St. Luke's, Grayshott

Headley Rd,
GU26 6LF

Tel: 01428 606 703

PCC 395

PCC Minutes: Monday 15th November 2021

St Luke’s Church, Grayshott


Meeting 395 of the PCC in Timothy Room at 7.30 pm.


Present:  Members: Revd Jeremy Haswell, Edward Tobin, Lin Corlett, Clive Loder,

Viv Ward, Christopher Grocock (left meeting at 9pm), Floss Mitchell, Allison Sutcliffe, Anna Finey, Clive Purkiss, Ros Balfour, Jeremy Hassell


In attendance: Susie Millard (Lay Reader), Dan Bennett (Youth Worker - left meeting at 9.50pm) and Sheila Austin (Secretary)


1. Welcome and opening prayer

Revd Haswell opened the meeting with a prayer and a reading.


2. Apologies:  Revd Elizabeth Knifton, Frankie Kelly. Alice Murphy, Penny Thomas.


3. Minutes of the last meeting. The Minutes of PCC Meeting 394 were approved unanimously and signed by Revd Jeremy Haswell.


4. Action List

1. Sharing the Load(StL) – Viv Ward had only received two responses following the last meeting and had updated the document accordingly. Revd Haswell asked that future reports be aligned with the areas of responsibility in the StL document.

2. IKnow Church – No central training available at the moment but will be in the New Year. Work ongoing to widen access.

3. Viv Ward had included all responses in the Budget (Item 5)

4. Fundraising Group – The Finance Working Group had discussed the urgency of getting this group up and running.

5. Crossways Counselling & Health & Safety covered at Item 7b.

6. Sub- Committee of Junior Church covered at Item 7c.


5. Finance Viv Ward repeated his comments at previous meeting that St Luke’s finances were not in a good position.

General Fund (to end September) Actual very much on target but the general trajectory is downwards. Income is less than budget due to a reduction in Gift Aided Regular Giving of £7k. Expenditure reflects less spending due to COVID and savings from  not taking on a choir or worship leader. Reforecast – Income is now forecast at £20k below budget due to reduced regular giving by £10k and with fewer fundraising events. The overall picture is £4k worse than budget. We started the year with £75k in General Fund reserves and this forecast reduces that to £48k by the year end. Budget 2022 – Income £150,241; Expenditure £182,816; a Net Deficit (£32,574). This situation cannot continue. The result would mean only £16k left in the reserves at the end of 2021, not enough for a working capital.

Youth Fund This reflects a similar position to that of the General Fund. Nine-month figure shows a deficit of (£6k). Both income and expenditure are close to budget except for Gift Aided regular giving but the furlough scheme compensated for this. Reforecast The reforecast is similar to budget (£7,5k) mainly due to a drop in regular giving of £5k for the year but this has been compensated by a drop in expenses of £4k. Dan Bennett said the Parish Council had agreed to give £3k to the Youth work of the Village. Floss Mitchell commented that this would need to be applied for annually. Budget 2022. This is similar to that of 2021 but reflects the reduction in regular giving resulting in a deficit of (£12,890).

The combined budget deficit for the two funds is (£45,464). The combined reserves for end of 2021 are £66,898, therefore our estimated balance of reserves for the end of 2022 is £21,434. This represents a serious position.

Allison Sutcliffe asked what we were going to do about the situation. Viv Ward reminded the meeting that a Fundraising Group had been proposed at the previous meeting. He added that he had attended a Diocesan run course which had suggested ways a Parish could seek to increase regular giving. Viv Ward stated that there were things available to help us take this forward and the Group had discussed these, but a leader was needed to bring the ideas together. Floss Mitchell asked if any progress had been made in identifying a leader for the group, she added that the overall strategy had been agreed and all that was needed was someone to take charge of it. Revd Haswell agreed it was an urgent action on him to find someone.

Viv Ward further explained the numerous individual funds within the whole financial picture. He stated that room rental charges were being discussed together with a number of possible ways to identify the exact amount raised from this source.

The PCC noted the 2022 budgets for General Fund of £(32,574) and Youth Fund of £(12,890). They also noted that this serious position would be reviewed for improvements in income, including a regular giving appeal and agreed that if there were no improvements by the next meeting they would be forced to take some serious decisions to improve the forecast.

Revd Haswell thanked Viv Ward for his diligence and hard work in this important area of responsibility.


6.Review of Sharing the Load (StL) Floss Mitchell noted that Viv Ward had provided an update, so this was a chance to review the document. Revd Haswell said the reports to come would be based on the StL. Allison Sutcliffe noted that not all the activities listed were happening at the moment, and until the energy and resources were available, these should be held in abeyance – things we want to do. Revd Haswell said there is still uncertainty in the air about COVID hindering as much progress as we might like. Floss Mitchell suggested a real look at what activities could perhaps be highlighted as “Not Yet” category rather than remaining as if current. Viv Ward made it clear that those nominated “Champions” (named at the top of each section in the document)) were responsible to inform Viv (custodian of the living StL document) of any changes/amendments before each PCC meeting.


7a.Vicar’s Report. Revd Haswell referred to his report saying the main item was the finance and he believed everyone was very engaged with the gravity of the situation. He thanked Susie Millard for all she did for Remembrance Sunday service particularly for involving Grayshott School – appreciated by the new Head and the children. The PCC noted that a discussion had taken place with a member of the church and the vicar and one other person. It was agreed that this should remain confidential. While we remain in a difficult time, he does want to address the worship in church and will engage the Sub Committee set up to consider the service schedule. The review of that schedule will take place in the New Year. Revd Haswell asked Clive Purkiss  to speak on Human Resources (HR). Clive Purkiss said he preferred periodic review than appraisal and he hoped some of the things discussed at this meeting could be put into the office.


