Minutes of St John’s PCC, 15th September

St John's LogoMinutes of PCC
St John’s Church Harborne
Date of Meeting: 15 September 2014
Time: 7.45pm
Venue: St Johns Church

Present at the meeting
Geoff Heyes (GH), Diarmid Campbell (DC), Carol Dealey (CD), Helen Nixon (HN), Antony Spencer (AS), Issy Bartram (IB), Martin Graham (MG), Stella Jennings (SJ), Becky Pearson (BP), Dave Atkins (DA), Vinod Diwakar (VD), Janet Ryland (JR), Vinod Bhatia (VB), James Reid (JRd), Kenneth Reid (KR)

1. Welcome and Prayers
Meeting opened in prayer and worship by (AS).

2. Apologies and Attendance
Apologies: Libby Hubbard, Debby Bridge, Vinod Diwakar, Howard Brydon, Alison Earey, Sue Clegg
Absent: Raymond Buick
In attendance: Jonny Pearson, Steve Foster

3. Declarations of Interest
Kenneth Reid and Patty McCulloch – noted their interest as LS partners or related to.

4. Living Stones Presentation – Jonny Pearson (summary notes)
JP – gave an illustration from Nepal as an encouragement – where a Buddhist religious leader became a Christian through an INF hospital and then went back and led many of the village to the Lord

LS Investment Framework – ratified July 2013 and is available on St John’s website. The LS team have re-worked all the forms which are now aligned with the framework, this makes the process of assessment much easier. All partners have had opportunity to feedback on framework. All new applications for support are assessed against the framework and all reviews of existing partners are now measure against this framework. The LS team use the framework to aid general decision making. Not a formula but aids decision making – balancing stewardship with care of partners.

LS currently supports 17 overseas partners, 21 UK partners and 12 projects/organisations, mission partners in 11 different countries, 1 on a ship, many countries touched through the ministry.

Annual budget of £160k has remained constant for last few years. LS support team has 9 members – all volunteers. Recently 2 changes to team – Nigel di Castiglione no longer part but Antony Spencer has taken his place. Jess Poyner is standing down and Rosie Pitman will take her place to oversee short term mission.

St John’s itself is much involved in mission – with Alpha, Street Pastors, Toddlers – what else can we do? The LS team would like to explore with the PCC the possibility of establishing a strategic international mission focus e.g. partnering with another church overseas. This will strengthen mission interest, increase faith etc. At this stage it is just an idea – but needs to developed and taken forward. It would need to be owned by the whole church, not just seen as an LS initiative.

The presentation was enthusiastically received and the following comments made:
• any international mission partnership must be of God.
• look to develop links with a church that we are already in contact with
• consider Diocesan link with Malawi
• there would be a practical advantage of a link with a mission/church geographically near the UK (VB)
• possibility of church link in Cairo (MG)

JP suggested that a small group is setup to run with it and work up a proposal – taking soundings from different people and develop a paper from there.

Action: – (AS) suggested that a group start to investigate this – through prayer, discussion and enquiry. (JP) will follow this through with a potential small group.

Motion: The PCC to approve a group to develop and explore the ideas mentioned and report back to PCC in due course. Proposed by (KR) and seconded by (JRd). All other members in favour.

5. Minutes of the Previous Meeting
10.2 ‘before he should be receiving’.
9.3 – explore possibility of linking with credit union
Acceptance of minutes proposed (DC), Seconded (CD)

6. Matters Arising
6.1 – Meeting with Russ Parker to discuss next steps for this wounded church , Antony Spencer and Steve Foster met with Russ Parker during August.
Russ indicated that at a suitable time we should have a service of Commissioning and Moving Forward possibly next year. It would not be appropriate to have this service until after Nigel di Castiglione had formally resigned.
As an interim measure it seemed like a good plan for Russ to keep in touch and engage with the church, with that in mind he will preach at all 3 services in Advent – he will then stay on and meet with staff and others who might find it helpful.

6.2 – (JRd) asked if there was any progress with regard to the different narratives of recent events. (AS) replied that this is an ongoing discussion with Russ Parker and +Andrew – this is not the purpose of Russ’s forthcoming visit.

