This is now virtually complete. All of those who joined us over Christmas will have seen the difference this has made to St Barnabas. It has greatly enhanced St Barnabas as a place of worship and as a venue for community events.
News In Brief
Our long wait for our almond tree to be planted is now at an end. It will add to our number of biblical trees and should provide a beautiful blossom and scent in the early spring, before the leaves have emerged on the plane trees. The PCC will be discussing soon the possibility of putting Swift boxes on the church as it provides a perfect position for these graceful and garrulous birds.
To meet all our existing financial commitments St Barnabas needs an income of close to £100,000 per year. Currently, when Gift Aid, is taken into account, giving from the congregation stands at about £45,000, which means the gap in our revenue has to be filled by income from our halls. All that we do, spiritually and pastorally, depends on the financial support and voluntary participation of church members.
- Parochial Church Council Latest:. Among the many routine matters discussed were the tenders from companies interested in securing the contract for the lighting and re-wiring, what to do about signage for the church, and how far we have got with the latest plans for the final roof repairs- a faculty application is being prepared by Karen Butti, our architect, at this very minute. The Pet Service was acclaimed to be a great success, with no Vicar of Dibley touches.
The liveliest discussions were about the plans to launch a questionnaire in the autumn to get parishioners opinions about church life and what they seek from belonging, so that we can look again together at our Gospel Vision ,and the current financial situation causing so many ripples across our diocese of Southwark. Ideas, insights and practical ways forward were abundant.
- St Barnabas and local schools. We continue to work closely with our local schools. Margaret Brett is very involved with helping out at Riversdale and Ian regularly takes assemblies there. Classes from the school also regularly visit St Barnabas to find out about its history and the life of the church. Southfields Community College has a special annual Remembrance Day Service and Harvest Service at the church and we are hoping this autumn to re-launch the mentoring scheme which we pioneered 4 years ago. St Cecilia’s now visit each term to experience worship of the liberal catholic style and strengthen their connection with us.
We are getting close again to the time when references are asked for by families seeking to apply for places in our local Church of England schools. Each one operates a slightly different system, which can be explored on the relevant school’s web-site. At St Barnabas we seek to operate a transparent and fair system, with every family being treated equally with strict principles of honesty being applied.
- Feasting on the Word: Learning for all. In the autumn we are intending to adopt a new educational programme to help all of us develop our faith. There will be new resources for our work with children, available over the Internet, and more sermons structured to encourage adult learning, shadowing the same programme.
If you are interested in finding out more about the materials and the principles behind them please go to www.feastingontheword.net
St Barnabas is part of the Church of England, but its local ecclesiastical district is the diocese of Southwark. Southwark is a very socially and economically diverse district which includes Wimbledon and Brixton. Each parish is asked to contribute its fair share to the corporate costs of making sure that every parish has a functioning church and a priest to serve it.
At a recent meeting St Barnabas’ share was assessed at £60,000 per annum, which means we are asked to contribute a little bit more than the poorest parishes but far less than the most affluent ones. We also need to pay for such things as heating and light, running an office and having the services of a committed and able musical director.
Our congregation’s social and economic diversity mirrors that of the diocese as a whole so we do not expect everyone to contribute the same amount of money and we are well aware that everyone’s financial circumstances are unique and decisions about charitable giving to charity personal, but we do need more help to continue to be thriving church.
The price of 2 cheap bottles of wine per person per week, or 4 cups of coffee, or one cinema trip or one gallon of petrol would transform our finances. And there is always gift aid to top up any contributions by another 28%.
When the diocese of Southwark sold the old vicarage site it could have used the profits to help needy parishes across the diocese or to help cover its other costs. Instead it ploughed the money back into St Barnabas by giving us half the proceeds and then building a brand new vicarage to replace the old. One of the great things about the Church of England is that sense of belonging and responsibility to each other in God’s service.
Claire Fox will be in the office from 12 noon until 4pm on Tuesdays and between 9am and 1pm on Fridays. Usually the office is also open on Saturday morning after the service, from about 10.45 until 11.30. Please look at the events calendar for more details.