Rector’s Letter – Summer 2018

Dear Friends

As In Focus comes to you we leave the Easter season, celebrate the Ascension and enter into the Pentecost season. Children are sitting exams and hopefully the weather will be kinder.

There is a rhythm to the Christian year that enriches our lives; as members of the Church of Ireland, we value the liturgical Christian year. It teaches us about the high moments in the life of Jesus Christ; his birth, death and resurrection but also speaks to us of the community of the Church as we gather weekly for worship.

Here in Donaghadee Parish we worship each Sunday for 52 weeks of the year! We gather on Wednesdays to pray for those who are ill. As I look at the pattern of living of those first Christians in the Book of Acts, we have a marvellous picture of community life. A life I hope that is replicated in our Parish Church

All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals, including the Lord’s Supper, and to prayer. They worshipped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals”

Acts 2:42.

As I constantly say in our magazine – come and be a part of this community. If you have lost contact with us or not been to church in a while, you will receive a warm welcome. Keeping contact is important and this leads me on to some important legal housekeeping in our Parish!

Data Protection: Churches

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will take effect in the UK from 25th May 2018. It replaces the existing law on data protection (the Data Protection Act 1998) and gives individuals more rights and protection in how their personal data is used by organisations. Our Parish must comply with its requirements, just like any other charity or organisation. Over the summer months you will receive a data protection consent form with a return envelope.

The returned consent form gives us permission to hold your details on the Parish records.

The form affects:

* Parish magazine list

* Church membership list.

* Envelope list.

It is important to return the form. If you do not return the form and consent to us holding your name address and perhaps telephone number or email address we are required by law to delete this information – this includes the magazine list.

So no magazine! Unfortunately this is the law!

Being a part of the Church Community is important; we gather, we pray, we hear the words of Jesus Sunday by Sunday and live for him in this world. I wondered what Jesus would have thought of the bureaucracy of the Data Protection Act! But then he was born when Caesar Augustus decided that the whole Roman world shouldbe taxed and he called a census! So please assist us when you receive your form.

Every Blessing,

Ian R Gamble