Last Saturday we held a Prayer Day for Project Welcome, which is our church redevelopment plan. Being very aware that an important application for a large sum of money had been made on our behalf to WREN (thank you John Scouller for your hard work), we met to pray for the outcome.
If we were to be awarded this bid we would be in a position to go ahead with the first phase of our building work.
We won't know the outcome of this till late May/early June.
But a story of amazing generosity was unfolding at the same time. It all began in the middle of the week before last, when a young friend of mine, Rosie decided to make some cakes (I think Mum helped) and took them them in to her school to sell them to raise funds 'to help open that door in Sheila's church'. Here is Rosie's cake stall and her friend who helped her.
Rosie raised a wonderful £8 from selling her cakes in school and duly sent it off to us. I came to the prayer day ready to tell this story about Rosie as it had really touched me and as I told it we uncovered another story: that we were just about £1500 short of raising 50% of the total needed for Phase 1 and if we possibly could reach 50% in the next 4 days then we would be eligible to apply for a different grant from a different organisation which could hopefully bring in another fairly large sum of money. Would we be able to reach the 50% mark in 4 days?
I'm delighted to say that within 24 hours of sharing these two stories, over £2,500 pounds has been pledged, this is on top of the £5,000 also donated to allow us to make the big bid to WREN, so a staggering total of over £7500
THANK YOU to everyone who pledged so generously, you know who you are. Thank you to Rosie who reminded me of Andrew offering his lunchbox to Jesus. Often in church we are not very straight-forward about finance but the fact is we can't run or re-order the church on fresh air! This photo show the total at the end of the morning service - the additional figure was pledged over coffee and more has come in since!
We give glory to God and continue to wait and pray asking for him to help us grow.
This is our Prayer for Project Welcome
Lord Jesus Christ, we thank you for our church building and community of your followers who meet in it. We thank you for those who followed you faithfully in the past establishing and developing this building. Make us good stewards of this resource and all the gifts you have given to us. We pray that our building may better reflect the welcome you call us to give to the community around us. We pray that our door may be opened, our facilities improved and that you will keep us united as we work, pray and give towards these practical goals. May we grow in faith, may we grow in numbers and may we grow into a community of people with you at the centre, where everyone is welcomed and enabled to come closer to you. In your name we pray, Amen.
Rev Sheila Bridge
Minister of St Peter and St John's Church, Rugby