Stewardship and Giving Research

Please participate in our survey!

SurveyWe will be giving out paper copies of the survey at church over the next few weeks, but you could complete an online survey instead at Survey Monkey part 1 and part 2. (If you do the survey online, please complete both parts).
Our church’s ministry, led by our full-time vicar, Canon Veronica, is supported entirely by your giving, both in your time and your money. In order to help us plan for the future, we would like to ask you some questions. We hope you will not find them too intrusive but for your peace of mind you will remain entirely anonymous! All answers will be aggregated for analysis and reported to the PCC for use in planning. We will make the key findings available to everyone in the church. We hope that this exercise will help you to pray through how you contribute to the life and well-being of this church. We understand that each individual has different circumstances which may mean that giving more, either in time or money, is difficult. We pray that God will bless you in whatever decisions you make. Thank you for your help and God bless you as you continue to support the ministry at St. Oswald’s.

Vicar’s Letter March 2016

vicars letter003As we enter into the month of March, Spring will no doubt have blessed the bare tree branches around Bollington with welcome signs of new green leafy shoots, and probably all the daffodils in the Vicarage garden will be out in full bloom by now. The March winds in their due season will also herald a few temporary as well as longer term changes in the make-up of our Ministry Team here at St Oswald’s!

The Vicar is pleased to be taking sabbatical leave for three months from 1 April until 1 July (partly in the delightful surroundings of Venice), thanks to the fact that our Assistant Curate is willing to provide cover for our services here whilst I’m away and that Canon Taffy Davies is providing any emergency care for parishes and clergy across Macclesfield by acting temporarily as Rural Dean in my place! However, you will also by now have heard the news that Michael Fox will be preparing to move on from our parish at the end of August, when he will be licensed as part-time stipendiary Priest-in-Charge of St Paul’s, Macclesfield. Every Curacy has a shorter term than is often to be desired, but we do wish Michael every blessing in taking up his new role from the autumn, fortunately remaining in our splendid Deanery of Macclesfield and within the ecumenical group of 39 churches which make up local Christian lay and ordained ministry under the label HOPE in North East Cheshire.

St Paul's, Macclesfield
St Paul’s, Macclesfield

The other changes to our Ministry Team will occur in the natural scheme of things as on the evening of Monday 21 March we come to our Annual Vestry Meeting (for the election of Churchwardens, an ancient office which is open to anyone from amongst the wider parish community and is voted for by anyone who lives within the Parish or who is on our church Electoral roll), followed by our Annual Parochial Church Meeting (which includes the election of new members onto the Parochial Church Council, who may be chosen from amongst those people within our worshipping congregation and voted for only by those on the church Electoral roll). We are blessed with many “good and faithful servants” within this Parish, who give uncomplainingly of their time, talents and energy to benefit the life of St Oswald’s Church and community.

This year, we will give particular thanks for the ministry exercised over the past six years by Jackie Pengelly as Churchwarden and we will certainly be looking for a new Churchwarden to take up the space she must leave as she will have reached the limit of the time eligible at one stretch to stand for election in this role. We trust that her recent adventures visiting New Zealand and Australia will have given her a foretaste of how blessed it will be for her to be free from Churchwardenly cares and responsibilities now for a time, as a new Churchwarden will taking up the role for us as from the yearly “Archdeacon’s Visitation” on Monday 16 May! Please do not be shy about considering whether God may now be calling you to step into this role for the forthcoming year!? “Be strong and of good courage!” There is a wealth of experience for you to tap into from a whole swathe of former Churchwardens still worshipping with us and who will no doubt be happy to offer you assistance or advice when asked. There will of course also be natural opportunities presented too for other new people to serve as members of our Parochial Church Council this year, and thus to pool and share new ideas and perspectives and to offer an increasingly wider set of skills and experience within the representative decision-making body of our Parish Church.

May God bless all of us as we approach the Easter season, not only made humbly conscious of our own limitations and shortcomings as we journey through Lent, but also – in the light of the Risen Christ – once again able to celebrate and exercise of a whole variety of personal gifts, talents and strengths found within the growing worshipping and witnessing Servant Community we call St Oswald’s Church, Bollington!

Have a holy, blessed and happy Easter!