Stewardship Week 3


The list of opportunities needing volunteers at SJF Bexley.    Week 3 Talk

Fr Doug has spoken to us on Stewardship. The first week emphasised that we should nurture and use the gifts that we have. The second week helped us to discern or identify the gifts that we have and how other might describe us and how we produce our best work.

I hope that last week’s exercise helped in some way and that you remember your responses or have brought the leaflet back as a reminder.

Today we want to see what tasks the parish has to enable it to develop as it could and should.

When you arrived, I hope that you picked up the form and a pen or pencil. If you are missing these please put your hand up and the stewards will provide them.  (If you are reading this on line the three parts of the form are below as screenshots)

The form lists the key tasks identified as essential to the parish.

  • The first grouping- yellow heading- is of those task that relate closely to our worship of the Mass. Things such as altar serving, stewards and welcomers and Eucharistic ministers
  • The second grouping-green heading sets out the support services that are needed. Things such as safeguarding, newsletters and finances.
  • Finally there is a list of charities –blue box-that the parish or parishioners support for the good of those less fortunate than us.

Against each task you will see the gifts or talent or skill or aptitude that would be most helpful in carrying out those tasks. Hopefully last week you will have been able to identify your particular gifts. We shall be running through the tasks to help us think about each one.

We have also given an indication of the time commitment that may be necessary.

The last column is for you to tick to say that my gifts fit well and I should like to help with that task. It is appreciated that many of you are already using your gifts and doing some tasks and so do tick the box where this applies.

I think it may be useful for us to consider some general thoughts before we start. Such as:

  • Every parishioner should perhaps volunteer for at least one task.[ If ill health or other issues prevent you from doing so then we wish you well and offer our prayers to you.]
  • There are some tasks that almost every parishioner can do – for example stewarding or welcoming. A happy greeting is a great welcome and it is a good way to get to know your fellow Mass goers. Everyone here is capable.
  • You may be able to buddy with a friend and help each other with the task.
  • Do give it a try. Others will help you learn what is involved and provide guidance in the early days.
  • It is not a task that you have to do for ever. We should be able to arrange to switch between tasks to provide new energy and thought in doing a different task.
  • A lot of these tasks are shared with others by way of a rota. So it may not be every week, but once a month or less.

So, let us run quickly through the tasks, skipping quickly over those that are most familiar.

Note there are three columns of possible gifts and in most cases you only need one of those gifts to be able to do that task.

Yellow Heading

  • Reads the epistles and bidding prayers. A good clear voice to impart the message.
  • Choir member. Useful to be able to sing. Men are outnumbered at the moment. We could form a youth choir with enough youngsters.
  • You may have experience the trumpet playing at Mass on Remembrance Day and more recently the [flute?]. More are welcome.
  • Deputy Choir Leader. Most welcome to deputise for Carol as necessary..
  • Stewards and welcomers. Welcome people to Mass with service books, organise the offertory procession. Everyone here is capable.
  • Children’s Liturgy. Help our youngest to learn about their faith as they are our future.
  • Prepare vestments and sacred vessels for services.
  • Altar Servers. A great experience for those who have taken Holy Communion and some more experienced to provide guidance.
  • Learn how to make a pleasing display
  • Eucharistic Ministers. The special task of distributing communion at busy Masses or at Eucharistic services when the priest is away. Also distributing communion to those unable to get to Mass.
  • How we have missed the repository by not being open at all Masses.

And we now reach the support tasks in the Parish with the green heading

  • This is to help those groups as they prepare for the sacraments and needs a willingness and ability to share your faith.
  • This team checks that those involved with children and vulnerable adults are suitable to carry out that work. The team needs rebuilding with a new leader and maybe someone with experience of this say via a school would be willing. IT skills would be useful.
  • We have a good website but it needs constant updating and refreshing. If you have IT or writing skills that would be good.
  • Newsletter compilers to pull together the various submissions .
  • Parish Directory. This is being updated this year and best for those with IT or communication skills.
  • Particularly of interest for those with building or repairing skills or IT skills for the electronics.
  • Sacristy and the laundry needs.
  • To serve coffees after the 10:30 Mass on a rota basis
  • Straightforward skills on a rota to keep our church looking good.
  • Social Events Team. This is set up to plan events that we would like to have as parishioners. A whole mix of skills such as ticket production, posters, ticket selling, hall preparation etc.
  • This team plans and keeps track of our finance on dedicated software. It needs skills ranging from data inputting to report writing.
  • Gift Aid. This team ensures that we continue to receive tax back on gift aided payments. IT skills would be useful and administration.
  • Counting and depositing. Counting and recoding all monies received including the offertory and paying in at the bank.
  • 200 Club. It would be good to restart this as it gave everyone a chance to contribute and win and provide funds for the church. Needs setting up and administration
  • There is a spare box to enter your favourite task that we have forgotten- maybe driving or evangelisation or something else.

And finally, there are many charities that the parish and parishioners support and they would all benefit from some new helpers. The charities include   CAFOD,  AIC,  Apostleship of the Sea, Christian Unity, Developing World, Justice and Peace,  Missio,  SPUC,  SVP. Some of these are handled by just one person and it would be sensible to spread the load.

I am sorry that it has taken so long to go through the tasks but it does show all the things that the parish does need to do to run itself.

Please look at the gifts you have and try to match them with at least one task on the list.

Do remember to add your name and contact details at the bottom of the list and please do this even if you have not marked any tasks.

As you leave church just place the completed form face down in the basket provided.

And thank you once again for your attention and your gifts.

John Rayer 2022-02-02