Reports prepared for
2016 Annual Parochial Church Meeting
To be held on Sunday 24th April 2016
Electoral Roll Officer’s Report
The good news is that no-one on the electoral roll at the start of the year has died during the year. This is the first time in my memory. Also, the roll has increased by three. At the start of the year we had 137 on the roll. It has now increased to 140. We have five new enrolments but we have unfortunately lost two stalwarts, Tony and Judy Castle, who have moved to near Bournemouth.
I am conscious that there are some people who attend church and are not yet on the electoral roll. Could I encourage them to fill in an electoral roll form, which can be found in the red box at the back of church, and leave it in the box for me to collect?
As there is a large house building programme going on in the village, I had hoped for more new members this year. The houses are being built and occupied but very few of the occupants are coming to church, despite the best efforts of the welcome team, particularly Margaret Durbin. Please do your bit by welcoming newcomers to your street or local area and, where appropriate, invite them to come to St. Philips. In addition, could you let the vicar, Peter, Margaret Durbin (751960) or John Diggle know that new people have moved into a property as we have a welcome pack for them.
Church Wardens’ Report
We have had another busy year at St Philips and it has been encouraging that, due to new housing developments, we have welcomed new members into our congregation. This is encouraging but we still need to do better. We are often told that we are a friendly church so thank you to you all for making newcomers feel welcome.
We had two candidates for confirmation last year. The service was held in Chester Cathedral and was led by Bishop Libby - quite an occasion as it was her first confirmation as Bishop. Unfortunately we haven't had any candidates this year but Bishop Keith will hopefully attend the service on the 17th April. It will be good to have him taking part in our worship. Thanks as always to the people who keep St Philip's running, we couldn't manage without you.
Since the last Annual Parochial Meeting, there have been a number of developments in the church buildings, especially the Church Lounge. The tidying, building of cupboards and the replacement of windows and kitchen has made an enormous difference to the Lounge. It is becoming a much more welcoming and useable space once again. Decoration and furnishings still need to be completed but already the improvement is noticeable. Here thanks must particularly go to Heather Leather and also to Brian Rischmiller for all of their time and effort in making these improvements happen. It is much appreciated and will be available for many years to come.
In the main church building, probably the biggest change has been the removal of the reredos from behind the communion table. This has been temporarily removed, partly to allow access to the east window but also to allow the full east window, and its dragon, to be seen clearly for the first time in many years. The exposure of the east window seems to have been generally welcomed. However, if this is to continue then a permanent home for the reredos is needed.
The final issue which we want to report on is actually outside the church boundaries but concerns the application for building permission to erect two large houses in the garden immediately to the north of the churchyard. If built, the nearest planned house would have looked down onto the Garden of Remembrance at close quarters. Efforts by church members, neighbours of the church and Parish and Borough councillors were successful in gaining a respite from this planned development at the CW&C planning committee. It is likely that this development may re-surface in some form or other but hopefully it will something more sympathetic to the church.
We have both enjoyed our roles as Church Wardens but feel that after 5 years (Irene) and 4 years (Andy) the time has come to find new people to fill these positions. Thank you to all who have helped and guided us.
Andy Wisbey & Irene Skinner
Report of PCC Secretary
The first, very brief, meeting of the current PCC took place immediately after last year’s APCM. The PCC has met five times since, with Brian Rischmiller chairing the June meeting whist Peter was on Sabbatical. Our priorities over the past year have been Church Growth and our buildings, especially the refurbishment of the Lounge. We have had two failed attempts at arranging an Away Day with Laurence Singlehurst, the first cancelled by us due to lack of support and the second cancelled by Laurence due to illness, but there will be another attempt made. We have continued to work with Kelsall Methodist Church and in January the two churches renewed our covenant to work together.
Since moving to Kelsall 36 years ago, I have been on and off PCC like a yo-yo. After seven years as PCC Secretary, I think it is now time I came off PCC again and had a sabbatical of my own. I am not going anywhere and I will probably miss not being part of the decision making group but I am looking forward to not attending evening meetings, especially on cold, dark winter nights. Thank you to everyone who has helped me along the way.
Several issues and changes have occurred since the beginning of 2015.
The first concerned the question raised by the vicar whether, or to what extent, St Philip’s should continue to give to charities in the light of the deficit in our current account. For the year 2015 it was decided to continue at 10% income, but the debate continued. Opinion in the PCC differed. Some thought the church should give no money to charity because it was a personal affair. Others, including me, thought we should continue to give at 10%.
