PCC Minutes - November 2014

A Meeting of the Parochial Church Council of St Mary's Barnard Castle with Whorlton held on Monday 3rd November 2014 in the Vestry at 7.30pm.

1. Present

Rev Alec Harding (Chair), Margaret Miles, David Bailey, Louise Hosey, Jean Tallentire, Rev Andy Miller, David Blakely, Robert Stenlake (Treasurer) Astley Fenwick, Debbie Steel and Keith Miles (from item 7 (c)).

2. Apologies

Jane Goldberg, John Emerson, Ann Woodward, Frances Stenlake and Linda Alderson.

The Vicar indicated that as David Blakely will become Reader Emeritus shortly he will come off the PCC. Both David and the PCC are happy for this to be at the APCM in 2015. David Walker as a newly installed reader can become an ex officio member of the PCC, however requests that he delay attendance until the APCM 2015 due to study commitments.

3. Declarations of Interest


4. Items for Any Other Business

Defibrillator: seating in St Mary’s Parish Church, Barnard Castle.

5. Minutes of Previous Meeting held on October 6th 2014

After a minor adjustment, these were approved and signed.

6. Matters Arising

a) Barnard Castle Church

(i) Lighting – Mode lighting will be asked to come and fulfil the reprogramming of the system as previously agreed. There is a single light that is not working in the North transept. Envirolux could purchase another on our behalf, however the problem may be a digital addressing issue, there would be a delay to wait for delivery of a new light. Due to the likely increase in prices in 2015 they will therefore be asked to carry out their work prior to Christmas 2014 – rather than purchase a light that might not be needed the PCC agreed to take the risk that the one rogue light might not work after this. Also David Bailey will increase the length of time the spot lights remain on outside the church hall and vestry door.

(ii) Pew cushions and pew lengths – FOSM’s will be asked whether they might pay for shortening the longest pews in church alongside their existing offer to provide for cushions to fit all the central nave pews. Anthony Nixon’s have quoted £1680 + VAT to shorten the pews. FOSM’s will be informed.

b) Whorlton

a) Electrics/Heating – no news.

b) Churchyard – Richard Robson has completed 2 days of clearance work in the churchyard. Thanks to him for donating the cost of one day’s work and to a villager for donating the cost of the other.

c) Barnard Castle Parish Hall Lease – Robert Stenlake and Sue Peat met the PHA on the 13th October 2014, the details of which are on the Treasurers report. RS has determined that our property in the hall is covered under our insurance. The maintenance of the Pittuck mural and the need for a new signboard were discussed, however decisions regarding these will be deferred until a later date.

d) Barnard Castle QI report – no news as yet from Christopher Cotton.

7. Mission (Presence – Proclamation – Persuasion)

The PCC to note the following.

a) SMAD October 10th 2014 – numbers were low (about 10) however it was a good day. More are in the diary for 2015

b) Soul (Food) – We are trialling this scheme in the parish. Small cards concerning such as weddings, baptisms, bereavement, remembrance will be placed around church and handed out to allow people to follow up any interest they may have via their phones.

c) All Soul’s Day – over 100 attended this service that was much appreciated.

d) Remembrance Day – preparation will continue at the Warden’s meeting on the 4th of November.

e) Advent Carol service at Whorlton – including the choir, this service to take place at 4pm on the 30th of November will be followed by refreshments in the hall. Donations to go to Children in Need.

f) Green Lane School

i) Foundation Governor – David Bailey will replace the outgoing Vicky Perkins. The Vicar will send formal thanks for her service and inform the relevant authorities about David Bailey’s appointment.

ii) The Big Story – continues with parables this school year.

iii) Junior Choir – Roger Ohr attended collective worship with the Vicar to recruit members. There was much interest, but this will only be followed up when Roger returns from holiday.

g) Montalbo school – The Vicar approached the new deputy head Mr Minikin (ex of Green Lane) about the involvement of the church in this school. The meeting was positive; however the outcome is dependent upon the views of the new head, arriving soon.

h) Church Diary 2015 – already filling up with prayer events, study groups etc

8. Prayer

The meeting closed with the Vicar leading us in the saying of Compline together

9. Finance

(a) Finance Report – the PCC was asked to note the previously circulated finance report figures.

Also the following

  • Following the unfortunate death of Mrs Swanson of Church Cottage we may need to alter the lease as Mr and Mrs Swanson were joint tenants. It was decided given the circumstances to delay approaching Mr Swanson about this for the time being.
  • The church now has Smart electric meters that apparently allow readings to be taken automatically. The changing of the gas meter to the same has not been carried out for reasons unknown, although a weak signal is suspected.
  • Mission Giving – it was agreed to donate £4800 in 8 equal portions (therefore of £600) to CMS, Us (was USPG), the Durham-Lesotho link, the Barnabas Fund (particularly work in Iraq and Syria), Friends of the CAB, the local YMCA, Christian Aid (the match funded scheme helping mothers in Kenya) and Cornerstone.

(b) Stewardship Report – Keith Miles reported the following

  • Articles about giving would continue to appear in the Pilgrim Magazine – contributions welcomed to him or Robert Stenlake.
  • The stewardship team will soon be meeting to discuss the financial implications of the recent QI report. There was a need to recruit new members to the Stewardship Tea
  • Ruth Blakely after 15 years of being Gift Aid secretary intends to leave this role and the team at the end of the financial year (i.e the 31st December 2014). The Vicar and the PCC wish to express their appreciation of her efforts over these many years and there will be a more formal thank you expressed at some time in the future. In the meantime a new secretary is needed. To this end the PCC agreed to the expenditure of £186 for new software to allow Gift Aid to be claimed electronically. Computer literacy will therefore continue to be a necessary skill in this role. The PCC are invited to offer names of those who may be suitable to either Keith or the Treasurer.

10. Committee and Group Reports

(i) Wardens – Meet on the 4th of November

(ii) SMDT – the current guise is due to end in December 2014. The group will consider what can and should happen next for this “mulling space”.

(iii) Funsoc –Thanks to Louise Hosey for organising The Big Bang, Big Bash held on Saturday 18th October 2014 which was both fun and profitable. The Talent Night will take place on Friday the 14th of November – Keith Miles to ask drivers if they could offer lifts to those who maybe could not come without such. A Christmas Tree festival was agreed for the 11th to the 13th of December 2015.

(iii) Communications Group – the new website will be displayed following the 1030am service on Sunday the 16th November, the PCC are particularly invited to attend. Where this is to be is dependent upon signal strength.

11. AOB

Defibrillator – the PCC agreed (long with the PHA and subject to details) to allow such to be located upon the external wall of the Parish Hall. Seating in St Mary’s Parish Church, Barnard Castle – following a couple of recent incidents the PCC are asked to be especially attuned to the sensitive issue of welcoming newcomers (and indeed all) to church.

12. Date of Next Meeting

December 8th 2014, 7:30pm.

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