Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Gift And Pledge Day 2020

On Sunday 6th December, we will be holding a Gift and Pledge Day, and I am writing to ask if you would consider making a financial donation to support the work of St James.

We are living through very uncertain and difficult times, and I am conscious that there will be some within the church family who have been financially impacted by Coronavirus and may not be in a position to give a financial gift, but for those who can, any gift, no matter how small will be greatly appreciated.

The pandemic has affected us financially as a church, especially with the closure of the shops, the closure of church buildings for worship, and loss of rental income. Therefore any giving will help.

Our main expenditure as a church is spent on staffing (we employ a Children and Families Worker, Church Administrator, Shops Manager, Assistant Shops Manager and Youth Worker). Parish Offer which helps pay for our share of clergy, housing, training and support costs, as well as supporting ministry in Cumbria. Maintaining buildings, including insurance heat, light etc, supporting our mission partners across the world, and costs to support mission and ministry within the local community.

Because of the incredibly generous response to the Gift and Pledge Day last year, we were able to employ a deputy manager for Cornerstone and the Op Shop, ensuring that this essential ministry can be sustained and developed. We replaced the lighting in the church chancel, and conducted electrical repairs, and were able to build new storage facilities in Cornerstone. Looking ahead, we would like to install WIFI in the Parish Church and purchase cameras so that we can continue to stream our services to as many people as possible, especially those who cannot physically get to church. We would also like to extend the role of the Deputy Manager beyond the initial twelve month period, and there may be other unforeseen needs ahead.

Regarding how much to give, we are all different, and so are our circumstances, but here are some simple, but important biblical principles when it comes to Christian giving, we should give:

·         First to God – our giving to God should come before anything else (see Proverbs 3:9)

·         Planned – it is something we need to have carefully prayed about and thought through (see 2 Corinthians 9:7)

·         Regular – we should give consistently (weekly or monthly – see 1 Corinthians 16:1-2)

·         Generous – God promises to provide for all your needs (see 2 Corinthians 8:1-7 & 2 Corinthians 9:6-7).

Please give prayerful consideration as to how much you may be able to give both as a one off gift, and your giving for the coming year (which helps us plan and budget), by completing and returning the Finance form, with your gift to the Parish Centre (Gift Aid envelopes are available from the Parish Centre).

Despite the challenges we face, the God we follow is faithful, and we entrust ourselves and the future of the church into His hands.

Thank you for your support of St James.

Yours in Christ,

Simon

St James' Church
St James' Road
Carlisle
CA2 5PD

Opening Times: Monday to Friday, 9:00am to 4:00pm