In March 2016, the PCC again debated the issue. The argument was made that the giving of money (and time & talents) is a key part of discipleship, and is referred to in many places in scripture; especially when it involves a sacrifice. Therefore, despite the ongoing deficit (which would be eliminated if no money were given to charity), the PCC decided to continue. Rather than ‘calculate’ 10% income, a figure of £7000 was agreed for 2016.
A further change for 2016 is that, under prompting from the vicar, we will rename our activity Mission Partnership, and start a review of why we give, and what principles we should adopt. For 25 years, we have thought of supporting charities in the categories of ‘UK’ and ‘Overseas’ (see below for 2015). Perhaps we should now re-think our ‘categories’? Just for example, should we think of ‘children & youth’, ‘persecuted Christians’, ‘missionary (home & overseas)’, ‘prisoners’, ‘homeless’? Or, alternatively, should we concentrate each year on only one or two charities / organisations / people? What are we really trying to achieve with our ‘Mission Partnership’?
A meeting to discuss this, open to everyone, will be organised this year, before a second meeting to decide what recommendations to make to the PCC for the disbursement of money.
Meanwhile, in 2015, the Outward Giving group met as usual in June, and recommended that the following should be supported.
Save the Family
|We have been supporting for many years. The organisation has faced a rocky time due to loss of Council funding. Amount reflects the view of the relative importance of StF to the group, which has visited Cotton Edmonds.|
|This is a prisoner support charity, and we decided on a small sum to learn more.|
|Farming, especially dairy farming is in crisis. The Agricultural chaplaincy, now short of Council Funding, provides practical support, on e.g. assistance available, to small farmers, many of whom are facing ruin and despair.|
|We have supported for some years. Some church members are involved with the organisation, and several become beneficiaries of in-patient or out-patient services.|
CSCW (Chester Schools Christian Work)
|…work with over 9000 children in primary and secondary schools in the Chester area and extending geographically. Examples include prayer spaces, SRE lessons, PSHCE lessons, Extended Curriculum Days and Residentials, as well as the usual collective worship and Christian groups in school. |
Paul & Jean Dobbing
|The Dobbing’s house was made unsafe by the devastating earthquakes, and after much soul-searching, they returned permanently in the Autumn. [They had been concerned about their daughter’s up-bringing]. Our support greatly helped them set up a home in Scotland. |
CMS are the organisation which administers these and other missionaries.
Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF)
|MAF operate in Africa, South America and the Pacific, flying small planes into inaccessible places. They transport missionary, medical and other NGO staff, and emergency cases to hospital, often where there is no viable alternative land route. ||500|
|Pingwendé(SPLASH project)||Pingwendé is 16 years old. She is one of 8 children.She lives in Burkina Faso in West Africa, in a village 40 miles from the capital.||300|
|National Disaster Appeal||Agreed by PCC to go to CMS for theirNepal Earthquake Disaster Relief fund.||100|
|Young parishioner bursary||For a young person who was doing something special (usually abroad; usually with Christian content).||150|
|Open Doors(persecuted Christians)||Open Doors is a large organisation, supporting persecuted Christians in several war-torn areas of the world. The money has not yet been handed over pending a presentation in St Philip’s.||200|
|Harvest Charity||Self Help Africa is a charity which is working to support people in rural Africa to produce enough food to feed themselves. You may remember eating Nshima (maize meal and water) and Ndiwo (peanuts, tomatoes, spinach) at the Harvest Festival service.||200|
If you have any views or ideas, and better still experience, of a person or organisation whom St Philip’s should be supporting, please let me, or someone on the Mission Partnership team, know. We continue to look out for persons who will ‘champion’ (= liaise with, promote, host) individual charities or persons.
The definition of “income” has emerged with time; for example, it excludes large legacies, and fundraising for specific charities, but includes Gift Aid claimed back on individual giving.
The Outward Giving group is comprised, de facto, of the charity champions, present and past, and those who turn up for the meeting. Their recommendations need to be endorsed by the PCC.
‘A’ Team Report
Again this year the ‘A’Team has started the grass growing season early, due to the mild winter and March weather.
Because of the increasing age of our volunteers, last year we invited anyone who would like to join us each week on Monday mornings to help. Unfortunately, there were no ‘takers’ last year.
