Stewardship Renewal 2016

Dear Friends

Being the Vicar of St Margaret’s is a huge privilege. Priestly ministry in our parish is continuously diverse and it is always an honour to be alongside people at the most significant moments of their lives. From the beginning of new life to death, in marriage, sickness, bereavement and new beginnings, the Church through her ministry reflects the compassion, grace and love of God.

Particularly at St Margaret’s we also serve our parish and the Ilkley community in many different ways. To name but a few: Playtime; Lunch Club; our Open the Book team in School; Cant & Dec and our work with young people through our music and liturgy; and the service of our Parish Hall. Many of us voluntarily contribute to these with commitment, time, skill and energy.

Below you will find links to our 2016 Stewardship booklet and also a leaflet entitled “What St Margaret’s means to me?” The powerful testimonies given by four different members of our Christian community speak of the importance of the life of our Church for each of them personally. I hope that their testimony resonates with your experience of St Margaret’s Church in your own life.

None of the above would be possible without the financial commitments many make to God’s Church. The stewardship booklet contains details of our budget for 2016, the planned giving we already receive, and what we shall need financially if we are to continue to meet all our commitments this year. You will see that, despite the progress we continue to make, there is a significant projected shortfall for this year if we do not respond, which endangers all of the good we do. Sadly, the deaths of some members of our Christian community in 2015 have created this potential shortfall.

I am continually thankful for all who contribute and particularly those who make a regular and on-going contribution through planned giving. This not only enables us to budget for all that we do in God’s name but even more importantly it gives security to our on-going ministry and mission. You will find inside the stewardship booklet a response form for your planned giving in 2016.

Each year we ask all who are part of the St Margaret’s family to review prayerfully and carefully their financial giving to God’s Church. Can I ask that those who have not yet become planned givers to consider seriously doing so and pledge to make that regular gift? Can I also ask all of us, with the help of the attached information, to re-assess our financial giving in light of God’s sacrificial and bountiful love towards us?

Thank you for all that you contribute and for the ways in which it makes real the work of God’s transforming love in and from Christ’s Church.

Your friend and parish priest