October 2021


A meeting of the Parochial Church Council of St. Mary’s Barnard Castle 

with Whorlton took place on Tuesday 12th October 2021 7.00pm in church 

The purpose of the PCC is to promote the whole mission of the church, 

pastoral, evangelistic, social and ecumenical.


  1. Present: Alec Harding, Sarah Cliff, Roy Long, Joan Kemp Ambler, Malcolm Makepeace, Astley Fenwick, John White, John Emerson, Alistair Stewart, Alan Jones, Frances Stenlake. Also Gillian Lunn & Beverley Pilcher (visitors). Alistair Stewart was welcomed to his first meeting as Treasurer.
  2. Apologies: David Walker, Abi Littlefair, John Trevett, John Chadwick, Geoff Knott
  3. Declarations of interest: None
  4. Items for Any Other Business (urgent items only will be considered) : Frances asked that Mission Giving be on the next PCC agenda. 
  5. Minutes:  the minutes of the last meeting were agreed and signed.
  6. Matters arising: The PCC noted
      1. a.Title to Amen corner: There is no news from the Land Registry.
      2. b.The Faculty for carrying our remedial work on the pointing at the West end of the church has been granted 
      3. c.Remembrance: By agreement the Town Council will arrange for a PA to be erected outside the church. Barney Band will not play in the church: the band has grown considerably and feel they need to leave room for others.
      4. d. The church choir is leading a service of Evensong at West Auckland on 7th November 2021
      5. e. Livestreaming church services: currently no services are being livestreamed.
  1. Dwelling in the Word: Acts 6.1-7: led by Beverley Pilcher 
  1. Partnership for Missional Church: ’Balloon ride activity’: 

The vicar led an activity that:

  1. Reflected on the things people had noticed in the church and wider parish at previous meetings.
  2. Drew together what those present imagined might develop or grow from these things in the next 5 years: the PCC reflected on these (these thoughts will be displayed in some form for others to see)
  3. Similar opportunities for the wider congregation to reflect will be offered during Sunday worship on 31st October.
  4. AF asked whether other groups in the church might contribute: the PMC Enabling Team had suggested that people could do the exercise alone and return their thoughts to be collated.

The PCC then considered what a ‘strap line’ for the parish might be. Initial suggestions were: 

Sharing God’s love across our communities

St. Mary’s: a heart for Barney

Barney Parish Church: loving the community it serves

Blessing and prayer for our community.

  1. Finance and Stewardship: to discuss and approve the budget for 2022 (previously circulated)

The proposed budget had been circulated and opportunity for questions to be sent to David Walker. The PCC discussed whether to budget to meet its full Guided Share Request as this had been questioned by the Finance Team. The PCC heard of the financial hit on both ‘stronger’ and ‘weaker’ parishes in the diocese and decided to meet the request of £68,291 in full. AH will communicate this to the Diocesan Finance Team.

  1. Correspondence from Northern Dales Richard III group 

A letter from the NDRIII Group had been circulated concerning the introduction of etched images to the porch glass. These would reflect Richard IIIs connection to St. Mary’s but also meet the identified desire for some image of our patron Saint to be realised in the church.

The PCC was unanimously supportive of pursuing the idea and AH was asked to communicate this to the DAC at the earliest opportunity for comment. It noted that finance would entirely be sought for the project by the NDRIII Group

  1. Team reports: (written reports may be circulated). 
    1. Children, schools and Young people: FS and Kim Harding had met and come up with a plan for some form of Junior Church to be offered for children attending worship: this would be in St. Margaret’s Chapel
    2. Fundraising & social: JE reported that sales of Xmas Trees for the Festival were slow. AH has placed a piece in the mercury highlighting the festival and inviting sponsors. JE has visited local caravan sites and a warm reception has been found for providing 2nd hand books for sale (donations to church)  
    3. Eco church: A Creation and Climate change fair is planned for November 7th. Partners include the schools, Durham University, other churches, DCC, The Town Council, WWF
    4. Whorlton: RL has discussed cutting back some shrubs at the back of the churchyard with DCC: this will take place after the grass cutting season has ended. RL also reported ongoing difficulties with damp in the church porch, possibly associated with blocked soak-aways.
    5. Communication: FS reported that some more website training is being offered by DigVentures before the site is finally handed over to the church
    6. Buildings: AH had met with Robert Stenlake to discuss taking forward the next stage of major building repairs identified in the church QI. RS had circulated details of these earlier in the year. RS is willing to lead a project to address these things (chancel and vestry repointing, North clerestory windows etc) and there is a restricted donation in the accounts to enable initial reports to be commissioned. The PCC agreed the work needs to be done and thanked RS for being willing to lead on this. AH sought others to form a sub committee alongside himself and RS. As no names were forthcoming AH will seek others from the congregation
    7. Heritage: JW reported on a successful Heritage Open Day with just over 40 adults attending. It was noted that most people wished to access the belfry.
    8. Music: AJ commented on the successful choir and orchestra events and the organ concert at Whorlton. Donations had ben in excess of  £300, £400 and £90 respectively and the events had been enjoyable and well attended.

AH and SC had agreed that the Worship and Pastoral Teams would have to wait to get off the ground owing to other pressures on their time.

FS noted that not all the teams have yet submitted terms of reference: these were important to help the PCC know what was/what was not being done in the teams.

  1. Health & Safety: JKA highlighted the ongoing concern about the carpet at the foot of the chancel steps and her difficulty in addressing the problem with contractors.

AH had received a request for CCTV to be attached the Parish Hall to deter suspected drug dealing in the carpark. SC commented that CCTV that overlooked neighbours’ property was not possible or easy to introduce because of privacy concerns. JKA would speak to the police about activities in the carpark.

  1. Safeguarding: Beverley Pilcher is seeking to hand on the Safeguarding Officer Role.

FS has offered to work through the newly published Safer Recruitment Guidance which needs to be implanted by January 2022

  1. AOB: Mission Giving to be on the next agenda 
  2. Date of next meeting:  Monday 29th November 2021

FS suggested that it was impracticable for a ¼ budget report be given to the proposed 4.4.22 meeting. This was agreed.

Dates for 2022

Tuesday January 11th
Saturday March 12th Morning /lunchtime ‘away day’ To hear extended reports from Teams To receive the written Annual report
Monday April 4th ¼  budget 

To receive the 2021 accounts

Sunday April 24th After morning worship Annual Meeting
Tuesday May 24th
Monday  July 11th ½ yearly budget
Monday  September 12th 
Monday October 31st  ¾ budget
Tuesday December 6th 

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