I love autumn! I don’t know what you think about autumn, but for me it’s a season of beauty and change. The colours of autumn, reds, oranges, browns – wonderful. Before we lived in Madeley we lived on the south coast of England and the autumn sunsets were glorious. The quality of the natural light changes in autumn – fabulous.
Then there’s the change in temperature – the hint at something colder to come, the cool breeze – the sense of time moving on – delightful.
Autumn is the season where we encounter the leaves falling from the trees, various birds heading off to warmer climates. We see the plants and flowers appear to be coming to an untimely end. Autumn is the season when the great work of creation carries on in quieter, unseen ways, the nutrients from leaves returning to the ground. The whole earth seems to settle into a quieter rhythm.
I know that for many, the shorter days and longer nights can feel oppressive and bleak and that some need to make sure to prioritise self-care in this season.
Normally, I look forward to autumn, but as we settle into the chill and long nights of autumn 2021 I’m led to reflect back on the time that has passed since March 2020. I don’t know if I can remember autumn 2020, it seemed to come and go in a Covid blur of lockdowns and changing restrictions. How can we be at autumn 2021 already? Two years ago, in autumn 2019, we didn’t know about Covid and all the pain and challenges it would bring.
Perhaps this autumn, we all might find it beneficial to practice a little more self-care as the nights draw in and the temperatures drop.
Plans were announced on Sunday 26th drawn up by the PCC for the use of the Beryl Ikin Bequest in our Vision 20×22:
Tim announced our intention to appoint a part-time Children, Youth and Families Minister. Our hope is that whoever is appointed will spend time helping us to develop and support what already exists, such as Sunday Kids and assembly links with schools. But we also want whoever is appointed to explore new opportunities and avenues for mission and engagement with children, youth and families within our communities.
This is such an exciting opportunity – made even more exciting by our intention to create an ongoing role, not one limited to two or three years of funding but one that is given space and time to develop.
To make this happen we are very blessed to be able to use the incredibly generous Beryl Ikin bequest to part-fund the post. So that we can make this role the best that it can be, we are also seeking to part-fund the post from our congregations and beyond.
In a giant step of faith as a key part of our 20×22 vision we are looking for 22 people to support the project by £20 per month. We know this is a big ask, but rather than only funding the role through the bequest (which would limit the time of the role) we want to build up that sense of partnership that occurs when people are spiritually, emotionally and of course financially invested in a project.
This is such a wonderful opportunity and we’d be delighted to hear from individuals or organizations who would like to explore how to make this happen.
The PCC plans to use all of this hugely generous bequest to help others, and not spend any on the church building or running costs – £50k to support this exciting new work in the community and £5k to meet our commitment to use 10% of our income for outside giving.