Bishop Pete welcomed to talk All Saints

Christian Voices in Contemporary- 'Mutual Flourishing in a place of disagreement'.

During Lent, All Saints Ecclesall hosts an annual public theology programme in partnership with St Peter's College.  It builds on the very successful ‘Christian Voices in the Contemporary World’ series launched in 2014.  We have recorded each of the talks since 2017 and they can all be found below. This talk was rearranged after it had to be postponed due to snow. 

From the Vicar July 2018

The summer is upon us.  Universities are already ‘down’ while the schools are about to close for the summer.  Whether we are parents or not, whether we are going away or not – the months of July and August are quite different to the rest of the year.  Usually there is a little more time to slow down and to phone or visit friends and loved ones.  And of course the roads in Ecclesall are much less busy even if the M1 is full of one traffic jam after another.  During August we are planning for our services to be simpler and a little shorter to reduce our demands on volunteers and staff.  In addition there will be no Sunday 6pm service on Sunday 26 August.

Summer opens with the Church BBQ on Sunday 8 July at 12.30pm at Rob and Jenny Coleman’s- 8 Carsick View Road, S10 3LZ. Please sign up in church. Summer also brings the All Saints children’s Holiday Club.  Please do sign up to help and invite all the children that you know as well as committing the week to your prayers.  If you would like to know more, please contact Rosie Blackett.

Looking back to June it was wonderful to welcome Bishop Pete once again to All Saints.  His lecture on ‘Mutual Flourishing in a place of disagreement’ was really well attended and it was very pleasing to welcome so many people from across the Diocese. The lecture ended with a discussion of what we have to offer a broken world, full of disagreement and enmity.  Here Bishop Pete proposed five simple rules for disagreeing well.

1.    Listen carefully, ready to change

2.   Affirm common ground

3. Assume the best intentions and motives

4. Address your opponent’s strongest arguments

5.  Only say publicly or at a distance, what you would be prepared to say personally face to face

I encourage you to share them in your home groups, with your families and at work.  They are very simple indeed – but nonetheless potentially life changing.

June also saw Pedr Beckley’s announcement of his retirement as Vicar of St Gabriel’s Greystones. After a very long wait the Beckleys have managed to buy their retirement house of choice.  This is wonderful news, but also a very strange time as they plan to leave Greystones after over 30 years of ministry there.  On 20 June, with the support of All Saints PCC, Alistair Stevenson met informally with the PCC of St Gabriel’s to begin to explore their vision for the future and to scope what serving there half time might look like alongside continuing to serve half time at All Saints. The St Gabriel’s PCC reiterated their enthusiasm for our growing partnership and the possible arrival of a small group from All Saints. St Gabriel’s is full of very faithful and committed people who have served for many years but who are no doubt greatly encouraged by the possible sharing of the ministry in Greystones in the years to come. Alistair left the meeting encouraged by the possibilities of what God might do at St Gabriel’s in the future and to build on the very significant legacy already there.  Accordingly I will table at All Saints July PCC the formal proposal to release Alistair to serve half time at St Gabriel’s from the autumn.  I will be able to share more details following the meeting.

This means that All Saints will be keeping the Diocesan removals company particularly busy this year- with the hoped for move of the Stevenson family to St Gabriel’s Vicarage and also the temporary move of the Wilton family out of the All Saints Vicarage later this month.  Many of you will know that the vicarage central heating system has been failing for a number of years. Initially this prompted discussions about building a new vicarage paid for by the sale of the current vicarage. This was a very attractive possibility and indeed I was very excited by the thought of designing a new vicarage fit for the next 100 years.  However the creation of the new Clifford All Saints Primary School has made me think again. Ecclesall is in the midst of a baby boom and in the future there may be pressure on Clifford All Saints Primary School to expand. The only way it could do so would be to use the existing vicarage site.  So I have proposed that we should retain the existing vicarage indefinitely just in case. I am therefore grateful to the Diocese for agreeing to install a completely new heating system.  We are already looking forward to being warm next winter!  But in the meantime every pipe in the vicarage is about to be changed by the plumbers, taking up all the floors and knocking holes in all the walls.  Once the plumbers have finished the decorators will move in, with everything ready for the end of August.

