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Vicar's Musings for All Saints' Day

1 November, 2015

This week's meeting of the Parish Council was a pivotal one, with the key agenda item being the 2015-16 Budget. Our discussion was intense. For many years the parish of St Peter's Eastern Hill has been running deficit budgets, and there is a growing sense in the parish that we cannot continue doing this. The question is: how do we address the problem? The parish could balance its budget very quickly by laying off staff, for example, and some have been suggesting this as a way forward for 2016. Others have been urging caution and the pursuit of a longer-term solution to the problem.

Last month at Parish Council a budget deficit of $33,000 was presented, which would have included cuts to staffing, but that budget did not pass and we decided to take a month to think about the consequences of such a move. At last Wednesday's meeting the Wardens and Treasurer presented an alternative budget, with a deficit of $60,000, which did not require any cuts to staff wages. Although hotly debated, this budget was adopted by the committee and will be presented to the Annual Meeting of the Parish in November. Clearly we have not yet solved the problem of living beyond our means, but the Parish Council has clearly signalled a need and a desire to seriously address this issue; but we have has also acknowledged that change will take time.

Please make every effort to come to this year's Annual Meeting, following a 10am Combined High Mass, on Sunday 22nd November. In the meantime if you have any concerns or ideas, please feel free to talk to me or any other member of the Parish Council.

The Feast of All Saints'

All Saints' Day (also known as All Hallows' Day or Hallowmas) is the day after All Hallows' Eve (Hallowe'en). It is a feast day celebrated on 1st November by Anglicans and Roman Catholics, and is an opportunity for believers to remember all saints and martyrs, known and unknown, throughout Christian history. As part of this day of obligation, believers are required to attend church and try not to do any servile work. Remembering saints and martyrs and dedicating a specific day to them each year has been a Christian tradition since the 4th century AD, but it wasn't until 609AD that Pope Boniface IV decided to remember all martyrs. Originally 13th May was designated as the Feast of All Holy Martyrs, but in 837AD, Pope Gregory IV extended the festival to remember all the saints, changed its name to the Feast of All Saints, and changed the date to 1st November.

The Rev'd Dr Hugh Kempster

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