As you receive In Focus we resume our new season of activities at Donaghadee Parish Church. My letter this month picks up on some important events and Parish news:
It has been a busy summer in the town with some lovely weather, a great Town Festival and, in the Parish Hall, the children and young people of the Lighthouse Trust were with us once again. I know that they, along with all the assistants and parents, enjoy their time in Donaghadee and are made really welcome in our community.
Sadly, in the Parish our former hall caretaker Bob McCormick passed away on the 10th August and we extend our condolences and prayers to Bob’s wife Joan and her family. At the hall, Bob played such a big part in Parish activities and I know that his passing saddens us all.
Over the summer our children and young people have been enjoying a Summer Sunday Club using material from the Church Missionary Society. This material is based on our Diocesan link with Maridi in South Sudan and it has allowed us to look beyond Donaghadee Parish to the needs of the Church in a war torn area of God’s world.
We want to build on our link with South Sudan through CMS Ireland and as part of our support for South Sudan we are hosting Ballyclare Male Choir for a special concert as part of our harvest celebrations. Please do support this event.
Along with In focus this month you will also receive a Harvest Appeal Envelope for the work of CMS in Maridi Diocese. Please pray and give as the Lord leads you remembering Jesus’ own words that it is more of a blessing to give than to receive!
The new Bishop of Maridi Diocese is Bishop Moses Zungo. The former Bishop Justin Badi has been appointed Archbishop and Primate of the Church of South Sudan. Please remember our link with Maridi Diocese in your prayers.
In Donaghadee Parish we have been blessed with first class Church Halls and our recently renovated Parish Church. From the building of the Hall in 1990 to the reordering and restoration of the church building, you, the members of Donaghadee Parish have been faithful in giving through the Free Will Offering which maintains ministry and activities at the Church as well as upkeep of buildings through the Fabric Envelopes.
One of our buildings that now needs some major work is the Rectory. It is a lovely family home in a beautiful setting but the last Diocesan Inspection Report requires us to upgrade the building with a study, easy access down-stairs toilet that the disabled can use along with a utility room, dining room and family area.
Building costs are currently very high and the Select Vestry are keen that the work is done to a good standard. This upgrade at the Rectory is expected to be a considerable cost.
We will launch a Rectory Appeal over the winter in order to off -set the cost of the work but regular giving through the White Envelopes along with fund raising will be important sources of finance as we upgrade the Rectory – not just for the current residents but also for future Rectory families.
Finally, as the family of God, buildings are important but what is even more important is our daily walk with God and being regular at worship. It is these things that are the bricks and mortar of Donaghadee Parish Church.
As the new season begins, can I encourage you if you do not already come to church, to connect with our welcoming church family at any of our services on Sunday. For children and young people, we also have great Sunday activities.
Every blessing to you and your family.
Ian R Gamble