The PCC, as its known, met this week and it's the governing body of SMB!
It is made up of people who we together have chosen to help guide and direct our church.
You may be interested to know what kind of things were or are on the Agenda for the PCC, certainly they are things we need you to be praying for and supporting:
The Church Yard Vision and its ongoing work
The Church as it re-emerges from Coronavirus
Renewing Safeguarding policies - done annually
Finance Updates and planning
Strategic Development Fund update and approving two new St Mary Community Centre initiatives - Homework Club and Storage Proposal
Governance review of PCC - this has been happening in-depth since September and we are moving closer to a new restructure
We have a wonderful PCC team and we meet approximately every other month.
Please pray for us.
Please keep supporting our church financially as these are difficult days and many churches and charities have taken a huge hit. Let's continue to be committed to the vision of resourcing our Church, Community and City.
We also now have the facility to listen to the service on the phone for those who are unable to join on Zoom. Just dial one of the numbers below, then enter the ID and Passcode above to be connected to the audio of the service:
Our beautiful and ever-evolving churchyard is now affiliated to "The Quiet Gardens Movement". It's a lovely way of sharing our special outdoor space with the community and anyone who wants to take time out, to slow down and appreciate the wonder and creativity of God.
The quiet gardens movement nurtures and promotes outdoor spaces for prayer, rest and contemplation and there are currently 300 "Quiet Gardens" throughout the world. The locations and more information can be found on their website www.quietgarden.org/find-gardens
We hope to host our first quiet day in the churchyard when we are allowed, and this will be publicised by the movement to its followers and fellow quiet garden hosts.
You don't have to wait until then, come and visit the churchyard and see many welcome signs of spring. The snowdrops have been beautiful this year, and spring bulbs are blooming. Listen out for the woodpecker and songbirds. The new benches provide quiet spaces to sit where you can have inspiring views of the church.
The Quiet Garden Movement flows from the example of Jesus's withdrawal to natural places to pray with his invitation, 'Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest' Mark 6: 31. Sarah Shrimpton
Flower Rota Team:
I am currently putting together a rota for the flowers in expectation of our return to the church building. If you would like to join the flower rota, either as someone who donates money or arranging the flowers in the church, then please contact me, Lynda Castle, using these details - email@example.com, 07753247404, 01908330096. Thank you.
HOLY WEEK & EASTER PRAYER PRAYMK will be issuing new resources across 2021 to help when praying both as individuals and as communities. As a church, St Mary’s along with PRAYMK is passionate not only about creating resources for those of you who pray already but also for people who don't consider God as their first port of call.
As we grow and develop in prayer, we hope you will find information, ideas, insight that will excite, comfort and inspire. PRAYMK joined in with our recent 24/7 week of prayer and they are currently preparing resources for Holy Week and Easter that can be used digitally or 'in person' services or for private prayer. They will be made available by PRAYMK in plenty of time. In the meantime, the resources PRAYMK produced last year are at the foot of the PRAYMK Downloads page and Paul Oxley has just made a collection of resources on the very relevant theme of Lament. This material is excellent so why not use it in your private prayer. As soon as LINKS to the Holy Week and Easter prayer material is available we will advertise it. In the meantime please keep an eye on St Mary’s weekly news sheet and/or go to the PRAYMK (see www.praymk.com) or their Instagram site (see Instagram). Also further information can be obtained from me (Mike Wittle) on firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have ever wondered what the Diocesan Synod talks about you may be interested in their summary report on the November meeting. You can see the report, or even watch the meeting itself, at the following link https://www.oxford.anglican.org/diocesan-synod-summary
Alpha Course Online - Spring 2021:
Starting Sunday 14th March
The Alpha Course is a free course that creates space for anyone to come and discuss and look at life's big questions. It is open to anyone, wherever you are in your journey of faith.
Please prayerfully consider who to invite to join this brilliant course.
Can anyone help? Is anyone aware of a mobility scooter that is not being used that could be borrowed by a church family member? The person is waiting for a knee operation and is finding it impossible to get out and about at the moment.
Please contact Charlie on 07711 738652 or email@example.com
Message from Spring Harvest:
Why not join us for Spring Harvest Home 4th-8th April as we explore our 2021 theme ‘Unrivalled: Why we worship’. With the help of brilliant Worship Leaders and Speakers, we’ll be looking at why we worship which starts with who we worship. Every new challenge we face brings a new opportunity to tune into God and join in with his mission. Whatever comes our way, our God is unchanged, our God is unshakeable, our God is Unrivalled and we will worship him.
Visit https://springharvest.org/springharvesthome21 to book your place to access all the brilliant content online, both live and on-demand.
Click on the picture above for more information.
St Joseph's, Newton Leys
St Joseph's, Newton Leys, is the pioneer church linked to St Mary's in our parish. It is headed by Rev Ben Thorpe and is currently continuing online. You can follow what they are doing on Facebook here.
A service provide by Oxford Diocese
Giving To St Mary's
In these times when we are unable to meet in the Church building together, your donations are just as important to us as they have always been. Your offerings mean we can continue to serve our community both practically and spiritually, worship, and connect with each other and maintain our buildings ready for when we can open again.
Virtual Church is a real blessing, but it does mean physically making your offering interesting if you make your offering via the collection plate. The Parish Giving Scheme (PGS) has responded to this need and it is now possible to sign up to the scheme over the phone. Please call them on 0333 002 1271, remembering to have to hand St Mary’s Bletchley Parish Code which is 270627709 and know that we are in the Diocese of Oxford. If you would like further information you can have a look on their website https://www.parishgivingscheme.org.uk/for-donors/