May 2017 PCC Meeting

Winchcombe Parochial Church Council

Minutes of the Meeting held on 22nd May 2017 at 7.15 pm

at Winchcombe Abbey Primary School.

Present:                  John Paul Hoskins JPH (chair), Geof Adlington GA (Treasurer), Stewart Aylward SA Margaret Bearne MB, Nigel Bearne NB, Stephen Carter SC, Gwyneth Cocks GC, Sara Collins SDC (secretary), Susan Fleck SF, Rosemary Hancock RH, Tom Hancock TH, Julia Hook JAH, Penny Kain PK, Sue Pestell SP, Alan Thomas AT.

Apologies received from: Rob Davies RD, Janet Dufton JD (Methodist Observer), Graham Taylor GT, Susan Teggert ST Trevor Upton TU (Methodist Observer), Jane Wain JW.





Opening Prayer & Bible Study



JPH thanked everyone for coming.  He opened the meeting with prayers, which were followed by a study of Luke 24, 44-end.



Apologies for Absence: See above



Matters Arising: 8.4: Signatories on the Fees account. Three mandates need changing – the Winchcombe Team Fees, The Christchurch Bell Appeal Account and the Youth Project Account. It was felt that the signatories on the latter 2 accounts (held at the Coventry Building Society) should be the same as those for the Winchcombe General Bank Account (held at Lloyds) – ie JP, AT, GA, SA and MB.

AT proposed that the two mandates be the same. Seconded by NB. All agreed.

Minutes: The minutes of the last meeting held on 20.03.2017 were approved. The minutes of the Emergency meeting held on 8.05.17 were approved.



Consideration of the agenda:

The pioneer Minister post was added to the agenda at 7.4.  The Office Manager’s post was added as item 6.4.  Teacher’s House was added as item 7.3.  Quotes for work on St Peters Centre added as item 8.6.



Correspondence, News & Notices:



MB reported that she had circulated all emails to the PCC as and when they arrived.



Staffing & Appointments:



6.1 To appoint PCC Secretary, Treasurer & Lay Chairman:

Secretary: JPH thanked MB for all her hard work as PCC Secretary.  All voted for SDC to take over this post as MB starts her new role as Churchwarden.

Treasurer: GA confirmed that he is willing to continue as Treasurer – a role that he took on during the year.

Lay Chairman: SA proposed that AT continue as Lay Chairman. Seconded by MB.

6.2 To appoint Deputy Wardens for Gretton, Stanley Pontlarge & Sudeley Manor:

Gretton: GT to continue

Stanley Pontlarge: RH to continue

Sudeley Manor: TH to continue

6.3 To appoint reps for Friends, WEP & Churches Together:

Friends: AT to continue.  Lynne Horton has retired from post.  SA to take on role. JPH to confirm reps for WEP and CTW.

6.4 Office Manager’s Post:

Rachel Merritt (RM) is currently employed 10 hours/week - £5200 per year.  SA and JPH met with RM 6 months in to the post; she cannot do everything required in the 10 hours.  The routine work is achievable, but there is little capacity for additional work such as IT, Health & Safety and Safeguarding. JPH & SA suggested an additional 3 hours a week, which RM is happy to do – she could do this in the evenings or when the office is closed.  The annual cost would  be an additional £1300 with no National Insurance or workplace pension to be paid. GA commented that the brief is beyond that of an office manager, more in line with a Church Administrator; there is a need for more computer literate volunteers to spread the workload.  JPH emphasised clarity is needed for the role & SA agreed more volunteers are needed.

AT proposed the increase to 13 hours, seconded by NB.  Agreed by the PCC.


















7.1 1st ¼ accounts: Circulated by email prior to meeting.  There has been a windfall from planned giving this quarter which will level out next quarter.

GA noted that the solar power system had been switched off – this had been unnoticed because the wifi communication between St Peter’s and the St Peter’s Centre had stopped working and therefore the solar panel monitoring system was no longer working.  GA has found the master switch and has turned it back on, but the monitoring system will not work until the internet connection to St Peter’s Centre has been restored.  This will be resolved when Simon Walls deals with the new internet connection - after the cable ducting has been laid at the time of the driveway works being dealt with.

There were no questions.

7.2 Resolution to remove Tim Hall from the Bank Mandate and add Margaret Bearne: GA has changed the mandate for the general account; paperwork needs signing. Need a resolution; the PCC resolved to do this.

7.3 Teacher’s House: Hoping to be rented at £900 pcm.  A family had offered £850, due to complete today, but pulled out last Monday as no places at the local schools. Rosie McEwan has notified SA of a local Mum who needs accommodation.  She can afford £600 pcm for 3 months from 1st June and perhaps £650 thereafter. We are currently paying £75 council tax pcm so renting the property will save us this sum. The PCC agreed to offer her the property at £600 pcm, under the proviso that one of the rooms is made available for children’s groups each Sunday as in the past.

7.4 Pioneer Minister Post: David Thomas and others are looking at funding streams for a full-time post.  There are advantages in appointing someone who is ordained, but this is not essential.  Likely cost is about £50K per annum – split between the Parish, the Sylvanus Lysons Trust (which supports Ministry within the Diocese, supporting sustainable projects, Trustees include Bishop Robert) and the Diocesan development fund (which helps Parishes develop Mission and Ministry – funding is tapered as the project should take off and become self-funding). The £50K includes the salary of an Incumbent-level Priest, a £12K housing allowance, pension, training etc.  AT noted that at present we are not in a position to commit to £17K per year.  The cost could be reduced by reducing the hours or employing someone local to take away the housing costs; however this would reduce the pool of candidates.













