PCC Minutes - May 2014

A Meeting of the Parochial Church Council of St Mary's Barnard Castle with Whorlton held on Monday 19th May 2014 in the Vestry at 7.30pm.

Rev Canon Alec Harding (Chairperson) welcomed the PCC, especially the new members present Debbie Steel and Jean Tallentire, and opened the meeting.

1. Present

Rev Alec Harding (Chair), Andy Miller, Jane Goldberg (Secretary), David Blakely, Robert Stenlake, (Treasurer), Keith Miles, Margaret Miles, Sue Peat, David Bailey, Louise Hosey, Frances Stenlake, Debbie Steel, Jean Tallentire.

2. Co-option of PCC Members

There are vacancies on the PCC, but there was no-one to co-opt.

3. Apologies

From John Emerson and Ann Woodward.

4. Fit and Proper Person Declaration

These were handed in by the majority of members. Forms are still required from Astley Fenwick, Ann Woodward, John Emerson, Jean Tallentire and Linda Alderson. In addition, forms are being obtained from all those who handle money at the church.

5. Declarations of Interest


6. Items for Any Other Business

Clarification regarding Brambledown.

7. PCC Officers and Committees:

Treasurer – Robert Stenlake.
Secretary – Jane Lawson Goldberg.
Standing Committee – Church Wardens, Treasurer and Secretary.
Finance and Stewardship is a to continue as a committee of the PCC.
Funsoc is to continue as a working party, as is the Communications Group.

8. Minutes of Previous Meeting held on April 7th 2014

Were approved and signed.

9. Matters Arising

a) Barnard Castle Church

(i) Lighting – Lytestream is to replace some of the track associated with the fittings do not work properly. There is possibly a programming problem. Lytestream is in touch with Envirolux and Mode Control about the continuing problems, although there has been some improvement

(ii) Bell Chamber Repairs – nothing to report, but the PCC agreed to the purchase of new muffles at a cost of £256.80

(iii) Inspecting Architect and Quinquennial Report – Christopher Downs has declined to remain as our inspecting architect. Alec has been in contact with two architects who have expressed an interest in the post. The PCC agreed that Alec should seek clarification from Mr Cotton (based in York) as to how long it would take to prepare the Quinquennial Report which is now overdue. Action: AH

(iv) Detached Churchyard – this is now to be know as the Non Parochial Burial Ground. After some research Alec has written to the Bereavement Services at County Hall in Durham to explain his findings and to suggest that perhaps the best way forward is to reconstitute the Management Committee of the NPBG and to make an application to the Ministry of Justice for closure. A copy of Alec’s letter is attached to these minutes. David Bailey reported on his findings so far from the available records.

Action: AH, DB

b) Whorlton Works

(i) Redecoration – this has been completed.

(ii) Electrics/Heating – we are waiting for the specification to be completed and sent out. Action: AF

(iii) Bell Chamber – volunteers are to clear the debris using the equipment supplied by Kevin Raw and once some sort of protection in the church has been set up by Barry Alderson. Once the debris has been cleared, the bells will be inspected.

c) Mission

(i) Easter Invitations – these were made available this year. Easter congregations were good.

(ii) Commemoration of the beginning of WWI – this is to take place on 4th August. This was discussed at Churches Together and they are hoping that St Mary’s will host an event. Andy is to coordinate activities which may include a roll of honour, booklet, display, candles, prayers, and perhaps on the hour Ministers in Barnard Castle coming into church to lead prayers.

(iii) The Pilgrim Course – to take place on Thursday evenings beginning in June.

(iv) Whorlton – the village is invited to join a walk to Wycliffe Church followed by tea and cake on 14th June. On the 21st June Evensong is to take place at 5pm, it is being advertised as Hymns and Pimms.

(v) Green Lane School Music – Alec is to contact Peter Coulson to see if he would be interested in leading hymn practice at Green Lane School. Roger will be asked if he would like to help out occasionally. Pay is to be discussed. Action: AH

(vi) Everybody Welcome – a small group has been set up to discuss and follow up the Everybody Welcome course.

10. Finance

(a) Stewardship Group

(i) Planned Giving Appeal and Meeting with Alistair Jenkins – at the last meeting, the committee reviewed their existence and wish to continue their work, but the role of Treasurer will be divorced from that of the Local Giving officer which will be undertaken by Keith Miles. The Stewardship campaign has resulted in an increase in regular giving of more than £4700 (12% increase in a full year). The committee propose to send out a thank you letter to all respondents. The response compares favourably with similar campaigns in the diocese, but further efforts will be required in the future. The committee was joined at their meeting by Alistair Jenkins, the diocesan stewardship development officer, who offered his help with further efforts later this year.

(ii) Parish Hall Lease – both the terms and schedule of use of the lease need to be reviewed. The PCC agreed that Robert should discuss the lease once the RPI figures are available with the Parish Hall Association, perhaps with Sue Peat accompanying him. Action: RS

(b) Treasurer’s Report

(i) First Quarter Figures – the report was circulated prior to the meeting. Robert highlighted the main points in the report.

(ii) Living Wage – this will be discussed with the Parish Hall Association. Action: RS

(c) Parish Share Offer 2015

The Parish Share was explained to new members of the PCC. The PCC supported an increase in our Parish Share to £63,348 for 2015.

11. Committee and Group Reports

(i) Wardens – nothing to report.

(ii) Funsoc – meeting has been held and a report issued and circulated to members of the PCC.

(iii) Communications Group – at the last meeting the group discussed the church’s website. It is felt that it is looking dated and needs work. The PCC agreed that the group should proceed with a free trial of software provided by Church123.

(iv) SMDT – from the Sunday after Ascension to Pentecost we have been asked to pray for the Ministry and Work of the Parish.

12. Annual Renewal of Parish Safeguarding Policies

The PCC agreed to the renewal of the Parish Safeguarding Policies (Children and Vulnerable Adults). It was noted that parental consent forms will be required for those children attending an event at Durham Cathedral. A first aid course is to be held in Barnard Castle on 28th June 2014.

13. AOB

Brambledown – as part of the contract for the renewal of Amen Corner Brambledown are maintaining the flower beds (circle and rose garden) and the new grass for the next year. After this the maintenance of the grass and circular flower bed will revert back to St Mary’s. The missing bollard is to be replaced.

14. Date of Next Meeting

June 23rd to be held at Whorlton, 7:30pm.

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