PCC Annual Meeting 2014 report

The 2014 PCC AGM took place on Wednesday 9th April 2014 at 7.30pm, at St John’s Church, Bridgetown.
The format of the AGM was:
featuring election of Churchwardens and Deputy Wardens
followed by
featuring Election of the PCC—Reports

AGM Summary & Report 2014


download as Word document, or read online below…

PCC AGM 2014: Summary
Chaired by Tony Gregg

Julian Hall was elected as Churchwarden for St Mary’s Church, Martin Harvey was re-elected, and John Halliday was re-elected as Deputy Churchwarden for St John’s Church. Kris Mindang, retiring Church Warden at St Mary’s, was thanked for her hard work and commitment, and thanks were also expressed to Martin Harvey and John Halliday, continuing in office.

Tony Gregg read out the report from the Rector, a full copy of which is given below (reformatted and with added headings and links for ease of online reading).

• A downloadable original copy is available here.

Following the report of the Electoral Roll Officer, Pip Shail, the Treasurer, John Birch, gave his report and presented the accounts for the year ending 31 December 2013, which have been approved by the PCC and independently audited. He answered questions about the parish share payable to the Diocese.

Reports on the fabric of the two churches, showing the works completed and the works still outstanding, were then presented and discussed.

Following this, the Liz Waterson was re-appointed Child / Vulnerable Adults Protection Officer and the PCC members and sidespeople were appointed. Darnells were once again appointed as the auditors of the annual accounts.

by Reverend Julian Ould

I write this report whilst struggling to keep going amidst two lots of surgery. The good news is that by the end of the treatment and a sensible time to convalesce, I should be fighting fit and able to return to work as before, but in the meantime I am conscious of the burden my enforced absence is putting on the staff team and indeed the churchwardens and am grateful for all that you so readily do to keep our parishes alive and well.


Whilst I will of course return to my normal level of duties, it is perhaps important for us all to remember that in being the one body of Christ, we all have a part to play and as noted in last year’s report, the Church of today with greatly reduced numbers of full-time clergy, has no room for passengers and I am heartened by all those who do so much to keep the day to day tasks of Church life going. Without you, the staff team just couldn’t cope, so thank you.


This past year has seen some significant changes, within our Team and Diocese, and these are set to continue. This is not necessarily a bad thing and it could be argued we have some exciting times ahead.

Within our team we have grown from eight churches and their respective communities, to nine, now officially taking on Stoke Gabriel. I had hoped we might be further on with integrating Stoke Gabriel into the team, but with my own health issues and the serious health problems of Gareth Evans (house for duty priest in charge at Stoke) things have been delayed and I am enormously grateful to the Churchwardens there for organising cover so adequately in the meantime.

It would be good at some later date to have a formal welcoming service for Stoke Gabriel as they have felt slightly left out in recent times. Pleasingly, we already welcome singers from the choir at Stoke to join us for our evensongs and this has established some good links.

Team building

Last September saw the ordination of Angela Sumner, our part-time curate, and the licensing of Tony Gregg as a Reader in his probationary year. The building of our staff team from within our communities is a vital contribution to the provision of services and I am sure you would all agree, that in addition to Debbie and myself as the full time clergy, our Curate, Angela, Readers, Liz and Tony, our ordinand Marisa and the invaluable services of John Luscombe, our retired priest, we are very well served.

Marisa, our ordinand, will complete her training this summer and after due consideration will serve her curacy within the newly formed Buckfastleigh Mission community, which will be taking on part of the Little Hems group of parishes, following the retirement of Nicholas Pearkes.

Gareth Evans

Apart from acknowledging his health problems, I have not made mention of Gareth Evans, but will do so now as I feel we should record our concern for him. Gareth was appointed, in a retired capacity, as a house for duty priest at Stoke Gabriel, the Diocese acknowledging that another parish was just a step too far for our current staffing levels. Gareth quickly settled and is much loved by the people of Stoke Gabriel, but before he and I could plan any way forward, his health took a very serious turn for the worse. He has been seriously ill and still has a long way to go on the road to recovery, but hopefully he will and then we look forward to working with him.

