over envelopes from previous years from January 2013.

If you have any questions regarding giving, please be in touch with me.

Sara Bagnall

St John’s: Venue For Night Shelter

If the long-range weather forecasters are correct, we could be in for a very cold winter this year – which is OK if you’re able to snuggle up to a lovely open fire in a centrally heated house, but not so good if you are homeless and on the streets on a freezing night. With that in mind, local churches will be once again opening their doors to the homeless during the winter months – and this year St John’s has the chance to take part.

At time of writing we’re envisaging opening up our church hall for about six Wednesday evenings/nights, probably starting from mid- February. We aim to lay on hot food and drinks, a bed for the night and, most importantly, friendship for about 15 or so guests.

Those of us from St John’s who volunteered for other churches last year found it to be a very positive and fulfilling experience. Practically speaking, this year we’ll be looking for volunteers to cook and serve food, clear up afterwards, and stay overnight on one night a week. Training will be given. We also need to raise money for food/bedding etc. More details on this soon.

Under the auspices of the Shelter Project Hounslow (SPH) St John’s will be sharing its Wednesdays with another church – Hounslow Evangelical Church – who’ll be operating the scheme from January. They’ll also be seeking volunteers – it might be good experience for anyone considering volunteering for St John’s.

If anyone is interested in volunteering, and would like more info about the SPH scheme, go to http://devonpasty.wix.com/shelter or contact Julian.

Julian Joyce

Harvest Offering

A massive thanks to everyone, and to God, as we have raised £10,260 in last Sunday’s harvest offering. This is amazingly encouraging. It means we have all but £1,600 of the £15,000 we needed for the building works. For those who have not yet given, please let Brian have it asap.

Welcare Richmond are extremely grateful for the amazing amount of dry goods you gave. Surplus going to other local charities.

The Suspension is Lifted!

Bishop Paul surprised everyone by announcing on Thursday, much to everyone’s great delight, that St John’s is no longer a ‘suspended living’. For the past 32 years, we have had an uncertain future, as the Diocese has kept all its options open. BUT now, it is committing its full support to us – as a viable and flourishing congregation in a renovated building. Alleluia.