Would anyone interested please contact Ted Wilkinson (781134) or come along on any Monday morning to sample the task. (9am – 12noon approx.) This has now become even more critical as another of our stalwarts, our friend Don Barden, has decided that he must step down from mowing work.
Our thanks go to him for his very long service in all aspects of the ‘A’team work. Sincere thanks go to our other regular ‘A’ Team members for their very hard work and great friendliness, which makes our Monday sessions so enjoyable.
Now able to field three modern, operational, Swedish-designed mulching mowers, we hope to be able keep well ahead of the grass throughout this year. Besides mowing, we continue to keep the Church and grounds tidy and dispose of all waste etc. Not a small task!
St Philip’s have two lay representatives on the Chester Deanery Synod, John Diggle and Brian Rischmiller. The Vicar also attends.
During the year the Deanery Synod meets on four occasions. Their year is slightly different from the Parish year and actually starts in September with a Eucharist service, followed by meetings in November, February/March and April/May. Because of the timing of the APCM each year this report starts with the April/May meeting through to the February/March meeting.
Since our last APCM there should have been four meetings, the first in April when Bishop Keith addressed the meeting, a Eucharist service in September, a meeting in November and then a Spring meeting. However the November meeting was cancelled as the planned speakers were unavailable and because of a very early Easter this year the Spring meeting was also cancelled. Our next meeting will be in May.
So, after an excellent meeting on work with young people in March 2015 (reported at the last APCM) there has only been one business meeting this year which is quite disappointing as one of the benefits of attending these meetings is visiting other churches and talking with other members of the group about their churches and learning how they sometimes approach things differently.
The meeting with Bishop Keith was itself very good, with the Bishop addressing a wide range of questions from the meeting.
CHILDREN’S & YOUTH WORK
Our Go Global! Holiday Club ran successfully for 5 days with 40+ children. All the songs, bible dramas, puppet shows, crafts, decoration, games, and Watt family dramas were organised, performed and run by members of St Philips and KMC, and once again it was a joy to be a part of.
I believe that everyone who came along, whether to help, support or take part, had a wonderful time of fellowship, fun, games and activity.
The Holiday Club ran from Saturday 18 July – Wednesday 22 July and the Sunday Celebration Service took place on the second day of holiday club, which meant that the congregation really were participating in the holiday club activities as they were happening! After the service we went down onto the green for a Go Global Barbecue. There was a great turnout for the barbecue and the feedback from the service, as always, was very positive. This, I believe, is very much down to the skills and talents of the many people both from St Philips and KMC who make it such a wonderful thing to be a part of. And if we lack any talent, we very much make up for it with enthusiasm!
To-date we have not met to decide on a theme and begin the preparations for this year’s holiday club (although thinking of Tim Peake – outer space does seem to be quite topical this year), but we would appreciate the continued support of the people from St Philips and the Methodist Church, as well as your prayers for another successful, well-attended club. As ever I will be in touch nearer the time!
After the summer break we recommenced our normal Sunday morning Splash sessions using Roots material.
Splash continues to support our sponsored child, Pingwende, co-ordinated by Val Poyser.
Alongside our normal Splash mornings, we also engage the children in special activities, which include our all-age Harvest Festival service, Christingle, the Crib service, the nativity, and prayers for Mothering Sunday.
Splash is indebted to Ro Cowell for organising the materials needed to help the children make Christingles for the Service, to Mary Diggle and her team for organising the Mothering Sunday flowers and to Fiona Wall and her team who support Splash each week. Not forgetting Paul Kennaugh, for being a good sport and agreeing to play whatever songs we come up with for the nativity! We would like to record our gratitude to everyone involved in all of the activities mentioned above.
With regard to the nativity, we feel that the interactive approach we have adopted over the last 2 years really engages the congregation and, as a result of our Deal or No Deal nativity in 2014, we had an extra couple of children volunteer to star in last year’s nativity – “I’m a celebrity, get me out of here …”, which was presented by Ant and Dec. Other celebrities are available, so watch out for who may be invited along this year! As ever though, the children were the stars of the show and considering that we only do 2 rehearsals, they do a brilliant job, which always fills the church.
