PCC Minutes: Monday 21st March 2022
St Luke’s Church, Grayshott
Meeting 397 of the PCC in Timothy Room at 7.30 pm.
Present: Members: Revd Jeremy Haswell, Edward Tobin, Clive Loder, Jeremy Hassell, Floss Mitchell, Anna Finey, Frankie Kelly, Allison Sutcliffe, Viv Ward, Clive Purkiss, Ros Balfour, Alice Murphy and Penny Thomas.
In attendance: Sheila Austin (Secretary)
1. Welcome and opening prayer
Revd Haswell opened the meeting with a prayer and a reading.
2. Apologies: Revd Elizabeth Knifton, Chris Grocock and Dan Bennett
3. Minutes of the last meeting. The Minutes of PCC Meeting 396 were proposed by Clive Purkiss, seconded by Jeremy Hassell, approved unanimously and signed by Revd Jeremy Haswell.
4. Action List
a. Sharing the Load: Viv Ward had received one update, Revd Haswell repeated the importance of keeping the document live and updated.
b. Current COVID situation and its implications for St Luke’s: Revd Haswell said the numbers were rising and beginning to affect schools and he felt asking people to wear masks was reasonable but not enforceable.
c. IKnow Church: Revd Haswell advised the meeting that Barbara Johnston continued to look into the training.
d. Fundraising Group: Members of the Standing Committee had met to discuss a way forward and positive action had been started. A Parish Funding Programme Leaflet and Response Form had been produced and would be sent to PCC members for confirmation and ownership. A volunteer had come forward to act as the Steward Recorder specifically for this project, thus ensuring confidentiality. Revd Haswell will make a presentation at the APCM after the Treasurer’s Report. The presentation will be recorded and made available to those unable to attend the APCM. Penny Thomas asked for assurances that the presentation would cover why the money was needed. Revd Haswell confirmed that future plans and the vision would be included as well as the need to at least break even.
e. Health & Safety Policy: Edward Tobin will cover this in his report.
f. The sub-committee on Junior Church: Anna Finey had provided a report and would speak about this under Children and Youth.
5. Finance: Viv Ward had posted all the documents and would concentrate on the Annual Report and Financial Statement for year ended 31st December 2021. He took the meeting through page by page (21 pages). Floss Mitchell had commented on the wording under the Worship Team heading (page 5). Revd Haswell confirmed he had clarified that there were two groups of the Contemporary Worship – one looking at the worship and the other at the children side. On page 7 Viv had added “held” to make clear when no service was held and to ensure a more accurate average was achieved.
Viv asked for help with the wording describing the assistance given for the church floor repair. Floss Mitchell said she felt the individual’s names should not be included and it was agreed to use “a legacy” not a name.
Page 9/10 gave the core of the accounts with the total figures being expanded on following pages. The net Income figure shows a deficit of £39,000 in total against a surplus of £21,000 last year (2020). The difference mainly due to St Luke’s receiving generous legacies in that year. The Balance Sheet (Page 10) shows Total Net Assets of £145,049, a drop of £30,000 from last year.
All the papers were currently with the Independent Examiner, but the PCC needed to approve the Report and Accounts before they could be finalised.
Anna Finey proposed the Report and Accounts be approved subject to the small amendments made here and any from the Independent Examiner; Seconded by Floss Mitchell; approved unanimously.
Penny Thomas asked if there might be a reduction in the Parish Share which represented a very large proportion of our expenditure. Revd Haswell and Viv Ward explained that all churches were suffering and the Diocese would be considering the situation and it was likely to result in changes there. Revd Haswell added that his presentation on the financial situation would include that he was here because of the Parish share but also said the Diocese had already made cuts to its staff as a result of the pandemic.
Floss Mitchell asked that a vote of thanks be recorded for Viv Ward for the huge amount of work needed to produce this Report. Meeting expressed its thanks in the usual way.
Payroll and Pensions
Viv Ward handed over to Clive Purkiss, now responsible for this area. Clive had spoken to the HR department at the Diocese and they have produced a rather complex method of computing salaries. They have suggested a 2% increase for all staff and Clive proposed St Luke’s did the same. Viv Ward explained the implication for those paying National Insurance and Income Tax and those who did not. Further work was need on this and the outcome would be emailed to PCC members for approval when completed.
Redistribution of Funds. Viv produced a document from the Diocese showing their understanding of the financial situation parishes were experiencing. The Diocese were offering £1,000 for parishes who applied for it. Viv Ward proposed we apply; Allison Sutcliffe seconded; approved unanimously.
