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PCC News

PCC News 2021 and 2020 – key reviews and decisions

 

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.
     

PCC November 2020

  1. The vicar thanked new and returning PCC members following the parish APCM held in October via zoom and co-opted the PCC secretary and parish safeguarding officer to the PCC.
  2. Sidesman and women for St Thomas’s were approved by the PCC.
  3. Safeguarding arrangements for the parish were adopted and new members reminded of the obligation to undertake training and inform the safeguarding officer once this was completed.
  4. The PCC reviewed the latest situation relating to worship; the choirs; youth ministry. The PCC reviewed the outline of parish services for Advent and Christmas and thanked the curate Revd Sandy Clarke for her detailed preparation and planning of live and pre-recorded services.
  5. The PCC agreed that a process should be set up to discuss church infrastructure spending (use of legacy funds and matched donations) at the next PCC in January.
  6. The PCC approved a proposal by the Communications Working Group to strengthen our communications by recruiting a Parish Communications Officer on a 17.5 hours per week basis.
     

PCC September 2020

  1. The vicar thanked retiring members of the PCC for their service.
  2. The PCC reviewed the new worship arrangements, but expressed concern about the restrictions on choral music and the limited number of families with young children attending church as a result of attendance restrictions. However, it was noted that many people were continuing to watch the services streamed via YouTube.
  3. The PCC approved revised furlough arrangements for staff.
  4. The PCC adopted the annual report and financial statements for 2019 and noted that these had been submitted to the Charity Commission website.
  5. The PCC considered a proposal to use funds from a recent legacy to part-fund the purchase of new chairs at St Thomas’s. A majority approved the proposal; subsequently the PCC has decided to consult more broadly on how legacy funds might be used before a final decision is taken.
     

PCC July 2020

  1. The PCC approved expenditure on equipment to enable the live streaming of services, following re-opening of centres of worship – but subject to significant restrictions on attendance because of the pandemic.
  2. The PCC approved the arrangements for re-opening our churches with effect from 19th July and thanked the churchwardens and clergy team for their diligent preparation.
  3. The PCC agreed to maintain staff furlough arrangements and to continue topping up salaries to 90% even though government support levels were reducing.
  4. The PCC received a comprehensive financial update from the treasurer. Reductions in income as a result of Covid-19 were expected to result in a £25k deficit on the general fund for 2020.
  5. The PCC reviewed achievements of the various lockdown support initiatives and agreed that a pastoral working group would suggest which initiatives should be maintained after lockdown ends.


PCC May 2020

  1. The meeting was held via Zoom. The PCC noted Pamela Wagerfield’s retirement from the PCC and from the role of sacristan and expressed its grateful thanks for Pamela’s many years of service to the parish in many ways and wished her a restful ‘retirement’.
  2. The PCC discussed and approved the parish safeguarding report for 2019 and adopted the safeguarding arrangements for 2020-21.
  3. The PCC noted that the new gas supply to St Thomas’s would be ‘green’ biogas at a slightly higher cost than the regular gas supply. This was in line with the parish environmental policy adopted by the PCC in May 2019.
  4. The PCC heard that youth minister Jordan Amadi-Myers had resigned with effect from June 2020 and thanked him for his work in the parish, wishing him and his finance all the best for their forthcoming marriage and future life together.
  5. The treasurer reported that the parish had accepted the discount on parish share offered by the diocese as part of its Covid-19 assistance to parishes, worth £5k. The parish noted that costs had been reduced as a result of the furloughing of staff approved by the standing committee in March; but that income had fallen more steeply as a result of the closure of our church buildings and halls. The PCC noted that the payments to furloughed staff were at 90% of previous levels as the parish was ‘topping up’ the government scheme which provides for 80% of support.
  6. The PCC approved a proposal to sell a strip of land from the old churchyard to a neighbour, subject to contract and the purchaser obtaining planning permission to use the strip as an off road parking place.
  7. The PCC expressed thanks to all who had enabled the parish to respond so positively to the lockdown including continuing the Lent groups via zoom; producing excellent weekly services on YouTube; setting up and running the parish helpline (special thanks to Nigel and Mo Cuthbert and all volunteers); setting up the ‘buddy’ scheme for lonely parishioners.


PCC March 2020 – not held due to Covid-19 restrictions
 

PCC January 2020

  1. The PCC reviewed the progress on the parish administration project, including Church Suite, Office 365 and Expense Plus. These new cloud-based services with provide a modern and efficient platform for parish administration and financial reporting. The PCC thanked Keith Newman for his leadership of this work.
  2. Communications – the PCC heard that the parish e-newsletter was being emailed to 274 families; that the parish magazine was now breaking even; and that improvements to the parish website were being planned.
  3. The PCC reviewed the provisional financial outcome for 2019 – with cash reserves unchanged at year end compared to 2018. The PCC approved a 2% salary increase for employees in line with diocesan guidelines.
  4. The PCC heard that repairs to the front doors and rear drain at St Thomas’s had been completed on time and on budget and thanked Peter Neukom for leading work on these two urgent projects.
  5. The PCC agreed to progress the potential sale of a small parcel of land in the old churchyard to a neighbour and use a surveyor to assess its value, at the potential purchaser’s cost.

 

Full copies of the signed minutes will be available for members of the electoral roll to review at St Thomas’s church once lockdown restrictions are ended – some time in 2021.