Archdeacon John Rawlings

Looking to the Diocese, we have said farewell to two bishops and in the months ahead will see the retirement of two archdeacons, including our own archdeacon, John Rawlings. I think most of us will agree that John Rawlings will be a considerable loss to us and I would hope as many as possible will support him at his final service on Sunday 28th September. He has requested that we hold a special choral evensong for him, which will be at St Mary’s, Totnes at 6.30 p.m.

Pleasingly we will be welcoming Bishop Robert Atwell as our new Diocesan Bishop in July, who has already appointed two retired archdeacons to temporarily fill the vacancy of archdeacons, thus enabling him time to settle into his new post and then make more informed decisions about future appointments.

It will of course however, make for a lot of changes, so we will watch this space with care, but in the meantime get on with the task of taking our own team forward.


During the past year, in addition to Angela’s ordination and Tony’s licensing we have had a good number of things to celebrate.

I would begin with the Totnes website, which has been newly formed and whilst initially this is for St Mary’s in Totnes and its daughter church St John’s, would hope that all parishes could contribute in due course. We are in an age where we need good internet publicity and so far the site is proving very successful in its outreach and serving our community.


Our good choral tradition continues within three of our Churches and adds much to our regular patterns of worship. We are continuing to maintain good links with the Royal School of Church Music for our area, hosting a plainsong workshop at the beginning of the year. The St Mary’s evensong choir had the privilege of being invited to form part of the choir at our cathedral for Bishop Michael’s farewell service in June; quite a feather in the cap for the choir!

New initiatives

In addition however, we have this year introduced a very successful Messy Church, aimed at children and their families and very much for the unchurched. This has also strengthened the links with our schools, which is another important area of outreach.

Also we have begun an alternative form of worship, ‘Sacred Space‘, which is not so much a service, but a time for reflection and prayer, but inevitably with a structure that is very fluid and adaptable.

Newly formed house groups have also taken off, along with one off (for want of a better term) study groups during Lent.


Looking through last year’s diary there seem to be so many things going on with fairs and coffee mornings, activities for children, our usual pet service in Totnes, but also one at Ashprington in the summer, as well has hosting another confirmation with Bishop John before his move to Australia.

Also we continue to welcome students in training for their long placements, both ordinands and Readers, we now being recognised as a good training team.

Community networking

And finally, there is our ready response to supporting Mark Hatch in his work with the homeless and the food bank. All of this tells us we are alive and well and hence we have a lot to be positive about.


To be a realist though, I am aware of the struggles we have with finance and buildings. It is a worry and to give but one example, in the coming year we are going to have to consider how we face the task of restoring St Mary’s in Totnes, which requires approximately £2,000,000 and replacing the windows at St John’s, Bridgetown, which are in danger of falling out. These are daunting tasks and we will need help from outside agencies and grants, and it is tempting to throw our hands up in horror and despair.

Looking ahead

However, to return to the things we have to celebrate, I firmly believe we will overcome the struggles if we strive hard at what we exist for, which is to share the love of God, in prayer, in worship and how we live this out in our lives, not just amongst ourselves and in church, but within all that takes place in our day to day lives and the community that we are part of.

Our new bishop elect (The Rt. Rev’d. Robert Atwell) gives advanced notice that he wants to promote a praying diocese, but we as a staff team had already identified this as our foundation for all we do and indeed hope to do, and in the coming year we will be looking, initially with the churchwardens, but collectively with everyone at praying together and individually on a daily basis. It sounds rather obvious and extremely simple, but as this year’s Lent Course on the Lord’s Prayer reveals, it is the basis on which we build everything else.

More thank yous

I would normally finish my report with a list of thanks, and of course do thank all the Church officers, particularly the wardens, treasurers, secretaries, organists, vergers and PCCs. However, I am very conscious that the list doesn’t stop here and that in each church there are all kinds of people who quietly get on with so many things that keep things going, so I offer a general thank you to everyone for the part they play.

As noted above, without such support the staff team would not cope. We have had a good year and looking to the year ahead, believe we have much to look forward to.

With every blessing,

The Reverend Julian Ould (Rector)


5 thoughts on “PCC Annual Meeting 2014 report

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