December 2014

A Meeting of the Parochial Church Council of St Mary's Barnard Castle with Whorlton held on Monday December 8th 2014 in the Vestry at 7.30pm.

1. Present

Andy Miller (Chair), Alec Harding, David Blakely, David Bailey, Jean Tallentire, Linda Alderson, Ann Woodward, Frances Stenlake, Jane Goldberg (Secretary).

2. Apologies

Sue Peat, Keith Miles, Margaret Miles, Louise Hosey, Robert Stenlake.

3. Declarations of interest


4. Items for Any Other Business (urgent items only will be considered)

i. Floodlighting.

ii. Car parking.

iii. PCC/PHA Hall Hire.

5. Safeguarding

Alec reported that two minor concerns had been raised with him, where possible safeguarding issues might have arisen. He had spoken to the adults involved and was content that there was no problem. Whilst including ‘Safeguarding’ on the PCC agenda gave a signal to all that the matter was held as being important he wondered how much detail was appropriate to be raised (or indeed recorded in the PCC minutes) under the agenda item and whether actions taken needed to be recorded elsewhere and held in a secure place. The latter was thought appropriate by the PCC but Alec would also seek advice from the Diocesan Safeguarding officer.

6. Minutes of the PCC meeting held 3rd November 2014 (previously circulated)

These were received and signed.

7. Matters arising

a) Barnard Castle Church:

i) Mode Lighting – Dave Bailey reported that the company would carry out the work required on 12th January 2015 and that he would be on site to welcome them.

ii) Pew cushions and pew lengths – Nothing to report.

iii) Defibrillator – Nothing to report.

b) Whorlton

Ann Woodward reported that

i. Electrics/heating: work was almost complete on the new heating. The reason that the radiator near the organ was not working needed further investigation and might result in an additional cost.

ii. Churchyard: two generous donations had enabled a considerable amount of work to be done in the churchyard – clearing of overgrowth and lopping of trees.

iii. Bell tower: a professional quote for the work in the bell tower had been approximately £3000: The work had, instead been carried out by volunteers and 7 ½ metres of accumulated bird debris had been removed from the tower.

iv. Churchyard wall: Recent wet weather had resulted in a 5 metre stretch of the churchyard wall to give way. Alec said he had investigated making an insurance claim but that the £500 excess made this undesirable. Work repairing the wall could only take place when temperatures rose in the spring as cold weather would adversely affect mortar.

c) Barnard Castle QI report

Nothing to report.

d) Green Lane School

Foundation Governor: David Bailey’s name had successfully been presented to the Board of Education for approval and, subject to DBS clearance, David would now be our new Foundation Governor.

8. Prayer

A reading from Ephesians followed by a prayer, before considering nominations for the SMDT.


Individually, members of the PCC considered the nominations made for the SMDT.

10. Mission

a. Remembrance Day – the service went well. It was noted that perhaps in future the parish hall should not be hired out on Remembrance weekend, so that chairs will be available for setting up in the church earlier. Other recommendations were made by the Church Wardens, on a separate note.

b. Advent Carol Service in Whorlton – this service also went well. £70.20 was raised for Children in Need and a similar amount was raised for the church

c. Montalbo School – in 2015 Alec & Andy will start going into the school weekly early on Monday mornings.

d. Leading your church into growth conference – Andy and two others attended this conference on 22/11/14 which considered ideas on how to lead your church into growth, which is a Diocesan priority. It was felt that the SMDT could consider this.

e. Church Diary: Study groups in 2015 – Three courses are to be held during the year starting with a 6 week Pilgrim course, based on the Beatitudes, to be held on Thursday afternoons. A card to advertise these courses will be available.

f. SMAD – to be held on 31/1/15. Ideally we would like there to be 3 activity days in the year, but due to difficulties in booking the hall, it may only be possible to hold 2.

11. Finance

(a) Finance Report – the PCC approved the proposal to increase the unrestricted fund reserve to £25,000. It also agreed that the restricted fund reserve should be held at £20,000.

(b) Stewardship Report – Keith is in the process of gathering a long list of possible names for the stewardship committee.

12. Committee and Group Reports

(i) Wardens – David Bailey reported on the recent Warden’s meeting. We discussed the car park. Alec has spoken to the Diocesan Registry and a Community Support Officer regarding the ongoing problems with the 2 cars which are usually left in the car park.

(ii) Churches Together in Barnard Castle – the PCC agreed with Alec’s suggestion that we continue to send our food bank collections to The Well. A service Praying for Unity is to be held at the United Reformed Church at 4pm on 18/1/15.

(iii) Deanery Synod and

(iv) Diocesan Synod – the Bishop introduced “Open the book” to take the bible into schools. A re-structuring of the Bishop’s leadership team has been proposed. The budget is similar to this year, it doesn’t break even but they are working towards it breaking even the year after next.

(v) Funsoc – the Christmas Calm was quiet, but £300 was raised. The talent night was very good. Trees are being booked for next year’s Christmas Tree festival. The tree for inside the church will arrive on 18th December. The outside tree was donated by Lord Barnard. The town council purchased and erected the lights for the tree. Captain Pease donated the Whorlton tree.

(vi) Communications Group – a presentation of the new web site was made in church.

13. AOB

Floodlighting – David Bailey is to ask Astley for the contact details of the company who installed the floodlights as one is not working and others are full of condensation.

Car Parking – this was discussed as part of the Wardens’ Report.

Hall Booking – Alec summarised the difficulties we have in booking the Parish Hall, even though the lease states that the church has first say in bookings. Peter Wise, Chair of the PHA, has suggested a meeting between 2 members of the PCC and 2 members of the PHA to discuss the issue.

14. Date of Next Meeting

January 19th 2015, 7:30pm. Dates for 2015 meetings were notified: In addition, the PCC is to meet with Governors and Staff of Green Lane School, possibly on 25th March at 5pm. Details are to be confirmed.

The Curate closed the meeting at 8:50pm with the Grace.

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