August 1969 Bream.
I have been thinking of some ways for the church to save money.
Discussion of the Diocesan Architectts recommendations for the repair and preservation of the building inevitably raised the question of how we are going to find the money. To implement all the recommendations we need at least £1500.
Now you could, of course, begin by dispensing with the building altogether. It is rather big for the eighty or so members attending weekly, Instead, as Christians you could invite a few fellow Christians to your homes (changing about) for worship, prayer and Bible study.
This should not disturb most members of the Church of England since their visits are only occasional, once or twice a year or even rarer. When it was felt necessary, they could attend a central shrine, say at Coleford or Lydney. Similarly for weddings, or else at the Registrars Office, and this after all, is not to be found in every village. Burial services could be held in the home or at the graveside, although already many relatives are preferring those held at the Crematorium — twenty miles away.
The organist would become redundant - a slight save here.
Assuming, however, that you need the building, you may consider a further slight saving on the cleaning. Each member would bring a bucket, soap, cloths etc. and do a section. Fuel and light could be saved by holding one service, in the morning, members seeing to it that they were well clad in the winter. You could close down altogether when it is too cold and wet to come out.
The churchyard can be closed fairly shortly, but if more space can be found, then it can be taken over by the L D.C. and maintained out of a small increase on the rates. Then you could contract out of your obligations to the Diocese and the Church of England by refusing to pay the £370 quota. After all, you will not be requiring any more help from the Commissioners or the Dilapidation Board since you will also be dispensing with a full time clergyman and will not need to have structural repairs done on a vicarage. You will save about thirty pounds a year expenses now paid for the rent and use of telephone, maintaining and running a car for parish work,’ stationery and postage.
All correspondence, reports etc., their consideration and dissemination among members would no longer be necessary. As for helping to train ordinands and support other priests and parishes, well this has nothing to do with Bream (or so I gather from one or two).
The support of good causes, Home and Foreign Missions, these may be left to the Welfare State or for individuals to send their donations privately if they so wish and, of course, you could discontinue the parish magazine, particularly as the printer has had to increase the price still further. Those wishing to do so might like to continue to purchase the inset, thus saving on the duplicating of local news and the pastoral letter, neither being particularly stimulating or productive of greater church support.
Having opted out of the wider Diocesan, national and world Church thought and activity, you will not want a clergyman to interpret or lead with a view to contributing in any way to this. Furthermore, the fact that the Bible is not apparently felt to be relevant to the parish’s needs, means that a full time minister of the Word is unnecessary. (I won’t say an ‘Unnecessary expense’ because actually we are little financial liability to parishes and I less than most). It ought to be possible for the keen Bible students among you to hold house meetings as I suggest and, let it not be forgotten, there will be more frequent visits to the sick and elderly, since the Vicar never seemed to get around as he should.
What would happen to redundant me? I do not know, I might be moved to a situation, offering not less challenge but more support, though I could not ‘bank’ on this with my views and convictions, Maybe I could take up some other kind of work as did Paul long ago. Not only would it have the advantage of regular and limited hours with a comparable wage but I could continue a Christian ministry, unchangeable on any community and thus help, maybe, some other clergyman to feel he was necessary by giving him my spiritual and practical support - as I used to before I was ordained to the full time ministry.
Your friend and vicar,
Repairs to Church:
It has been decided to do only the most urgent ones and those which can be paid for out of our present balance, namely, the repair of the bell turret, the guttering between the Nave and North Aisle roofs and the mullions of windows in the North Aisle. Estimates for the treatment of timbers and furniture to be obtained. Whatever further means we adopt to raise money may I at this stage urgently appeal to everyone to make sure his or her weekly contribution is made. Please, if you do not already do so, use our Envelope Scheme. Mrs Johnson or myself will gladly supply.
Mr Macpherson tells me that contributions to the boxes have dropped - only less 4 1/2d lay in them following a recent warm weekend and the attendance of numerous visitors. One person seems to have a grievance. They haven’t brought the machine up here she complained, referring to a kerb congested section at the top.