Not forgetting the crib service organised by Dawn, Mary and Keren, which was again much appreciated by both school and pre-school children. It is always a real pleasure to see church full of their excited faces and happy chatter. This year we had a visit from Barney Bear, brought along by Rev Sue who helped our own puppets Bertie and Lucy to tell the Christmas story to the young kids. This provided a great link and encouraged a lot more of the attendees at Barney's to join us for the crib service. It is already pencilled in the diary for 8 December this year, so come and join in the excitement. A great outreach to our village.
Thank you …
I would therefore like to record my thanks for all the hard work and support the Splash Team have given to St Philip’s and the children over the past 12 months, not forgetting the wider network of people who come along to Holiday Club and just agree to do whatever is asked of them. Thank you!
Jacquie Macaulay on behalf of The Splash Team
WHATEVER GROUP and other youth work
Whatever group is taking a (hopefully) temporary pause and all the leaders are actively involved elsewhere at St Philip's.
Youth Club continues under the coordination of Ann Barnett. The leaders (Ann, Jacquie, Jane and myself) met recently with Peter to discuss minor revisions of the club constitution and job descriptions for the leaders and helpers, which will go now to the first meeting of the new PCC and then out to parents and supporters.
We have held a number of well attended club meetings at the Community Centre and Jacquie has organised trips out bowling and to the Panto. A few parents and volunteers have helped occasionally, which is encouraging as it really does make a difference and the club is clearly valued by a lot of young people.
We will, in the short term, continue to focus on the year 7s and 8s, while it is great to see so many move on to do their Duke of Edinburgh's Award under the guidance of Pete Moore and Elaine Shakspeare.
As to the future, we have equipment and resources, as ever just need a few more people to lead and help. There is so much potential in this!
It reminds me once more of Matthew 9:37-38 Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. "
The church choir rejoices in another busy year. We comprise an enthusiastic group of 11, who prepare for special items and festival services. Commitment, flexibility and fellowship are important elements of our group and we would welcome new recruits of any age. Some members of the choir are musically trained, most are not. A love of singing is all that is required. We sing old and new songs of worship and enjoy a challenge. We are ably led by our organist and musical director, Paul Kennaugh, and his leadership is essential to our successes.
The choir sings at weddings (none this year, unfortunately), when we are joined by other members of the worshipping community. Special songs and hymns are prepared for harvest thanksgiving, the memorial and remembrance services, Christmas and the carol service, the Good Friday Meditation and Easter and Pentecost services.
We often receive special thanks and appreciation for our preparation and the standard of our singing. Our choral contribution is an essential element of our worship and we give our best in the name of our Lord.
The music group has really enjoyed developing our repertoire and the quality of the music worship we are delivering on second Sundays. Musicians have also been involved in playing at other services, especially using flute, violin and piano, which has added variety to the music and they have engaged with the choir and congregation. For the Folk Festival service we even had added guitar, flute and violin, which helped enhance the worship and musical experience for those attending.
It’s been wonderful to welcome Helen to the group and she’s played clarinet with us a number of times. We really are indebted to the Wisbeys for their kind gift to the church of a new high quality electric piano and a PA system that allows us to be much more cohesive as a group. Over the last few months we’ve been gradually introducing some new songs and as a congregation we’re getting to know (and love, if the feedback is accurate) them too.
We’re always delighted to be joined by fellow musicians and players of all abilities. Nothing we do is too complicated and our practising once before each service is never onerous. If you can carry a tune, we’d love to hear from you.
Most of the worship songs we play are now available on the church website as youtube videos so if you’d like to get to know them more this is a good place to start. We promise that after a few listens you’ll be whistling them all day!
Chris Spray & Elaine Shakspeare
The group consists of 12 regular members who meet every second or third Monday evening. We prefer to study books of the Bible, drawing on commentaries and resource books for guidance. From January to May 2015, we continued with our study of the Wisdom books of the Old Testament, reading Job, Ecclesiastes and The Wisdom of Solomon (a.k.a. Sirach) from the Apocrypha.
In September, we began a 9 session study of the five chapters of 1 Peter, which we have found to be a rich treasure of scripture, which deserves to be much better known. In 2016, we have completed this and continued with 2 Peter and Jude - both a bit downbeat but thought provoking!
If interested in joining, contact John Diggle, email@example.com, 752608.
