CHURCH COLUMN: Everyone has a gift to offer '“ especially at Hayling Island
The REV JENNY GAFFIN, vicar, St Peter's, St Mary's and St Andrew's, Hayling Island on a transforming donation
FOR some years now the people of St Mary’s Church, Hayling Island, have been fundraising for a new annexe.
This will include toilets and a community meeting room – vital facilities for a church that is looking to serve others.
We were recently visited by a wonderfully generous couple – Ali and May Mosawi – who unexpectedly offered us more than £100,000 from the Mosawi Foundation towards our costs.
That gift is huge and will be transformative for St Mary’s and the community, and we are immensely grateful.
Acts of generosity are going on, often invisibly, all the time in our communities, whether people are giving of their money, their time, their expertise or their love.
Recently at St Peter’s, we held a working party to spruce up the church and the churchyard, and we were thrilled at the number of people who turned out to volunteer.
At St Andrew’s, volunteers transform the lives of people of all ages through their hospitality and care.
Everyone has a talent or a gift that can be harnessed and used to do good, especially in a church community that exists to serve others. There are loads of opportunities to do so across our three churches, and volunteering can be really rewarding.
We need gardeners to help look after St Mary’s and St Peter’s churchyards, not to mention the grounds of St Andrew’s. We need cooks who can help us prepare and serve food.
We need prayerful people who can hold the needs and concerns of others in their hearts. We need writers and artists who can contribute to the parish magazine and website.
We need people with a gift for reading aloud and with a desire to take part in services in church. We need singers and administrators and people with leadership gifts.
One of the things I love most about church life is that there’s no upper age limit, and there are lots of roles children can take on as well, such as singing in the choir or reading.
Once you’re accepted for a role we’ll train you and support you, and you’ll be part of a community of amazing people.
So I wonder… what can you offer? And what can we offer you?
ST MARY’S CHURCH, Church Road, Hayling Island, PO11 0NT
ST PETER’S CHURCH, St Peter’s Road, North Hayling, PO11 0RT
ST ANDREW’S CHURCH, Southwood Road, Eastoke, Hayling Island, PO11 9QD
Contact for all churches: parish office (023) 9263 7649 or [email protected]).