Harbour Churches Newsletter 13th November

The news of a breakthrough vaccine for Covid gives us much cause for hope. We must not forget, even in these difficult times, to give thanks to God when the sun comes out and a rainbow is set above : ‘The rainbow that I have put in the sky will be my sign to you and to every living creature on earth. It will remind you that I will keep this promise forever.’ (Gen 9.12-13)

And so, I was particularly drawn to the picture above and those words : ‘…. all things can be mended. Not with time, as they say, but with intention. So, go. Love intentionally…’

The vaccine, is that not the gift of intentional loving?

Our life in Christ, at its heart, is one of intentional loving – extravagant and unconditional. I have been asked to ask you to acts of intentional loving which, in their own way, ask us to be extravagant and unconditional. I do so, trusting that you are the light for which a broken world in darkness waits.

Primary education in our country, and especially West Sussex, has been underfunded for years. In recent months, the government has at last found the magic money tree  – it was in the back garden of No 11 Downing Street all along! Whilst schools have had some extra help with funding during the pandemic, BOTH our primary schools face a daily challenge to make ends meet. You can help. Whilst state funded education should not need our charity, the reality is that it does. The Governors of West Wittering Church of England Primary School have put out an appeal to the community for financial help to fund ‘catch up’ support for all their pupils. The message is equally true for Birdham Church of England Primary School – the need is the same. Please read the letter below – and please, be that rainbow for the school at the heart of your village.

Harbour Churches has worked hard to discover ways to be good news during the pandemic. That has often meant doing things differently and stepping out of our churchianity comfort zone. Another initiative which invites us to intentional loving – and rooted in the church’s bias to the poor and marginalised – is the work of Christians Against Poverty. We can support this life transforming work by getting involved with KICK START. Roy Dyton is working to get this initiative started for those who are in real financial and work difficulty in our communities at this time – but it needs the church to be the body of Christ backing it all the way.

To be good news we need to be a people of hope…  ‘but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint.’ Is. 40.31

In faith, hope and intentional love


Happy children back in school….

A million miles from ‘Bo School’ in many ways, but our local school also needs our support – to combat ‘Covid 19’, an unexpected situation for them as it was for all of us.

It is the unsung jewel in West Wittering’s Parish. Our School has a great reputation, regularly having waiting lists for all its year groups, rated by ‘Ofsted’ as a ‘good’ school and by the ‘Church Education Authority’ as ‘Outstanding’. Behind its walls next to the Church, its facilities are excellent with its own  sports field and outdoor swimming pool. The children between 4-11 – their most formative years – have had no formal schooling for 6 months this past year, and although the School made every effort by teaching online, nothing can replace being in the classroom. This has impacted the educational attainment of the children and it may take up to 2 years to bring all children up to the standard they should be at.

The Head Teacher and Governors believe that with extra teachers and facilities, they can bring the children back to where they should be by the end of the summer term. The Government has given the School a grant of £8,000 but they believe it will cost much more than that and the school are seeking £25,000, plus gift aid, to give us what it will cost.

They are delighted that the Church has offered the use of the Church Rooms and these extra facilities are much needed. But the school needs the staff to tutor these children, to help them to ‘Catch Up’ and to make a real difference. School as we normally see it will just not be enough, we owe it to these children to have the best opportunities and to reverse the educational impact of Covid-19.

If you feel you can support your local Church School towards its target, it would be so appreciated. Donations can be sent either to the School, made payable to their Charity – the ‘FPTA’ – short for Friends, Parents, Teachers Association or directly to their Barclays Bank a/c: FPTA a/c 60779482 branch sort code 20-20-62. If you can let the School know whether you would like your donation treated for Gift Aid and your address, it will mean an extra 25p for every £ donated. Please email office@westwitteringschool.co.uk with the information.

Should you have any questions, please contact Warren Tayler, a Governor, on 514482.

The coronavirus stopped the CAP Money courses planned for last March, but we are now about to launch “Kick Start”. This is a series of on-line sessions designed to help anyone looking for a job or how to make money go further.

Kick Start sessions can help a wide range of people:

  • School or college leavers looking for their first job
  • Mums wanting to return to the job market
  • Adults laid off due to Coronavirus
  • Anyone who wants to take greater control of their finances

We will be offering three video based coaching sessions under two headings:

Looking for a job?

  • Discover your strengths
  • Writing a CV
  • Interview skills

Challenged by cash flow?

  • Making money go further
  • Lifting financial pressure
  • Using the CAP budget tool

This is one part of our vision to bring renewed hope to our communities and, as church members, we invite you to do two things:

  1. PUBLICISE what we are doing to any friend, neighbour or relative who might benefit from these free coaching sessions.
  2. SIGN UP for “Discover your Strengths” as a ‘taster’ session. This will help you see how Kick Start works and so talk about it with confidence.

We are planning two 30 minute taster sessions:

Thursday November 26 at 10.30am Saturday November 28 at 2.30 pm

Anyone interested should contact Roy Dyton on 01243 514639 to register interest and check out the video link. Kick Start is produced by Christians Against Poverty whose debt counselling service is endorsed by Martin Lewis.