Well, how was it for you? The Queens' Platinum Jubilee celebrations that is. Hopefully a fantastic weekend of meeting with friends and neighbours and just catching up after two years of minimal contact. Sadly, my Jubilee involvements were curtailed by two weddings, two wedding rehearsals and three church services all within the fourday period. So, my apologies if I could only stop at your own village event for just a short period of time. My loss but then some of these weddings had been postponed during lockdown so really important that they proceed without delay.
However, it just goes to show how important community living really is. Hopefully the success of all our village events will stimulate further occasions to meet up. That is certainly our plan in church as we move up a gear to host other social and service events for the remainder of 2022. Some of them will no doubt be advertised in the following pages of this newsletter.
One of the big plans currently underway in Great Casterton is to become more environmentally active in reducing our carbon footprint. We have commenced a programme of replacing our ancient oil-fired church and church hall heating systems with modern low carbon heat pump solutions. Alterations and upgrades to the church hall will start this summer and hopefully the alteration to the church itself will follow shortly behind.
The big problem is that we don't have sufficient funds in reserve to cover the costs of both buildings which is currently estimated at around £140,000. Maybe you can help us achieve our goal by helping to fund the projects. If you are a church member you could look to increasing your weekly giving. Most folk, including myself, have not increased weekly giving since the start of the pandemic, maybe now is a good time to re-visit what we contribute. At the moment regularly giving does not even cover the annual operating costs of our normal church activities.
If you operate a business or are an environmentally active individual or family perhaps you could make a one of donation to Great Casterton PCC. We have already received gifts and donations to the tune of £4,000 but more is needed if we are to replace the heating before the old system gives up the ghost.
For our part we shall be investigating grants and loan applications from local and national organisations and our expectations are that by the start of this winter we shall have completed the heating upgrades in both buildings.
As I mentioned in an earlier article some months ago Great Casterton has already achieved a bronze standard award from the ECO church organisation. Only four churches in the diocese have achieved such an award but with our new heating systems in place we might even qualify for silver or gold status.
I do hope you are able to join us in this mission and be part of the team that makes Great Casterton church the pioneer church for environmentally friendly solutions in the area. But even more important is that we are playing our part in God's creation story. His challenge to us all to be good stewards of this world and for all living things that share this space. Our prayer is that other churches may see the benefits and follow quickly behind.