Giving to the church is about more than money; it is all about our ministry. It is every service we hold, every couple married, every family welcomed for baptism and every individual hearing the Gospel through the Alpha Course. It is every bereaved family supported, every visit and home communion to the sick and housebound, every encouragement offered to those in need in our community. It is every individual helped out of poverty by our CAP Debt Centre, or who finds renewed hope and purpose through the work of the church hall. Your giving helps make all this possible.

In 1 Corinthians 16:2 St Paul, encouraging the church in Corinth to give, said, “On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income.” From this we see that our giving should be:

• A priority: A first call on our disposable income. We give what’s right, not what’s left.

• Planned: We should plan and review our giving to God through the ministry of this Church on a regular basis, using Gift Aid if we pay tax and, ideally, giving by the Diocese’s Gift Direct Scheme.

• Proportionate: As God blesses us with all we have so our giving should reflect his generosity by us giving a proportion, a percentage of our income rather than a fixed amount. The exact proportion can only be decided through prayer and reflection before God. And, at the right time in our lives and having made adequate provision for those we love, we should plan to leave a legacy as a proportion of our estate.

Please would you prayerfully consider how much God is asking you to give to support our mission and ministry.