Thursday Growth Group Over the past year, we have met (almost) every fortnight to study the Bible, discuss it's meaning and share how we are doing in our relationships with God. Materials we have used to help us with these discussions include the book 'Ten' by Christian author J John (which looked at each of the Ten Commandments and helped us consider to apply these to our lives) and a Bible study book on the life of the apostle Peter (using this we looked at passages from the Gospels and Acts which helped us to observe how knowing Christ changed Peter over time and also encouraged us to see how God uses imperfect people to achieve amazing things!). Next we are looking forward to exploring the subject of prayer and considering how to incorporate this learning into our lives, both individually and as a growth group. In addition, in May we are planning to start on a series of new, monthly sessions entitled 'Know your church, know your neighbourhood' which will be delivered by a member of 'Transforming Lives Together' (a venture between the Diocese of Chester and the Church Urban Fund). Anyone who is interested in attending these sessions would be most welcome!
There are two other Growth Groups which meet regularly, the No.1 Ladies Growth Group, which meets on a Wednesday, and a new Vicarage Growth Group, which began as a Christianity Explored group, then studied Discipleship Explored and has also been a Lent group. We will now continue to meet twice a month. Anyone interested in joining any of these groups will be very welcome – see Peter for details.
The Care group has continued to meet every two months. Our members have visited the long term sick and those in residential care. Offers of transport have been made.
We are looking at ways by which we can improve our baptism and funeral follow-ups.
As we all have busy lives both in church and out, it is good to know that we all watch out for our neighbours and spread the church's care throughout the village. Thank you all
Flowers for the Altar are provided by church members and friends on a weekly rota, usually once or twice a year, except during Lent. There is an enthusiastic team who decorate for the festivals of Easter, Harvest and Christmas and their efforts are always appreciated by the congregation. When there is a wedding the families concerned usually organise the floral decorations. Donations are asked for before Easter for the purchase of Easter lilies and other flowers, any surplus going into the restricted Flower Fund. Thanks to all who help with the flowers, and to those who donate so generously.
As in previous years, six issues of the Parish News were published, with the subscription remaining at £5 per year for 6 copies. In effect this means that one copy per year is free of charge as the cover price for individual copies in church is £1.
The team of 20 distributors delivers 200 copies between them. 10 of those copies are taken to Kelsall Methodist Church by Mary Diggle. We are indebted to all of them for their help and hard work. The co-ordination of the distribution team is done by Douglas and Barbara Walters and we are extremely grateful to them for organising this.
The subscription month was changed to April last year and this has made it easier for the distribution team to collect subscriptions.
Copies are also left in Wally Dutton’s Butchers, the Chemist, Doctors’ surgeries and the Vet’s. They are delivered to newcomers and new houses by Margaret Durbin, as part of the welcoming newcomers initiative.
The Parish News is uploaded to the church website at the following link http://www.kelsallparishchurch.org.uk/styled-22/index.html and twitter @stphilipskelsal, by Chris Spray. It has recently been uploaded in a new format that enables you to turn the pages with a click of the mouse, making it much easier to read online.
Grateful thanks are due to all who make contributions. We couldn’t manage to put the Parish News together without Margaret Davies collating the items and rotas and, of course, the Vicar for providing his ‘View from the Vicarage’ and other items. Paul Kennaugh has stepped down from producing the ‘Diary’ and thanks are extended to Paul for all his hard work over the years on this. John Diggle is now assembling the diary for us, as well as providing regular Outward Giving updates. Items for the Parish News and diary should be forwarded to Margaret and John well in advance of the deadline in order for them to pull together their pieces in good time (firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com), copying in the editors at firstname.lastname@example.org
Contributions are always welcome direct to the editors at email@example.com
If you know of any houses that have recently had new occupants, please take a Parish News (for free) from church and pop it through the door (or even better, take a Welcome Leaflet as well and call in and introduce St Philip’s to them!).
Geoff and Kath Roberts
Communication and Outreach Group
The Communications and Outreach Group has not met formally since March 2015. However, work by the group has continued, including:
Kath Roberts and Andy Wisbey
St. Philip’s Walking Group
We continue to be a strong group with on average about 12 people turning out every month for the walks. Total membership is about 36 people. The membership is a mix of church members, members of other churches, fringe members and residents from the village.
We aim to have a walk every month and in May or June have a long weekend away staying in comfortable accommodation in a nice location. In June 2015 we stayed at Rydall Hall, just outside Ambleside and enjoyed good weather and some challenging walks. On this occasion 26 members joined us.
In December a total of 36 people signed up for the Christmas walk and lunch but unfortunately the weather was atrocious and the walk had to be cancelled. However the lunch was very good.
