Minutes of the APCM held on
Sunday 20th September 2020
Vestry Meeting began at 11.50am
Election of Church Wardens:
Mrs G E Gardner - proposed: Janet Purvis, seconded D L.
Mrs C Mashiter – proposed George Bateman, seconded Sheila Barlow.
Both were elected unanimously.
Sheila Barlow was thanked for stepping up as Church Warden last year.
Deanery Synod representatives Representatives elected
Suzanne Barlow (p-Sheila Barlow, s-Sheila Barlow) and Gill Gardner p-Tony Mashiter, s-Chris Mashiter)
Meeting closed at 12.05pm
Annual Parochial Church Meeting Election of PCC members
Carole Roberts p- J Purvis s- J. Butterworth
Janet Purvis p-C Mashiter, s-T Mashiter
Louise Wilcock p-S Bennett, s-JJ
Suzanne Bennett C Mashiter, s-S Barlow
Tony Mashiter p-S Bennett, s-S Barlow
Sheila Barlow p-G Bateman, s-T Mashiter
Andrew Scarr p-J Patten, s-G Bateman
Debbie West School Rep
All were accepted unanimously.
Janet Purvis, George Bateman, Tony Mashiter, Sheila Barlow, Suzanne Bennett, Juli Scanlan.
All were accepted unanimously.
The minutes of the last year’s meeting were accepted unanimously. P-C Mashiter, s- J Newton
Chairperson’s report- Rev L Moffatt
APCM 2019 VICAR’S REPORT – 20TH SEPTEMBER 2020 “Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous? So, the last will be first, and the first will be last” (Matthew 20: 15-16) Discipleship, worship and mission I said last year that it was un- healthy to worry about numbers attending church but as we have to submit them to the diocese every year it is none the less interesting to see the analyses of those statistics for mission.
We had a higher attendance for Christmas services and Easter, having dropped last year also increased. Average weekly attendance which is taken in October has increased (adults 41 children 11) as has the usual Sunday attendance for both adults (43) and children (15). Our church family has grown and children as an important part of that remains steady.
Baptisms, weddings and funerals are always an important part of mission. We had exactly same number of baptisms (11) and funerals held in church and crematorium (15) as 2018; weddings were up from 1 to 4.
Once again met as a group of about 8 or 10 throughout Lent for lunch followed by discussion and prayer. We also gathered weekly throughout Advent. These groups are an opportunity to go deeper into faith and not be afraid to be honest about the challenges that we are faced with as Christians.
In August we held a ‘Songs of Praise’ fundraiser and invited people to sponsor their favourite hymn. As a church we put on 2 big breakfasts in the Memorial Hall; in May to raise funds for Christian Aid and in November to raise funds for the church window. Both were events which brought people from the whole community together.
In November 5 of us attended a Quiet Day with the Order of Companions of Martha and Mary in Tunstall. A time to step out of busy schedules and spend time in reflection and prayer with others. Once again, The Ship helped us to host ‘Lancashire Sings Christmas’ an event which draws people who do not worship with us.
Safeguarding of vulnerable adults and children are a priority in all churches. We may believe that such things will never happen in this parish of St Helen’s but sadly this is not true. It takes some victims of abuse years to gather the courage to come forward. We do have an historical case from some years ago which has been reported directly to the Diocesan Safeguarding Team. This shocking fact should keep us vigilant and guard us against complacency.
The Generosity of God
Our Gospel reading for today tells of the generosity of God and there has been a spirit of generosity throughout 2019 as we rose to meet not just our own challenges as a church but the challenges of others in our communities and beyond. The church window, Junior Church raising money for UNICEF midwives. Easter Breakfast donations for Morecambe Homeless Action and not forgetting the Harvest Supper are wonderful demonstrations of sharing in and with the generosity of God.
Thank you all, whether an official office holder or not, for your generosity of time, effort and financial giving throughout 2019. We know that we will see a different picture as we look back over 2020. There are challenging times ahead but remember whatever we do we do in God’s strength and not our own.
Lorraine Moffatt Vicar
Treasurer’s Report- Carole Roberts
Receipts remained similar during 2019 to 2018
Expenditure in 2019 was lower than 2018 because in 2018 we had been paying off arrears to Parish Share and during 2018 had incurred a large electricity bill that later proved to have been incorrectly calculated!
The Restoration Fund was set up to keep funds received from our campaign for the major roof repairs required a few years ago. A few standing orders are still being paid into that account and the funds received are specifically for maintenance of the church, hence it remaining open with a small balance.
The Maintenance Account was a stipulation of English Heritage when we applied for grants, again during the major roof repairs. We transfer funds into that account from our Current Account and again those funds can only be used for works on the church.
Funds remaining in the Current Account can be used for any expenditure.
We continued during 2019 to be in a position to pay our Parish Share in full.
