The Revd.

Matthew J Hughes

01689 856931

Associate Rector

The Revd.
Stephen Broadie
 01689 854451

Assistant Priest

The Revd.

Bill Mullenger

020 8462 9624


September Leader

How many people does it take to run St Giles? (This isn’t the vein of a light bulb joke). I thought I knew the answer to this, so when some members of our church suggested that it would be a nice idea to hold a ‘thank you’ tea in September for everyone who volunteers in the church, I was confident that we would be inviting about a hundred or so people. Much to our surprise the figure was more in the region of 300! That’s right; it takes the time and gifts of upwards of three hundred men, women and, yes, children to make sure that St Giles is able to function properly and effectively. No one would guess walking into tranquil St Giles on a sunny afternoon or attending one of our Sunday services that up front and behind the scenes 300 people are working away to make the whole thing happen. This tea party is therefore both a thank you and an acknowledgment of the vital role that volunteering plays in the life of our parish.

Interestingly over 15 million people are involved in volunteering once a month across the UK, and hundreds of thousands volunteer within the parishes of the Church of England every week. Sadly, for some people, volunteering can be a burden because there is no-one else to take over. For others, volunteering is a fulfilling and meaningful experience, an offering that allows something important and life enhancing to happen. I am struck by the Greek Proverb which states. ‘A civilization flourishes when people plant trees under which they will never sit.’ To a great extent we all sit under the trees that others have planted and watered. In volunteering we assert the interdependence of all things and we fly in the face of any culture that asserts the needs of the individual alone as paramount.

As much as St Giles and indeed St Nicholas relies on its volunteers it must be said that churches should also be a place where people can choose to recover themselves from the incessant demands of life and the addiction to busyness and stimulation that can be so distracting and draining. As was once said, we were human ‘beings’ before we were human ‘doings’. In an ideal world there should be a gentle to and fro of giving and receiving. We all volunteer for a range of reasons and within the Christian community there is an added sense of serving Christ in others and conveying the message of our faith through what we do and give of ourselves, as Christ generously gave his life for us. One thing is certain, Jesus said that if we give something as apparently insignificant as a cup of water in support of the mission of the church, (Matt 10:42), Our heavenly Father will be disposed to reward this act. So, thank you to everyone who has helped, is helping, to those who are having a rest, and those who are considering participating. What you do matters, and matters very much, take it away, and our communities’ common life and the love of Christ would be severely diminished and impeded in this place.

I would like to leave you with what I think is a rather funny take on the, well whose responsibility is it all anyway?

Everybody, Somebody, Anybody And Nobody

There is a little story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody.
There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it.
Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it.
Somebody got angry about that because it was Everybody’s job.
Everybody thought that Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it
It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done.

Matthew Hughes



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