PCC minutes of 24th February 2016

MINUTES – we are posting online minutes from past PCC meetings, from November 2014 onwards; see About Us / PCC News menu for a list

pccminutes201411thumbMINUTES of MEETING 24th FEBRUARY 2016
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1. Opening prayers.

2. Apologies as per attendance sheet attached to file copy of minutes.

Two amendments marked on file copy.
Proposed for approval: P Rogers. Seconded: A Stilwell. Approved unanimously.

The Rector reported that the ‘Wings of Worship’ course was very successful.

The Archdeacon now has his new PA. He will be invited to Totnes soon.

The Christmas tree that was decorated by the Junior Choir was a success.

Messy Church banner – nothing to report from A Gregg.

Receipts/payments and accounts attached to file copy.

Annual accounts are at present being audited by Darnells. This is a fairly lengthy process and the treasurer reminded the committee that his attention to detail throughout the year is necessary in order to answer searching questions for the audit.

The accounts show the parish in a similar position to the end of 2014. Maintenance costs are higher (as previously discussed).

Common Fund: £35,000 paid last year (just short of quota). Letter of thanks received from the Bishop. Quota for this year is just under £33,000 of which £10,000 has already been paid due to Gift Aid payment and recovery of VAT on invoices from Inland Revenue. The Rector reminded the members that the Common Fund contribution is to the diocese as a whole and not just to the parish.

Questions were answered regarding Gift Aid and VAT – there are two sources for Gift Aid, one through the churches (approximately £9,000) which is dealt with by Brian Herrington and the second through the PGS scheme which generates a monthly Gift Aid payment. It had been hoped that a higher number than twelve would have taken up the scheme. VAT is reclaimed under certain categories, eg building maintenance.

Photocopying costs – At present 50,000 copies a year are produced at a cost annually of £1,500. Totcom would charge £500 for the same number of copies but to have an arrangement with Totcom is not practicable as there is a need for a photocopier to be available to the clergy and others seven days a week and at any time of day or evening.

It was agreed that the treasurer would look into leasing a brand new Canon photocopier from an alternative provider for approximately £850 per annum, to include a service agreement. The printing of the monthly newsletter by Veaseys costs £100 per month but an anonymous donation of £50 per month brings the cost to the PCC down to £50.

A Stilwell proposed and J Derbyshire seconded that the treasurer should proceed with a new and cheaper arrangement for the leasing of a photocopier. Agreed unanimously.

J Birch reported as follows:

St John’s:
St John’s application will be considered at a meeting of the Heritage Lottery Fund on 15 March. Allwoods, Funeral Directors, are offering to donate 10% of their professional fees for each funeral for a three month period which will equate to a maximum of £75 per funeral. They also suggest enlisting other local companies to do the same thing (eg: local pubs) and for the Totnes Times to be involved with the publicity.
M Harvey, with help from J Hall, to take appropriate action to look for further support for the scheme.

St Mary’s:
The meeting (24 February – afternoon) with the DAC and others was very positive, including support from the Archdeacon. John Scott, Architect, gave a first class presentation. Relevant organisations will respond within six weeks with observations and comments and then to proceed as follows:

  • Outside bodies to support first step
  • Apply for Heritage Lottery Funding (Stage 1)
  • Develop feasibility scheme
  • Heritage Lottery Funding with detailed scheme (Stage 2)

P Rogers asked that thanks be recorded to J Birch and the committee who have done a great deal of work at this stage regarding St Mary’s and for J Luscombe, C Stilwell and others who have worked so hard on St John’s application.

Approach from NET to use St Mary’s church as a mobile telephone site. Rejected.

The Rector has been requested by the Bishop to be Rural Dean for another three years and he has agreed.

Bella, a member of the Junior Choir, has been awarded a scholarship to Exeter Cathedral School which is an excellent achievement. She will be leaving the choir at St Mary’s.

