To all members of the VCF
It has been great getting to know some of you over the last few years that I have been involved with the VCF committee. One of the reasons I enjoy the VCF so much is the fact that it allows anyone who is linked to the veterinary profession and shares the one Christian faith to remain connected despite the fact that we work all across the UK and Ireland and in all sorts of working environments. This may be through attending the annual conference, being part of a regional group or supporting one another in practice. It also enables practising vets to support and connect with vet students and as a result be reminded of the challenges facing students and new graduates coming into the vet profession. A third benefit is that it allows a point of contact for connecting with and supporting vets working to promote the gospel overseas.
What we aim to do as a committee is to continually improve ways to build and strengthen these networks and encourage people to feel equipped to share Christ’s love in the work that they do. We are just aware that most of us need a bit of help, support and encouragement in doing that!
“So let’s do it – full of belief, confident that we are presentable inside and out. Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word. Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching”.
Hebrews 10: 22-25 The Message
What an opportunity we all have within the VCF to spur one another on to share Christ’s love in our day to day jobs!
What is your role?
Your mission if you chose to accept it… to Partner With Us in our vision. We can come up with the ideas and try to steer the fellowship as best as we can but it relies on all 720 members of the VCF to play their part and be involved.
Over the last few years we have sought to improve what we do and increase our presence within the profession and the following are a few examples of how we have attempted to do that:
1. Increased our number of regional groups to 15.
2. Had a stand, meeting or presence at conferences such as SPVS, BSAVA, BCVA and BVNA.
3. Grown the size of the committee to 15 members.
4. Employed Ali as Secretary to oversee the working of the fellowship which has greatly progressed the ministry. She is responsible for the day to day running of VCF and forms connections between people and provides pastoral support for all our members. Our long term vision is to increase the hours she works to expand the support she is able to give on behalf of VCF.
5. Met monthly as a committee to discuss the fellowship and pray for its members.
6. Supported 10 missionary partners by remaining in contact with them, praying for them and when possible financially supporting them.
7. Sent out regular issues of VCF News and prayer diaries.
8. Aimed to improve the EMS database.
9. Linked new graduates into local groups.
What we would encourage you to do is to engage with what is happening. Please pray for the vets, students and missionaries connected to VCF. Sign up for the EMS Database or to be a mentor for new and young graduates. Get involved with a regional group if you can. Invite a student round for Sunday lunch or drop into one of our stands at a CPD conference. Many of you do this already which is great however we would love for more people to make use of the resources and networks that are available. There is however another way you can support the work that we do and that is by paying the annual membership subscription fee of £48. (We have a reduced fee of £10 for veterinary nurses and membership is free for students and those in full-time Christian ministry.) I would like to explain the reason for this.
Whilst we have seen growth in many areas of our ministry we are now in a position that if we wish to continue to expand and provide greater support to individuals we need to re-assess our finances.
On page 8 you can see our expected income and expenditure for the current financial year.
Whilst we believe that God will provide in the area of our finances, we are aware of the massive potential we have in improving our support to the fellowship if there were a greater number of people committing to paying the membership fee of £48. That is just £4 per month or less than 14p per day.
If everyone who was eligible paid their membership fee we would have an income closer to £23,000 as opposed to £13,000. This would allow us to greatly increase, for instance, our presence at conferences, our grants to students travelling overseas to do EMS with veterinary missions, our support for regional groups, and our financial commitment to our missionary partners. Our slightly longer term aim would be to employ someone for another day or two a week to work in progressing the fellowship.
If you are unable to commit to paying the subscription fee due to being under financial pressure, we do not expect you to give and would encourage you not to. As I have hopefully shown there are many other ways to support the fellowship.
However if you are in a position to do so would you please consider your commitment to the work of VCF? Please take 5 minutes now and register to financially support the fellowship. There are a number of ways you can do this:
1. Follow the links to www.vcf.org.uk/payments
2. Through online banking using Sort Code 80-16-48 and Account number 00184220
3. Complete the standing order form attached with this edition of VCF News or download one from www. vcf.org.uk/payments
4. Post a cheque to VCF Finance Administrator, 1 Brookside, Houghton, Huntingdon, Cambs PE28 2BT
May I also encourage you to Gift Aid your giving to VCF. That way the government gives us an extra 25p for every £1 you donate. Again the form is attached or can be downloaded from our website.
Please also pray for the committee as we try to lead the VCF and provide support for all its members, that God would be before us and that the fellowship would always glorify Him.