A time to reflect on the past and look forward to the future
We are now well into the season of our Annual Parochial Church Meetings (APCMs). These are important meetings for the whole church and wider community if we are to maintain the buildings in each of our villages. The meetings are an opportunity to review the activities of the past year, to elect people onto the Parochial Church Council (PCC) and to look forward to the events planned for the next year.
This past year has been particularly busy with lots going on – in the individual parishes and across the Group and wider deanery of Southam. We have done lots of things to deepen our Christian faith and equip us for leadership: prayer groups, a Lent course, training to develop our skills, a quiet day and special worship events. We have put on social occasions: coffee mornings and lunches, concerts, whist drives and fetes. We have undertaken projects in the wider community, from collecting prescriptions for the housebound, running a mums & tots group in church, to supporting the local foodbank and helping refugees living in Coventry.
As well as supporting these activities, the PCCs and wider congregations work tirelessly to keep the buildings in good order (five of our six churches currently need major expenditure for tower and roof repairs) and to raise money for clergy expenses, insurance, utilities and all the other costs associated with running six ancient buildings. On average, we need about £2000 per church per month. Each parish tries to be self-sufficient but this isn’t easy. Contrary to popular belief, the local Church is not wealthy, and we will need YOUR help if you want the local church to remain at the heart of our community. If you are able to help the church in any way – with your money, time or skills, we would love to hear from you.
The APCM is also an opportunity to say a huge thank you to everyone who plays any part in keeping our churches open. Personally, I have appreciated all the support and encouragement I have had as I have taken on the role of Curate-in-charge. Hopefully by this time next year, I will be able to report the appointment of new recruits to the ministry team!