Email from Liz Waterson re Mark Hatch who is trying to raise £2,000 to build a church in the slums of Kenya. C Hair proposed and P Rogers seconded that the PCC should donate £200. It was agreed unanimously.

Letter from Bishop Robert – “Bishops in Mission” weekend – 29/30 January 2017 – Bishop Sarah will be visiting over that weekend.

An initiative is to be rolled out from the General Synod entitled “From Evidence to Action”. Further details in due course.

The Rector reminded the meeting that there are many activities going on in the parish and the team as a whole which meet the needs set out in the Mission Action Plan.

Next meeting – 10 May – South Brent.

Report circulated for information and copy attached to file copy of minutes. No discussion.

Tony and Carolyn Stilwell are to step down after a long period of committed service. Tony Stilwell pointed out that the main problem with the job was the unlocking and locking of the church and sometimes having to clear up after people who did not leave the church as they had found it. Acoustic Haven was mentioned as being particularly careless about how the church was left after their concerts.

It was unanimously agreed as follows:

  • The Rector, the Treasurer and Tony and Carolyn Stilwell will identify the important bookings for retention and review fees charged and income generated prior to the recruitment of a new Bookings Secretary/Caretaker.
  • No further bookings to be made for Acoustic Haven.

If anyone is interested to contact the Rector.
An advertisement will be placed in the weekly and monthly newsletters.

The Rector reported a fruitful session with Andrew Godsall. Debbie Parsons has completed a leadership course and the MAP has been revised. Planning ideas are to be shared with the congregation. Andrew Godsall acknowledged the magnitude of the work being done across the team in terms of outreach and mission.

J Derbyshire reported the availability of trolleys for tables – £400 brand new and being offered for £150. Members agreed they were not needed.

Cleaner – St Mary’s Church – P Rogers reported that there were still some complaints about the cleanliness of the church whilst the parish hall is well cleaned. He suggested the following options:

  • Leave things as they are
  • Ask the cleaner to clean pay more attention to the pews and sills
  • Ask St John’s cleaners to take on St Mary’s
  • Employ outside cleaners at a cost of £18 per hour

Following discussion it was agreed that the present cleaner should be retained and be asked to pay more attention to the pews and sills. Any complaints should be reported to M Harvey who will raise them with her.

C Hair requested that the charge for votive candles of 20p at St Mary’s Church be withdrawn as the church shouldn’t charge people for coming to pray. He suggested as an alternative that a donation be requested. It was pointed out by the Rector that most churches make a charge. Locally, Buckfast Abbey is an exception. J Birch reported that the income from the candles each year is in the region of £2,000. Following discussion it was agreed that the Rector will reword the notice by the candles to ask for a donation rather than a charge.

Parking at St John’s – The haphazard parking around the church when organisations (particularly the orchestra and Totnes Band) are using St John’s is a serious safety issue as the parked vehicles would prevent emergency services being able to get access to the church in case of fire etc. Carolyn Stilwell has written a notice which hopefully will rectify the matter but if there is no improvement then a lockable post will be installed to block access for hirers’ vehicles. The post would be collapsed to allow access for funeral cars and for emergency services.

The annual accounts are at present with Darnells for auditing and will need to be adopted by the PCC prior to the annual meeting on 13 April. It had been hoped to hold a brief meeting to this effect after the Sunday service at St John’s on 13 March but a quorum will not be available. It was therefore agreed that the Treasurer will circulate the accounts to all members by email when they are available and will answer any questions by email or telephone. Once questions have been answered, each member will be required to reply to the treasurer to confirm that he/she has received the accounts and agreed to their adoption of the accounts.

The meeting closed at 9.15 pm. 

Date of next meeting – Annual Meeting – Wednesday 13 April 2016 – St John’s

Pcc Secretary: Lynne Birch, Golden Oktober, Jubilee Road, Totnes TQ9 5BP
Tel: 01803 840259 Email: Lynne Birch


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