PCC Minutes - January 2015

A Meeting of the Parochial Church Council of St Mary's Barnard Castle with Whorlton held on Monday 19th January 2015 in the Vestry at 7.30pm.

1. Present

Rev Alec Harding (Chair), Margaret Miles, David Bailey, John Emerson, Frances Stenlake, Ann Woodward, Linda Alderson, Louise Hosey, Rev Andy Miller, David Blakely, Robert Stenlake (Treasurer) Astley Fenwick, and Keith Miles.

2. Apologies

Jane Goldberg, Jean Tallentire and Debbie Steel.

3. Declarations of Interest


4. Items for Any Other Business

The Church locking rota.

5. Safeguarding

No issues have been raised with AH this month, however as agreed he will create a book within which any such incidents or concerns can be recorded.

6. Minutes of Previous Meeting held on December 8th 2014

After a minor adjustment, these were approved and signed.

7. Matters Arising

a) Barnard Castle Church

(i) Mode Lighting – D. Bailey reported that the system is now not only fully functional, but has also been programmed to perform as we had originally hoped. He is to put together an operating manual and crib sheet.

(ii) Pew cushions and pew lengths – FOSM’s have agreed to pay for both the cushions and also the shortening of pews within church. As such the following motion was passed. This PCC will seek permission

To divide and adapt 6 no. of the longer (14ft) pews in Barnard Castle Church so that they retain their current length and external appearance but can be separated and more easily moved as and when required whilst remaining freestanding.

The works to be carried out by Anthony Nixon Furniture of Barnard Castle

To introduce pew cushions to all the pews in the central nave of the church.

These to be purchased from The Church Cushion Co. Colour: Pimlico Rouge, Standard foam cushion, Band B fabric with piped edges.

The costs for both a) £1680 + VAT & b) Approximately £4000 inclusive of VAT to be met by The Friends of St. Mary’s Barnard Castle

This was agreed by all with 14 people present.

(iii) Defibrillator – we are still awaiting news from the Town Council with regards to this.

(iv) Church Floodlighting – One does not work; others are clearly filling with condensation. AH is to meet Stainton Lighting on the 21st of January to discuss. AH further reported that a stone had been dislodged in the car park, possibly during removal of the external Christmas Tree by the Town Council. He will assess what needs to be done and report back at the next meeting.

b) Whorlton

Electrics/Heating – works are almost complete; however a couple of further issues have come to light. These are a failed external light and a faulty radiator. The contractor (Mark Winter) has been asked to fix these and will then be paid on receipt of the required safety inspection certificates.

Churchyard Wall – remains fallen down.

c) Barnard Castle QI report

Christopher Cotton has informed us that the work required on the vestry roof and some of the lead flashing work required elsewhere may be covered by the new government scheme to provide grants for Church Roof Repairs. It was considered to be a good idea to pursue this despite the reluctance of the diocese to support such a claim. AH to search out the application form and clarify the diocesan reasoning for not supporting our case. JE proposed we apply for funding regardless and this was seconded by KM. The deadline for applications is 31st January 2015.


The new team was announced as the clergy, Fiona Douglas, Beverley Pilcher, Joan Kemp Ambler, Allan Jones, David Walker, Hilary Dunnighan and Colin Dunnighan. They are likely to be commissioned in church next month and will then likely meet soon after.

8. Prayer

AM played a Taize chant

9. Mission (Presence – Proclamation – Persuasion)

The PCC to note the following.

a) Leading Your Church Into Growth conference – was discussed last month.

b) Pilgrim Course – 9 or 10 came to the first sessions.

c) St Mary’s Activity Day (SMAD) January 31st 2015 – application forms have been given to all the primary schools in town and volunteers found to run the day.

d) Mission Statistics – AH has submitted these for the parish and the PCC are encouraged to check them online at www.parishreturns.churchofengland.org. Username is BarnardCastle, password Whorlton. Of note is that whilst Whorlton attendance remains steady, there appears to be a reduction in regular attendance at Barnard Castle – both in terms of the 4 o’clock service, but also at the 10.30am Sunday morning communion. Of further note is that Christmas attendances at Barnard Castle are high, whereas Easter is more variable. The SMDT will be asked to consider these figures in more detail; however the PCC will also need to consider these figures and any related proposals at some point in the future.

e) Church Day Away – AH encouraged people to attend the Deanery Away day to Mirfield arranged by Rev Martin Jacques for Saturday 11th April.

10. Finance

(a) Finance Report – the PCC was asked to note the previously circulated finance report figures. The formal accounts will be brought to the PCC for approval at the next meeting (the 2nd March). The various options for a replacement Gift Aid Secretary were also outlined.

(b) Stewardship Report – the options to replace the Gift Aid Secretary were further considered. This committee believe that a competent Assistant Treasurer would be most desirable; however any and all offers of help will be gratefully accepted. Three new people have also been added to the Parish Team rota.

11. Committee and Group Reports

(i) Wardens

AH will seek new chalice bearers to add to the rota. Wheelchair provision in church was reviewed given the regular presence of Judith Walker Hutchinson in such. AH reported that when presiding JWH will sit when possible and use a stool for support when needing to stand at the altar.

The wardens also ask the PCC to note

(a) that the church car park was locked from 8.00am on 30.12.14 – 8.30am 1.1.15.

(b) the requirements of the Charity Commission for PCC members (in their role as Trustees) to consider ‘public benefit’ in their decision making and to record this in the Annual Report. (Document circulated with the agenda).

(ii) Churches Together in Barnard Castle

AH noted that there was a good attendance at the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity service at the United Reformed Church on Sunday 18th January. Unfortunately the new chair from the Roman Catholic Church was not present. AH also mentioned a Christian Aid match funding scheme that has been proposed within the Churches Together forum and how this would require us to consider our mission giving for the next couple of years at the next meeting.

(iii) Funsoc

Are to meet on Thursday the 22nd of January.

(iii)Communications Group

Have not met since the last PCC meeting.

11. AOB

The Church Locking Rota – Allan Jones has agreed to join this. AH will get a further set of church keys cut, which will be added to the key inventory.

12. Date of Next Meeting

March 2nd 2015, 7:30pm.

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