April Services at Ansley Churches
| 3rd April
|Special Service with Holy Communion
Ukraine. The church will be open on Tuesdays fro 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. for prayer
From the Registers
The funeral of John Peter Beasant, who died at the age of 73, followed by interment in the churchyard, took place on 25th February. There was standing room only in church as many family and friends attended the service. The cortege consisted not only of the family limousines but also about 20 taxis, representing the many drivers he had helped in their businesses. John ran Ansley Post Office for a time and latterly lived in Piper’s Lane.
Following a funeral at the Heart of England Crematorium, the ashes of Stuart Mortimer Rowland (Tim) were interred on 2nd March in the churchyard with those of his wife, Margaret. Tim was aged 90 when he died. A former sides man at St Laurence, he was a lifelong farmer who was well liked and much respected among the farming community and all who knew him. This was reflected by the large number of people who attended the funeral. After Tim had handed over the running of the farm to his sons and during a long retirement from full responsibility he would still turn up to carry out his allotted work until three weeks before his death. He will always be remembered by his children, grand children, great grandchildren and many friends.
On 10th March, the ashes of Colin Fallows were interred in a family grave at St Laurence.
Members of the church send their condolences to the families and friends of those mentioned above.
Holy Week and Easter
Palm Sunday: The congregation will meet in the Annexe to begin the service and then process to the church. Palm crosses will be blessed and distributed.
Maundy Thursday: Holy Communion and Supper at St John’s at 7.00 p.m.
Good Friday: St Laurence Church will be open from 11.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. for reflection and private prayer.
Holy Saturday: The church will be decorated for Easter Day from 9.00 a.m. Flowers and help will be much appreciated.
Easter Day: Holy Communion at St Laurence at 10.30 a.m.
Evening Prayer at St Laurence at 6.30 p.m.
World Day of Prayer
The service was led very ably by Brenda Cart, even when technical issues arose. Members of the congregation took part too, speaking the lines prepared by Christian groups from England and Wales. Refreshments were offered after the service, with Victoria sponge and Welsh cakes being the local food items. £113.00 has been sent to World Day of Prayer for distribution as grants to a number of charities.
The date by which applications had to be made has now passed. We pray that the next part of the process runs smoothly.
Finance – Treasurer’s Report
We are all aware that many things have changed over the last two years. With regard to church finances some differences are understandable while others are hard to explain.
General Account: During 2020 and 2021 both income and expenditure in the general account were £10,000 or more lower than in 2019. The drop in income can be accounted for by the lack of activities and particularly of services. The lack of weddings and fall in the number of funerals alone amounted to £2,000, although this did mean that less money was sent to the Diocese.
Collections in church also dropped by about £2,000. Money given in other ways did increase but not by quite as much. Our fund raising dropped by £5,000 in 2020 but this did improve in 2021 by £3,500.
Donations to the charities we have supported over many years also decreased. Our policy is to give 5% of unrestricted income. In 2021 our giving to charities amounted to £1,277 which was 3.69% of unrestricted income.
One of the biggest decreases was the electricity bill as with so few services the heating costs dropped significantly. Other regular costs were deferred or generously given because of the pressures of the pandemic.
Churchyard Account: People have continued to give generously towards the maintenance of the churchyard, enabling us to continue to afford payments for the grass cutting.
Fabric Fund: This fund benefitted from a bequest of nearly £5,000 which helped greatly towards the cost of the ground gutter work that was carried out last year.
The Halls: Both halls took a big hit in income when bookings ceased but bills still had to be paid. The situation is improving now that they are returning to more normal usage. However, like everyone, the halls will soon face higher energy bills. Our contract was fixed at a 10% increase for energy before the real increases hit. We will have to wait to see just how much we will be faced with when we have our review next year.
Overall we have held our own so far. We must continue to work hard to maintain and indeed increase income. We cannot be complacent as the whole economy is facing difficult times. Many people will be living on even more restricted budgets as they face greatly increased heating and fuel and food bills.
Please do remember your giving in your prayers. We do appreciate all the ways people give to the church with practical help, time, ideas etc.
Parish Giving: Regular giving of a set amount can be set up in three ways.
By Telephone: Set up a Direct Debit by calling 0333 002 1271, Monday to Friday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Online: At www.parishgiving.org.uk You can manage Gift Aid and keep up with inflation.
By Post: Using gift forms. Name of church and parish plus parish code must be clear.
For all the above the Parish Code is 110611060. You will be sent start date of payment.
Churchyard: The yew tree that was encroaching on a neighbouring property has now been cut back.
The bench in memory of Mr Hodgetts is in need of repair. Mr Geoff Mellor has offered to do the repairs in oak wood. The bench will be removed from the churchyard while the work is carried out.
The website, www.ansleychurch.org, has been redesigned. Current information can be found and more will be added as soon as possible.
The latest history booklet for St Laurence is being edited and will then be sent for printing.
Flower Festival 2022
We are all aware of the sharp increases in the prices of many items, including flowers. It would be foolish to spend too much on flowers compared to the amount we raise at the festival. The PCC have agreed that we should contain our costs by using flowers from our gardens, where possible, including those in pots that could be used in arrangements.
We also need to consider our effect on the environment, especially in our use of floral foam. We will try to use less this year and go back to the way we did things in the early years, by using chicken wire, pin holders and the like. We will use the foam that has been stored and used over the years so as not to create additional waste.
If anyone has space in their garden and would wish to grow annuals that flower around the August Bank Holiday do please let it be known. We have many plants that could do with a good home.
The Annual Parochial Church Meeting will be held on 28th April in the Annexe at 2.00 p.m. If you would like to be on the electoral roll please ask the churchwarden for a form. You do not need to be on the electoral roll to attend this meeting but if you are you have the right to vote. If you have already been placed on the roll you do not need to fill in a new form. You can apply to be on the roll at any time of the year but a reminder is usually given in the weeks before the annual meeting. Forms will be circulated before the meeting to nominate PCC members.
We wish our readers a ‘Happy Easter’.
Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Hallelujah!
If you would like someone or a particular situation remembered in prayer during this time of disruption, please make contact by email or phone one of the following.
Margaret Antill 018 2787 4520 Margaret Oliver 014 5582 2822
Moreen Freestone 24 7638 1833 Diana Kealey 024 7639 5089