6. 3 – Several members voiced concern that there is still confusion as to what is happening with NdC – people need to know officially that nothing currently is known. Perception that it is privileged knowledge for a small group. PCC members were encouraged to answer questions directly and state clearly that ‘nothing is currently known, there is still no further news from the Bishop David’.

The PCC felt it not appropriate to ask the Bishop for a formal statement, and that any further request was at the risk of causing more pressure on Nigel and Annie at this time. We need to live with this uncertainty and questions in the community need to be answered by PCC on a personal basis.

(VB) expressed disappointment at lack of personal support for Nigel and Annie from the church community.

6.4 – Governance Review
Antony Spencer and Steve Foster met with Andrew Halstead in early August to progress the governance review at St John’s. Andrew Halstead subsequently made the following proposal:

Aim: To review all staff, clergy, Standing Committee and PCC roles and responsibilities in order that a coherent structure is established to ensure that ministry and mission of the church can be delivered effectively and efficiently;

To propose a suitable governance structure with the necessary checks and balances clearly identified.

Method: During October 2014 conduct one to one interviews with all current paid staff, all members of the Standing Committee, at least two nominated members of the PCC and any others the PCC think appropriate;

Meet with Antony Spencer, Steve Foster and the churchwardens to discuss initial findings and explore options;

Prepare a written report during November for presentation and discussion at a PCC meeting.

It was explained that SC had accepted the suggested method and decided that Janet Ryland (HR Co-Coordinator) should also be interviewed. Additionally Graham and Margaret Hopkinson (pastoral workers for the staff) and Revd Bob Dunnett (senior spiritual advisor to the Church leadership) should also be interviewed.

There was discussion about the inclusion of Graham, Margaret and Bob. An objection was raised by (VB) about the appropriateness of their involvement in this process. There was also discussion about the process to be adopted for nominating two further PCC members to be interviewed and it was settled that these representatives should be selected randomly.

It was decided to adopt the Standing Committee’s suggestion:

To invite Andrew Halstead to undertake these interviews and to prepare a report for the PCC for further discussion.

That Janet Ryland, Graham and Margaret Hopkinson and Bob Dunnett should be invited to be interviewed.

The PCC selected Vinod Diwakar and Alison Earey to attend the interviews. Additionally the PCC felt it would be helpful for Sue Clegg (Parish Safeguarding Children Coordinator) and Jonny Pearson (Chair of Living Stones Management Committee) to be included in the review.

7. Staff Matters
7.1 Youth Pastor – 2 candidates were interviewed and final details and discussions are in progress with one of the candidates

7.2 Clerical support for Antony is being discussed with Bishop Andrew and Antony is happy with the way this is progressing.

7.3 The ‘Debt and CAB strand’ are considering their leadership as Michael Waters wishes to stand down in the New Year.

8. Finance
8.1 Management accounts will be ready by end of month which will form basis of financial appeal which will take place on October 12th

8.2 Update on income, based on committed giving. Still a roller coaster, £100k down on 2012 and £130k down on 2010. Expected deficit for 2014 circa £50k – this is lower than estimated because of £67k received in one off gifts.

9. Payments to speakers
9.1 Policy to be developed from paper with more details on permitted travelling expenses.
(VB) asked what the protocol was if you wish to exceed recommended guidelines for payments. The response was that all expenditure outside of the guidelines must be referred to Standing Committee before any payment or commitment is made.

10. Standing Committee Report
Russ Parker visit in Advent
Youth Pastor interviews and appointment
Children’s Pastor – the possibility of moving forward on this post will be reviewed at Easter
Finance Update
Outstanding Legacy from Lorna Vickerstaff to be set against new piano and replacement of Bibles (£500 each)
The October Count would take place in the time honoured way on all Sundays in October

11. PAC Update
PAC has been in abeyance for some months, it has struggled to get team together when there was a job, Diarmid Campbell can no longer drive and, therefore, cannot get out to assess the jobs. SF and DC decided to suspend service. Now mothballed. Vote of thanks for DC.

12. Deanery Update
Carol has had positive response to minutes being available on the web
Carnival may be discussed at next Churches Together Meeting with regard to 2015 and possible involvement.

13. Food Bank
This has now been transferred to Quinton and Oldbury






27th Nov 2014 Posted in: Hidden Posts by Stella Jennings 0

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