PCC Minutes - May 2015

A meeting of the Parochial Church Council of St. Mary’s Barnard Castle with Whorlton took place on Monday 18th May 2015 at 7.30pm in the vestry.

1. Present

Alec Harding, Andy Miller, Astley fenwick, Margaret Miles, David Bailey, Ann Woodward, Keith Miles, Frances Stenlake, Robert Stenlake, Joan Kemp-Ambler, Sue Peat, louise Hosey, Jean Tallentire, Malcolm Makepeace, Jennifer Gibson, John Rawlins, Catherine Wilkinson

2. Apologies

David Walker, John Emerson, Gordon Long, Susan Long

3. Declarations of interest


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


5. Safeguarding

The safeguarding policies for children and vulnerable adults were renewed with one change to bring the policies up to date in the move from CRB to DBS checks. The PCC appointed the Vicar, Catherine Wilkinson and David Bailey as its ‘appointments panel’.

6. Minutes of the PCC meeting held 26th April 2015 and 29th April 2015

These were agreed as a true record and signed

7. Matters arising

a) Barnard Castle Church:

i) Pews: The Vicar had reminded Nixon’s furniture of their undertaking to divide the longer pews. The pew cushions had been warmly received. The Friends of St. Mary’s might consider offering comfort to the choir stalls in the future.

ii) Church Floodlighting: a contractor had visited to ascertain the cause of floodlights failing. He would be contacting the supplier for replacements.

iii) The Listed Places of Worship Roof Repair: Robert Stenlake reported that the church architect and a colleague would visit the church on Wednesday 20th may to begin work in drawing up the specification for the works under consideration. There was a formal process to go through before any payments could be made and work could begin.

iv) Barnard Castle Heating: ongoing problems have still not been resolved. It was proposed and agreed that the consultant who had designed the system (Vince Rumis) should be approached and engaged to oversee the contractors’ attempts to rectify the problems. The Vicar will obtain a quote from Mr Rumis before authorising him to act on our behalf.

b) Whorlton Churchyard wall

Ann Woodward presented two quotes for the repair of the wall. ( Trevor Wood: £700 and Barry Alderson: £989) The PCC agreed to proceed with the work and accepted Mr Wood’s quote. It was hoped that work could proceed as soon as possible.

8. Prayer

The Vicar led the PCC in prayer

9. Mission: (Prayer-Presence- Proclamation- Persuasion)

a) The future of Church Cottage: The Vicar reported that a number of members of the PCC has taken the opportunity to send emails to him with their thoughts about Church Cottage and others had had conversations with him about the future of the building. The general feeling however was that, with a degree of reluctance, the time had come to sell the building. A discussion followed which confirmed this view. It was proposed by Astley Fenwick and seconded by David Bailey that the PCC should sell Church Cottage: the PCC agreed unanimously. The standing committee were asked to take the sale forward.

The treasurer brought the PCC up to date with the end of the tenancy following Mr Swanston’s death and negotiations with his Estate. The treasurer was in communication with those responsible for Mr Swanston’s estate and was seeking agreement about the end of the tenancy. The PCC agreed with the proposal that it was reasonable to take the date of Mr Swanston’s death (April 9th 2015) as marking the beginning of notice being given for the tenancy to end. This left the PCC with excess rental income covering the period May 9th- May 22nd 2015. The property had not been cleared by Mr Swanston’s executors: some of this income would be used to pay for the property to be cleaned (by the caretaker), an outstanding bill to the Parish Hall (£60) would also be paid from this sum. Remaining items of furniture would be disposed of. This would then allow the deposit paid by Mr Swanston to be released to his estate. The treasurer would have the support of the PCC in bringing this matter to a satisfactory resolution.

b) To consider the parish response for the Deanery Plan process: a discussion about the role of Parish and Deanery plans took place. The plans would feed into an annual diocesan plan (and in time shape the diocesan budget). All parishes were expected to have at least a draft plan for consideration at deanery level by September. The PCC appointed the Vicar, Catherine Wilkinson, Louise Hosey, Frances Stenlake & Astley Fenwick to consider the plan and to bring a draft to the PCC as soon as possible

c) The PCC noted that

i) Catherine Wilkinson is to undertake Godly Play Training

ii) The upcoming Discipleship Course will commence on June 3rd for 6 weeks

iii) Whorlton Hymns and Pimms will take place again this year (June 28th)

iii) A children’s activity Day is planned for July 11th

10. Finance

a) Finance report: a report had been circulated and placed on file. Robert Stenlake reported that Total have finally invoiced the PCC (twice) for our utilities and paid us £50 compensation for the delay in invoicing us.

The budget will be brought to the next meeting.

It was proposed and agreed that Julian Taylor replace John Elliott as one of the 6 signatories for PCC cheques. (These would now be: Julian Taylor, Robert Stenlake, Joan Kemp-Ambler, Peter Wise, Keith Miles and David Bailey)

b) Stewardship report: nothing to report

11. Committee and group reports

i. Deanery Synod report: synod would be considering the process for creating its own plan at its meeting on May 19th 2015.

ii. Churches Together report: it had been pleasing to hear that 7 volunteers have been found from the churches to train to run the Credit Union in town.

iii. FunSoc: a request was made for volunteers for the Bank Holiday activities

iv. Communications Group: nothing to report

12. AOB

It being Rev Miller’s last PCC meeting thanks and best wishes were extended to him.

Date of next meeting: June 15th
Further Meetings in 2015: July 20th; September 14th; October 19th; November 23rd

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