Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Fancy sending some unusual gifts this Christmas?

Ever thought of giving your boss a can of worms for Christmas? A herd of goats for your mother-in-law? Or perhaps a couple of sheep instead?

Christian Aid has a catalogue full of these amazing and unique gifts, priced from only £7. There's a twist though - the gifts go to the people who need them, rather than to your friends and relatives, who will receive a Christian Aid gift card instead, with a picture to show exactly what has been bought on their behalf and how it will benefit some of the poorest people in the world.

For £30, you can buy a can of worms for Bolivian farmers to improve the soil! For only £24, a community tapstand of clean fresh water can be installed to help prevent disease. For those on a budget, £7 buys a vital stethoscope for Cambodian health workers and £11 provides a mosquito net for children at risk from malaria.

More expensive gift ideas include: £55 for a latrine; a herd of goats to be 'revolved' from family to family for only £60; £150 to train a midwife; £370 to provide a Peruvian community with a rural library of 1000 books; £1,200 for earthquake-proof housing, providing much-needed shelter for those left homeless.

This is a fantastic idea and we hope everyone gives it a go this year! You can get hold of a Present Aid catalogue by calling 0845 3300 500 during office hours. Alternatively, you can visit the Present Aid website by clicking here and downloading a catalogue online. It doesn't have to be for Christmas either; you can buy these gifts all year round. Even if you feel it's not for you, why not mention Present Aid to a friend, relative or colleague? You could save countless lives just by passing the information on.

For other information on charitable gifts and what happens to your money, the Christian Aid website itself can be reached here.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

do you know who made this banner?

In St. Mark’s Church, this beautiful Mothers' Union banner, embroidered in gold and blue with a lily design, stands on display near the altar. Sadly, no Mothers' Union activities have taken place in the parish for some time. So it has been suggested to us that this banner, which may be several decades old, could be donated instead to one of the many Mothers' Union groups in linked dioceses in Africa or another part of the expanding Anglican Church abroad.

If anyone knows who embroidered this particular MU banner for St. Mark’s Church, or who objects to it being donated abroad, could they please contact us with the details by clicking EMAIL: Parish Information Officer in the right-hand column opposite under Links, or leave a note on this site by clicking Comments below this entry.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Asia Earthquake: do you want to help?

More than 24,000 people are now estimated to have died in the recent devastating earthquake in South Asia, and that number is likely to rise. The plight of the survivors is pitiable, with no shelter or access to medical help in many areas. As you will have seen on the news, Pakistan has suffered the most in this natural disaster, with many villages completely destroyed, but some regions of India and Afghanistan have also sustained serious damage.

In the face of human tragedy on such an unimaginable scale, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and unable to help. But there are a few simple ways in which we can all make a difference.

One way we can help is to make a donation, large or small. You can do this in High Street Banks or at the Post Office. To make an instant donation, ring the Disasters Emergency Committee 24-hour automated line on 0870 60 60 900, with a credit/debit card to hand, or visit their website here.

Another way we can all help is to pray.

Lord, we lift to you the devastated peoples of South Asia in the wake of the recent earthquake there. Comfort them in their distress and grief, lighten their pain and suffering, fill them with the spirit of hope. We pray also for the charity workers and medical teams in the region, for those who work daily to restore electricity supplies and provide food and shelter for the many thousands left homeless. Be with them, Lord, guide and sustain them in their labours. In the knowledge of your mercy and in the name of your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Lastly, we can encourage others to make donations to the Disasters Emergency Committee appeal.

To download this eye-catching official poster, click here and scroll down the page to find Download South Asia Quake poster. Download, print it out and place it prominently at your place of work.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Flashback to Spring Teas 2005

As this Flecknoe Parish website was only launched last month, we have missed out on several opportunities to publish photographs taken at church events over the past year ... and even before.

So, to rectify the situation, here are some shots of our excellent Spring Teas, held at St. Mark's earlier this year.

The Punch and Judy event proved just as popular with the kids as last year

which gave the adults a chance to catch up on village news!

We were blessed with excellent weather for an outdoor event

and the home-made cream teas were mouth-watering as always! Many thanks to everyone who helped.

It's always a pleasure for St Mark's Church to host special events like this, especially when it brings so many members of our village community together.

Thank you for joining us for our Spring Teas event this year. We hope to see you all again soon at St. Mark's!

Friday, October 07, 2005

why bother with church?

Have you stopped going to church in the past few years? Have you thought about going to church but felt it was not right for you? Do you often wonder why people bother going to church at all?

If you are interested in the results of a new nationwide survey examining the causes of declining church attendance, you can visit the Church Survey site and download it for free.

Based on a non-denominational questionnaire, the survey was conducted last year via national newspapers and magazines, parish magazines and Christian organisations. Described as 'a forum for all people to air their views', the results make interesting and provocative reading.

You can also purchase a copy of the survey in booklet form by sending a cheque for £3.50 - payable to the 'Ecumenical Research Committee' - to the following address:

The Ecumenical Research Committee
19 Glenfield Road