A Message from the Vicar
Dear Friends, It’s been a tough 18 months hasn’t it. And as we look back, it’s not hard to see the losses of many kinds we’ve each weathered. We must not forget what we’ve lost or It’s important not to move on too quickly – in the Bible it says God counts each one of our tears and also that He lifts up the broken-hearted. If you’d like to talk, just let me know.
But now we are also able to look forward, and I’d like to thank you in advance for whatever you prayerfully decide to do with the information we’ve presented in this leaflet. A generous gift given in thankfulness is our ideal response. But that won’t be possible for everyone. If you can’t make a gift but would like to pledge a loan towards the work we have to undertake, please let us know whether we would need to repay it after two years or five years. We are always grateful for legacies left to the church.
So much has changed during these strange times, and the church is no different – but now we have an opportunity to reach out to the 10,000 people in our parish with our buildings throughout the week, not just Sundays – please partner with us to help us achieve that vision!
Remember – it only took 5 loaves and 2 fish offered in gratitude for Jesus to be able to miraculously multiply the one gift to be enough to feed 5,000 people. So on that basis, we only need 10 loaves and 4 fish!
Building on Success
It’s undeniable that our two churches in Thatto Heath & Eccleston Park have a rich and blessed history. St Matthew’s has been serving the local community for 60 years and St James has been doing the same for 99 years with them joining together to become one parish in 2017. Generations of believers before us have built and rebuilt; adapting and changing the structure of our buildings to enable us to share the Gospel effectively, giving us space for church services at St James and a community space at St Matthew’s Centre running numerous community projects. We can celebrate and give thanks for the synergy of the work that goes on in these buildings.
We have a strong and cohesive vision for our three buildings and how we can further develop them to increase their effectiveness in their communities. The challenges we face can be overcome with the commitment and involvement of our church communities, through praying, seeking God and giving together.
St Matthew's Centre & Church
- Create dedicated Food Pantry provision, designed to address inequalities around food poverty and to avoid local food ending up in landfill.
- Grow our partnerships with a qualified teacher to provide a pre-school nursery, specialising in school-readiness.
- Encourage complimentary uses by community and charity groups to build back better.
St James Church
- Develop our building to encourage community use during the week and not just on Sundays.
- Update heating and kitchen facilities and create a pattern of opening times that will appeal to those at home during the day and tackle loneliness.
A Plan of Action
The church is really the people of God gathered together rather than the building in which we meet. When we think though, of our buildings, we need ones that are fit for the future, that honour the past but are keen to look ahead. We need a church that our grandchildren will want to be part of. There is much work to be done to ensure they are up to standard which will allow us to host the groups and community work we have so much passion and vision for.
In total, we are looking to raise £50,000 to complete the works which fall into two parts.
- Updating the heating system in St Matthew’s Centre & Church Lounge will allow us to host the nursery, toddler groups, food pantry & meeting space.
- Works in both church buildings will update the heating systems, as well as the kitchen facilities at St James, allowing us to develop community outreach activity.
How you can help.
You can make your gift or loan by downloading our giving response form below.
Remember, you can always contact us for a further discussion, chat or more information! Use the Contact page to get in touch.