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Giving of yourself - some examples

Every year at the Church the Holy Spirit we gather in a harvest of dried goods to donate to the Ace of Clubs.  This is a great harvest.  However this year we want to gather in more than what's at the back of the cupboard. At harvest time the people of God are asked to bring an offering of first fruits.  Firstfruits means the cream of the crop, the very best of what we have.  Much as we all love a tin of baked beans it does not represent the best of what we have.  This year we are encouraging one another to give of our best; to give of ourselves and of all time.  We are already blessed with many people who give in this way but we need more!  For a harvest festival in October we heard from over 20 people, representing the many different groups active in this church, asking us whether we might join them in giving of our best to God and one another.  Below is a list of all those groups and what they had to say (the ones in red are coming soon).  If you are interested in helping out with any of these groups in any capacity pleased to speak to me or to the contact for the group you're interested in. Happy harvest!

Stewardship, Finance, Fabric, Social, Youth & children, Communications & website, Contact centre, Abbeville fete, Community, Nurture & growth, Welcome, Safeguarding, Music, Readers, Tea & coffee, Intercessors, Servers, Sacristans, Crèche, Sunday school,  Sidespeople, Flowers

The creche runs every week during the family service and it's available for pre school children (0 to 4 years). We have a dedicated room with lots of toys to keep the children happy during the service. Please feel free to drop off your children with us, or stay if you (or your children) prefer. The creche is very popular and is run by volunteer adults and young people and we need a few more to add to our rota - which at the moment mean a slot every two months or so for each person. If you are interested in helping out, please contact Victoria Kershaw at

Being a sidesperson is not an onerous task- just the abiltiy to arrive early (when on duty!) and to help clear up after the service. It gives you the opportunity to meet and greet newcomers and regulars and to see the service from a new perspective!  On the job training can be given and there are some well written notes available for guidance. At the moment we have 11 individuals or couples on the rota and each person does around 3 duties in a 4 month period. If we could add, say 4 more to the rota, we could reduce that to 2 times a quarter. Everyone on the rota gets the chance to say what dates are no good for them and, thanks to email, swapping is not a problem if the date turns out to be inconvenient. Do join us. Sara Jenni

Contact centre
Contact Centre Committee - currently all female, so men welcome!  Main task to ensure the smooth running of the Contact Centre as a church and community resource, liaising with other committees - fabric, finance, stewardship to ensure that maintenance work is carried out efficiently and effectively.  Members needed who can see the bigger picture and help with the development of the space available to maximise its potential for the church and the community. Sarah Miles

Social Committee was originally a group of us who want to provide social activities for the community within and beyond the church. 
The Barn Dance last night was a typical example of what we like to arrange, enjoyed by local people and members of our congregation.  We've also arranged Parish Lunches, picnics, trips to the Proms.  We also help out at special occasions in church preparing refreshments and at fund-raising events.    We have fun planning the events and at them but there are plenty of practical tasks that need to be done to make things happen.  Alan, Anna and I have been doing this for a while and are probably in a bit of a rut.  We'd love some new blood for new ideas and more hands to share out the work. Penny Brooke

Tea & coffee
We serve Fair Trade tea and coffee with squash for the children after the morning service. Sometimes we can produce cakes when there is a special occasion - perhaps bubble too! The idea is to have the opportunity to chat with friends and very importantly, have a chance of welcome new comers and visitors to our Church.

We have a rota for our tea and coffee team of about 12 people who do this important job, but we would like more volunteers . No experience  needed and full training is given. Also no age limit either way. If we can increase our numbers you will only have to do this job about once every couple of months.

If you are interested, please contact either Alan Mundy or Anna Rowsell. Sign up forms are also at the back of the Church.

