PCC News

PCC News 2022 - key reviews and decisions

PCC January 2022

  1. Peter Neukom reported that a change of boiler servicing supplier had proved very successful.  Premier Heating responded quickly to boiler problems at St Thomas’s to ensure that the church was heated at Christmas.  They will also service the boilers at Brambleton Hall and St Martin’s.
  2. Michèle England reported that quotes were being sought for the repairs to the rendering on the East Wall at St Thomas’s.
  3. The PCC planned a Vision Day on 19th March (note this was subsequently cancelled after Revd John Morris announced his plan to retire).
  4. The PCC heard from Mike Barter about the success in raising funds to repair the organ at St Thomas’s.  £30,000 was in the organ fund, which, in combination with an allocation of £30,000 from a legacy, was close to the total cost estimate (including a contingency and costs of scaffolding to be paid by the parish) of £67k.  The PCC accepted a quotation of £46,905 + VAT from Nicholsons, the original organ builders, subject to contract.  The work will be carried out in the first half of 2023.
  5. Michael Cock, Treasurer, gave an update on the budget for 2022.  The key points were:-
    1. We have run a deficit on general funds for each of the last four years; although 2021 would have shown a surplus excluding the payment of the Community Infrastructure Levy for the flat at St Thomas’s.
    2. Giving levels, especially though the Parish Giving Scheme, are robust but the loss of income during Covid from room and hall rental had hit hard.
    3. The parish has funds to support youthwork until at least the end of 2024
    4. The PCC decided, given a further deficit forecast of -£8k in 2022, to initiate a giving campaign in Q1.
  6. The PCC approved retrospectively £9k of expenditure from general funds for the Brambleton Hall development project, and noted that most work to date had been carried out using funds specifically raised by Keith Newman and others – amounting to £56k.
  7. The vicar reinforced the need for all PCC members to complete the online safeguarding training.
  8. The PCC thanked Revd Liz Lane for her many years of devoted service to the parish and wished her and husband Richard well in their new home closer to London.

PCC News 2021 – key reviews and decisions

PCC November 2021

  1. Director of Music. The PCC reviewed and approved the appointment process for a new Director of Music as Rob Lewis is leaving at the end of the year.  The recruitment will include rehearsals with the choirs and recommendations from a panel including choir parents, the director of music for Charterhouse School, and a churchwarden as congregational representative.
  2. There was an extensive discussion on the vision and development plan for Brambleton Hall.  The PCC heard from Sandy that an increasing number of outreach activities are taking place, each supported or run by volunteers.  Keith Newman gave an update on completing ‘Phase 1’ of the renewal of the hall and its grounds.  This comprises:-
          a. Building a secure fence around the additional land leased from Waverley Borough Council
          b. Setting up a new play area with bark surface and sleepers as boundaries
          c. Adding storage, probably in the form of a secure and waterproof shipping container
          d. Adding new doors to access the play area from the hall
    Keith confirmed that money for the fence had been raised and grants pledged for the shipping container, but no funding had yet been secured for the access doors.
    Keith also outlined plans for the extension to the hall of a boxing gym, with a broad estimate that this would cost £300k, including architect’s fees of c £30k (half for drawings, half for project management).  Grants should be available for the construction work but fees would need to be paid by the PCC.  There was concern that the architect’s fees were high and we ought to tender. Keith counselled against this as David Pendery had been involved in the project from day 1, and had very good connections with Waverley planners.
  3. The PCC agreed to schedule a Vision morning during the first quarter of 2022.
  4. St Thomas’s organ refurbishment. Mike Barter reported that Nicholson’s – the firm which originally built the organ – had quoted for £57k incl VAT to complete the works to a scope agreed with the parish in 2018.  Only one further quote had been received at a level of £200k.  Mike suggested an overall budget including contingency of £70k and reported that further fund-raising for £20k was required (current funds being £30k from legacies and £21k from donations and fund raising). 
    The PCC delegated the contract negotiation with Nicholsons to the standing committee with a meeting to be scheduled soon.
  5. The PCC was informed that the gas supply contract for St Thomas’s had been renewed early (starting in June 2022) because of volatility in gas prices; and that the contracts for Brambleton and St Martin’s would be renewed in early 2022 also.  The latter contracts will be on a ‘green’ tariff in line with the parish’s environmental policy and will cost the parish £800 more over 3 years than a standard natural gas tariff.  The St Thomas’s gas supply has been renewed on a standard contract as a green contract was 24% more expensive.  Overall gas costs will increase by 80%, adding £4.5k to the parish’s overall running costs.
  6. The PCC approved a policy for the reporting of serious incidents and recruitment of ex-offenders and noted the need to raise awareness of domestic abuse and unhealthy relationships.