6. Reports Revd Haswell stated as all reports had been circulated, he expected only additions or questions arising from them.
a. Vicar’s Report Revd Haswell said some of items in his report had already been discussed and he wanted to concentrate on the Ukraine refugee issue. He noted as Crossways Counselling were moving to another location would open up the church rooms to be able to offer resources for helping when needed. He thanked Suzanne Wavre for her useful analysis of how help might be provided in Emergency situations, based on her extensive experience. While there are so many unknowns at the moment, he wanted the church facilities to be available to be in a place where good can take place. Floss Mitchell agreed and hoped St Luke’s could be a part of a structured community response and suggested we sign up as a church group on the Government website. Revd Haswell agreed to follow that up with Sanctuary and Government websites. A coordinator will be needed to identify what resources we could offer and keep a directory of those resources.
b. Buildings & Grounds/Administration. Edward Tobin explained he had posted his report, a Health & Safety Policy (H&SP) and Risk Assessment documents. He wanted the meeting to adopt the Health & Safety Policy, however he’d not been able to complete the Risk Assessment paper, using the Ecclesiastical Model, due to technical difficulties. The Policy had been considered and discussed by the Assistant Church wardens, who act as joint Health & Safety Officers. He added that Richard Pimm was also the Fire Protection Officer and commended Richard for the work he does for Fire Safety. Revd Haswell said he’d expected to see more procedural guidance with the policy but Anna Finey said usually the procedures were kept separately to avoid constantly renewing the policy when a procedure needed updating. Viv Ward noted the PCC were responsible for the H&SP and there needed to be clearer guidance for reviewing some aspects. Revd Haswell said Grayshott School would have a H&SP folder and this would be worth looking at for help. Rather than delay the adoption of the policy Floss Mitchell suggested approval to be given on the understanding procedures would be drawn up.
Proposed by Revd Haswell; seconder Clive Purkiss; approved unanimously and the Chairman signed the Policy document.
c. Children and Youth Report. In Dan Bennett’s absence Anna Finey spoke to his report. The dates given for the Holiday Club were to be confirmed particularly with Grayshott School. She added that she was concerned about the level of Leaders/young people ratio for the Base. It was a very popular event and was attracting a lot of youngsters and more leaders were needed. Revd Haswell reminded the meeting that a previous PCC meeting had said that if the ratio leaders/attendees were not met the Base should not take place and this needed to be re-emphasised. Viv Ward asked if there was a maximum number for the Base because he was applying, again, for a grant for this activity. Edward Tobin was asked to confirm with Dan Bennett that risk assessments were up to date for all the youth activities, including the leader/attendee ratio.
Muddy Church. Anna Finey with others had considered Family Friendly services and visited Busbridge Church to experience their Muddy Church. She had submitted a report which suggests taking the third Sunday 10.30am service out of church and involving a walk, worship songs, craft activities and a short talk. A long and detailed discussion took place, generally supportive, covering many aspects of the proposal. Anna added the idea was to attract families who might not, for a number of reasons, want to enter the church. Revd Haswell said his concern was the impact this proposal would have on the less able and for visitors who might turn up expecting a church service. He added one of the cardinal principles that had been established was there would be a service in church at 10.30am every Sunday. Floss Mitchell suggested, in the spirit of trying things as we emerge from COVID, we try the proposal for a season as the idea was to encourage families to become part of the church. Viv Ward liked the idea but pointed out that the 10.30am service was the best attended, as shown in his average figures, but agreed it should be tried for a season. Revd Haswell acknowledged the positive response from the meeting for a trial of Muddy Church in May, June and July. Proposed by Anna Finey, seconded by Penny Thomas and approved unanimously.
Revd Haswell thanked Anna and her team for all the work that had gone into this proposal and it needed to be discussed robustly further.
d Prayer and Discipleship. Brenda Schwartz reported the Lent Quiet Day had been very good. The Prayer Course was in progress and being well received. Revd Haswell said how grateful he was for all Brenda does for the prayer life of St Luke’s.
e. Pastoral Report. Ros Balfour said how encouraged she had been with 10 people attending the first 12 noon traditional service. Revd Haswell added that for the service had been particularly appreciated by a couple as the husband wasn’t able to attend earlier services.
f. Outreach /Hospitality Report Allison Sutcliffe asked if there was anything else as a church we should be offering under the banner of hospitality, particularly helping people get together again. Frankie Kelly asked if St Luke’s was doing anything for the Queen’s Jubilee. Revd Haswell confirmed that a small St Luke’s team were involved in discussions on events in Grayshott with “Party in Grayshott”, Parish Council and Sports Clubs and details would be published shortly. He added that it would be good to see PCC members at Parish Breakfasts to assist in communications.
7. Any other business
a. APCM – Friday 22nd April with 1 vacancy for Churchwarden, 4 vacancies for PCC members (one for two years to replace Lin Corlett).
b. Floss Mitchell said that information concerning named individuals in church or reports breached Data Protection Rights and should not be made publicly.
c. Safeguarding. Anna Finey advised the meeting that DBS clearances now only lasted 3 years and all PCC members need to do the basic training. Any leaders, not helpers, of St Luke’s groups also need to be DBS cleared under the Diocese regulations.
8. Closing Prayer. Revd Haswell closed the meeting with a prayer at 09.40pm