On behalf of St Nicholas’ Parochial Church Council (PCC) may we wish you a very happy and healthy 2016. Everyone's thoughts are of the year ahead, and as a PCC we thought this would be a good time to keep everyone in the village informed of some of our plans too.
Firstly, about a year and a half ago we changed our service times. Our main Sunday Service has been at 5.30pm since July 2014, and we are very grateful for the way everyone in the village has worked with this – especially at events like Harvest and All Souls and Remembrance. Worship is the heart of our life as a Christian community, and it's a privilege that we come together as a village on these occasions in this way. We do get requests to move back to 6pm, and in fact we are doing a survey about that right now. If things change again, we will make it very clear in the Tackley Magazine. Of course, Christmas and Easter will keep their morning services as usual.
It's always wonderful when we get to do things together with Tackley Primary School. Anyone who came in at Christmas and saw the school's wonderful Nativity displays will have been very impressed. And this year's Christingle service was terrific: thanks to everyone (staff, helpers, children and families) for making it so special. Mothering Sunday comes on March 6th and we hope that the school choir will again be singing at the 5.30pm service (a service we will be sharing with our Methodist friends). Do come and celebrate with us!
In other matters, perhaps the most frequent questions we get surround the truly generous bequest we have been left by Bob Clow. With anything like this, some of the things that are said are spot on, some are simply not true, and lots of things are somewhere in the middle!
Bob left St Nicholas' his house and some other income. We were asked to create a safer and easier path into the church and a disabled parking area by the lytch gate, and that did seem to be a priority, so we used some of the first income we received to do this work. Thank you to everyone who has told us what a positive difference this has made - especially in the very wet weather recently, and in the icy conditions that followed. It's important that everyone in the village can get into church safely.
It took time for the house to be fully handed over to us – in addition to all the usual delays, as a church we are rightly subject to some stringent charity law conditions. But this gave us time to begin a conversation about what might be the best thing for us to do with Bob's house: sell it and use or invest the money; rent it out and have a regular income; or even look at developing the site ourselves (something Bob himself spoke of doing) and having the possibility of putting the church on a sound financial footing for years to come.
You see, despite our setting very tight budgets, the generosity of so many of you, and all our best attempts at fundraising, our outgoings have been more than our bills for some time. Details for this year will be available to everyone at our Easter Annual Meeting in April.
We could now simply make up the shortfall from Bob’s bequest. But thankfully Oxford Diocese (to whom we owe a considerable amount) take the view that it's better for us to make the very most of Bob's bequest in the long term, even if that means they have to wait for their money. So we are taking our time: as part of this, we've taken a decision not to spend anything else from the bequest till we get a clearer idea of what 'long term' might be. We've asked experts to help us, and if anything comes of our current ideas we will hopefully soon be asking everyone to come and hear more. We want to try and do good for the village as well as for the church – so as soon as we end up with a plan that is going anywhere, we will ask everyone to be a part of it.
For now, life goes on as normal. We worship on Sundays, the church is open every day, and we know that lots of us in the village make use of the building and the grounds as a place of peace and refuge. We depend upon
New Year 2016
the generosity of those who come regularly and those who don't but still care for the place, and it remains a necessity that (from time to time) we fundraise to meet our bills. Hopefully our fundraising events will continue to be as enjoyable as ever - like the summer Fete on the Green and the St Nicholas' Fair in early December. And we are really keen to share our events with lots of village clubs and societies. At the St Nicholas' Fair we were joined by Tackley Pre-school and Tackley Scouts, both of which groups used the event for their own fundraising. It was great to have you with us!
Already we have a number of events being planned for 2016. One group has approached us about sharing the summer fete, and we are delighted with the idea. Given the bellringers' success in their recent fundraising, we'd love to open the bell tower again - as well as offer a history talk, hold a summer concert and perhaps put on a bacon roll breakfast one Saturday morning. If any Tackley society would like to join us and share any event please speak to the Rector or any PCC member. We'd love to hear from you.
Let's finish where we started. St Nicholas’ Church is there for everyone in Tackley. This is why the PCC, the churchwardens and Marcus our Rector are working so hard to get everything else right! We are always open during the hours of daylight, offering a place of peace and calm and filled with God's love for all in the midst of this hectic world. As well as our Sunday service, regular prayers are held every Tuesday morning at 10am, and if you've ever added a prayer to the prayer board in church, your prayer is always remembered in that Tuesday morning service.
We wish you every blessing for 2016, and hope to see you join with us in worship during the year ahead: a very warm welcome awaits.
Revd Marcus Green, Rector
Julian Whitehead, Churchwarden
Sue Lygo, Churchwarden
Dawn Chambers (Secretary)
Canon Robin Gibbons (Ecumenical Partner) Sue Giles (Deanery Synod Rep)
Revd Geoffrey Hunter (Ecumenical Partner) Kim Placko (Treasurer)