Vicar’s Report This could be my last annual report. No, this isn’t an announcement; I have no plans to leave Kelsall (although I don’t think I’ll be here until I am 70). Having started a new job at Church House during the last year, and with so many interesting things happening in the parish, I have no plans to move. I believe that this is where God wants me to continue to work out my discipleship. But, this could be my last annual report; and if saying that concentrates the mind, that can’t be a bad thing. It might even give us an insight into the power of Jesus’ words in John 13 when he says to his disciples, “I will be with you only a little longer… A new command I give you: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
In these days after Easter, as the lectionary encourages us to look at the life of the early church and to listen to the disciples’ testimony to the resurrection, we are also taken back to the Last Supper, where Jesus kneels at the feet of his friends and encourages them to love as he has loved. This is not a soft or sentimental word; this is a keen challenge, to them and to us. His love will take him to the cross. It is the way of sacrifice and the way of risk. Will we sacrifice anything for one another? Will we risk anything? That is a sharp way to ask the question, “Will you love one another?”, but I think it is an authentic way to phrase it. How did Jesus put it? “Take up your cross and follow me.”
As Jesus goes to the cross, he doesn’t tell his disciples what they should do in the days and weeks ahead; there is no strategic vision for the building of the kingdom of God, or the growth of the church. He doesn’t sit down like a general planning a military campaign, anxious to communicate his vision, knowing that the following day he might himself fall on the battlefield. He doesn’t tell them what they should do; he tells them how they should be, “As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
That’s why, when the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost, it was not an institution that was born, it was a community. We human beings have turned that community into an institution, but the church that God empowers is a living thing, the body of Christ, ready to take risks and supremely self-sacrificial. Risk and sacrifice can lead to failure and suffering, but that’s the price of love, and the church should be able to hold and sustain those who are suffering and those who are failing, because we are a community.
I want to celebrate, then, everything that marks us out at St Philip’s as a loving community. Prominent in the story of this last year is the time that I was away from this community, on sabbatical, and I want to thank all those who made it possible for me to go away – and all those who welcomed me back. Sunday cover was provided by a number of visiting clergy, whom we have thanked, and by our home team, Lis, John and Andrew; and, behind the scenes, Irene, Andy and Heather, supported by many others. Many of you will have read about my time in Canada and heard stories in sermons; I find it hard to sum up what a special and inspirational visit it was, but I think you will have picked that up by now. It’s still having its impact on me now; one direct consequence of my contact with L’Arche is a link that I am forming with the new community emerging in Mold, just 20 miles from here (a bit nearer than Toronto). Whether or not that becomes a link that we develop as a church remains to be discerned, but it’s something that I am exploring for myself. Additionally, we have been delighted to welcome Samantha and Stephanie from Longley Avenue to some of our worship and look forward to them becoming part of our community here.
Our community is underpinned by networks of care that are expressed within the church by our Care Group, led by Norma Nixey, and our Growth Groups. Thank you to those who befriend and visit some of our more elderly and vulnerable members and support the recently bereaved; and to those who visit our baptism families and help prepare them for the service, supported by Lyn Rischmiller. It’s good to see our Growth Groups continuing to flourish and to read about their activities in the annual report; if you’re not a member of a group, I do encourage you to get involved as they deepen fellowship, offer support and help us to grow in Christ.
As reflected in the wider world and the church at a national level, safeguarding is an increasingly important (but also time consuming) responsibility. I am very grateful to Andrea Edwards for holding this brief for a few years now, which she has done with great attention to detail and sensitivity. This topic will be on the PCC agenda again soon as we look at the implications for our recruitment processes.
The wellbeing and Christian education of our children and young people is the responsibility of the SPLASH team, along with our Youth Club volunteers and all those who help with Holiday Club. As a church we are really blessed to have so much talent and enthusiasm – whilst recognising there is always room for more. I am grateful to Jacquie Macaulay for continuing to lead the Holiday Club, which was very successful once again, and for never quite letting go of the Nativity service – a great event again this Christmas. Jacquie has agreed to pick up the role of SPLASH co-ordinator again, relieving me of that interim responsibility. Thank you! I have been able to get to a number of Youth Club meetings this year and value the opportunity it gives me to have contact with the young people and offer some support to their leaders, who do a great job. As a church we must again express our thanks to Ann Barnett for co-ordinating the Youth Club, as well as to Jane Knight, Daniel Gaskarth and Jacquie Macaulay who are the core leadership. Again, we have room for more support, so speak to one of us if you would like to help.