On 9 June, 75 Church Family members attended the PCC Open Morning to catch up with the PCC’s conversations about the possibility of building an extension.  The meeting was wide ranging including discussions about the halls, community use of the school, the scale of a possible extension, and the unexpected potential of the crypt.  No decisions were made except that we recognise that we have a lot more praying, talking and information gathering to do. The meeting was immensely positive and fun.  A number of Church Family members encouraged us to be really bold as we look into the future. Others were keen to adopt a phased approach. A highlight of the meeting was a visit to the crypt.  Around 60 of us made our way to the entrance east end of the church just below the Emmaus Chapel.  For most, it was their very first visit.  Most expressed surprise at the amount of space.  Others were very taken by the beautiful arched windows.  Currently we are writing up all the feedback generated by the Church Family.  Please look out for further meetings and other opportunities to contribute.

Meet our Church Administrator

This week we are finding out more about Sally Hunter, who has been catching up after a week’s holiday and eating lots of biscuits!

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Who are you and what do you do?

I have been the Church Administrator at All Saints Ecclesall for 2.5 years. Before I joined All Saints my jobs have included working for the Royal College of Surgeons and the Magna Carta Trust. Out of work I am Mum to Robbie, who is 6, and I do tap dancing (very badly!). I am also Chair of Ecclesall Pre-School Committee, which is a challenging but rewarding role.

What exactly is a Church Administrator?

In the nutshell the role is to support the clergy and Ministry Team, so that they can get on with their Ministry Roles. That includes printing service sheets, preparing the weekly notices, letter writing, rotas, answering queries, organising staffing for funerals and weddings  and a whole host of other things I can’t think of at the moment.

What are the most challenging parts of the job?

The role is not rocket science but the big challenge is managing my time so that every task and every person I deal with gets the attention they deserve.

What do you love the most about your job?

The people- the Church family are lovely and everyone is so appreciative.

Are you enjoying belonging to the All Saints church family?

I was part of the church family before joining the staff team and have always felt very welcome here. My time in church on Sundays is very different to my role in the week. Some time ago I felt a calling to help with children’s ministry and most Sundays I lead the Explore (3-5 years) group. It’s a lovely age group and they can always make me smile!

 What difference does Christian faith make in your life?

God is continually challenging me to serve and broaden my horizons- without my faith I don’t think I would have done many of the things I am doing now.

From the Vicar June 2018

Welcome to the June Edition of From the Vicar. June will open with the third official visit to All Saints by our new Diocesan Bishop Pete Wilcox.   Bishop Pete chaired his first Diocesan Synod here last November and presided at our confirmation service on 8 April. But having had to postpone in Lent because of the snow, we look forward to welcoming Bishop Pete back at 7.45pm on Thursday 7 June.  His talk is entitled ‘Mutual Flourishing in a place of disagreement – what does this have to say to the world’. 

Given the profound disagreement about women bishops within Sheffield Diocese and across the wider Church of England, this will be an important evening on a very contemporary issue.  Please publicise this widely and invite your friends.  Also listen out for my interview with Sarah Major about ‘Mutual Flourishing’ on BBC Radio Sheffield on Sunday 3 June.

There will be a PCC Open Morning on Saturday 9 June, 10.00am – 1.00pm in the church building.  Everyone is invited.  A key part of my presentation at the APCM was an update on the PCC’s thinking about a possible extension to the church building.  We are still very much at the beginning. But are now ready to share our conversation with the wider congregation.  More than that we want to work with you to develop our vision for the church building we need as a multi-generation church family.  Together we will need to start asking: Is this the right vision for the building? What are our needs? What about the cost? What about the halls?  What about the crypt? What about the community provision at the new Clifford All Saints School? How do they all fit together?

I am really encouraged by the conversations that I have enjoyed with different members of the church family.  These have been alongside those with the wardens, PCC Executive Committee and staff.  In the midst of the excitement a consensus seems to be emerging.  Firstly amongst both those who are for and against an extension to the side of the church building, there is recognition that this will be a big undertaking and will involve a lot of consultation over a number of years.   And secondly there is a growing groundswell in support for developing the crypt first.  Indeed a number of people have argued that we won’t know quite what we need in a side extension until we have developed and started using the space in the crypt. 