"I'm Erica Cherrie and I am one of the team of Readers at CHS.
The role entails reading the word of God at services on Sundays and other occasions such as Christmas and Easter.
I have had the honour of reading at CHS for over 20 years and it has always been a great pleasure as well as a spiritual experience, very different from reading the bible alone and quietly.
We already have a good team of readers but we are always happy to have new  people join the team.  Training is available but really all that is required is a willingness to speak reasonably loudly and clearly . 
So do think about joining us."       Erica Cherrie 
The Finance Team is made up of Nick Jenni and Terry Parker. What the finance team ought to be doing is illustrated in this table.

Record-keeping Giving
Donation record-keeping
Standing committee
HMRC (Gift Aid)
Charities Commission
Stewardship Team
Planning & Finance
Treasury Management
Centenary projects
Funds management
Abbeville Fete
Christmas Fair
Contact Centre
Special Events


Some of these things we do well, some we do poorly or not at all.  We would welcome some people to join the team and improve the service we provide!  Nick Jenni

St Benedict said “He who sings prays twice”.   Music has been an important part of Christian worship for more than a thousand years; sometimes it was done for the congregation and did not actively involve them. Sometimes there was a revolution (or reformation)  and music involved the whole congregation again. Anyway, we’re sort of having a little reformation. We want our children to grow up knowing the joys of creating music together as a church to the glory of God, and need everyone to join in to help. Some of us are practising & learning the music of Taize, and Iona , and any other prayerful music we come across, together in the church before the 10.30 service every other week. So we are anxious to encourage & help all those of you now sitting there thinking; “Can’t Sing. Won’t Sing" to think instead,   “Could Sing, Will Sing”. Everyone can sing, everyone could move on to learn to play a musical instrument, all you need to do is give yourself permission to make that joyful noise to the Lord. Come and join us in our Sunday morning practices, sign up to sing Christmas carols with us, and if you really believe that you can’t & couldn’t sing, well, do a little something about it. Several of those of us who ‘do’ music at whatever level would be overjoyed to give some of our time to help you get going, or to advise on how to get started.

Members of the rota ensure there are fresh flowers in church each week. No experience or particular skill is needed but we can provide some training if required. Most of us work individually but two people could work together and, if you don't wish to join the regular rota, it may be that you would like to 'do' the flowers on a particular date in memory of a loved one or for a special occasion.
For the big festivals,  Christmas and Easter, we go to town and all work together to make the church look beautiful. It's a great way to pick up a few hints and to get to know people.       Judith Vickery 

Nurture and growth
This is a brand new committee!
So far with just 3 members.
Our aim is to think about how we can encourage and nurture our faith and discipleship in many different ways: through study days, retreats, home groups, courses. 
We need to have a broad a range of people in this committee as possible so that we can address the different needs of young people, old people, parents of small kids, retired people, over-worked people etc. 
You don’t any experience but you do need opinions.
Because we are brand new this is definitely the group to join – because it will be exciting and you will have maximum chance of influencing the choices we make as a church.   

Sunday School
Sunday School runs every week during the 10.30 Eucharist, with a short break at Christmas, Easter and August. We cater for children of primary School age (4-11 years old) and have a large number of regular attendees as well as many occasional ones. Each week we have 2 adults in charge, one leading who will plan the lesson and one helping who just turns up on the day. We cover a variety of topics, normally planned on a termly basis, with bible stories, seasonal topics ( eg: Harvest, Advent, Easter, Remembrance Sunday) and other focus ( last term we covered the Fruits of the Spirit). During Sunday School we have storytelling, craft, drama, singing, games and many other activities to help explore the topic of the week.
Sunday School is entirely run by volunteers, some parents of children, others not. Many of us had no experience before we started, indeed when I took over running Sunday School I hadn’t ever actually led a session. Every leader has their own approach and this makes for great variety in the sessions. We welcome help from all people, with enough volunteers you normally only have around 3 sessions per term. It is a vital part of our Ministry to Children of which there are many in this parish.

