As members of the Church we are part of a radical new loving family, a supernatural community under the headship of Jesus. We have SO MUCH to give thanks for! Wow what a journey - just seeing Harvest across all the sites, with every service full reminds me that we have an incredible story to tell. We are a church that has grown from 40 people (5 years ago) to over 600 and it has happened by faith alone. We have never had reserves, we have always trusted God and we have taken risks in order to pursue His call today. Within the first 2 months of my arrival in September 2013 we had to spend every penny that the church had of our seed funding (and ask for more) just to fix the corroded and leaking heating system at St Thomas in time for Christmas. People were worshipping with rugs on their back, hot water bottles and two coats on at the onset of Winter and I will never forget the vapour from their breathe as we sung. The family came together and gave so that we can today enjoy the Mitre, Sanctuary, Russell Street Community Centre, Sports Factory etc……! Faith is spelt R-I-S-K whether we like it or not!
Offering October is an opportunity to pause, reflect and give thanks for what God has done here in Norwich through St Toms. Joanna, Andy, Ed and I would like to invite you to share a story on this page, write a unique prayer, explore groups and teams but to also give financially. I do not like to talk very much about giving but Jesus didn’t mind speaking about it at all. He is Lord of everything, and therefore he is Lord of our wallets too. Jesus said “where our treasure is our heart lies” (Matthew 6.21). Our hope is that through October you might review your giving to the church whether it is regular giving (from your 'first fruits’) and/or one-off gifts ('offerings’) in order to build up the body of Christ. We would like you to join with us in order to pray and seek God in this together.
God has called us to play a leading role in stewarding this extraordinary move of His Holy Spirit in Norwich and Norfolk today and to play our part in the re-evangelisation of the nation, the transformation of society and revitalisation of the church. Check out the vision talks if you want to revisit where we are headed. Take a look back at what God has done in the last 5 years. Take a look at the timeline below. Pray into whether this is a family that you want to sow into in the future. We are the church and together we are being built 'to become a dwelling in which God lives by His Spirit’.
Our volunteer Finance Team and PCC have set out key information as clearly as possible. If you want more information they will be very happy to give it. There are also some myths to bust about finance:
1. We do not receive anything from the Church of England - instead we pay monthly to their central pot for the maintenance of clergy and mission.
2. The Mitre is not yet profitable but it has exceeded expectations in its first year of trading. We as a church are subsidising the Mitre in order for our Public Home to become solvent and successful.
3. We are an HTB network church. We receive no money from HTB, and we pay the full price for all the HTB events and services we enjoy.
4. STN TRUST - Up to this point the Trust have been financially self-sufficient, however in order to continue the growth and support the work it needs more financial support.
Please email the Finance Team. They love to talk about this and share information with you.
To put it simply. God has caught our attention through finance! Our congregation and missional reach has grown but our giving is yet to catch up. Last Sunday over 600 people attended our services but we only have 148 regular givers. To sustain the work we are already doing we need an increase in giving and givers. My hope is to share this information with you, the church, as clearly and transparently as possible so you can pray and act accordingly. The figure seems daunting! We need to increase our regular giving by £50,000 in order to support our existing and growing mission field. We would also welcome one-off gifts to help develop our sites and spaces so that they might be developed. All of this might seem a daunting task but actually if all 600 people in the church gave the monetary equivalent of three cups of coffee per month we would meet the target. Gift Aid also lets us reclaim 25% back from the Government. I believe that together we can make this happen if we move as one. Miracles do happen! Jesus said 'it is more blessed to give than to receive'. Enjoy the blessing!