PCC September 2021

  1. The PCC heard that the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) relating to the flat at St Thomas’s has been paid to Waverley Borough Council and that parishioners have been informed about this and the results of the giving scheme earlier in the year, via the e-newsletter.
  2. The vicar expressed his gratitude to all who had responded so generously to the giving campaign.
  3. The PCC approved Safeguarding Action Plan 1 and heard from the Safeguarding Officer that the parish is now registered on the diocesan dashboard system at Level 1. Our aim is to reach level 3.
  4. The PCC discussed arrangements for worship at St Thomas’s now that congregations are increasing and agreed that socially distanced seating would no longer be allocated from the Harvest festival service. Distanced spacing would still be available either in sides aisles or the side chapel.
  5. The PCC broke into 5 sub-groups to discuss governance. Each group reported back with recommendations relating to:-
    1. Managing PCC meetings more effectively
    2. Setting priorities
    3. Improving interaction with working groups
    4. Improving communications with parishioners
    5. Encouraging increased involvement from PCC members and parishioners

It was agreed that actions would be summarised by the PCC secretary in the minutes and actions followed up at the November PCC meeting.

  1. The treasurer gave a short summary of the parish’s financial situation. ‘One-off’ donations of £27k and increased monthly giving of £1.3k had plugged the financial hole left by lost hall lettings and other income during Covid. However, the payment of CIL had reduced the parish’s cash reserves from 3 months to 2 months.
  2. Mike Barter, PCC member and chair of the organ refurbishment group, gave an update on progress made. It was noted that Nicholsons, the original builders of the organ, had quoted for the work and this was in line with their prior estimate 2 years ago. Mike was thanked for his production of an excellent leaflet – which would be inserted with the Christmas parish magazine to be delivered to every household in the parish. This, plus a continuing series of events, would focus on fund-raising.

PCC July 2021

  1. The PCC members each answered two questions aimed at seeking ways to improve parish governance and the workings of the PCC. The results will be discussed at the September PCC.
  2. The PCC decided (unanimously from those attending) to pay the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) and additional charges (totalling £32,864.78) to Waverley Borough Council up front, rather than spreading it over 36 months, as this would have incurred an additional interest payment. The PCC noted the reduction in cash reserves as a result of this, but would benefit from the ongoing net rental income from the flat of over £1,000 a month.
  3. The PCC discussed the arrangements for post-lockdown worship and agreed to initially retain some space at St Thomas’s for those who wished to remain socially distanced at services.
  4. The PCC heard a presentation from Jane Quicke about plans for Brambleton Hall and was enthused by a series of outreach possibilities. It also heard from Keith Newman about development options for the hall, and agreed to fund architect’s fees for next planned improvements. The PCC asked Keith Newman, Revd Sandy Clarke and Michael Cock to review future options for the hall and the impact on the parish’s financial position of each option.
  5. The PCC reviewed options to allocate legacy funds received in recent years and decided unanimously to allocate £30,000 to the organ refurbishment fund. The parish has already raised £5,000 for this fund. It was agreed that a small working group would be formed to update the budget for this work (c £60k) and begin fund raising – including seeking external grants - to cover the balance.
  6. The PCC approved the appointment of Janet Stephen as assistant churchwarden for St Martin’s and noted that she would assist Guy Raynsford who is deputy churchwarden. (Unanimous vote).