We are pleased to be able to give some umbrella support to the Duke of Edinburgh Award group and to be able to host their annual awards service; once again, well done to all the young people for their efforts and thanks to their leaders, Pete Moore, Elaine Shakspeare and Daniel Gaskarth, who all work tirelessly for the young people. I am also pleased to report that I have been continuing to take assemblies at Kelsall School, and during this last year the school choir came to Christingle, joined with us in community carols in the churchyard, and held their Christmas services in St Philip’s. They also participated in the Hope Journey events which a number of our members are involved with, although they are held at KMC and administered by them. These are great fun and a fantastic resource to support our work with school. The crib service, attended by children from toddler group, Barney’s buddies, pre-school and reception classes, has also become an annual event and is much appreciated. Thanks to Mary Gaskarth, Dawn Wisbey, Keren Coney, Helen Simpson and all who make this happen. We continue to work closely with KMC on these and other events, sharing in worship from time to time, and supporting the ongoing ministry at Sable Cottage. I am grateful to the Revd Sue Levitt for her continued fellowship and support.
John Diggle is supported by a team of ‘charity champions’ who have continued to sustain our links with individuals and organisations engaged in mission in different places in the UK and overseas; thank you to each one of you for your contributions to our prayers and to the Parish News. I am personally committed to relational engagement in mission but had the responsibility of asking the hard questions about the affordability of our recent levels of support. I’m pleased that we are taking the opportunity to review the quality of our support as well as the quantity and I ask your prayers as we undertake this review. We have particularly noticed this year the special quality of the relationship we have had with Paul, Jean and Jennifer Dobbing, and the enrichment that has brought to us as a church.
Geoff and Kath Roberts continue to edit the Parish News, and I want to thank them for their commitment and enthusiasm for this task, as well as thanking Douglas and Barbara Walters for arranging distribution. Chris Spray now manages the weekly News sheet as well as the website; do support Chris by feeding information to him, with prayer requests going to Douglas Walters. Thanks to Chris and Douglas for this ongoing ministry. I have also benefited again this year from the support given me by Heather Leather in some key administration tasks; and we are also very grateful to Heather for the service she has given as PCC secretary, a task she now relinquishes. I would truthfully say that she will be a hard act to follow – except I don’t want to put off her successor.
We have a number of hardworking officers on the PCC – especially our finance team, Anne Kershaw, Norma Nixey and Brian Rischmiller, all of whom we thank for the weekly and monthly tasks that they undertake to help us keep track of our income and expenditure. We are also very grateful to the members of the stewardship group, led by John Diggle, and to all who have committed to continue giving to support our work in the coming year. Careful study of our accounts will show that your support is absolutely necessary to our continuation as a local church. Cliff Nixey has also done a great job again in updating the electoral roll this year.
Mary Diggle organises the flower rota and ensures that we have beautiful arrangements in church at the festivals and Sunday by Sunday; thank you to all who contribute to this. Mary also assists Barbara Walters in washing the linen. Our thanks to them and to all who come in to church to clean week by week, as well as all those who assist with keeping the church open for visitors. This is much appreciated, as comments in the visitors’ book demonstrate. Out in the churchyard the ‘A’ Team continue to keep us trim – our thanks to them and especially to Ted Wilkinson for his leadership in this area. I must underline, however, the need for us to recruit new members to this team, if we are to avoid the churchyard becoming neglected.
We will hear at the Annual Meeting that our vision is developing for improvements to our church buildings, to make them more welcoming, accessible and functional. I’m grateful to Brian Rischmiller for the work undertaken to get us this far. Heather Leather has taken on the particular work in the Church Lounge and we are really enjoying the improvements there. Thank you both.
Our worship is enhanced by the welcome we receive from the sidespeople on duty – thank you to all those who serve in this capacity. Thanks, too, to Sheila Hyde for continuing to bake the communion bread. Front-of-house is, of course, managed by our churchwardens, Irene Skinner and Andy Wisbey, and their support on a Sunday as we manage the transition between the 9.00 and 10.30 services is invaluable; but the contribution they have both made in their respective 5 and 4 years of service has extended far beyond this. I have greatly valued their personal support and sensitive care through these years; in thanking them for their service I can only say how pleased I am that they have both promised help going forward. Thank you, both.
