Jenny’s letter 18th June

Dear Friends,

I am sorry to be late with the newsletter this week. There seems to have been so much happening of late and many things that have needed and still need to be done! 

The Summer Fair this year was almost washed out which, given the amount of effort that was put in to making it a success, was very sad. 

Having said that, we still managed to raise around £600 (more accurate figures in due course) and one person generously donated money instead of time and help. I think next year I may well pay so I don’t have to get soaked with cold water! 

My thanks to all who took part with both the stalls that we ran and providing food in the centre. The band sounded great and the Mersey Morris dancers did get to dance outside once.

The Summer Fair is an event organised by the Bromborough Village Community Association (BVCA). Quite a few years ago we invited them to use our land. Sadly, not all the traders liked having Allport closed and the cost to shut down the road became prohibitive. However, though the event happens in our square, most of the work and effort is still theirs and they graciously invite us to be a part of it.

The main reason for holding the fair is to bring the Bromborough community together. A byproduct of this is that we can make some money, but that is not our primary focus. 

As people of God, we are often planted to help to create community and draw people closer to each other and ultimately to God. I am very pleased that the Scouts also want to be a part of the day – that has always been a hope for those of us organising the event. 

It is inevitable that when different groups try to work together there is some friction. The last thing that should happen, though, is to see our fellow organisers as competition. On a warm sunny summer day like it was last year, there is space for us all to thrive. What’s good for one is often good for all. More happening, brings more footfall and more footfall usually leads to more money. 

The gospel commands are often upside down. Those who have more in this life are likely to end up with less in the next. What I know about this in relation to the Summer Fair is that if we begin with a desire to make money, it will fail. However, if we work together for the good of Bromborough and recognise we need each other’s contribution –  if, as a church our focus is to be faithful to Jesus and to give of our resources and ourselves sacrificially – it is likely that we will profit materially, spiritually, and emotionally. 

Proverbs 11.24 reminds us of this fact: ‘Some people spend their money freely and still grow richer. Others are cautious, and yet grow poorer ’ (Good News Translation).

I don’t want you to think that I am feckless and have a disregard for the importance of money. I am not, I hope, a ‘head in the clouds’ kind of priest. Not least, because the principal of tithing is Biblical and because giving money is one of the most significant parts of discipleship. 

Nevertheless, I am mindful that we are commanded by Jesus to Love God first with ‘all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ and then our ‘neighbour’ as we love ourselves. (Mark 12.30-31). 

When we get this right, individually and as a church, in my experience, amazing things happen. 1 Samuel 2. 30 reminds us of one of the promises of God, that ‘Those who honour me I will honour ’. The churches that often collapse are the ones that are spiritually dead long before the money runs out. It will be a blink of an eye before I write to you again. In the meantime, in the words of that well known hymn by Helen Lemmel (1922) ‘Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, In the light of His glory and grace.’

Wishing you every blessing in the days ahead.

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