Great Bentley Church Open & Gift Day Saturday 14th April 2018
What does Great Bentley Parish Church mean to you? Perhaps you, or a member of your family, celebrated a wedding here. Perhaps you have been to the church for a baptism or a funeral. It may be that you have someone whose grave you visit in the beautiful church yard. Perhaps you come to the building to find some peace and quiet during the week, or walk through the church grounds. Maybe you join in the major celebrations at Christmas or Easter – or you are a regular worshipper here.
For 900 years St Mary’s has stood at the heart of the village of Great Bentley, providing a place of comfort, joy, peace and tranquillity. It is in itself a beautiful building, but it is more than this as we regularly pray for the whole of the parish and through the many activities centred here, touch the lives of many of you.
In order to maintain the day to day running of this ancient building and to continue to be able to offer ministry to those who need it, when they need it, over £4,000 has to be raised per month. For this we rely mainly on the weekly giving of regular worshippers. We are immensely grateful for the support of so many in the village through advertising in the parish magazine, or practical help given without charge, but we still struggle to cover the financial demands made on us.
Our Gift Day this year is on Saturday April 14th , to give the parish as a whole the opportunity to share in the maintenance and ministry of this very special place, which is used by so many on a regular or occasional basis. Every five years there is a ‘quinquennial’ inspection of the building and its environs. This took place last year revealing the need for urgent repairs to the roof and external fabric of this Grade 1 listed building, and tree work required to clear the roofs. The bell ringers need to carry out work to the internal structure of the tower to make this a safer place for them and others needing to access the tower. Therefore, the PCC feels that this year we would like to focus our Gift Day collection on those areas. These works can only improve the experience for those who come for whatever reason, be it marriage, baptism or a funeral, as well as the regular congregation.
There will be information on the day on the works needed as well as historical information and records, churchyard, the bell tower and Atthill window plus further plans which we hope to achieve in order to improve the ministry within the Parish. On previous occasions past church registers were on show and they will be again this year. Tea and coffee will also be served.
We invite you to make a donation to Great Bentley PCC, Gift Aided if possible to enable us to make full use of reclaimed tax. This can be posted back to the treasurer, Penny Evans-Jones in the envelope provided, or brought to the church on Gift Day itself, where members of the church community will be on hand from 10am – 4pm should you have any questions.
Thank you once again for all the support you give to St Mary’s in different ways and we look forward to seeing you on Saturday April 14th between 10am and 4pm.
(Rev Sharon Miles, Vicar and the Churchwardens)
For Gift Aid Form – one off donation for Gift Day click here