This year has been a significant one for our team of worship leaders as we have seen Andrew Macaulay licensed as Reader, after 3 years’ training, and Lis Wye becoming Reader Emerita, with the Bishop’s permission to exercise her ministry across the diocese. We were very proud of them both at the Readers’ service last October, and I continue to be very grateful that I can sit and listen to Lis, Andrew and John preaching, and share leading worship with them, and so be enriched myself. We are very fortunate to have such a good team, as I am sure you would all agree. It has also been good to be ministered to by our choir, under the leadership of Paul Kennaugh, and our music group. Thank you to all those who offer ministry through music in the life of our church; comments are often made at the church door about the quality of our music, so I know others appreciate it too.
The quality of our church life, our life as community, depends on so many people and so many different gifts. But, as St Paul said, without love we are nothing. In the passage from John from which I quoted, above, Jesus says more; he says, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” Love is a gift to be shared; by its nature, true love attracts. So Jesus expects that our love for one another will draw others into the life of the church. We have started to explore this through our SPACE events, under the leadership of Andy Wisbey. These are times when we create the space to build community, sharing in conversations with one another about things that matter, exploring faith in creative ways and eating together. My month in the L’Arche community highlighted for me the impact that eating together has on building a sense of community; the early church seemed to know and understand this, and I think it is a crucial part of our life together. As we seek to grow our church, may we have many meals together!
If there are two key emphases that I would draw out of this year’s reports, they are “Outreach” and “Buildings”. As we consider the challenge of a project to reimagine our church interior, may we not forget the exterior – the community that we seek to serve. Our buildings must be our servants; servants of the kingdom as we seek growth for Jesus’ sake.
|St Philip's Church, Kelsall.||For the year ended 31 December 2015||General (unrestricted) Fund Receipts and Payments Account||Year ended||Year ended||Receipts|
|Other charitable collections|
|Annual gifts & legacies|
|1369||Interest and dividends |
|1540||Fundraising (including beer festival)|
|Ministry support fund|
|320||Youth work ( net figure -see note)|
|-47||Training ( other than Training fund -see note)|
|6850||Organist and music|
|3918||Heat and light|
|1929||Overpayment in respect of this year and prior years|
|Insurance and rates|
|2763||Repairs and maintenance |
|9734||Magazine ( net figure)|
|679||Books and stationery|
|3424||Transfer to Major Projects Fund||Total payments|
|78003||Surplus (Deficit) for the period |
|(4,154)||…………………………….|| P A Kershaw (Joint Treasurer)||……………………………||D. Goodier ( Independent Examiner)||St Philip's Church, Kelsall|
|Statement of Assets and liabilities at 31 December 2015|
|Debtor - Income tax repayable|
|Prepayments & sundry debtors|
Bank Current Account-General fund
CBF Deposit Account-General fund
Major Projects Fund Deposit account
Church of England Investments
NET CURRENT ASSETS
BALANCE OF GENERAL FUNDS AT 31 DECEMBER 2015
REVALUATION OF INVESTMENTS
TRANSFER TO/FROM MAJOR PROJECTS FUND
TRAINING FUND (see note)
SURPLUS (DEFICIT) ON GENERAL RECEIPTS OVER
PAYMENTS FOR THE YEAR
BALANCE ON GENERAL FUND
MAJOR PROJECTS FUND (designated fund)
TOTAL FUNDS AT 31 DECEMBER 2015
The financial statements of the P.C.C. have been prepared in accordance with the Church
|Accounting Regulations 2006 and are presented on an income and expenditure basis with||accruals for expenditure. The depreciation of assets has been included and a full||balance sheet prepared.|
Offertory receipts include £48,613 (2014 £46,958) from planned giving and £3,337 (2014 £4,093)
|from open plate collections.|
Dividends received were £1,381. The interest received is £215
Magazine expenditure was £1,776 and income from subscriptions and advertisements was
|£1,504 giving a loss of £272. Last year there was a loss of £679|
The beer festival money is included in the general fund
Youth expenditure includes holiday club expenditure of £910. Contributions from parents
|were £899. This is shown in note 10 below|
There were no major repairs this year in the General Fund
|Capital expenditure includes new cupboards, keyboard,||new windows and new oven|
|Balance brought forward|
|Balance carried forward|
|Payments made in respect of youth work||(including the holiday club)|
|Income received for holiday club|