Heritage Lottery Fund – Pre Application

As previously mentioned, we submitted a pre-application to the Heritage Lottery Fund to gauge how receptive they would be to supporting our church organ renovation project. They have now had time to consider this and have returned the following email.

Dear David
Thank you for submitting a recent Heritage Grant Pre-application form for the project titled The renovation of the Hill Organ at St John the Evangelist Church. As part of the application process, your submitted Pre-application provides the Development Team with an insight into the overall aim of the project and enables us to see how we can advise you further on how to develop a full application for consideration. I have had an opportunity to look at your project and I would be grateful if you could provide me with some further information.

You have already stated that a recent condition survey was undertaken on the organ, does this confirm that the organ is on the National Pipe Organ register? I would also be keen to know who you have identified as the organ consultant and whether you have been in contact with the Council for the Care of Churches? At this stage there are concerns that because the organ was electrified in the 1960’s with changes made to the console, restoration of this particular organ would be considered a low priority for HLF because changes have been made to its original condition.

Further information on this will enable to confirm whether this would be the case. I look forward to hearing from you.
Yours sincerely

So we will now respond with the additional information that the HLF have requested but on this evidence it looks likely that we will have to go to Plan B. I will keep you informed. Please keep praying for this work.

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The Vicar’s Letter – June 2010

Dear Friends,

May I begin by saying a HUGE THANK YOU to all those who worked so hard giving of their time, their skill and their energy to produce such a wonderful, glorious Flower Festival to celebrate our 125th anniversary. The planning and organisation, the presentation of the floral displays, the provision of refreshments, the gathering together so much of our history and heritage, the staffing of the church and hall, the organ recitals, the production of posters, leaflets and programmes, the male voice choir, the opening ceremony attended by our Patron Lord and Lady Daresbury and the Mayor, Dr. Brian Axcell and Mayoress of Warrington and too many other untold acts of service all came together to provide a truly wonderful event for our community and to the glory of God. It was truly wonderful to have flower groups, WI’s, our parish council and others from all over Warrington, sponsoring and/or presenting such fantastic displays.

The Sunday, I preached on the same passage as at our consecration 125 years earlier, ‘Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power at work within us’. Ephesians 3 v20. As the apostle Paul reflected on the whole community of believers who made up the church at Ephesus, the Jew and the Gentile, the rich and the poor, the powerful and the weak, the skilled and the untutored, those in work and those unemployed, yet all together being the family of God, he was brought to his knees in prayer. He prayed from a heart bursting with joy that God’s power would root and establish them in love so that Christ would dwell in their hearts through faith.

Our floral displays were magnificent, yet we knew that within a few days they would fade and die because the flowers had no root. Paul’s prayer is that our love for each other would not be superficial, temporal, purely for show, but rooted and established in the wideness and fullness of Christ’s love, a love that has no boundaries, no limits and reaches out to every single person. I pray that we would all come to know the limitless love of Christ and experience the limitless power of God in our lives, for what he has begun to do in and through us is just the start, the beginning of something that is so glorious it is beyond even our asking or our imagination. We have a great God so let us praise Him and let us ask great things of Him that He might have all of the glory, now and forever, Amen.

Revd. John Harries

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An author in our midst

You just never know what talents are lurking within our small church here at St. Johns. David Rowland, a member of St. Johns has just self-published his first novel entitled The Thin Black Line a story of adventure set in the Klondike gold rush at the end of the 19th century.

It is Summer 1897 and Samuel Cross labours tirelessly on his fathers farm but he longs for a more fulfilling life. During a visit into the port of Seattle, he reads a headline that gold has been found in the Klondike and men have returned richer than they could have imagined. Inspired, he seeks his passage northwards and finds a company offering free passage for those willing to work as cooks in one of the mining companies. On board the steamship, he makes several new friends, all with their own stories to tell, one of which will come to threaten his own life. The story follows the young friends as they endeavour to strike it rich in the frozen north.

Further infomation about David and his work can be found at www.davidrowland.wordpress.com

The hardback book (ISBN 978-1-4457-6990-5) is currently onsale at www.lulu.com David hopes to have the book available through amazon.co.uk in the next few months.

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Church Organ Project – Where are we up to?

After much ‘toing’ and ‘froing’, and visits from a couple of organ builders, we have finally received a provisional cost for carrying out the work to renovate the Hill organ. And unfortunately, it is a substantial sum, maybe even as much as £200,000.

As a result of this, we have now been able to complete, and submit, a pre-application to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to request a grant to help to support this work. An initial reply from the HLF has been received indicating that they have received our submission and informing us that they will be back in touch with us by the end of this month. So fingers crossed that we get some positive news then as their decision will be crucial to helping us decide whether we are in a position to take the project. Your prayers for our work at this time would be very much appreciated.

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The Vicar’s Letter – May 2010

Dear Friends,

this past week I’ve been reminded of an old book I read as a student entitled ‘God tells the man who cares’ by W. Tozer. On the front cover is a picture of a man deep in prayer, and I remember wondering what it was that he was praying for in such earnest. In the week leading up to Easter, St. John’s was open for a couple of hours each day for anyone to go in and pray, and a number of us took advantage of the quietness and opportunity to get away from the business and pressure and spend time with the Lord. At the beginning of the week, I remember praying for all the things that were going on, all the concerns and worries that beset our lives, and in some instances as I prayed and read God’s word I heard him speak to me on some issues, whilst others God seemed to remain stubbornly quiet. As the week progressed I found myself quietening down, being prepared just to be with the Lord and rest in his presence as a friend and companion, and it was then that I began to understand what Tozer was saying in his book and what the man was praying for on the front cover. As I meditated on myself and Lord sitting together as friends, I began to see that I had been doing all of the talking and wanting him to answer all my concerns, perhaps even getting frustrated when he seemed not to answer. Yet, might the Lord himself have things that he would like to share with me, if I would but stop to listen and to care – after all, isn’t that what friends are for. Suddenly, I began to see my concerns and troubles in a different light, as I began to hear what the Lord was saying about things I had never even stopped to consider. I began to realise that sometimes when I felt that God was not answering my prayers, that the heavens were like brass, it might just be that he was wanting me to put my issues aside for a moment, trusting him to deal with them, that I might listen more profitably to what issues he wanted to discuss. God tells the one who cares. Following the resurrection and Jesus’ ascension into heaven, the disciples spent time in prayer, listening to God and waiting for his timing – and Pentecost came. As we look to the celebration of Pentecost, let us spend time in prayer seeking what lies on God’s heart and experiencing the peace that comes from communion with the living God.

Revd. John Harries

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