I should remind her and others who may be thinking likewise that the they is only one. It was our promise and his intention that we begin by clearing around the church, extending where and when possible. This has been done.
Further it should be known that it is not the responsibility of the P.C.C. to look after individual graves and their immediate surrounds.
Nevertheless, observers would have noted that splendid work has been done by others, notably Messrs Macpherson, Tie and Jenkins, our young folk, and Mrs J. Macpherson. We have not broken faith so please continue to support this work.
I have to remind users of the churchyard that neither the cementing of grave surrounds nor artificial flowers are allowed.
The congregation enjoyed the concert given on Sunday evening, July 13th. Financially this was not as rewarding as we had hoped. Of the £6 or so contributed, a part will go to the Band.
The Vicar and I were extremely happy to welcome thirty members of the National Council to tea at the Vicarage on Wednesday, 16th July, following their sight-seeing tour of the Wyes Valley. Mrs. L. Smith and Mrs. E. Edmunds of our own branch and ladies from Tutshill and Parkend Churches assisted to serve a most appreciative crowd.
The following should be noted in members’ diaries:
September 3rd: Outing to Castle Combe and Bristol for an evening meal. Coach leaving the schools at 2.50 p.m. Fare about 7/—.
September 12th: Rummage Sale at the C. of E. School at 5.50 p.m.
September 25th: The next meeting at the Vicarage.
Our new Treasurer is Mrs. K. Kear.
News of the Sick:
Mrs. B. Kear and Mr Fred Kent are very poorly. Mrs. Moore remains about the same, as does Mrs. Ellway, still at the Duke. Mrs. Skipp has had an unfavourable report on her eyes but counts her blessings still. Mrs. Phipps slowly improves. Pray for each and their relatives.
Aug. 10 & 17: Mrs. T. Watkins
24 & 31: Mrs. S Macpherson
Sept. 7 & 14: Mrs. K. Kear
Aug. 17’ & 24: Mrs. A. Luker
24 & Sept. 7: Mrs. B. Nelmes
Sept. 14 & 21: Mrs. L. Edmunds
June 20th: Roger Sidney Turley and Susan Pitcher
July 12th: Roger John Meek and Susan Carol Camm
July 10th: Herbert Ambrey
Collections for month:
Omitted this month owing to Treasurer’s absence on holiday.
Mr and Mrs. Ben Lewis are shortly leaving the area for their new home in Norfolk, a move necessitated by the continuing ill health of Mr Lewis. The latter has made their regular churchgoing impossible in recent years but they have retained their interest in the parish church. We are sorry to lose them particularly in the circumstances, but earnestly pray they will find improved health and spiritual blessings in their new home and church.
Our thanks are expressed to the Printers who, despite the arrival of the July mss. a fortnight late and a day before their holidays, saw to it that we had our magazine on time.
St. James’ Church.
SUNDAY Holy Communion 8 a.m.
2nd and 5th Sunday 11 am. (sung)
4th Sunday 6.30 p.m. (sung)
WEDNESDAY Holy Communion 10 a.rn.
CHURCHINGS, BAPTISMS, MARRIAGES, FUNERALS All by arrangement with the Vicar
SENIOR BIBLE CLASS Tuesday 6.30 p.m
MOTHERS’ UNION . 3rd Wednesday 7.00 p.m.
CHOIR PRACTICE Friday 7.30 p.m.
Sunday School 10 a.m.
Morning Prayer and Sermon 11 a.m. except as above
Evening Prayer and Sermon 6.30 p.m. except as above
VICAR REV. E; C. MUSSELWHITE Telephone Whitecroft 376
WARDENS Mr. K. KEAR
Mr. S. MACPHERSON
P.C.C. SECRETARY: Mrs. G. MILES,
CHURCH TREASURER: Mrs. M. JOHNSON,
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