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Viewpoint from Rev Mike Simm 31/05/2019

MIKE SIMMRev Mike Simm
Minister, Cliff Park Community Church


as published in the Yarmouth Mercury


Julian Richer started his business, Richer Sounds, when he was just 19. He soon made a fortune selling cut-price HiFi equipment on UK high streets. At the age of 23 he bought his first Rolls Royce. He once owned two helicopters at the same time, because as he says “One wasn’t enough”. But these days things have changed and Julian Richer says that his greatest pleasure is playing ping-pong with his wife
dove leftRecently, Richer hit the headlines for giving his staff a bonus. Loyal employees were each given £1000 for every year of service. In total he gave them just over £9,000,000. The average gift was £8000. Julian Richer also transferred the ownership of his business to his staff using a John Lewis style trust. One man, Neville Hart, who’s worked for Richer Sounds for 23 years, was overwhelmed. He said “I was nearly in tears but it doesn’t surprise me, Julian is an amazing person”
You might wonder why Julian Richer is so generous. One reason is that he is a Christian. And so, like many Christians he gives in the spirit that God has given to him
As a Christian I believe that, in the person of Jesus Christ, God left the splendour of heaven, became poor and gave his life for us on the cross, so that we can be free from the consequences of our sin and begin a relationship with God that literally lasts forever. When I look at the cross of Jesus, I am reminded that whatever I give, I cannot out-give God!
Dove rightIn 2Corinthians 9:6-15, Paul encourages us to give liberally like a 1st century sower, scattering our money like seed. Trusting that God will honour our generosity and use our giving to bless others. God, as Paul puts it “loves a cheerful giver”
Of course, when it comes to giving away money, we are all tempted to sow sparingly. Worrying that if we give generously we might not have enough for ourselves. But when we do give generously, we learn that, in God’s economy, things work differently and that somehow the more you give away the more you seem to have
Today, Julian Richer says that he is actively giving his money away. He’s started a charitable foundation that last year made donations to 400 organisations. Interestingly, he doesn’t worry that he’s being too generous, in fact he says “These days I sleep a lot better”


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