As we approach Lent, which begins with our Ash Wednesday services at 10.00am and 7.30pm on 22nd February, we embark on a process of reviewing ourselves. This involves us looking at our own strengths and weaknesses and what we can offer to our church and community. This covers a whole array of things from learning more about God is in our lives to the more mundane of what we eat (Lent is a time of fasting) to what we feel called to offer in terms of our time and money. Focusing on the last two items, time and money, I would like to express thanks for the support in terms of voluntary time and finance the church of St Mary Monkseaton has received over the year 2022. It has enabled the church to continue to flourish and to do things it feels called to do. These are difficult times for us all with the cost of living 'crisis' and it is never easy to ask for more money. It is therefore difficult to raise the subject of asking you to consider your giving to the church. In setting the budget, the PCC had to make some difficult decisions with the amount of planned giving falling, and one of these was that our Parish Share contribution to the Diocese would be reduced. This is in the light of us having to care for our church building and develop mission and ministry in the community. I would therefore ask that you prayerfully review your giving and what you can offer to our service of God. You may also wish to review what you can offer in time as there are many opportunities to get involved in areas such as Toddlers group, Sanctuary Guild, Parish Breakfast, pastoral visiting and in leading intercessions and reading on a Sunday morning to name but a few. And to end, can I reiterate my thanks for all that you have given in time and money over the past 12 months and may God bless you richly for your generosity.