Letter from the Vicar – March 2017

Dear Friends

I am slowly getting used to my new hours and though I am still honouring meetings
and events on my days off it is a more relaxed way of working and I was able to
enjoy a family visit during the school half term holiday. It does mean some things
are taking a little longer than I would ideally like, but overall I think it is a
beneficial move for both myself and the parish as it does save us about £25K a
year (not that that is a reflection of my stipend!)

St Paul’s is a church very much involved in the community and we do social and
community action quite well, however, we do have a bit of a problem with
mission and talking to people about God. I think many of St Paul’s folk do not have
the confidence and feel they are not competent to do so. But If we want to
grow as a church that is one of the areas we really need to work at. Unless we can
tell people why we come to church and unless that reason is clearly a love of God
and his people, then we are not going to attract people who are searching for God
or looking for answers to life’s difficult questions.

We have recently been invited to join other local churches in ventures that will
help us to be proactive in promoting our faith. We have been invited to get
involved in a Churches Together in Sale initiative called ‘Open the book‘, which
takes the gospel stories into schools and I do feel very sad that no one from St Paul’s
has yet come forward to help, and ask you to pray about this and see if it is a venture
you could help with.

The second venture we have been invited to be involved with is Faith and Work.
The next two initiatives of this group are ‘Ashes to go’ and a prayer breakfast in
Holy Week. Father Shaun Conlon and myself will spent some time on Ash Wednesday
standing in Ashton on Mersey village and in Sale Town Centre offering
ashes to those who pass by. (About 40 minutes in each place). We will need
some help with this from people willing to stand with us and hand out leaflets
showing why we are doing it and when our Easter Services are. If you can help
please let me know. The prayer breakfast will be on April 12”‘ — Wednesday in Holy
Week — and will be from 7am till about 9.15am. It will be in St Paul’s Church as
we are the one most people pass on their way to work in Sale. We need people to
help prepare a simple breakfast and hot drinks and to welcome people and we
need help with publicity and with prayer. If you can help please let me know.

If we want St Paul’s to thrive and to grow we really do need to be more proactive in
promoting the Gospel, these two initiatives will be a good start with this.
Please pray about these venture and if you can get involved in any way let me know.

Yours in Christ
Barbara