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Churchwardens' Newsletter 3rd December 2023

We cannot believe that the last newsletter was back in August and here we are going into Advent – where has the year gone.

Dates for your diary:

  • Saturday 9th December at 5.30pm – Eagan Gospel Choir, who appeared on Britain’s Got Talent, will be performing a Christmas extravaganza.

  • Saturday 16th December from 8.30am, we will be cleaning the Church in preparation for the Christmas services. Any help you are able to give, even if it is only an hour, would be very much appreciated. Refreshments will of course be provided

  • Saturday 23rd December at 7.30pm, St Martins service of Nine Lessons and Carols. We hope that you will all be able to join us when we again light the Church as we did last year.

  • Sunday 24th December at 9.30am, Said Eucharist with hymns, as the choir will be taking a break before Christmas Day.

  • Monday 25th December at 9.30am, Sung Eucharist in celebration of the birth of Christ.

  • Sunday 31st December at 9.30am, Said Eucharist with hymns as the choir are taking a well-deserved rest after the Christmas services.

  • Saturday 16th March 2024 – after the success of the Come and Sing with the Stamford Choral Society on Remembrance Sunday, the Society are hosting a concert in St Martins of two classical sacred works – more details to follow.

So, what has been happening:

In the last newsletter, we reported that we were waiting on grant applications to be considered by the governing bodies. We have had some good news in that we have been awarded a grant by the Marshalls Trust of £20,000 and last week we had the news that our National Churches Trust grant had been successful although not as much as we had hoped, we have been awarded a further £10,000. We are still trying for further funding but are confident that we can start the kitchen and toilet early in the New Year.

The first phase has finally been completed by the ground workers, so we have all the drainage in and ready for the toilet and water connections in the kitchen. Whilst the ground workers carried out this operation, we have also taken the opportunity to remove the old large oil tank within the boiler house, which in fact still contained oil along with a large amount of water. This has allowed better ventilation to the boiler house.

You will have seen through the windows in Church that the scaffolding has gone up to start the work on the crenellations. The masons have started carving the stone in their workshops and we will keep you updated on their progress.

You will see in the pews today that we have had some new business cards produced for the Church to enable people to donate using a QR code if they wish. We are moving with the times and need to make use of every opportunity to help people donate. This has been gifted to the Church by our printer free of charge for which we are very grateful.

We would like to thank everyone that contributed to Gift Day at our Patronal Service. So far, we have raised £4140.00 on which we will also be able to claim gift aid. This is an amazing amount in these difficult times and we are extremely grateful. If anyone was not able to attend the Patronal Service and would still like to contribute, it is not too late to do so.

The Revd Mark has produced a new service booklet for the period of Advent. As with the normal service booklet, everyone will have a chance to make any further suggestions before we go for a proper printed version. This will be done for both booklets at the beginning of the New Year. At the same time, the Guide Books are also going to be reprinted as we have exhausted our present supply. Hopefully, as this will be a substantial order, getting them all done together will make it more cost effective.

We are appealing to anyone who would be interested in joining the PCC to help shape the future of your Church. We now have a vacancy as one of the members has resigned due to personal reasons. If you would like to know any more details about the position, please speak to the Church Wardens or the Revd Mark.

We would like to thank Helen Drake for the beautiful white stole that she so carefully made for St Martins and was dedicated at our Patronal service.

We would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a peaceful and joyous Christmas Season.

With very best wishes.

Alan & Julie

Church wardens 07860 658748 / 01780 762405

Safeguarding Officer

Ms Jo Keogh

07918 983146

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