I hadn’t even thought about developing the crypt until last autumn when it very clearly emerged as a key matter for investigation for the PCC.

  Now, I am excited by the possibility of having three meeting rooms, some toilets, a coffee point and lots of storage there.  Nonetheless it is important to stress that no decisions have been made and that the wider conversations are only about to begin.  For the moment ending with ‘watch this space’ seems very appropriate.

A number of you have also wanted to talk to me about the new Clifford All Saints C of E Primary School.  It will be very much a new school working across two sites, Psalter Lane and Ringinglow Road.  We hope that the new Bishop will dedicate the school in September.   The Ringinglow Road site will be closed for the autumn term for building work ready for a formal opening in January 2019.

Alongside this, the new Ecclesall community primary school will have opened on the site of the old Ecclesall Infants.  Much of the new community school will be a brand new building.  So Clifford All Saints will be working hard to ensure that the Ringinglow Road site offers its children an equivalent high quality learning environment.  Partnering with St Andrew’s Psalter Lane church council, All Saints PCC have agreed to raise a £10,000 gift to help upgrade the facilities at the Clifford All Saints Ringinglow Road site. Currently we are working with the Head Sue Preston to finalise a project for us to support.  Once we have chosen it, we will ask parents past and present whether they would like to contribute.  In the meantime I hope that you like the new logo.  It is a wonderful combination of the All Saints windows and the cross of St Andrew.

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Coming closer to home it is now over 7 months since our new Pastoral Team was established under the leadership of Dan Christian and Sue Blaby.  Very quickly it has become an important part of the pastoral life and ministry of All Saints.  Quite wonderfully we now have over 20 church members involved in long term visiting of those who need regular home visits.  The purpose of the team is to visit and support those who can’t make it to church or those with a long term health need.  Sue Blaby and Dan Christian have been pleased and a little overwhelmed by the support of the church family for one another.  If you would like to be involved or if you are aware of a church family member who needs regular home visits please don’t hesitate to contact Sue or Dan. They would be delighted to hear from you.

Yours in the service of Christ Jesus

Gary

 Vicar

From the Vicar May 2018

Welcome to the May edition of ‘From the Vicar’.  April may have ended with a bitter cold day, but it also ended with a very warm and harmonious Annual Parochial Church Meeting. Despite the weather and the road closures the meeting was well attended and very enjoyable. I was delighted that we elected Michael Gordon and Sarah Leighton to serve as Churchwardens and Ruth Watkin and David Coleshill as Deputy Wardens. In addition we elected Richard Blyth, Richard Donkin, Emily Jackson and Julia Newton to the PCC and Vicky Vidler as a Deanery Synod Representative following her co-option last year.

Those stepping down from the PCC included Corrynne Osborne, Mark Peterson and David Quinney. They have each served as wardens and as PCC members with great energy and wisdom over many years. We are immensely grateful to them and we hope that it won’t be too long before they stand again. We are also very grateful to Richard Donkin for agreeing to step in as PCC Secretary last year.  He has done a sterling job keeping us in order, and will hand over to the equally able Emily Jackson later this month.

We have a great PCC. Our meetings are hard work but often full of laughter.  As stewards of our Church Family finances they are charged with ensuring that our finances are sound and in good order.  They also ensure that we take proper care of our buildings and staff and that we are fully compliant with matters of safeguarding and legislation. Most of all the PCC are tasked to work with me and the staff team to ensure that we are moving ahead with a shared vision.  This means that we spent a lot of time looking forward, dreaming dreams and planning for the future as well as reviewing different ministries.

For 2018/2019 we already know that we have a packed agenda.  Since last autumn Alistair & Catherine Stevenson and their family, Rosie Blackett and Tim & Emily Elgar and their family, have been helping to support the new monthly 9.00am ‘First Service’ at St Gabriel’s Greystones. This has gone really well, and the PCC of St Gabriel’s have written to our PCC requesting that we develop and formalise our collaboration once their current incumbent Pedr Beckley retires.  At the same time the All Saints PCC has been exploring and discerning how we might do this.  Last autumn with the full support of the Diocese, I tabled the proposal that we should release Alistair Stevenson to take pastoral charge of St Gabriel’s, while still being a member of the All Saints staff ministry.  Initially he would serve half time at St Gabriel’s with the task of growing the church in Greystones so that it is able to sustain a full time vicar within 5 years.

