Achievements- Last year 2017

Our Achievements in 2017-  2017 has been another year of change. We said good bye to Rev Billy and Pauline as they took up a new appointment in Fleet. It is difficult to comprehend just how much we have achieved under Billy’s leadership & guidance and we record our thanks to him for his vision, drive and enthusiasm. We welcomed Rev Nico Hilmy-Jones as our Minister in September and look forward to continuing to build on the work done so far, to ensure that Ebenezer brings light to others for generations to come. On 17th February 2017, our oldest Ebenezer member sadly passed away aged 96 years. Constance de Gruchy - and her brother Edward - were both lifelong members, faithful servants and great supporters of Ebenezer. How pleased they would be to see the wonderful work that is being done with young people through Pickles and more latterly, Pickles Plus, an after nursery/school drop-in Club, that began in September 2017. We have calculated that around 2,000 children have passed through our doors during 2017. We may not see them on a Sunday, but they receive a bit of ‘Church’ and fellowship each week through the ‘Pickles Village Community’, and for that we are truly blessed. Our sincere thanks to our Leader, Amy Britton, who goes ‘over and above’ to create the special community that is Pickles, where new people keep coming because others have told them how good it is. We are delighted that Amy was successful in her job application to become a Community Worker at Bethesda and already we can see the benefits of having one person doing similar roles across two Churches, with the opportunity to share resources. With Pickles Plus comes the need to have more storage, and we’ve converted one of the 4 toilets in the Hall into a store. Our thanks also to Nicola Jones for her continued support. In February, Amy and Nicola attended a family ministry conference in Eastbourne entitled ‘Hands to Hands’, kindly funded by the Central District Development Fund. On 14th March, Rev David Hinchliffe, the CI Chair of the District, led a Communion Service at Ebenezer and our former Minister and CI Chair, Rev Ian White, was over at the beginning of July, celebrating 50 years since his ordination, with a service at St Aubin. Ebenezer hosted the Lent Lunches this year whilst the Parish Hall was being refurbished and visitors included members from Trinity School. As part of our ‘Window to the World’ giving, we donated Ebenezer’s portion of the funds raised at the Lunches (£575) to support Ruth Smith’s work in Malindi, Kenya. In addition, 25% of our fundraising activities throughout the year goes to charity, half to Jersey based ‘Caring Cooks’ and the other half to Malindi. In 2017 we donated a total of £2,807. We continue to collect groceries each month for the outreach work at St Helier Methodist Centre and dried goods from our Harvest went to Mustard Seed. Rev Tony Morling led our Parish Liberation Day Service and Maureen de Gruchy shared her memories of being evacuated to the UK. It is always such a poignant service, even for those of us who didn’t actually experience what it was like living through the war. On a brighter note, our warmest congratulations to members of our Church family; Debbie and Derek Poole on the occasion of their wedding on 20th May in Sark. On 16th September we were delighted that Laura Elcock chose Ebenezer for her wedding day and a special service was led by Rev Debbie Poole. Our Harvest service on 24th September, was followed by Harvest Games for the children, soup in the Hall, a ride in George’s lorry and an ice-cream, getting back to Church just in time before the rain set in! December was an extremely busy month! On 1st December, we welcomed the London ‘Award Winning’ Gospel Touch Choir to Jersey. Their very busy Itinerary began with a workshop at Trinity School with the choirs of Trinity and St Martin, followed by a mini-workshop for Pickles in church. Saturday was spent singing in town as part of the Fete de Noue, at Hamptonne for their Victorian Christmas and in some restaurants during the evening. The highlight for many, however, was our Carol Service in the Church where the Choir performed, together with the Choirs from Trinity School and St Martin. It was wonderful to have so many supporters from the schools and there wasn’t a spare seat to be had – praise the Lord! Ebenezer truly rocked !! The retiring collection raised £460 and was split between the Jersey Women’s Refuge and Malindi School projects. On 5th December, we hosted the Jersey Island Singers and Concordia for their Carol Service in aid of Maison des Landes Hotel for the Disabled, and on 11th December, Trinity School held their Carol Service. It’s wonderful seeing our beautiful Church being used for these occasions and thanks to all who manage the car parking, which isn’t an easy job! On the Property front and following our major works in 2016, we replaced the Church guttering and 4 roof vents, completing an extensive programme of works that sees our buildings fully restored in time for the next Quinquennial Survey in 2018. A gift of £5,000 from the Parish has gone towards this latest work. New car park lights have also been installed at a cost of £500. We are grateful to Michael for all the hard work he puts in to maintaining our properties so well, and to John Richardson for providing some support and help with our risk assessments. On other ‘Health & Safety’ matters, Anne and Michael attended a Health and Safety Day on 18th February. Following the Food Hygiene training course in 2016, we have achieved a 5-star rating for our kitchen in our category and the certificate is on display. Anne, Ian, Ruth and Rosemary also attended the Circuit training for Pastoral visitors on 28th October. Anne and Ian attended an event arranged by the Cinnamon Club in September, who are a Christian organisation based in London who enable people and resources to transform their communities and help those in social need. They begin with an audit of what’s happening in your location and the Methodist Circuit has made a £500 donation to find out what every Church organisation in Jersey is currently doing as a whole. We look forward to learning of the output from the audit in 2018. Our active Methodist Women in Britain (Network) continues to meet and although numbers vary, there are approximately 15 members. A wonderful programme is put together by the ever-enthusiastic Joyce Perchard and this year began with a re-dedication service on 4th October. There is a willingness from Trinity school to engage with the Churches and we need to consider what we can offer them, and how we might co-ordinate any activities with the Parish Church. It costs c £30,000 a year, or £2,500 a month to run Ebenezer and we’re grateful and often overwhelmed by the generosity of our small congregation. We haven’t been able to accommodate any fundraising events this year and any support to arrange something in 2018 would be very welcome! I cannot end without thanking the wonderful, strong-knit Ebenezer Leadership Team; Rev Nico, Anne, Michael, Ian and George, who are the nucleus of the Church and rooted in our Purpose, which is to: • build confident faith in God • encourage Christian growth so that all may know God’s love in Christ, and • strengthen community life in Jersey We look forward to continuing our journey and together as a united family, stepping out in faith to fulfil our purpose and letting our light shine. The light we have been given in Jesus Christ is a gift to be lived and shared and the more we share it and let it shine, the brighter it burns.
God bless you all.                                           ROSEMARY PARKER - CHURCH STEWARD 19th February 2018