Thank you all for your continued financial support, without which we wouldn't be able to maintain the church building and our presence in Overton.
Church Fabric report- CW Chris Mashiter
March saw Pendle Stained Glass carry out an inspection of our leaded windows and provide a report on the state of them together with a work programme which was rapidly side lined when the plasterwork fell down from the head of the plain leaded glass window in the nave. This was quickly inspected by our Architects, a work programme drawn up and specialist engineers brought in to advise on the detail of the remedy needed. A Specification was sent out to three firms that were invited to tender and subsequently Lloyd and Smith from Oldham were instructed to carry out the repairs at the same time as the remedial work needed on the leaded glass window although this work didn’t commence until November of that year at a total cost of £9381.
There are no other major works that need immediate attention although at some point when our funds have revived we will need to address the remedial work to the windows.
Other church fabric I believe is in an acceptable condition.
Whilst not exactly Fabric, I place on record that the monuments in the churchyard were inspected in April by Tony Holmes, monumental mason and remedial work carried out as required to 26 headstones. The cost of this work came from the Mary Taylor Bequest.
Deanery Synod report
Safeguarding Report- CW Gill Gardner
Over the past year and during Lockdown I have taken my eye off the ball somewhat and find that I have neglected to carry out an annual review of safeguarding for which I apologise.
I did review it last night and find there are some areas requiring work. I have created an action plan which I will present to the PCC at the next meeting and will work to complete the actions in a timely fashion.
There have been no reportable incidents over this past year for which we are very thankful.
I would like to thank all who help to safeguard our church members and would remind people that if they have any concerns about any of our church family the procedure is that they tell me (as the Safeguarding officer) and I will then inform the appropriate person at the Diocese who will take over.
Electoral Roll Report- Tony Mashiter
The roll has increased from 68 to 69.
Stewardship report- Jim Newton
For the year ending December 2019 the amount of money collected through regular Gift Aid giving and Gift Aided 'pew envelopes' totalled £12085, giving us £3021 in repayment.
In April 2013 the government launched the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme (GASDS) which allows us to claim for the cash (only cash) that is put in the collection plate, provided each donation is £20 or less.
The amount we claimed on GASDS in 2019 was £8142, giving us £2035 in repayment. In 2018 it was £4083 with us claiming back £1021.
The claim to H M Revenue and Customs is therefore made in two parts, the Gift Aided amount (£3021) and the GASDS amount (£2035).
In 2019 the total Giving was £20226 and the tax reclaimed was £5056.
2018 the total Giving was £15328 and the reclaim was £3832
2017 £18618 £4646
2016 £13754 £3440
2015 £13537 £3386
It will be noted that in 2018 Gift Aided Giving fell by £3290 over 2017. This is due to several one off Gift Aided donations given for the upper room in 2017.
The number of regular Gift Aided givers in 2019 was 39.
Previous years:- 2018 - 39, 2017- 41, 2016 - 42, 2015 - 43, 2014 - 43, 2013 – 48.
The trend shows the number of regular givers slowly decreasing but the total amount of Gift Aided money given, including the pew envelopes, is increasing. The money claimed under GASDS is probably increasing due to non -Gift Aided money given at baptisms, weddings and funerals.
The average Gift Aided weekly giving is about £5.50 per person.
Junior Church Report- Louise Wilcock
Due to Covid19, the last Junior Church session was held on Sunday 15th March 2020. At that time there were 33 children listed in the register. The largest Junior Church attendance has been 20 children and the smallest 9. An average of 13 children attend each week. Junior Church teachers are Louise Wilcock & Lucy Birkett assisted by Sarah Rawes, Alex Wolfenden and Vickie Walsh.
No children have been prepared for Holy Communion or been confirmed.
Junior Church have performed their annual Harvest and Epiphany presentations. There was no Mothering Sunday presentation on 22nd March as church was closed because of Covid19.
Friends of St Helen’s Report- Chris Mashiter
2019 was good for us events wise but at the end of the year we showed an excess of expenditure over income of £756.13 but this was mainly due to contributions that were made to the Window Appeal.
Although membership number are down to 48, donations amounting to £705 roll in from those who do not pay an annual membership. Over and above our monthly meetings we held Lent and Advent Lunches, A Big Brekkie for Christian Aid, A Community Breakfast for the Window Appeal and an Autumn Fair.
With the Community Breakfast and Autumn Fair we were able to donate £2,400 to the window appeal; £45 for a lawn mower repair to save on the rapidly dwindling funds in the Mary Taylor Bequest; £36 for Christmas Candles and £450 was donated to Christian Aid.
Memorial Hall Representative – Tony Mashiter
No report. Tony is a representative but is not on the Memorial Hall Executive Committee.
The meeting closed with a prayer at 1pm.