Alistair would transfer in planned stages to serve at St Gabriel’s full time as it grows and as finances allow.  Once Pedr Beckley has announced his retirement, it will be important that we complete our discernment and decision-making process and respond formally to the request made by the St Gabriel’s PCC.  But for the moment we are very much in the midst of the process of discernment and we continue to ask for God’s guidance.  Please would you add Pedr and his family, Alistair & Catherine and their family and St Gabriel’s to your prayers.

As I write I am also finalising the advertisement for a second Associate Vicar to succeed Jo Hird.  The advert will be published in the Church Times on 11 May. The PCC are eager to appoint someone who fits All Saints and the existing staff team. We are therefore advertising the post with a flexible portfolio of ministries in order to attract the right person.  Very generously both Dan Christian and Alistair Stevenson have offered to adjust their ministry portfolios accordingly.

A key part of my presentation at the APCM was an update on the PCC’s thinking about a possible extension to the church building.  We are still very much at the beginning, but are now ready to share our conversation with the wider congregation. We want to work with you to develop our vision for the church building we need as a multi-generation church family.  On Saturday 9 June from 10.00am to 1.00pm we will be holding an Open PCC Meeting to which the whole church family are invited.  Together we will need to start asking: Is this the right vision for the building? What are our needs? What about the cost? Please put Saturday 9 June in your diary and join the conversation.

This coming September will mark the opening of the new Clifford All Saints (C of E) Primary School.  Catering for children aged 4-11 it will offer high quality and inspiring education in a Christian setting for the children of Ecclesall and beyond.  The ethos statement for the new school begins: 'INSPIRATIONAL EDUCATION FOR EVERYONE'.

Inspirational and holistic education for all children in a welcoming, generous and safe Church School community shaped by faith, hope and love. The new Clifford All Saints School will be jointly based on the sites of the former Clifford Infants and the former Ecclesall Junior School.  The former Junior School site will close for refurbishment during the autumn term, to reopen as part of the new Church of England Primary School.  The new school will have a church majority on the governing body shared by All Saints Ecclesall and St Andrew Psalter Lane.  Quite wonderfully the logo for the new school blends the three windows from All Saints with the St Andrew’s cross.  Please remember the new Clifford All Saints School and the expanded Ecclesall Infants, soon to be Ecclesall Primary, in your prayers.

Yours in the service of Christ Jesus

Gary

Gary Wilton, Vicar

Our Connected Church: Trip to Tanzania 2018

Personal stories from the five churches in Babati

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The Connected Church Partnership is one between All Saints Ecclesall, the Diocese of Kilimanjaro and Tearfund Tanzania. We work together on a programme called Church and Community Mobilisation (CCMP).CCMP is a dynamic programme, run by Tearfund, aimed at transforming people’s lives. In early 2018, two members of our church family, Elaine and Charlotte visited the programmes. They have brought back with them strories and picutres of the lives of those supported.

The diocese of Kilimanjaro’s mission is ‘Holistic Faith’. Through CCMP workshops they teach the struggling rural communities of Babati about using their God given skills to help their families and communities out of poverty.

The programme inspires people to work hard, to problem solve, to help each other and to grow in faith.

We saw the evidence of this during our visit to Babati. We visited each church and asked what challenges they faced and how the CCMP workshops had helped them. Here are some of their personal stories.

 Kiru Dick church

One of the larger of the five churches with 40-50 members. Pastor Stephen (below right) has this and six other churches in his parish and walks up to 20k per day visiting his churches. He has no transport.

 Reverend Eliah coordinatoes the CCMP from the Bishop#s office in Arusha

Reverend Eliah coordinatoes the CCMP from the Bishop#s office in Arusha

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Pastor Stephen – ‘Since CCMP workshops started we have been doing bible studies to understand about our gifts and what the bible says. We are helping people to see that there is a lot they can do if they work together. We have put a concrete floor down in the church and we all worked hard to complete this. We are very happy that we were able to do it with our own hands. We are learning about new agricultural practices so we have better crops. This year we have managed to harvest 10 bags of maize per person. Last year it was only 2 bags. We had training by experts who told us about new seeds, fertilizer and weeding. We have pesticides and new knowledge about the crops which grow best in different kinds of soil.’

