Gift Aid Envelopes for the year commencing 6th April 2017

The new boxes of yellow offertory envelopes which start with 6th April are now available at the back of church (those for St Wulstan's will be taken to Alston by Fr Jerome).

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At this time of the year we are required to remind you that for your offerings, including standing orders, and other donations to qualify for gift aid you must continue to be a taxpayer, paying an amount of income tax and/or capital gains tax at least equivalent to the tax to be reclaimed on all your donations given under Gift Aid to the Parish and all other charities in any one tax year. Please ask me if this requires an explanation.

If you are a taxpayer and would like to commence gift-aiding your cash offerings, please ask me for a form and an explanation of the scheme which will add 25p to the Parish income for every £1 donated. If you prefer, you may make your offering by standing order for which I would give you the forms.

Visitors to our Parish who are taxpayers are invited to gift-aid their offerings by using the pink envelopes left out on the pews. The tax reclaimed provides a significant addition to the Parish income for which we are most grateful to our visitors. Philip Holland, Parish Gift Aid Organiser (01768 840788)

Christians Against Poverty (CAP)

CAP is a 20 year old voluntary organisation to support those who seem to be in impossible financial difficulties. Its work is not to pay off whatever is the debt but, in both a professional and befriending way, to support the client to manage the situation.

There are two sides to its work. On the one hand professional advice is obtained with CAP negotiating with the banks, etc on behalf of the client. This financially professional body is based in Bradford. Individuals seeking the assistance of CAP give it authority to negotiate with creditors and organise the client's finances so as to make them debt free within 5 years or negotiate a managed insolvency.

On the other hand in the local regions, for instance in Penrith, there will be people who act as befrienders, that is who "walk with the client" to encourage and support him or her to carry out the plan of action which has been professionally negotiated by Bradford. Then there are others, those "bringing blessings" who give general & practical support to the client and the befriender, for instance preparing a Christmas hamper, or sending birthday greetings.

The emphasis is to reassure the clients they are not alone, and to encourage them to follow the financial plan negotiated by CAP to manage their finances.

CAP is a Christian initiative. Although CAP in Penrith is only a year old nevertheless there have been two successes with two clients completing the process of clearing their debts.

Would you like to know more? Do have a word with John Poland or me. I do think this is one of the surest ways of working together ecumenically with other Christian bodies which our Church encourages us to do. Fr Jerome.