Senior Sunday School
We have just started a fortnightly group for older children at 10.30 on a Sunday. This is open to all children in year 6 upwards ( age 10+). We focus on the reading in church that day and the format is mostly led discussion.  Anyone wanting to inspire our youth and help with this small but lively group do get in touch.        Sara Spillett

This committee doesn’t exist! But it should.  We need a group of people to think about how we welcome new people in church.  Their job overlaps with the social committee - because they will probably want to think about having parties
and with the sidespeople  - because they will probably want to think about how we greet people at the start and end of our services
and with the membership coordinator - because they will probably want to think about how we get in touch with people
and with the web and communications group – because they will also want to stay in touch with people.
We are already a very friendly community but we are not always a very organised community.  So if you are organised or friendly or both this is the committee for you!

I like being a server. You get to wear a cool robe. I look quite dapper! But, in all seriousness being a server is great: you get to take on some responsibility and if you're an older child it gives you something to do instead of Sunday School. Also you get to be active and part of the service. I'm on the rota about once a month.
There's training included and sometimes you even get pizza on training days! how cool is that? So, if you want to be a server ask Ruth - we need some more servers. 

Youth and Children
We are a new committee that thinks about how best to nurture and support our children in their Christian development.
We cover everything from babies in creche to the children’s choir.  We already have a well established crèche and Sunday school which others will talk about.  But where we want to do more is for our children outside church and this particulaly applies to our young people. 
Our young people are if anything more important that the smaller children.  They have opinions and make their own decisions about what they want to do with their time and don’t just come along to church because their parents tell them to.     They also go to lot of different schools so they don’t always know the other children at church all that well.
With that in mind we are introducing some additional activities to promote these friendships – so the idea of an after church club is partly to prevent the children from running round while you drink your coffee but partly to allow them to do something else together.  We are also planning a film club once a month on Friday evenings for the older children to come along to.  And next year we would like to take them away for a weekend together or have a Sunday School outing to the seaside. We also want to get more music into Sunday school.  But as ever these activities take volunteers to run and we need your help to do this.  
Our young people are the future of our church and we need to keep them engaged.  So put your hand up to be a bouncer for the film club, to organise some games for after Sunday school club  or help out with one of the other activities to support our children!   Kathryn Newell

We are seeking others who will join us in planning outreach and involvement in our local community
We are keen to gather information about, and spread knowledge of and help develop the assets in the people and organisations around us
. One great example of our work in the community is the Robes project. Do join us to help to develop this thinking.  Nicolas Kingston

The Abbeville Fete
The 2014 Abbeville Fete will be held on the 28th June, from 12-4. We want to build on the success of the 2013 fete where we managed to raise almost £20,000 for local charities and our local church.
We are a small group of volunteers who meet regularly with the goal of putting on the best fete “for the local community, by the local community”. For those that have yet to experience the Abbeville fete; it’s for the whole family. We close the roads, and have loads of music and other entertainment, a waiter’s and shopkeepers race, dog and other pet show, stalls, BBQs, Bar, a kids zone, a raffle, an auction and lots of other fun stuff.      Ollie Strachan

Leading our congregation in prayer is a great privilege and we offer training for anyone who is a bit nervous. I'm hugely grateful to all those who lead our intercessions now but we'd very much welcome some new voices.   Andrew White

Communications and Website Group
As the name suggests, one thing we do is keep the website up to date. This includes updating the calendar, writing pieces of news and putting up articles. Many people contribute to this, thank you for doing so, and please keep contributing. We also send out the email newsletter. We are just starting a big project to update the website and we plan to make it more user friendly, include more interaction (such as websites and blogs) and generally update it’s style and design. More generally, communications is about ensuring that we have a consistent message and appearance and that the church, and any information about it, are accessible to all. The work of the group is important because it helps people to find the Church, to find out about our community and is a source of information about what has been happening and future events. If you’d like to help and are good with computers then this is the group for you but we’re not just doing technical tinkering. We would like to hear from anyone with experience in writing, editing or with an eye from design, perhaps with a background in advertising, marketing or PR. We welcome all ages and you don’t need to have any technical skills and will be given full training, support and guidance. Please join us to help make these things happen.  Alex Parker