Dear friend,

Welcome to the June newsletter from St Peter's Church. In this newsletter you'll see the dates and times of our services in June, and details about what else we're up to as a church family.

Trust in God

Amongst the wealth of Christian teaching online is the Ipswich Methodist Circuit 'thought for the day' page (never let it be said we don't bring you all the top internet sensations!). Here's a recent article which you may like:

Psalm 16:1. “Preserve me, O God, for in You I put my trust.”

Some people touring a mint where coins are made came to the smelting area. As they stood before the cauldrons filled with molten metal, the tour guide explained that if a person were to dip his hand into water and then have someone pour the hot liquid over his hand, he would neither be injured nor feel any pain.

Picking out one couple, he asked if they would like to prove what he had just said. “No, thank you,” the husband quickly said. “I’ll take your word for it.” But his wife responded eagerly. “Sure, I’ll give it a try.”

Matching action to her words, she thrust her hand into a bucket of water and then held it out as the molten metal was poured over it. The hot liquid rolled off harmlessly just as the guide had said it would. The host turned to the husband and remarked, “Sir, you claimed to believe what I said. But your wife truly trusted.”

If we only claim to believe God’s promises but never act on them, we will miss out on His marvellous blessings.”

I’m not sure whether, if I had been in this situation, I would have acted like the husband or the wife. Our daily lives are a bit of a test and we need to trust that God will lead us in the right direction and give us the strength to cope. To believe and then to act on that belief may be difficult.

We may be scared but if we put our trust in God we will triumph.

Archdeacon Anne to retire

Many of you will know the Venerable Dr Anne Dawtry, who for 10 years has served as Archdeacon of Halifax and has visited St Peters many times - most recently at our Easter service. Anne has announced the date of her retirement, and will be moving to Lancashire in October.

“By the time of my retirement in October I will have completed ten years as Archdeacon of Halifax. I feel extremely blessed to have served in this role firstly in the former Wakefield Diocese and then, since Easter 2014, in the Diocese of Leeds,” Anne said.

The Archdeacon has been instrumental in helping to guide St Peters during our time without a vicar, along with the Area Dean and Bishop. We wish her a long and enjoyable retirement.
Thompson mouse carving

Gift Aid

Did you know that from the 6th April your personal tax allowance has risen to £12,570. If you earn less than this, normally you should not have to pay tax.

Now is an ideal opportunity to consider Gift Aid. If you are a taxpayer, then provided you have completed a Gift Aid Declaration form, we as a Church can reclaim tax at the rate of 25p in the £1.

However, you must ensure you will pay in tax at least as much as we are reclaiming. For example if you donate under the Gift Aid scheme £100 then we will reclaim £25, but if you do not pay at least £25 in tax then HMRC will ask you to make up any shortfall.

Gift Aid claims are now being made on a monthly basis, so tax will be reclaimed on donations made in April, in early May and so on. It is essential, therefore, that if there is a change in your taxable status, you inform us as soon as possible.

If you are eligible but have not previously completed a Gift Aid Declaration, or if have changed address, or if you just want to see whether we are claiming gift aid on your donations, please ask Alan, either in person, by email at a.m.graves236@gmail.com by telephone on 01924478946 or by text on 07951508963, who will be pleased to help.

What's on in June

Our full online service have now stopped, and we hope to see you in church on Sunday mornings at 10AM. However, if you cannot be with us, there will be a short message from the church on Facebook and YouTube each Sunday morning.

Some of our less mobile members find it difficult to get to church on their own. If anyone can help with offers of lifts, or if you would like a lift, please let Leif or Wendy know and they will do their best to coordinate.

Prayer Ministry Team members will be available every Sunday to pray with anyone should the need arise. If you aren't in church for the Sunday service but would like prayer, please contact us - the Holy Spirit can cope with a telephone call. Please don't worry or suffer alone.

Did you know?

As the weather gets warmer we all like a cool refreshing fizzy drink. But did you know that Joseph Priestley, born in Birstall, was the first to discover how to infuse water with carbon dioxide? It's true!

In 1767 he suspended a bowl of water over a beet vat at a brewery in Leeds, resulting in a cool refreshing beverage which he soon began offering it to friends. A paper published in 1772 described how he developed his process by dripping sulfuric acid onto chalk to produce carbon dioxide, then encouraged the gas to infuse with water.

So if it wasn't for our very own Joseph Priestley you possibly wouldn't be enjoying a cola, lemonade, or G&T this summer. Maybe raise a glass of fizzy stuff to him the next time you pass his statue in the marketplace!

Prayer for June

God of all hope we call on you today.
We pray for those who are living in fear:
Fear of illness, fear for loved ones, fear of other’s reactions to them.
May your Spirit give us a sense of calmness and peace.

We pray for your church in this time of uncertainty.
For those people who are worried about attending worship.
For those needing to make decisions in order to care for other
For those who will feel more isolated by not being able to attend.
Grant us your wisdom.

Holy God, we remember that you have promised that
Nothing will separate us from your love – demonstrated to us in Jesus Christ.
Help us turn our eyes, hearts and minds to you.


And finally

If you need support in any way - prayer, or practical help - please contact us on our special email address: support@stpetersbirstall.co.uk.

We hope you enjoyed this newsletter. If you have suggestions for things we can put in it please do get in touch.
Thanks for reading. God bless you all.

St Peter's Church, Birstall