Dear Friends,

A few weeks ago I received a letter which contained a lovely surprise for us all: Mr Arthur Marshall, a long-standing worshipper at St Margaret’s for many years, had named our church as one of the benefactors in his will. I knew Arthur very well, as some of you also did, and we are extremely grateful for his generosity and kindness to us all. We have received the amount of £39,098.25 from Arthur’s estate following his death on Christmas Day 2015. The PCC have subsequently considered how we should apply this legacy and it has been agreed unanimously that it should be designated for use in the renewal of the church floor.

Progress on the floor renewal project has been slow but steady. We now have two clear options which involve either the replacement of all the tiles and the re-laying of the wooden blocks, or the replacement of just damaged and broken tiles with the re-laying of the rest of the satisfactory tiles alongside the wooden blocks. The first option would be considerably more expensive than the second. It would also be a more radical restoration. However, we are now consulting with the Victorian Society to ascertain their view on the two options. When applying for any Faculty for this work we would be expected to have consulted with the Victorian Society. By consulting with them at this stage we hope to present an application with unanimity, ensuring smooth progress through the planning stage. We shall continue to keep you updated.

Arthur’s generous legacy is going to enable us to take a huge step forward in transforming our church building ready for use throughout the 21st century. Over recent years at St Margaret’s we have received a small number of legacies which have enabled us to undertake significant projects in renewing our church furnishings, frontals and vestments for use in worship.

St Margaret’s PCC has a written policy on any legacies given to the church: that they will not be used for everyday expenses such as heating and lighting or paying towards the parish share. Rather, the PCC will always designate a legacy toward a particular project which will improve our church facilities or furnishings, or some other tangible project. Some legacies, of course, are left to St Margaret’s for a particular restricted purpose and such a restriction by the donor is always welcome. For example, Mrs Dorothy Demaine left a substantial legacy to St Margaret’s many years ago for the continued maintenance and upkeep of the church building. The PCC at that time made a very wise decision to invest the capital given which produces an income which we use each year for such maintenance and upkeep. Gifts such as these leave a very lasting legacy to us for which we continue to be immensely grateful.

Arthur’s generous gift seems a natural prompt for me to ask whether you would consider leaving a legacy to St Margaret’s in your will. Such gifts are a way of saying thank you to God and his church for his gifts of a lifetime. Just as we rely on the continued generosity of our congregations week by week to enable St Margaret’s to serve its community and the wider church, so a final legacy can help to keep other aspects of our church life maintained and sustained for generations to come. A legacy can be lasting transformational gift of thanks for generations to come.

Thank you for all that you do to support us in your prayer and stewardship of all the gifts God gives.

Your friend and parish priest