Charity Newsletter October 2021

 Hello everyone

We hope you are well, and that despite the difficulties, and perhaps tragedies, of the last eighteen months, you have also experienced blessings and consolations.

All of us at HOD would like to thank you for the support you have given us by your prayers and many other ways you have helped us over the years. We are writing with a brief update on the Community’s news, to explain about a change to our Charity, and with an invitation to join a new Supporters Group for the charity.

 Recent News in Brief

Some news from the new Blog on our website…

 Quiet Painting Days

Creative retreat days at HOD using art have been providing quiet spaces to reflect on Scripture, be still before the Lord, walk in the lovely grounds and gardens, and paint or use pottery as forms of expression. The days are not for artists only, but for anyone wishing to invite God to show them their creative side. We are, after all, made in God’s image, and He is our Creator!…

 ENC and ENC Youth

HOD is part of the ENC (European Network of Communities), and we contribute to the ENC

Youth Group, ‘NextGen’ – a movement for youth who love to seek Christ together.  In July 2021 we had the privilege to lead the worship and give a talk on the theme of prayer for for one of a series of online meetings which has been taking place during 2021, with young people meeting from several countries across Europe…

 Music for the Life in the Spirit Seminars

The Worship group helped prepare music for online Life in the Spirit seminars which were organised by the Diocese of Southwark over May and June 2020.

From September to November 2021 some of the Community are also involved in helping to organise the Life in the Spirit Seminars being run in the Archdiocese of Birmingham as part of the Diocesan renewal program…

 CHARIS National Services of Communion Hour of Praise

The Catholic Charismatic renewal in England ran a weekly online hour of praise on Wednesday evenings from early 2020 until Pentecost 2021. The praise was led by a different group across the UK every week, and was broadcast live on its Facebook page. The HOD worship team were invited to lead the praise twice, including the last hour of praise to be held in May 2021…

 Outreach with Blessed to be a Blessing (BTBAB)

For many years we have had contact with BTBAB as they held their training sessions for overseas missions in the Retreat Centre. Due to Covid restrictions this year, they were unable to travel abroad, and so had their first UK outreach this summer.  Silvie from community joined the group, training with them and then spending the week working with refugees in Coventry and homeless people in Birmingham. This was very valuable experience for Silvie, and gave us a greater opportunity to engage in this type of mission…
Image courtesy of Blessed to be a Blessing

 Our New Blog and Social media

Head to our website for details of our Blog, YouTube channel and Twitter account...

 Guests returning to our new Self Catering accommodation

We have been relieved that with Covid restrictions lifting (in part) recently, we have been able to welcome groups and individuals back to our beautiful Retreat House and Cottage.  Both have been redeveloped as self-catering accommodation; we ask guests to keep to our careful Covid guidelines but are keeping everyone safe.

There is plenty of space so please consider contacting us to book in to stay if you would like, or spread the word to anyone who needs self-catering accommodation!…

 A change to our Charity

We have been a registered charity for many years.  Last year our trustees and the Community agreed that the structure of the charity should change to become an Associated Charitable Incorporated Organisation.  The change took place last March and means that members of the Community and external trustees make up the Charity’s board of trustees, instead of external trustees only.  (Our charity number is 1183268 and our Charity page on the website contains a link to our registration with the charity commission).

The Charity continues to be concerned with the ministries of the Community, such as running of the Retreat Centre, discipleship, work with young people, prison ministry, leading worship, or providing support to Churches and Christian groups of different denominations.

As the country and the churches come out of the restrictions in response to Covid 19, we feel there will be many other opportunities for ministry. Our passion is to share the Gospel as and where the Lord leads us. The land and buildings at Childswickham House are the home of the House of the Open Door Community, and are the main place for the work and ministry of the Charity. Oversight and upkeep of the property is the responsibility of a private Trust, the HOD Community Trust. The Charity leases part of the property for its work.

Income to the Charity has always been primarily through the Retreat Centre, from the guests staying with us. However, the Trustees of the Charity have been urging us to find a secondary source of income in order to enable the Charity to function as it should. The Charity does not employ anyone – all who contribute do so as volunteers.

 Our new Supporters Group

The Charity has several categories of membership, and one category is “Supporter”, We are writing to ask if you could consider being one of the House of the Open Door Charity Supporters. 

(Supporters are those of our friends who would wish to hear from us on a regular basis, and be committed to partner with us in fulfilling the vision of our Charity, in prayer and in any other way they can.) 

As a Supporter, we know you would be praying for the work of the charity. However, we would also offer you the opportunity to become a regular financial donor. Creating this new source of income would mean the charity would not be entirely dependent on the income from the Retreat Centre, which we now know, is vulnerable to unforeseen circumstances. This vulnerability could one day result in closure of the charity, and restrict the ability to carry out the vision and aim of the House of the Open Door.

We realise some of you are already donors to the charity, and therefore you are already, in effect, Supporters, and unless you let us know you would prefer not to be, you will automatically be included in the official list of Supporters.

It is important for us to say that financial support is not the only way you could be a Supporter of the charity, and if regular financial support is not possible for you, please know you are welcome as a Supporter anyway!  Your prayers are vital, and if you are able, practical help and support are always welcome.

The most important benefit of being a regular supporter is that you will become part of this ministry, which God brought into existence four decades ago, and has sustained up to the present time. We are so blessed by His faithfulness.

 Working for our Vision together

Our Vision is already on our website, which also describes much of what we are doing to fulfil the vision.  Our online Calendar has details of in-person events which are beginning again (including Quiet Days of Painting and Reflection, Preparation for Advent Creative days, and a Speaker for Friday 12 November, Yoofi Clarke).

But we are looking for your ideas please about how regular supporters of the Charity would like to be involved with us in different ways:

  • Communication with Supporters: We want to provide more regular updates to you on events and outreach as they happen, to create more of a sense of community amongst all those who wish to be connected with us.   We would be interested to know how you would prefer to hear from us – whether on the website, or email newsletters, through the blog, or social media etc.?
  • Volunteering: If you live nearby and would like to help out in practical ways, please let us know how you could help.  We are very blessed by a faithful group of friends who regularly help with gardening, bee keeping, and odd jobs.
  • Occasional meetings:  if you would like to meet with other supporters during the year for worship, teaching, and time together, please let us know.  We hope to have a Supporters Day at least once a year for those who would like to come and can get here.
  • Regular Donations: God has been providing for us over the pandemic – but we are hoping for more regular financial support to improve our financial viability, and to build for the future. We know some will not be in a position to help in these difficult times, but if you can manage to support us with a regular gift we would be grateful.
  • Prayer: Last but not least, please pray for us!  You will of course, be regularly prayed for in Community prayer times.

 Questions / Comments?

If you have any comments on any of the above of any questions, please contact us to let us know.

 Join the Supporters Group…?

If you would like to join the Supporters group, there will be more information on our Supporters Group page – and if you are able to help with a regular donation (or a one-off gift), please do so on our Donate page. We understand if this is not possible for you at this time.

We understand if this is not possible for you at this time.

Thank you for your consideration and we look forward to hearing from you.

 Many blessings from all of us

The House of the Open Door Community

The House of the Open Door community is Registered Charity 1183268 in the UK

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