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NEWS FROM ST MARY'S CHURCH

Dear Friends
This addition of St. Mary's Matters aims to bring you good news, inspiring thoughts and some great opportunities to meet together online! As our lives become, perhaps, emptier of the usual stuff, we're praying that God's peace fills all of those newly-made spaces.
-The Team

'Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them..... Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.'

(John 14:23,27)

FIGURES TO CELEBRATE THIS WEEK

200
craft bags
 made and delivered. This week’s theme: "Sunshine and Gratitude"
900
individual meals
going out today
0
clouds in the sky today! Thank you God for the good weather!

BUILDING TO SERVE

Since launching the 'Building to Serve' project in October we have been looking for the right time to lay before you an opportunity to begin pledging your personal support. If you’d like to learn more about this project please click here to see the flyer shared with the church in October last year.

We had originally planned for our sermon series on Joseph to culminate in two Gift Days at about this time, having already launched the project to potential major donors in February, and having since been able to establish a more detailed fundraising strategy. Our intention had been to set a Gift Day target, which - when combined with gifts and pledges already received - would enable the congregation to underpin any loan repayments for the purchase of the Old Bank, to contribute towards the ongoing outreach project costs for which ‘The Branch’ is so urgently needed, and to cover the costs of the first planning stages of our intended Church improvements.  The target sum for all of this would be £540,000, of which £240,000 has already been pledged by a member of the church family. This will leave a remaining target for our Gift Day of £300,000.

Obviously, recent events have overtaken our plans and we are acutely aware that many families have been badly hit by the Coronavirus pandemic, not only by the virus itself but also the significant economic impact it is having. We have therefore made the decision to postpone any formal Gift Day until things have settled somewhat. 

Some of you have told us, however, that you have been waiting for a clear opportunity to make a gift or a pledge of regular giving to ‘Building to Serve’.  For that reason, rather than delay everything until a later date, we would love to invite you to get in touch with us now so that we can help you to begin that giving.   If you would like to start making a pledge, and are in a position to do so despite the constraints of Coronavirus, please simply press the button below to complete a pledge form.

Finally, we would like to take this opportunity to share with you the encouraging news of the amount that has been donated or pledged to our ‘Building to Serve’ campaign so far. To date, we have received gifts and pledges from individuals and grant-giving bodies totalling £530,000. A small amount of this is restricted to our immediate activity in response to COVID-19, but much of it has enabled us both to get this far with the project, and is helping us to maintain momentum towards our goals. A tremendous thank you to those of you who have given already, and thank you also for wanting to be a part of this exciting vision.

God bless,

-James & Gina

Pledge Form

THE BIG QUIZ

During lockdown we want to continue to share life and have fun together and so you are invited to The Big Quiz….

The youth team are bringing you an opportunity to get together with either your family or as a solo player to get your brains in gear and join in on a fun filled quiz. With a range of categories for everyone, we hope you will get involved via Zoom on Friday 1st May at 7pm.

If you would like to enter and receive the zoom invite, email youth@stmaryscnorton.com

The winner will receive a prize delivered to their door! Now there is an incentive!

email Jonny

DESERT ISLAND DISCS

We asked Peter Williams, PCC Secretary, "If you could only take 2 songs, 1 book and 1 luxury item into isolation what would you go for?".

His reply was inspiring! Click below to find out what he chose. (You can probably guess the luxury item if you think about it...)
Click here

FANCY A COFFEE?

We’re really missing being able to chat informally as a church family face to face! So from this Sunday we’d like to invite you to join us for a pre-service coffee (bring your own!) and chance to say hi to each other.

A member of the clergy will host the Zoom and put one light-hearted question to whoever wants to come and join us for 20mins. If you don’t feel like talking, that’s fine too - just come and join in and see some friendly faces. 

Martha will give it a go this week - 10am on Sunday, just use this link - https://zoom.us/j/5837512620

WELCOME BABY HARPER!

A big congratulations to Gareth (our ordinand) and Athena on the safe arrival of Zephaniah last Saturday. The family are back at home and doing amazingly well.

Gareth says: "We're home already, he's met his sister, and we feel overwhelmed by the goodness of God. Zephaniah means hidden, protected and treasured by God. We feel all of those things right now."

Sending big congratulations, love and prayers to the whole family.

AND FINALLY...

Thanks so much for all of your Easter photos. If you missed them the first time around you can still find them all here!
Church family at Easter
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What's happening soon?

Thursday worship Thu 24th Jun St. Mary's Church, Chipping Norton More info
Kintsugi Hope wellbeing course Fri 25th Jun The Parish Rooms More info
Remix Fri 25th Jun Glyme Hall More info