On behalf of the wardens, Chris Stretton, Michael Lum and myself, I have the pleasure of presenting this report.
Thank you, our church members, for electing Chris and Mike and for Bruce inviting me to serve as your wardens for St Phil's with St Mark's. It is an honour for which we are thankful and praise God for your trust and support. Please be aware, most significant decisions are made with Parish Council, the minister and wardens working closely together.
However, we thank the Lord for you, the congregation members who contribute so much to the function of church. You voluntarily give your time on rosters, clean-up days, grounds-keeping, technology support, special events, supporting one another in sickness and health, teaching and leading small groups and encouraging the ministry team. Without your generous financial contributions a lot of improvements in 2021 could not have been achieved
Your trust in the Parish Council, Wardens and ministry team enables decisions to be made on your behalf, for plans to be enacted resulting in building improvements, delightful places to meet, grounds to be enjoyed and which attracts visitors and neighbours. As a result, we are growing in numbers and commitment, working to advance our vision to open every door, to reach all of Eastwood, Ermington and a little bit more.
These changes have improved our ability to have fellowship together, providing more than adequate accommodation internally plus safe, pleasant external facilities for the needs of the members of 8 services in 5 languages at St Phils and (almost) 2 services at St Marks.
For this to have occurred, there have been many people involved, too many to highlight here. Please read the relevant reports which detail the plans and achievements of 2021, despite COVID-19 restrictions. I refer to the Property Development Report, Rector’s report, ESL report, and Children’s and Youth report.
Special mention should be made though, of David Mayes, Resident Architect, who has overseen the design and project management of building redesigns, building renovations and grounds improvements.
David Smith, Gardening Guru has steered vast improvements in establishing gardens and providing leadership in the maintenance of the grounds. Both men have been and remain heavily involved in vast improvements made at Ermington. Thank you both, David and David!
Thank you to Mike and Chris who so capably and voluntarily undertake responsibility for all financial administration of finances and property, keeping appropriate account records related to this on our behalf. This requires a lot of time, copious communication, wisdom and a healthy sense of humour. They oversee employment relations, work health and safety, child protection and taxation. Chris and Mike, thank you for your efforts behind the scenes and for your availability to deal with any problem large or small, and always being present at every event!
Thank you too, to Chris Adams who audited our financial administration again this year – a responsibility of which few would be capable.
Thank you, church members for supporting them in their diligence.
Numerous applications for financial grants have been made as opportunities have arisen. They require a lot of work for a few skilled people, are not always successful but a number have been awarded which has enabled partial funding for improvements. For example, solar panels installed on the WMH which have already resulted in reduced electricity charges, a children’s playground at Ermington (still to be installed) and improved teaching resources for ESL. Thank you for all who have given time to achieve these. The balance of funding required has been covered through our reserves.
The wardens are very thankful for our ministry team who serve us all, teaching us, supporting and inspiring us to continue in our relationship with the Lord and with each other. The team is very capably led by Rev. Bruce Stanley.
Bruce provides Godly, energetic, and imaginative vision for our whole church. Bruce is not only our spiritual Senior Minister who leads his staff team and his flock in the ways of the Lord. Bruce guides us all to prioritise our growth in Christian discipleship, keeping us focused on our mission to share the Gospel with Eastwood, Ermington and a little bit more. He is very hands-on, suggesting improvements and leading by example in implementing practical change for the better. Thank you, Bruce, Heather and family!
We regret having to farewell Rev. Robin Kinstead and Rev. Jenny Stoddart, whose strong ministries impacted and uplifted us in the time in which they served at St Mark's and St Phil's. We welcomed Lane Sun, Associate Pastor who has joined the Mandarin ministry team. We congratulate Christine Yang who, although not new to the ministry team, was ordained in 2021.
The administration team is our strength behind the function of the ministry team and all of us. We cannot thank enough those who work tirelessly in the office.
These changes, improvements, achievements and future goals can only be seen as a part of God’s plan for Eastwood and Ermington. Without the congregations’ generous support spiritually, physically and financially we could not have taken steps to envisage these bold goals and see them realised.
Your regular giving, your generosity in supporting special projects and your amazing response to the Thanksgiving Sunday where all goals were met and exceeded has indicated how much you trust and consider yourselves a part of the team.
Of course, there is more to be done and the next major projects demanding attention are the surfacing of the carpark and installation of the detention tank.
THANK YOU! Please continue to serve the Lord in generosity with your financial planning and gifts.
THANK YOU for trusting Bruce, our ministry teams, the wardens, and Parish Council
Praise the Lord who exhorts us in Luke 12: 31 -"Seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well."
Lee Beeston, Mike Lum and Chris Stretton