7b. Administration  Edward Tobin referred to his report previously circulated to members. He pointed out that a lot of leaves had already been lifted but the major issue was increased cost of their disposal. Last year the cost was £420(incl.VAT)which would increase to £588(incl.VAT) for the same quantity this year. The Churchyard Team had considered how best to solve this issue, particularly how to reduce the cost of disposal. Several proposals were contained in the Addendum to his report, together with plans outlined by David Williams which if agreed would save over £600 for contractors to take the leaves away. More work was needed to present the PCC with a firm proposal.

Edward Tobin advised the meeting that there were safety concerns about the public visiting the churchyard particularly about unstable tombstones. Whilst warning signs were being put up, this subject needs a long term solution. Clive Loder said previously unstable tombstones and monuments had been removed to a safe place. Revd Haswell agreed that unsafe headstones will need to be laid flat for safety. He added that this seemed a sensible way forward and that the Diocese should be advised of our plans.

Edward Tobin acknowledged the need for a Health & Safety Officer, but no single person had come forward. The guidance for charities like ours, allows organisations to have more than one person responsible for Health & Safety as long as the PCC approve the policy. He had discussed this with the Assistant Churchwardens, and they had agreed to be collectively responsible. Edward Tobin agreed to produce the policy and it would be emailed to members for approval.

He added that deep cleaning of the church was now not necessary with the partial relaxation of lockdown, and Vali Mocanu would be stopping paid cleaning from 22nd November. However, as the church room cleaner, Keri, had given her notice it was possible Vali might take this work on. Revd Haswell said that would be a good outcome. Ros Balfour confirmed that she and Frankie Kelly were re-organising a team of volunteers to resume regular cleaning of the church.

Crossways Counselling (CC). Further to his report he had received an email from CC indicating difficulties with confidentiality with the present arrangements. He asked the meeting to say whether CC were able to use Timothy Room as a waiting room, which would overcome this problem. The meeting would not agree to this. Edward Tobin asked if it was better for both parties if CC sought alternative premises. A very full and long discussion resulted in the realisation that the arrangement was not workable. Revd Haswell concluded the discussion by making it clear that the reply to CC should be:

We are very sorry, but this is the arrangement we made to let these rooms. We can’t give up Timothy Room, even on a temporary basis because people come through it, which isn’t good for anybody. We are sorry it isn’t working but we don’t know any way around it. Edward Tobin was asked to convey the views of the PCC to CC.


7c. Children and Youth Report Anna Finey & Dan Bennett said their report was as distributed except an update from Julia Hedger who has said there will be a short service in church prior to the Babes & Toddlers Christmas Party. The Children & Youth team had held a meeting focussing on Children’s work. The main outcome was the services were too long for children and needed to be more child and family oriented. It was thought that shorter services had to have real value – every minute to count. They had discussed how to rename the children’s aspect of  learning. Revd Haswell said it was great to have had the conversation but clearly there needed to be more work done. He added that at the moment we don’t have families, but this was being helped by Julia Hedger and her group’s work. There is still work to be done on any transition which is so important. Susie Millard noted that we have not returned to a Families Service yet. Revd Haswell repeated that the lack of children in church was the main problem. There followed a long and detailed discussion voicing suggestions how we might deal with this situation. Susie Millard told the meeting it was planned to involve Grayshott School in the Nativity this year, in the absence of any church children. Revd Haswell said there was still  further work to be done and the Worship Sub Committee will look at this as part of the revision of services in the New Year. Anna Finey acknowledged there were not enough leaders nor families at the moment. Floss Mitchell confirmed the current service pattern was intended to be trialled for this term. Revd Haswell thanked the Children & Youth team for their contribution in exploring the way forward.


7d Prayer and Discipleship

Brenda Schwartz’s report had been circulated. Revd Haswell thanked Brenda for all her work, help and support in the Prayer Ministry. He also thanked the Morning meditation group for the 10.30am service on the 31st October.


7e. Pastoral Report.

Ros Balfour had nothing to add to her distributed report.


7f.Outreach Report

Allison Sutcliffe had nothing to add to her report.


8. Any other business

8a. Faculty Application – Philippa Whitaker had asked the PCC for approval to submit a faculty to reserve a grave space for the next generation, next to her husband, in St Luke’s churchyard. Revd Haswell stated he was in complete agreement particularly because of the verbal agreement made by one of his predecessors.

Ros Balfour proposed the PCC approve this application, Clive Loder seconded, and the meeting voted unanimously in favour.


b. Fifth Sunday services – Revd Haswell said that on 26th December Floss Mitchell would be taking the service and that he would not be involved. The result of this would be that no communion would be given at that service. Floss Mitchell added that it was hoped this should not be limited to the 26th December but be periodically planned for the fifth Sundays of the month.

Floss Michell proposed the PCC approve the departure from the requirement for Holy Communion every Sunday. Revd Haswell confirmed that Canon Law allowed this procedure with the agreement of the Vicar and PCC on an occasional basis.

Seconded by Jeremy Hassell. Approved unanimously.


9. Closing Prayer

Revd Haswell closed the meeting with a prayer at 10.05pm

Signed 24th January 2022


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