Dear Congregation and Friends of St Mary Longcot,
Please find attached the Benefice Newsletter for Sunday 4th December and the associated readings.
Sunday Service at St Mary. The service at St Mary on Sunday will be a Holy Communion by Extension and will be taken by Richard Fergusson.
Last Sunday’s Advent Carol Service. Thank you to the Benefice Choir and everybody who attended last Sunday’s Advent Carol Service. It was a great event with mulled wine and Prosecco proving inner heat in the absence of the central heating.
Heating in St Mary. And on that note, the heating in St Mary’s Church is still out of action. After some detailed investigation by the plumbers, it has been decided to replace the boiler and some pipework. It is hoped that this work will be carried out sometime next week. In the meantime, the congregation will need to wrap up warmly. Norma suggests gloves, scarfs and hot water bottles!
Boundary Wall. The work on the boundary wall to the south of St Mary’s churchyard has now been completed. The next most urgent repair is that needed to the wall opposite Church Close on the North-West of the churchyard. The wall has started to bow out and might, in extremis, fall onto the main road. It has become clear that we need to carry out a repair urgently, so the work will begin on Monday. The two other areas of the wall which need repair are safe enough to be left until we find sufficient money for the work to be carried out.
Gutter Clearing. As most trees have now shed their leaves, the gutters around the church need to be emptied of autumnal detritus. Unfortunately the average age of the PCC is well over 70 and there is an understandable reluctance for individuals to go up a ladder. I am therefore appealing for younger volunteers to make contact with me, so that we can arrange a suitable date and time for a team to carry out the task. We have a decent ladder and it should only take about two hours, so please free to volunteer yourself, your spouse/partner, sister or brother.
Financial Matters. Finally, just a word on financial matters. You will have gathered from the above information that the church is in the process of spending quite large sums of money on repairs. This obviously does not include the planned expenditure on improving facilities inside the church, including new lighting, a new sound system and additional soft-backed chairs – all of which have been in the pipeline for some time. The PCC would be extremely grateful if you would all consider making a small donation to help the cover the costs of some of this work. Even better, a small monthly standing order would help improve the church’s income stream and long-term sustainability. Please just send me an e-mail if you would like to help.