Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
As a church, the Rivers Team is committed to growing and developing our ministry to children, young people, and families and to do that we need to maintain and expand our work through the Centenary Project. Sarah Clayton has been employed as The Rivers Team’s Children and Families worker since 2018. This post, which was initially part-funded by the Centenary Project, has allowed our team to further engage in mission to children and families, developing in outreach and furthering the work done to engage with the children and families already attending the churches across the team.
Currently, she is delivering bags to over sixty children from more than thirty families. Sarah has also grown her relationships with the schools in our team by delivering a basket of goodies to thank them for their hard work through
the pandemic. Here’s what some of them have to say about it.
“…it’s been amazing to receive the activities and bags from Sarah each month and it’s been fabulous to see her on our door stop and have a lovely chat with her just to have that contact with the church and I certainly feel like we’ve made a friend in Sarah and that’s been really lovely.” - Zoe Hirst
“I really like getting the craft bags because I really liked the colouring and stuff and the activity sheets.” - Rory Eyre
“We’ve really enjoyed receiving the activity packs that Sarah’s been sending out to us. It’s so much easier to teach children about Jesus by getting them to create things, and colour things in, and make learning fun rather than just talking at them…” - Kelly Abbot
“I like the Christmas activities, and the chocolate, and learning about Jesus!” - Aoife Eyre
“I really like Sarah because she’s really she’s one of my favourite people ever, thankyou Sarah!” - Noah Hirst
I’m sure you will agree that it is vital that we are able to continue to employ a Children and Families Worker through the Centenary Project, so that we can reap a harvest from the seeds that have been sown so far. And to do that we
need to fund the post from September when the 3-year tapered funding from Diocese ends. This means we need to raise around £12,000.00 per annum through a combination of our own generous giving and the help of outside funders.
We have a number of potential external funding streams that are currently being explored, and we are confident that we will be able to access some of these to support the project. However, in order to ensure we have certainty
for at least 12 months, we are launching a giving initiative and asking you to prayerfully consider giving generously to help raise the £12,000.00 we need for the first year.
Whilst this is undoubtedly an ambitious target, I believe as a church we can do this in faith and the grace of our abundant God.
We heard from Chris in our sermon last Sunday how under Hezekiah’s reforms the Israelites came and worshiped, and from worship there flowed an outpouring of generosity so that the temple storehouses were full, and they had to build more. The more we focus on what God has done for us through his Son Jesus Christ, and the more we consider God’s generosity and give thanks for all that God gives us, the more our own hearts will be enlarged to overflow with generosity.
I know that for some the last 18 months have been financially challenging, and I am not wanting to place an undue burden on you if that is the case. But for those who have been able to continue working through the pandemic,
without being able to eat out, go on holiday or use the car as much, this last 18 months may have been a time where you have found yourselves having a bit more spare money than normal, and your storehouses may have been
filled up a bit. If that is the case, I want to encourage you to sow some of that into ensuring this great work continues.
I am also aware that for those who normally give through the collection plate at one of our services there has not been the opportunity to give as you normally would, and you may well have this stored up ready for the day youcan put it in the collection plate. If that is the case, can I encourage you to direct this giving to this project.
I am asking everyone across the Rivers Team to prayerfully consider what you can do to support this, either by making or pledging a one-off lump sum gift, or by committing to give a defined sum regularly to the project over the
next 12 months. This could be done weekly or monthly by standing order or bank transfer, or cheque and details are on the pledge form attached to this letter.
We will be holding a formal gift day next Sunday 27th June at our open-air family service to launch the initiative, but will continue to take pledges and gifts over the following weeks with a view to achieving our £12,000.00 target
by the end of July. We will also be launching a specific online giving platform so we can seek support from the wider communities that we serve.
Can we ask you to prayerfully complete the 'Gift and Pledge Form and return it, in an envelope, either via the collection plate on Sunday 27 th June, or a church service or by sending it to the church office before the end of July 2021.
Standing Orders and Bank Transfers
Making your gifts by standing order or bank transfer from your bank account is very helpful to the church, both in the reduction of time and paperwork and also as a help in claiming gift aid. Our account details are:
Bank Account: Royal Bank of Scotland
Account Name: The Rivers Team
Sort Code: 16 00 07 Account No: 11034188
We are able to increase by 25% the value of every gift from UK taxpayers, provided that you fill in a gift aid declaration
For more information on gift aid please speak to Alison Shaw, Rev. Philip or one of the Church Wardens.
Rev Philip on behalf of the Rivers Team PCC