8.1 Church Drive – update:

SA circulated the current costings showing that, with the current levels of grants agreed, we shall be £8,000.07 in the red.  Work has been put on hold as the Town councillors are unhappy about car parking in the graveyard; will discuss at full council meeting on 7th June.  AT has taken a lot more legal advice including from a Barrister experienced in ecclesiastical law who has confirmed that, as owners of the Churchyard, we can do what we like on it and the Town Council do not have to give permission.  Two Chancellors and the Diocesan Registrar all agree.  The Town Council does however have a statutory duty to maintain the Churchyard (including the drive) to the standard it was when they took it over 30 years ago.  We could go back to the Chancellor and ask them to reopen the faculty application, and then reply to the Town Council’s objections; the Chancellor would rule on this.  The Town Council’s main objection is to stop parking in the Churchyard.  AT commented that if we accept the Council’s donation they may feel that they can dictate the terms of its use.  He suggested we do not accept the donation and say that we have taken legal advice and plan to go ahead by funding the project ourselves.  SA noted that we have already received a bill from the contractor for £280 for labour that could not be redeployed when we recently halted the work.  The Gloucestershire Environmental Trust grant of £15K will be withdrawn if the work is not started by the end of August. There will also be an additional cleaning charge as the work may not be completed this year due to its late start.  There are still architect’s fees to pay - £1,648, leaving a shortfall of £8,007. GA stated that this may be offset by some people who made loans for the purchase of Teacher’s House being willing to write them off – to the value of about £8,500.  RH noted that the Friends have also offered to make a loan for the shortfall, but may be willing to make this a donation; to be discussed at their next meeting, on June 1st.

There followed a formal resolution: to approve the resolution to support the Churchwardens granted at the emergency PCC meeting (8th May 2017) and to go ahead with the Church Drive improvements without the grant from the Town Council and that the Churchwardens should write to the Town Council and tell them of the decision. Proposed: GA Seconded: NB Agreed by the PCC.

The contractors have said they could do the ground works before the fete, after which they are committed to school work.  SA and MB to send a letter to the Town Council within the next few days.

8.2 Chairs: In position, shelves added and bill paid.

8.3 Christ Church Angels: GT is in consultation with the people doing the work. The Archdeacon has confirmed there is no need for a faculty.  They are approaching the Dent Brocklehurst Trust for a grant – next meeting in August.

8.4 St Peters’ North Door repairs: GA noted there has been good progress; the Victorian draft proofing has been matched all the way round.  There is still a gap at the bottom of the door.

8.5 SPAB Maintenance Training Days: Society for preservation of ancient buildings. Anne Dean is organising a specific training day based on St Peters, funded by the lottery fund. 6 hours of training will be delivered by qualified people – either on 15th or 29th July.

8.6 Rotting bargeboards and facias, St Peters’ Centre: GA has received 3 quotes to replace these: £3020, £2578, £3690.  There is already £1600 in St Peters funds set aside for this work.  The PCC agreed to accept the lowest quote.




























Safeguarding: Nothing to report



Health & Safety:



AT expressed concern about two aspects of safety namely:

10.1 Pews: These were removed for Steps Through Time and so are no longer screwed down.  They are dangerous because they are easily moved. Recently one was pushed into the legs of people behind and secondly when people lent on them to help themselves up the Pew tipped up.

10.2 Communion Rails: These are folded back and move when people put their hands on them; AT has noticed on three occasions people kneeling at Communion have had their fingers trapped and one parishioner had their hand crushed recently. There is potential for serious injury.  JPH would like to keep them open, but accepts they need to be safe.  MB suggested a sliding bar. AT felt we should revert to closing the gates immediately and then consider the matter further.  SA will take this to the F&PG.

Other members commented that the green carpet is frayed and is a trip hazard. SDC also commented that the red carpet used in the aisle at weddings was also raised, again a trip hazard.












Youth & Children: A thank you was recorded to SP for taking over this brief.  The termly afternoon tea for helpers is a wonderful idea.  SP noted that we need more helpers and wants to make another appeal.  An individual approach to people works well, this is the responsibility of all PCC members.  SDC noted that the crèche is now a stay and play group, requiring just one helper.



St Peter’s Summer Fete: Being organised by Rachel Merritt and MB.  They need a few more helpers, raffle and tombola prizes and cakes.  An article will go in the magazine.  The top of the tower will be open this year.



Business from:



13.1 Christ Church, Gretton: There will be a Pimms party on 23rd July.  This will go in the magazine/bulletin.  School assemblies are going well; there will be a leavers’ service on July 21st.  The Head Teacher is leaving.

SF has set up an email group:

MB is attending a service at Gretton once a month.

Plans are being made for the 150th anniversary next year.  They hope that Bishop Rachel will attend a special service on the first Sunday in June.

The staircase railings are waiting to be installed by GT. SA to follow up.

13.2 St Michael’s, Stanley Pontlarge: Evensong service on 23rd July

13.3 St Mary’s, Sudeley: The first afternoon service has been held.









Dates of Future Meetings:



PCC Meetings in 2017: 24th July, 18th September, and 20th November. (Monday evenings at 7.30 pm in Winchcombe Abbey School).

F&GP Meetings in 2017: 16th June, 25th August, 13th October, 8th December.  (3.00 pm in St Peter’s Centre).

Other 2017 Dates: Choir Concert 30th June, St Peter’s Summer Fete 2nd July.



The meeting closed at 9.20 pm with Prayers & The Grace.



Approved: _______________________________________________Date: ____________________


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