WHAT'S IT WORTH?
WHAT IS FORWARD IN FAITH worth to your parish? Across the three hundred-odd FiF Registered and Affiliated Parishes, there seems to be an enormous variation in the value which PCCs put upon our work. As most of you will know, we ask a minimum Parish Subscription each year of just £50. A recent check revealed some interesting statistics: 1 parish pays £600 each year; another parish pays £448; 4 parishes pay £250 pa; one pays £190; two pay £150; one pays £130; two pay £120. 16 parishes pay double the minimum subscription - £100 pa; one pays £85 and another seven pay £75; one pays £65 and another half-dozen pay £60. And the rest - the overwhelming majority - pay the minimum of £50.
Now, of course we are immensely grateful for all the financial support we get from parishes, as well as from individuals. But it is interesting to note that something like 33% of our total income from Registered Parishes comes from just 15% of those parishes.
We have in the past written to our parishes, suggesting that their PCCs might review their giving to Forward in Faith. Numbers have responded in the most painless way possible, by increasing their subscription and converting it to a monthly or quarterly Banker's Order. As we approach the struggle which we undoubtedly face over women bishops, perhaps the time is right to ask again. We will need every pound we can raise in these next few years and so, if you are a PCC member in a FiF Parish, why not raise the subject at your next meeting? After all, if all our parishes on average gave at the same level as those noted above, we would more than double our income from that source. What is Forward in Faith worth to your PCC?
CALLING ALL DURHAM CLERGY
THE FORWARD IN FAITH Chapter of Our Lady and Saint Cuthbert has been working hard at its response to the Durham Diocesan document "Living in God's Reality". An open meeting is now to be held on Friday, 26 January at 10.30 am at S. John's, Brandon, in order to discuss the widespread concerns surrounding the diocesan document and to propose more creative solutions to the problems it seeks to address. Further details from Regional Dean Fr Beresford Skelton on 0191 565 6318 or Chapter Clerk Fr Graeme Buttery on 0191 456 1747.
YOUR CHRISTMAS PRESENT TO FIF
MANY, MANY thanks to all our members who remembered to send Forward in Faith a Christmas Present last year, in the shape of a Gift Aid Declaration! As we left Faith House for our Christmas break, 1,380 of you had remembered to deal with it, and that will be worth well over £15,000 each year to us, in recoverable tax. But, as you all know, it is still the Christmas season, so it is not too late to send us that valuable piece of paper. There are still lots of (too many?) Forward in Faith members, who are tax payers and who have so far failed to make Gift Aid Declarations in respect of the payments they make to us each year. Perhaps their New Year's Resolution might be to deal with that omission before the end of this month!
THANKS, TOO, to those who have already been in touch with their Regional Deans, following last month's piece on this page about FiF Parish Representatives. For the benefit of those who missed that article, here is a brief recap might be useful. Following National Assembly Resolution 2000/10, we need to take steps to appoint a lay parish representative for Forward in Faith, both in our Registered Parishes and, where possible, other parishes also. If you are already an official FiF Parish Representative, please contact your Regional Dean and tell him who you are. Or, if you're one of those unofficial ones, do the same thing. You might want to tell your parish priest that that is what you are doing! And, if your parish has no representative - official or unofficial - talk to the other FiF members, and to your priest, and decide who it is to be. Then tell your Regional Dean. By getting on with this task, we will be saving our priests' time and energy, as well as ensuring that the network is up and running early in the new year.
A DELEGATE to the Forward in Faith National Assembly left a rather nice Marks & Spencer cardigan in the Emmanuel Centre last October. We have waited in vain for someone to 'phone, asking after it, but there has been a deafening silence! If the person who lost it would like to 'phone the Forward in Faith Office and claim it by telling us its size and colour, we'll be happy to re-unite owner and apparel. (Clue as to colour: it might belong to a clergyman!)
YET MORE THANKS
THANK YOU to all those who brightened up the Forward in Faith Office during Advent with their Christmas Cards; there were more than ever before and we really do appreciate them!
AVAILABLE FROM THE FiF OFFICE
THE NEW FORWARD IN FAITH Safe Church Guide, covering the whole country, was published late last year. Priced at œ5 (post free), it lists over 1,100 churches where members and supporters of Forward in Faith can worship with confidence. Indispensable for all travellers, we expect it to sell very rapidly, so early orders are recommended. Orders for 10 or more copies attract a 10% discount.
Postcards of the Icon of Christ our Future, beautifully reproduced for us by the Medici Society, retail at 50 pence each, or 12 for £5, post free. Cards are also available in bulk on a discounted basis for re-sale on church tract tables and bookstalls - please enquire.
Canon Richard Price, formerly Chairman of Forward in Faith Chester, has written a Guide for Lay People entitled "A Straight Course in a Changing Church". He writes: "In the Dioceses I have experienced, only a few parishes have availed themselves of the Act of Synod and come out publicly against the ordination of women to the priesthood. This has left hundreds of layfolk (and not a few clergy), who have traditionalist sympathies, in a difficult situation. Can the Church, in particular organisations like Forward in Faith, offer any practical support for them? Nowadays they often feel marginalised and isolated by the changes sweeping the Church." So well has Fr Price's Guide sold, the first edition is already out of print, but new supplies will be at Faith House this month, price £1.50 (post free). Orders of 10 or more copies attract a 10% discount.
Also still available are Forward in Faith Badges (£1.75), Forward in Faith Prayer Books (£2.50), Forward in Faith Car Stickers (£1.50) and Forward in Faith Prayer Cards (10 pence).
There are also still a few copies left of Michael Harper's marvellous book "Equal and Different" at the special price of £5 (publisher's price £8.99).
Orders for any of the above, with cheques made payable to "Forward in Faith", to Colin Niblett at Faith House.
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