The pandemic has had a serious impact on all types of institutions, not least the Church of England. Without doubt cuts of some sort or other will have to be introduced shortly. There has been much comment and letters in the national press on this subject. The general fear is that clergy numbers may be reduced. There are other options of course, most Dioceses employ a considerable number of administrative staff. Useful in their way, but of no direct practical use to the congregation flocks which financially support these Dioceses. Similarly, over the past 20 years the number of bishops has tripled, a rationale which is hard to comprehend bearing in mind falling congregation numbers. And of course, every bishop needs  several layers of assistants, all at a cost. Another massive expense in a number of Dioceses, is the focus on inner city churches. In Bristol for example, over £3,000,000 has been spent on St Nicholas church in Baldwin Street. To help pay for this, the Diocese had to sell the vicarage in Olveston for less than £650,000 – quite strange when one considers that the initial offer was almost £800,000. If cuts have to be made, then they have to be in administration and hierarchy, because lets face it, a secretary (or a bishop for that matter) cannot minister to the flock.

Most of us will have seen the bright umbrella and the table laden with home-baked cakes outside St Mary’s on a Sunday morning. A sign welcomes cyclists to buy a cake or two and leave the cash on an honesty basis. The idea and implementation was Natasha Harrod’s. Natasha has raised over £470  all of which will go to the North Bristol Foodbank. An amazing and generous scheme.

BELOW is a message from the Foodbank itemising the groceries they particularly need. Can you help?

August shopping list

We have a good stock of some items such as baked beans, porridge oats, tins of soup, tomatoes, pasta sauce and all kinds of pasta. But stock is running low for the following items:

Tinned potatoes

Packets of mashed potato

Noodles

Brown and tomato sauce

Long life fruit juice

Pot noodles

Squash

Sponge puddings

Angel delight

Jam

Marmalade

UHT milk (1 litre)

Chocolates/sweets

Washing capsules including non-bio

Washing up liquid

Disposable razors

Shaving gel

Male and female deodorant

Thank you for your on-going support. Donations can be placed in the Thornbury basket in Tesco or left on the church steps on Fridays between 10.30am and 4pm.

Your prayers are asked for: Isobel Anderson and Fenella Tate, both of whom are in hospital.

Advance notice:

Rev Steve Oram will be on holiday for Sunday services on 6th & 13th September. Rev David Bone will minister Holy Communion on those days. Paul Harrod will preach on both Sundays.

And now your humour (of a sort):

One day in Bristol Zoo the ape was reading TWO books. His carer was impressed and asked what he was reading? The ape replied that one was Darwin and the other the Bible. Doubly impressed his carer asked why. “Well” said the ape “I want to know if I am my keeper’s brother or my brother’s keeper.)