Sampson – ‘I used to think that God and our everyday lives were different. New teaching and training has helped me see that my body is given by God to use in his church and community. I used to be selfish but now I talk to my family about how we can help each other.’

Abude Ali –‘ I have thought carefully since CCMP and I am now very careful with the way I use water’.

Eveline -  ‘I have poor health but I need to look after my family. I learned about how to keep chickens and I now have 70 chickens which I am very proud of. I am worried because the chicks can die and I have asked for help from the workshops so I can keep the chicks alive’. (NB Tearfund informed us that there is a vaccine which can be used and it will be introduced as part of the CCMP)

Mama Rosemary – ‘ We need to help people who don’t believe. We need to be salt and light and to draw people to God. All women worry about their families. We need a good place to sleep, education for our children and a hospital for when we are sick. We don’t have these things but since the CCMP workshops we have started a Woman’s group where we all come together and pray for each other and support each other in our practical lives. This is new to us and we are very pleased about it.

Philip – “ We have recently set up a cell of neighbours who support each other. We all contribute to a small pot of money to help each other in a crisis”.

Sala – “The training has been helpful to me as a mother. I need to look after my children. I have a sewing machine and now I am sewing clothes. They were difficult to sell so I now make shirts and cassocks for pastors and they all buy from me. I have started sharing my new skill with other women”. (NB the women are keen to have skills of their own so they do not need to rely on their husbands)

William – “I have been keeping chickens for a long time but I now see this as a serious business. I work hard and have gone from 3 chickens to 40 chickens in a year. I now always have something to offer at the auction at church on Sunday morning. This makes me happy”.

Ponguy church

This church over looks the beautiful lake Babati and is led by Pastor Lucas and his wife Meris. Their home is, unusually, next to the church. Pastor Lucas looks after 4 churches and has a rented motorbike to travel between them. The churches are approx.10 km apart.

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Pastor Lucas – “We thank God for the training so far. Our spiritual growth and physical well being are linked together. We’ve learnt how to use the resources God has given us, personally and as a church as well. As a Pastor we should be an example of God.

‘Luke 4:18-19 - an emphasis on holistic transformation. God created us for a purpose, not to be poor. We must move forward; lead the church to have food security, and a safe place to sleep’. The church must be salt and light in the community.”

After the initial CCMP training Pastor Lucas led by example by starting a chicken project, in the church grounds. He started with 5, but now has 20 chickens. Hippos were eating his crops, so he changed the crops to something the hippos dislike. He said, “food, a good/safe house, good education, water and projects that will give us income and help us grow spiritually will improve our family lives and will lead to a church full of love.”

Desire- He is a facilitator for the training and thanks God for the opportunity to attend. Says he had no vision before, but now has a chicken project; this raised enough money this year for seeds for crops, as the last harvest was very poor. He has also been able to afford to hire a motorbike to get to church, as he lives far away, and he has been able to give to the church offertory.

Paul- Also a facilitator. Didn’t have a house, realised he needed one after the training, so built one! Knows that his next step is to have chickens. Says he is growing physically and spiritually and that he realises they are important to build up together.

Dorcas- helps to lead the choir. She is the pastor’s daughter. “Music is so important. It’s a way of evangelising.” This view is held by the church. Dorcas says she knows the importance of spiritual growth for the choir as “evangelistic outreach.”

Dorcas talked about girls being “Salt: Good salt that won’t be thrown out. That people will see us as different.”

Philippo- works in agriculture and with livestock. After the training he changed his practice and tried ‘professional’ farming. The yield has increased from 3 to 15 bags per acre.

Philippo says he has learnt to improve his relationships and works with the community in a loving way. The community now call on him to deal with conflict, and he has become known as a ‘wise man.’

Meris- “I had nothing to do at home. After the training I bought a goat and 2 chickens. I am looking forward to the future.”

Meris has started a Mothers’ Union group, and now more women come to church, and some have joined the choir. She has also started a prayer group on Thursdays. “Lots of people come. Sick people come, and we see healings. God is at work.”

