PCC Minutes - June 2015

Minutes of PCC meeting held at 7.30 on Monday 15th June 2015 in the Vestry, St Mary’s Barnard Castle

1) Present: Alec Harding (chair), Catherine Wilkinson, John Rawlins, Astley Fenwick, Joan Kemp-Ambler, Jennifer Gibson, Dave Bailey, John Emerson, Gordon Long, Frances Stenlake, Robert Stenlake, Belinda Thompson, Ann Woodward, Louise Hosey, Jean Tallentire, David Walker (secretary).

In attendance: Julian Taylor

2) Apologies: Margaret Miles, Keith Miles, Sue Peat, Susan Long, Malcolm Makepeace.

3) Declarations of interest: None.

4) AOB: two items were accepted for consideration later in the meeting.

5) Safeguarding:

The following attended Safeguarding Training (1 and 2) provided by the Diocese on June 6th: Keith Miles, Clare Trevett, Frances Stenlake, Kim Harding, Caroline Piercy, Beverley Pilcher.

A suggestion has been made that the two Parish safeguarding roles be combined into one. The meeting agreed that the Vicar should approach Beverly Pilcher with a view to asking her to assume responsibility for Children alongside her existing role in respect to Vulnerable Adults.

Bell Tower: we need to keep a register of those who are in the bell tower. David Bailey was asked to create this with Helen Scott. The Junior Church/choir Fun register could be used as a template.

The role of the selection panel for appointing people to roles within the Parish has been clarified as only applying to paid posts. The PCC may give approval for non paid activities. The following names were approved: Enid Beere, Heather Rawlins, Belinda Thompson, Helen Scott, Clare Trevett, Fiona Douglas, Kimberley Harding, John Trevett, Frances Stenlake, Keith Miles, John Elliott, Peter Wise, Caroline Piercy, Jean Moore. DBS renewals would be sought for these folk.

Permission was granted for a Junior Choir trip.

6) Minutes of meeting held 18th May 2015

The minutes were accepted as a true record. An amendment was made in order to formally note the change to signatories on the PCC bank account. The amendment was as follows:

“The authorised signatories in the current mandate with Natwest Bank, Barnard Castle (sort code 51-61-33) for accounts 21535078 (current account) and 74047159 (reserve account) be changed by removing John Elliott as an authorised signatory and adding Julian Marcus Taylor as an authorised signatory and  the current mandate will continue as amended.  It was confirmed that the meeting was quorate when passing this resolution.”

7) Matters arising:

a) Barnard Castle church
i. Pews: no progress despite ‘chivvying’.
ii. Church floodlighting: no progress.
iii. Listed Places of Worship Roof Repair: detailed specification is being prepared for the DAC prior to specification for tender.
iv. Barnard Castle heating: contact with Vince Rumis but no progress.
v. Church Cottage: this is now empty and clean. Dave Bailey is to meet with Simon Nixon to discuss sale arrangements. The PCC agreed that we should use Smith Roddam as solicitors as even if we used different solicitors they would be required to act for the Diocese. Financial issues are all sorted out with the executor.

b) Whorlton: churchyard wall. Mr Wood will begin work in a couple of weeks. It was reported that the churchyard has moles. Gordon Long will sort them out.

8) The Vicar led the PCC in a lectio divina based upon Chapter 1 of the Book of Ezra.

9) Mission (Prayer – Presence – Proclamation – Persuasion)

a) Working party’s draft response for Deanery Plan process

The Working Party was thanked for its contribution. A number of points were made in the ensuing discussion:

The apparent anomaly in under 16 attendances between 2013 and 2014 is explained by the timing of Harvest and a change in the methodology of recording.

The financial information seems to be lacking: it only covers current performances with no record of reserves; and the current income and expenditure is not comprehensive or comparable. The Vicar will feed this back to the Area Deans’ meeting.

Other information: there is no record of retired clergy resources.

It is hoped to extend Godly Play to Montalbo.

There have been a number of Diocesan initiatives relating to mission. Leading Your Church Into Growth (LYCIG) is currently favoured and several people from St Mary’s have been ‘commissioned’ by Bishop Mark. There is a problem of co-ordination and follow-up at both Diocesan and Parish levels.

The ‘Parish Day’ should be followed up and given some priority.

b) Items to note:
i. Whorlton Hymns and Pimms
ii. Children’s Activity Day
iii. Dementia Awareness event: this was deemed a great success putting the church at the centre of an important community activity. Iris Hillery has attended TAP with intention of making Barnard Castle a ‘dementia friendly town’. It was agreed that we should work towards becoming a ‘dementia friendly church’. There was support for holding a Dementia Friends meeting one Sunday at coffee after church.
iv. A grant of £500 has been received from the Small Mission Fund for a portable labyrinth for use at Green Lane School.

10) Finance

a) The Treasurer, Robert Stenlake, provided a comprehensive report on the proposed budget for 2015/2016. This was backed up with extensive working papers explaining in detail the basis for each of the budget figures. Major points included:

i. Parish Share is proposed to increase in line with Diocesan guidelines (3% increase).
ii. Pay policy: the Parish will continue to work towards meeting Living Wage target by April 2017. This ‘pay policy’ will now need to be incorporated into the Annual report in line with requirements of Charity Commissioners.
iii. A notional amount derived from the sale of Church Cottage was included in the budget calculation in lieu of income lost in rent.
iv. Savings from loss of the Curate will partly be set aside to meet likely future costs of redecorating Curate’s House in the event of the appointment of a new Curate.
v. Concern over the level of planned giving means that some form of Stewardship campaign should be necessary next year.
vi. There is also concern over fund raising activities, with some activities suffering from decline and a general feeling of fund-raising fatigue.

The PCC was asked formally to approve the budget for the year and the Parish Share in order that the Diocese can be formally notified of the amount which we will be giving this year (£65250).

Proposed: John Emerson
Seconded: Astley fenwick
Carried unanimously.

The Treasure was thanked for his tireless efforts.

John Emerson asked that members might each bring to the next meeting one proposal for fund raising and that we could pool these.

11) Committee and Group reports

a) Deanery Synod – brief report by Vicar
b) FunSoc – no report
c) Communications Group – no report

David Walker reported that the SMDT had identified three ‘projects’ as a contribution to helping us to know the community better, helping the community to know us better, and helping the congregation to know each other better. The first of these, A Day of History and Mystery, will take place on July 18th and will be based around tours of the church and a welcoming lunch. Other activities are planned for 2nd August (coffee and croissant after 8.00 service) and 12th September (BBQ and ‘parachuting teddy bears’).

12) AOB: Two items

a) Archdeacon’s permission had been granted for the felling of a self seeded sycamore in the detached churchyard.
b) David Walker briefly mentioned the Shared Conversations in which he had been involved and promised to let the PCC know of future relevant development as soon as they were any.

13) Dates of next meeting: July 20th and then September 14th, October 19th, November 23rd.

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