Who is the Church of England for ?
The Church of England is there for everyone. Because it is the established church anyone who lives in the parish has a right to be married, baptised and buried in their parish church - even if they never come to church or are of another faith or denomination. Most C of E churches wouldn't want it any other way - inclusiveness is one of our most valuable hallmarks.
Who pays for the Church?
Because we are the established church, many people assume that we are supported financially by the state, paid for by taxes, like a sort of spiritual version of the NHS. This is not the case. The upkeep of the church buildings and the cost of its ministry - clergy salaries, training, pensions etc. - is paid for from donations given by church members. We need to raise about £1400 per week to keep St Peter and St Paul going. There are more details about where the money goes, and how we raise it in our annual reports. You can find links to these in the left hand sidebar of the home page.
It's not just money which churches need, however. Without committed congregations - people prepared to give their time and talents to sing in the choir or run the Sunday school, serve on the church council, welcome people at services, produce the church magazine, ring the bells... and many other tasks, the church cannot thrive as a living focus for its community.
Many people enjoy and use their local church, and expect that it will be there for them in times of need, but the reality is that the burden of supporting it financially and practically often falls on the shoulders of a few, hard-pressed people. No one wants to see their local church close for lack of support, but churches all over England face that prospect. Without the support of those who value the church, it cannot survive.
So, what can you do to help?
There are a number of ways of supporting St Peter and St Paul.
Every little helps, but regular giving - gift aided if you pay tax - is especially welcome. If you have questions about Seal Church's finances, you can contact us here.You can find Standing Order and Gift Aid forms here. You can also donate £5 through Donr.com by texting SEALCHURCH to 70085, or another amount by texting SEALCHURCH followed by the amount in numbers (so SEALCHURCH10 to donate £10, for example). Donr takes 5% commission on all payments, so if you are giving regularly it is better for us if you take out a standing order.
Giving time and talents
We need you! We need you first and foremost because you are a child of God, special to him. Just by being among us you will enrich our community. But you can help in other ways too. There are many jobs which need to be done in the church - practical, musical and spiritual. Singing, praying, cleaning, organizing...there is something you can do. The church is involved in the local community too - church members, for example, serve as school governors, or are involved in other areas of village life. We need people to help us do the work God has called us to - serving others where they are. Whether your gifts are practical, musical, or spiritual, there are ways of getting involved. If you'd like to talk about what you might do, contact the vicar who will be happy to meet with you.
Becoming a "Friend" of St Peter and St Paul
The Friends were formed a few years ago to help raise funds for the maintenance of the church, recognising its importance to those who may not be regular churchgoers here, but nonetheless value the church and wish to support it. If you would like to know more about becoming a "Friend" you can find out more here.