Prayer request from Pongay church: ‘for a change of mindset so we can change our poverty’

Wahari church (also known as Kiru Six)

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The current church building (right) only holds about 15 people and is not watertight.

Paster John leads this church of 25 adults and 38 children. He had vivid memories of our visit in 2015 and was very pleased to see us again (and slightly disappointed not to see the 12 young people again!) He said that the first training in December 2016 gave them a vision of what they wanted for the future. They wanted a better place of worship where the community could come together – where they could support each other and do lots of activities as well as worship. They started to fund raise and have been slowly building a new church building. This is a joint activity and they hope to finish the walls by June 2018.  

Their numbers have already grown from 8 to 25 adults. Together they have decided to plant new crops – sugar cane and bananas as this will bring in the best income. They are also hoping for a maize grinding machine and are raising funds for this. They need a pump to pump water to the new crops and the CCMP are helping them to apply to another scheme for this.

Elisha – “When we open our new church it will be a church of the future. The CCMP process has helped us look at the future and to change our lives”.

Dirma church

Dirma church is led by Pastor George, who moved to this very remote rural area to ‘church plant’ after he felt the Lord tell him to do so 6 years ago. He shared with us that he had a dream, and he knew exactly where to place the church, he even saw the tree it was to be under. The people of Dirma live 14km from the nearest water source, and before they can do anything each day they must walk to get water for their family.

Since the training some of the congregation have formed a group and started a small farm. They were all encouraged by how much they have learnt from sharing ideas with the other 4 churches on the CCMP.

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Pastor George-“I have learnt a lot and grown spiritually and physically on the training. I have started a chicken project and now have 50 chickens, which brings me great happiness. When Rev Eliah told me about your visit I was very happy to be able to share our stories and experiences with you.”

Aqueline- A facilitator for the training and an evangelist. She walks 14km to other churches to share the training she has learnt. She has to do this after ensuring water has been collected for her family. When she gets there people are busy collecting their own water, so are often not around. Despite this, she has brought women together, and they have bought 40 chickens for the church farm. Aqueline tried to keep her own chickens, but they all died.

Esther- A facilitator for the training. After the training, Esther trained more choir members. Choirs are very important, as the music attracts the local community. The music is always played very loudly, and the songs are often about old testament stories and acted out in dance. Esther has a vision of making a CD of the choir.

Since the training the choir have grouped together and bought goats. Everyone in the choir contributes financially and practically to this project.

Veronica- Encouraged by the farm group that has been started since the training, she talked about changing her farming practice. She grows maize and sunflowers. She’s learnt about good spacing of plants, and better root management to get better seeds and crops. Veronica wants to use the capital from this to yield more crops and buy more land. She asked for prayer that the newly taught methods would work well.

  Pastor George proudly showed us his chickens

Pastor George proudly showed us his chickens

Eli-Talked about spiritual and physical training. He visits people and evangelises.

Dareda church – led by Pastor Jacob.

This is a very small church building with a small congregation but they have a big vision to build a new church building so it can be the centre of the community. They have a river nearby so CCMP has encouraged them to ask the local authority to help them with water pipes. They can then run lots of activities for women and children from the church building. They have started the new build and it is progressing slowly. They are enthusiastic about building together and hope to finish the walls and roof by Christmas 2018.

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Pastor Jacob – (centre) ‘we want to be salt and light, we want people to come to us and to find God. CCMP has helped us see how we can come together to help each other and we want to do this for our community here’.

 

 

 

Financial Accounts and APCM Report

2017 has been another busy year in the life of All Saints, Ecclesall. Over the past 12 months we have welcomed more people into our church family, seen a growing number of people giving their lives to Jesus through Baptism and Confirmation and served many thousands of cups of tea!

As we approach our Annual Parochial Church Meeting at 7.30pm on Monday 30 April 2018, we can reflect on the blessings that those involved in this work have provided, both practically and financially. You will find links below to some important annual information, provided for anyone who would like to see what the church does, and it's finances. Of course, this is just a snapshot of what we do, for anyone who hasn't joined us before, we would love to meet you at any of our services on a Sunday or at one of our projects. You can find more information throughout our website or by contacting our office.

Draft APCM minutes 2017

Annual Report 2018

All Saints Financial Accounts 2017

All Saints Financial Summery 2017