April's letter from the vicar
The Vicarage, 11 Jasmine Close
It is fantastic to look back at March and consider the rapid change in weather. Last month I was reflecting on the flooding and this month, although we have had a frost, we are generally enjoying a warm and sunny spring. Ne'er cast a clout till May be out someone quoted to me at church last week, but I think that this year we are all reaching for the summer clothes quite early on. Whilst we must be grateful for all of God’s blessings, the sunshine certainly brings out a true sense of the wonder of God and His creation.
Whittington have enjoyed a successful Pancake Party with thanks to Brenda Giles for hosting it and to all who assisted and produced food that went way beyond just pancakes. We also learned more about Toilet Twinning at our family service when we blessed our own toilet and our plans for new ones, as well as praying for those in Uganda, Burundi and throughout the world who suffer because of poor sanitation. The toilet in the Jubilee Room is now displaying certificates reflecting our twinning arrangement.
St Mark’s PCC have sadly made a decision to remove our clothes bank as it has been a magnet for damp and rubbish and has needed frequent emptying. We have however had a nearly new clothes sale which brought in a commendable £105. Thank you to Jan for organising this and to her team of dedicated helpers. Both churches are holding Easter raffles so please buy some tickets and help to support the work of our churches.
Whittington held a Giving for Life Sunday on 16th March and St Mark’s are also planning one for later this year. So many people reject the Church because they do not like what they perceive as an emphasis on money. The truth is that we do need money in order to maintain our buildings and our worship, make a contribution towards clergy and organisational structure and, most importantly, undertake the work of outreach and the spread of the Gospel message. However, Giving for Life is generally only held every other year and is an opportunity to reflect on our response to God’s great love for us. So thank you for all that you have given in the past and thank you for your prayerful consideration of the future.
Looking to our future programme, Easter Sunday is on 20th April and our Holy Week and Easter services are advertised elsewhere in this magazine. Please come along and perhaps support an extra service that you wouldn’t otherwise go to. It will be good to see you and I can assure you of a warm welcome. It is also Annual General Meeting season. Whittington will hold theirs after the morning service on 6th April. St Mark’s will be departing from the usual Sunday AGM in view of Easter followed by “Low Sunday” and the numbers who are expecting to go away. St Mark’s will therefore hold theirs on Wednesday 30th April at 7.30pm.
Our Team is delighted to be able to share the Archdeacon’s announcement that the Reverend George Davis has been appointed as the new Vicar of Ronkswood. He is expected to be licensed in July. The wider Diocese is looking forward to the arrival of Bishop Graham Usher as the new Bishop of Dudley. He was consecrated at St Paul’s Cathedral on 25th March and will be welcomed to the Diocese in May. Please pray for George and for Bishop Graham and their families as they begin this new chapter in their lives.
Finally may I wish you the remainder of a thought provoking Lent and a very happy and joyous Easter when it arrives. With very best wishes, Clare