PCC June 2021

  1. The vicar welcomed new PCC members Jenny Grant and Debs Wilde (also serving as deanery synod representative) and thanked them for their service.
  2. The PCC appointed Nigel Lewis as PCC secretary and electoral roll officer and Ruth Moore as safeguarding officer. Ruth Moore was co-opted to the PCC. The PCC passed resolutions enabling Miss Geraldine Molony and Mrs Vivienne Picken to serve as Licensed Lay Ministers (readers) in the parish for the next 3 years.
  3. The PCC adopted the safeguarding arrangements for 2021/22 unanimously.
  4. Frances Garland summarised the work of the Fairtrade organisation; Fairtrade produce is already provided for sale at St Thomas’s after the 10am service. The following resolution was passed unanimously: ‘The PCC commits to registering as a fairtrade parish on behalf of its 3 centres of worship and adopting the fairtrade approach as far as is reasonable’
  5. The PCC had a lengthy discussion on Waverley Borough Council’s decision to impose a Community Infrastructure Levy of approximately £31,000 relating to the change of use of the parish rooms (above the choir rooms) at St Thomas’s to accommodation.  This was unexpected in that our planning advisor expected the PCC to receive charitable relief. Permission was essential as the flat had already been rented out to a tenant. The PCC agreed to approach WBC to see whether payment might be staged over a longer period to relieve parish finances. The PCC also considered lessons to be learned from the process followed, but concluded that it was inevitable that CIL would be payable if the flat was rented out.
  6. The PCC passed resolutions to apply for faculties to dispose of unwanted pews, and install a credence table at St Thomas’s.
  7. The PCC heard updates from each of the working groups and on the Community Fridge project at Brambleton Hall
  8. The PCC approved a collaboration with a wedding planner (Blank Canvas) to enable ST Thomas’s rooms to be used as a wedding venue.

PCC March 2021

  1. The PCC strongly supported the initiative described by Sandy Clarke to open a Community Fridge and Cupboard at Brambleton Hall on Friday afternoons. The initiative will source surplus food from local supermarkets via Fare Share and can also take donations of surplus food. This will help to extend outreach to all who live in this part of the parish.
  2. The PCC heard that planning permission for the flat at St Thomas’s had been approved and a rental contract agreed with a tenant via a letting agency.
  3. The PCC passed two resolutions relating to changes of external lighting at St Thomas’s and St Martin’s.
  4. The PCC heard that the recruitment of a Communications officer had been put on hold indefinitely given the pressure on parish finances, but that recruitment of a youth minister would proceed, although interviews would need to wait until Covid restrictions were relaxed.
  5. The PCC discussed at length the financial statements for 2020 presented by the treasurer, and adopted them unanimously.
  6. The PCC heard a proposal from parishioners to use and external wedding event planner to organise wedding receptions at St Thomas’s. The PCC asked the standing committee to review this in more detail and in parallel to explore options to relocate some of the storage cupboards in the Centenary rooms.

PCC January 2021

  1. Sandy Clarke, curate, reported that the clergy team had taken the decision to suspend communal worship for at least 6 weeks as a result of the Covid-19 ‘second wave’. Streaming and recording of services would continue and some zoom services from St Martin’s were planned.
  2. The PCC reviewed the forecast financial situation for 2021 and requested a further review from the finance team. Deficits of -£20k in 2020 and forecast deficit of -£25k for the general fund in 2021 were depleting the parish’s reserves. Covid had significantly reduced parish income from casual giving, hall rental and PCC fees. Furlough of staff, reduced parish share payments and other cost reductions had mitigated this reduction of income but not been able to compensate entirely.
  3. In the light of the financial situation, the PCC endorsed a major stewardship / giving campaign particularly focused on encouraging casual givers to sign up for regular giving via the Parish Giving Scheme, as well as encouraging ‘one-off’ donations. A team co-ordinated by Peter Neukom and Sandy Clarke was appointed to lead this approach.
  4. The PCC reviewed the parish’s outward giving policy and determined that legacy income should be excluded from income calculation for the purposes of assessing outward giving. The PCC noted that outward giving was prevented by the Covid crisis’s impact on cashflows and requested that the policy be updated and discussed at a future meeting.

Full copies of the signed minutes are available for members of the electoral roll to review at St Thomas’s church.

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