At the Annual Parochial Church Meeting, this year on April 26,we elect churchwardens and sidespersons, and thank them and others who have worked hard to for our Parish during the year. Each year, before the APCM, we produce a booklet summarising the ministries and activities that happen in the Parish. This year's has 27 separate sections! There are copies of this informative booklet at the back of each church. Please do pick one up.
The APCM booklet highlights just how many different people carry out so many different roles in our Parish. Some of these are very demanding and visible, such as the churchwardens, PCC secretary and treasurer, and we are very grateful for the huge amount of time and effort they put in. But there arc also many others who give a lot but are less visible.
For example, I rely quite a lot on our website, www.burchettsgreenparish.org, which is always up to date It may surprise you to learn that all the work of maintaining it is done by one person, Paul Heelas. Our heartfelt thanks to him. In addition, we are fortunate to be able to leave our churches open during the day for people to come and enjoy the ambience and pray as they please. But the churches don't open and close themselves. So thank you to Jenny and Keith Robinson at Littlewick, David Burfitt and the team at Hurley and, at Stubbings, our thanks to the team who not only lock and unlock the gate to the site but who may also come to and fro several times in a day to make the Soltau Centre available to its many users.
I could go on, the refreshment cupboards do not replenish themselves; brass- and woodwork does not clean itself, nor do flowers arrange themselves.
The list is endless.
On being thanked
I guess that most people are like me and want to be thanked for their efforts. It's always nice when someone comes up to me after a service and says 'well done'. Many people in our churches faithfully carry out many tasks with little or no thanks and, although I thank you all collectively now. i know that it's not the same as being thanked personally and individually.
Actually, of course, it is God whom we serve and we do what we do out of love for him and not for the recognition we might or might not get. I know this, but from time to time I need to be reminded of it. As the old prayer of Ignatius Loyola says:
'Teach us, good Lord, to serve thee as thou deservest; to give and not to count the cost; to fight and not to heed the wounds; to toil and not to seek for rest; to labour and not to ask for any re ward, save that of knowing that we do thy will, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.'