May 2017 PCC Emergency Meeting

Winchcombe Parochial Church Council

Minutes of an Emergency Meeting held on 8thMay 2017

at 18.45 in St Peter’s Centre, Winchcombe


Present:                  Geof Adlington GA, Stewart Aylward SA, Margaret Bearne MB (secretary), Nigel Bearne NB, Steve Carter SC, Gwyneth Cocks GC, Sara Collins SDC, Sue Fleck SF, Rosemary Hancock RH, Tom Hancock TH, Julia Hook JH, Penny Kain PK, Sue Teggert ST, Alan Thomas AT (chair)

Apologies were received from: Rob Davies RD, Rev. John Paul Hoskins JPH, Jane Wain JW.





AT thanked everyone for attending this brief emergency meeting and welcomed the new members of the PCC.  AT introduced the meeting with a short prayer.



The meeting was called 'To consider a report on the progress for the renovation of the Church Drive and to decide on future action including financing'

AT & SA explained the history leading up to the renovation of the St Peter’s church drive.  They explained that the churchyard is ‘closed’ and consequently the maintenance is the responsibility of the Winchcombe Town Council (WTC).  However, the WTC has only been willing to throw more Cotswold stone chippings on the surface, which ultimately get crushed and then compound the drainage problem.  The PCC decided to take over the job of putting a good surface on the driveway, sorting out the drainage in the process and then went ahead raising funds for the project.  By the January PCC Meeting nearly enough money had been raised and a Faculty had been granted by the Chancellor of Gloucester Diocese and previously Ancient Monument consent had been obtained from the Secretary of State via Historic England.  JPH had indicated to the Burial committee of WTC back in January that we were in the process of making arrangements to renovate the drive.

A paper was circulated before the March 2017 PCC meeting explaining and detailing the work to be carried out, the timings and costings.  The logistics of closing the churchyard during this period was discussed at the next staff meeting.

The funds raised are:

  • £6K - The Dent Brocklehurst Trust
  • £15K Gloucester Environmental Trust (work to be started within 6 months 1/3/17)
  • £14K Friends of St Peter’s
  • £1K Allchurches Trust

There was a shortfall of approximately £5K which represented the VAT which could be recovered if WTC were prepared to contract for the work to be done as they are VAT registered. 

AT & SA then approached the WTC on this matter but they refused to do so as they could not regard this as maintenance but they offered us a grant of £5,260, which was the element of the cost of the project deemed by our architect to be maintenance, on condition that the PCC took responsibility for maintaining the driveway in perpetuity.  AT, SA & MB met with a small cross-section of councillors from the WTC to say that they could accept the arguments put forward that the PCC should be responsible for the ongoing maintenance of the improved areas and that they would be prepared to seek the PCC’s agreement to this.  However, they could not accept the WTC’s requirement for restrictions being formally imposed on parking within the churchyard.  The councillors present eventually conceded that they would recommend to the council as a whole that this compromise be accepted.    AT explained that he had obtained legal advice on the matter and discovered that there was no precedent for this problem but was also told that as the church owns the churchyard, the WTC cannot prevent us proceeding with the work.

A resolution was proposed from the chair ‘to authorise work to the driveway in accordance with plans and specifications and to accept PCC responsibility for future maintenance of the altered parts and that the PCC were prepared to accept the additional costs should the WTC withdraw their financial support of the project as a result.’  This was seconded by TH and all agreed.

A further resolution was made from the chair ‘to delegate responsibility to the Churchwardens to enter into the contract if the funding from WTC was withdrawn.’  This was seconded by SC and all agreed.



The meeting closed at 19.10 pm



Approved: _______________________________________________Date: ____________________


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