Letter from the Rector
William Hildyard School
Letter from the Rector
In a letter to his friend Jean Baptiste Le Roy on 13th November 1789 the great American printer, statesman and scientist Benjamin Franklin wrote :-
“But in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”
As we reflect upon the petrol crisis of September with its extraordinary tax revolt we realise that there are still occasions when resignation to taxes can turn to anger and popular resentment. Had he lived today Benjamin Franklin would have been a fascinated observer of the political ramifications which are no doubt unfolding as you read these words.
However, the Church has reason to be grateful to the tax-man this year. The new system of “Gift-Aid” enables the Church quickly and simply to recover tax on any donations. All the donor has to do is to sign a form with his name, address and post-code and a confirmation that he pays tax and the church can do the rest. One form is sufficient and can enable tax to be collected back to last April.
In the past we have found a great reluctance to enable tax recovery through the old system of Covenants. These legal agreements demanded an identifiable amount over four years and in a climate of economic uncertainty many were reluctant to enter into such a commitment. Now that this has been removed there should be no such fears. Do remember that you do not need to be in “paid work” to pay tax – tax is often deducted from pensions, dividends, interest on investment and other income.
We have written to all in our stewardship scheme giving them the necessary form. Please return these as soon as possible. We are also writing to those we feel may be interested in joining our scheme but would be delighted for people to take the initiative themselves (telephone 347231, 345091 or 346134). One-off donations are also most welcome and can be made in special envelopes containing a form with the necessary information. Quantities of these are available at the back of church.
At the same time we must address the amount that we give to our church. It now costs over £1,000 a week to run St Guthlac’s. This is the basic cost and excludes any special projects. It has been a source of great disappointment that our average weekly giving per person has only been £3.08. The National Average in 1998 was £4.50 (a figure then insufficient for the Church’s needs). There is some heartening news in that amounts claimed under the first Gift Aid forms in the Diocese have averaged well over £5 week. With this new initiative we have another opportunity to review our giving. As a parish we can hardly claim to be in a deprived area and, although people’s circumstances vary widely, we have a good cross-section of the local community. It is hard to understand why on average our giving is so low.
All of this is about whether we are “maintenance” or “mission” orientated. At the moment we struggle with the maintenance. Resources for mission including charitable giving to the wider church and those in need inevitably suffer. In order to be effective we must be properly equipped and greater resources could lead to some very exciting initiatives indeed.
If we reflect upon Benjamin Franklin’s shrewd observation about death and taxes we realise that the Church has a great deal to say on both. As far as death is concerned we reflect upon the salvation from earthly death that Our Lord’s death and resurrection have won. As far as taxes, we can approved a just use of them for the public good and seize those opportunities the tax-man has given us to “siphon” some back” to work for God’s kingdom. At the same time let us look at the level of our giving in the light of our own circumstances and the needs of our church.
With best wishes,
The Dean and Chapter of Lincoln invite Churches and parishes to bring pilgrimage groups to Lincoln Cathedral on Saturday !8th November to celebrate the Octocentenary of St.Hugh. Individual Christians are equally welcome.
The day includes:
Prayer Pilgrimages through the Cathedral lasting forty minutes and ending at St.Hugh’s Shrine. These take place every fifteen minutes from 10am – 12.45pm.
Seminar on ARCIC II, ‘The Gift of Authority’, led by Mgr. Professor Adelbert Denaux from the University of Leuven and Diocese of Bruges.
Ecumenical Pilgrimage Service in the nave of the Cathedral at 2.30. The principal speaker will be Cardinal Edward Cassidy, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (Rome). There will be seating for all those present.
As a parish, we shall be attending this event and would like to hear from anyone who would like to join us but has not yet put their name on the list at the back of Church. Please ring the Rectory (342237) to have your name included. Suitable transport arrangements will be worked out when we have final numbers.
As we do not have a regular meeting in August, a Coffee & Dessert Evening held at the Rectory provided an enjoyable social occasion.
This month the speaker is Michelle Williamson from the Voluntary Service Department of Peterborough Hospitals NHS Trust, who was originally due to visit us in June 1999. However, pressure of work led to two postponements, so we are all looking forward to welcoming her on the 19th at 7.30pm in the Green School to hear about the varied work of the hospital volunteers.
The Bishop of Lincoln, Rt. Revd. Robert Hardy, will give the address
at this year’s Deanery Lunch. The members of Thurlby Branch are the
hosts and the meal will be held on Tuesday 17th October
The October meeting of the Ladies Guild will be held as usual at 8pm. in the Green School on Tuesday 24th October. Mark Smith will be giving an illustrated talk on his recent trip to Peru. He was taking part in a sponsored walk to raise funds for the Children’s Society. Mark will be sharing these experiences with us, so do come along and join us.
Please contact any member of the committee listed below for details.
Kay Roberts (344480), Glenys Whittle (343277), Julie Bacon (342737), Jean Jones (344631), Gwen Wass (344311), Heather Dawson (346574) or Diane Downes (344680).
WILLIAM HILDYARD SCHOOL NEWS
Visit to the Dome: The school has tickets to take a group of Y3, 4 & 5 children to the Dome on Friday 20th October. We look forward to hearing about this very special day when they return. Vouchers are also available entitling parents to 3 free children’s tickets when they purchase two full priced adult tickets. These can be found in the entrance hall.
Open Morning: An Open Morning has been planned for pre-school parents on Tuesday 10th October. You will be able to meet staff and governors and see and learn about what the School and Nursery have to offer. For further details please telephone the School Secretary, Mrs Roche on 343119.
ANIMATION! An important message
For both the animations see \\www.inspired-tech.com\gallery.html