March 2018                   From the Rectory

Dear Friends,

One of the really good things about our country is the way we hold nationwide fundraising events - Sports Relief, Comic Relief, Children in Need. Also we have a proud tradition of setting up charities that have international respect. Recently, however, news stories have focussed on very disappointing events that have tarnished the reputations of highly regarded charities. Stories of vulnerable people being exploited by immoral individuals have caused dismay. Thank goodness the spotlight has fallen on these dark places and that wrongs are being put right. I do, however, have concerns about the way the media has reported these matters. I get the impression that serious stories are sensationalised, and that leads to over-reactions. Famous Ďambassadorsí abandon charities and the government threatens to cut grants. Meanwhile, a whole army of hard-working employees and volunteers have to carry on trying to help the most needy in desperate settings. It is too easy for us to over react and shun charities as though they were all thoroughly corrupt. So, letís look at all of this in another way: Bad practices have been exposed and are being addressed as a matter of urgency. This will _result in us being able to support Charities with more confidence than ever before. The present turbulence will lead to a better future.

Generous giving to those in need has always been an important priority for Christians. Our motivation is thankfulness to God and straightforward compassion towards our fellow human beings. As a parish church each year we carefully choose a range of charities to support. During Lent (ie now) we focus on one particular charity that is doing excellent work amongst the poorest in our world. This year we are supporting the work of TEAR fund and their work in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Check out their work on their website. If you wish to join us in supporting them, then please send your donations to the Rectory: If you give by cheque, please make it payable to ďSt. Johnís PCC M & C Group". If you give by cash, please mark your donation envelope with the words: Lent Appeal. Thank you.

                                   John Ganjavi