Our Achievements 2015

2015 was a significant year in the history of Ebenezer.  It was the year we took a huge leap of faith to adapt the way we worship and demonstrate that we are indeed a Family Church, that is here for generations to come.  At the beginning of January, the Church temporarily shut its doors and the builders moved in.  The majority of the pews that had been there for over 100 years were removed, the carpet came up and scaffolding inside the Church was erected to allow the decorators to paint the ceiling – no one in the congregation can recall when it was last done! 
The loft was also insulated, the 6 windows cleaned and repaired and new audio visual equipment was installed.

Throughout the first quarter of the year we worshipped in the hall and progress in the Church was keenly tracked through some wonderful photographs kindly taken by Peter Singleton and displayed for all to see. Peter also kindly donated a delightful photo album, recording the changes from ’old’ to ‘new’ for posterity.

On 28th March we proudly opened the doors of our ‘refurbished Church’ for friends, family and the Circuit to come and see what had been achieved. 
Our new neutral colour scheme offset by the comfortable heather- coloured chairs resulted in a much calmer and warmer feel – and the insulation made a difference too.
As with any change, it took time to settle down and the frustrating technical hitches didn’t help.   However, we worked through the challenges and it’s wonderful to worship all together as one united family.

On behalf of the Leadership Team, can I thank everyone who has made 2015 such a memorable year in so many ways. We are truly blessed and count our blessings, one by one. 
Here’s just some of those blessings we received last year…….....

It is fair to say that our work in the community through Pickles has blossomed under the leadership of Amy Britton.  With around 30 children attending each week, the group offers a special place for mums, dads, grans and nannies to come together.  Many who attend comment on the warm and caring feel of the group and it’s wonderful to see friendships develop beyond the Friday morning sessions.  From the summer holidays ‘Pickles in the Park’ times to the chaotic ‘Tots around the Crib’ and ‘Pickles Party’, we give thanks for all those who come through our door. Our singing circle at the end of each session is getting bigger and the weekly rendition of ‘Our God is a great big God’ is a great way to share God’s love and provide reassurance that he really does ‘hold us in his hands’.
We had our first 'Pickles Baptism' in our new look church early summer, with a large number of young families supporting the family. A really uplifting service, with a film clip from 'The Lion King'. !

Our active Methodist Women in Britain (Network) continues to thrive with approximately 15 members.  Their varied 2015/2016 programme began in October with a re-dedication service and has included talks from Rev C Legge on her Journey to China and from Rosemary on climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.  The Monday Group also continues to meet once a month.

As part of our ‘Window to the World’ giving, we have supported Ruth Smith’s work in Malindi, Kenya.  In 2015 we donated £1,200 and this went towards a number of projects; including buying desks, computers etc. Ruth is known to many of us and it’s heartening to hear first-hand how our giving is making a difference to others across the world.  Likewise, we were pleased to offer our collections of dry food to Mustard Seed and the Jersey Calais Refugee Aid Group.  And locally, we donated £600 towards Brighter Futures and £225 to Les Amis from our 2015 Candlelight Service.
We continue to collect groceries each month for the outreach work at St Helier Methodist Centre.

It costs c.£28,000 a year, or £2,400 a month to run Ebenezer and we’re grateful and often overwhelmed by the generosity of our small congregation.  In addition to our running and refurbishment costs, we paid off the £6,000 of the' temporary loans' that helped us manage our cash flow during the refurbishment.  We also paid £4,000 towards the ‘Painting Loan’, with £9,000 yet to clear.
Our Gift Day in September raised £1,200 

One of our goals is to grow in faith and the ‘Prayer time’ Viviane Jayes introduced before our Sunday service is a very special opportunity to prepare ourselves for worship.
We also held a Prayer Day on 23rd May and introduced our  Prayer Book which is brought forward each week along with the offering.  
For Lent, we joined up with the Parish Church in a study group on the theme ‘Walking and Praying with Christians of the Middle East’.

Another highlight has been to see our new flexible Church being used. 
The Island Singers performance of ‘Stainer’s Crucifixion’ on Good Friday was a memorable event when the Church was packed with around 300 people attending, including the choir.
The Parish service in May to celebrate 70 years of our Liberation was enjoyed by a much larger attendance than in previous years. 
It was a poignant time to remember the occupation years and Ursula Taylor shared her brother, Bunny de la Mare’s memories and a Year 6 pupil from Trinity School read a poem she had written.

The States of Jersey Health and Social Services Department used our new facilities in early summer for an all-day seminar for over 60 people; and we hope this was the first of many more large bookings to come.
The organ got a ‘blast’ on 27th September when we had a visit from the Organ Society as part of their Jersey, Guernsey, France Tour, with their President playing for our service. 
He commented that he greatly enjoyed playing our ‘fine organ’. 

The Trinity School Christmas Carol Service for Key Stage 1 was packed and gave us an opportunity to wish Nichola Turner all the very best in her new appointment as Head at Grouville School.

The Island Women’s Institute used Ebenezer for their Island-wide Carol Service and in their thank you note, they declared their service to be ‘one of their best’, with almost 100 attending - more than ever!

As part of our aim to explore ways of connecting with our families in a fun way and bringing together the young and the not-so-young, we held a picnic lunch at Les Avenues after our Harvest in September and on 15th November our ‘Beans n’ Beatle Drive’ social after the service was a great success.  We’re not sure who enjoyed it more – the children or the adults! 
Our annual Lorry Ride on 11th July finished at Rozel, with a swim and picnic tea and thanks, as always, to George Noel for driving his lorry.

It was wonderful to enjoy some extra-special celebrations during the year; notably the baptism of Jasper Maddox on 22nd March and the marriage of Greg and Sarah Froome on a beautiful warm and sunny day on 8th August.

With all the repairs from the Quinquennial Survey over the last 3 years and our major refurbishment in 2015, we have just 2 more main hurdles to complete all the work to restore our buildings; the replacement of the 2 south windows , the 4 air vents in the church roof and the guttering. The windows work will start in June 2016. 
Once all this work is completed, we will have spent over £600,000 since we started our redevelopment programme some 9 years ago.

What a great investment to secure Ebenezer’s exciting future ahead. 

God Bless you all.

ROSEMARY PARKER - SENOIR CHURCH STEWARD

17th February 2016


Previous years
Webpage icon Achievements in 2016
Webpage icon Our Achievements 2014