Minutes of Devoran PCC Meeting - Thursday 18th May 2023 at 1900 hrs in the Parish Centre
Those present: Revd. Karen Wilson, Anne Ramsden, Clare Chipman, Trish Holmes, Jane Darlington, Shirley Morrish, Steve Buckley, Bill Jewell, Mandy Walker, Adrian Walker
Revd. Karen took the chair, welcomed new members and opened the meeting with a prayer.
1. Apologies had been received from Sarah Seddon, Alicia Skeplorn, Rosemary Crocker, Natalie Shaw and Will Charnley
2. Minutes of the meetings held on March 9th 2023 and post APCM on April 16th 2023 were received, approved and signed as a correct record.
3. Matters arising.
a) AW reported that, following queries at the PCC meeting of March 9th, he had met with Luke Zorab, financial advisor, and discussed our investments. Luke had apologised for the recent delays in releasing funds and for the lack of annual reviews and assured us that we would, in future, receive regular reviews. Our remaining investment fund is with Aegon (Cofunds) in an ‘ethical average’ fund with ‘cautious risk’. Performance of this fund has been good with 53% growth since the fund was set up in 2016. b) Appointment of Secretary. CC gave a brief summary of the role which had been circulated with the agenda. No nominations had been received for the position and following discussion AW agreed to be nominated. Nomination proposed: AR and seconded: WJ A huge vote of thanks was given to Clare for the 10 dedicated years she had served as secretary.
c) Co-option of PCC members. Shirley Morrish and Will Charnley had both agreed to serve as co-opted members.
4. Correspondence. CC drew attention to a letter from the Bishop of Truro which had been placed on the notice board. ‘On the Way’ and Deanery plans have informed the development of the Diocesan plan which was presented at the Bishop’s Study day. The plan will be further discussed at the Bishop’s visit to the Deanery on 27th May which CC and Ele Buckley plan to attend. The priorities of the plan focus on changing patterns of ministry, improved engagement with children and young people and a shift of resources to communities experiencing deprivation. SB emphasised the importance of this plan and JD reported that it had received approval at a recent meeting of Readers.
5. Treasurer’s report. TH presented a tabled summary of account balances. Our MMF this year is a little under £19K and it was anticipated that the first tranche of £5K would be paid shortly. She was currently collating VAT invoices for HMRC repayment. TH reported that she had received a letter from our financial advisor with apologies from Aegon for their recent service along with a sum of £450 compensation and £72.33 loss of interest.
AW informed members that the gross cost of the Heating Project had been just under £30K but, with VAT reimbursement and funds received, the net cost was c£21.5K. It was anticipated that a decision re a Faculty for disposal of the removed pews would be received in the next few days.
WJ reported that he had no further information about the possible removal of the old boiler to free storage space in the boiler house. He would pursue the matter further. ACTION WJ
AW queried if our electricity bills were still on estimated readings. Following discussion AR agreed to investigate how we read the new meter! ACTION AR
6. Church Warden’s report.
a) The Big Help Day had been a great success with good numbers of children and adults working in the graveyard. 17 people had signed up to come and garden again.
b) AR reported that she had been approached by St Feock regarding the possibility of a shared legacy request form. In discussion it was noted that Diocese Legacy Officer, Christine Salaman (CS),would be pleased to provide advice and information on all aspects of legacies. AR agreed to make contact with CS to consider her coming to a future PCC meeting. ACTION AR
JD raised the need to update parishioners on planned giving and stewardship.
c) The PCC section on the Benefice website would include details of PCC members with contact details. Paul Stuart would contact individuals for their consent. The site would also include agendas and minutes. d) Church wardens’ meetings now had a rotating chair.
e) The new space at the front of the Church is being well used. A new table for the hymn numbers has been provided and it will be necessary to purchase a number of smart stackable chairs for events such as a wedding booked for November. f) AR reported that she would be taking part in the ‘Sens Kernewyk’ leadership course organised by the Diocese, along with Paul Stuart of St Piran’s.
g) The outside notice board has been deemed beyond repair. It was planned to purchase a new one. h) Now that we have a new PCC, AR wished to review the various working groups.
7. Joint Churches Council.
AW reported from the minutes of a meeting held on 13th April 2023.
a) It was a matter of concern that the Benefice Bank Account was still not available.
b) Safeguarding. It had been proposed that a single safeguarding officer be appointed for the Benefice. The proposal had been agreed by two of the three church represented.
c) The frequency of JCC meetings was discussed. Meetings would, in future be held every six weeks.
KR informed members of a meeting she had had with Jo Pomeroy about the move towards a single Benefice Safeguarding Officer with links into each Church. The Safeguarding Lead for the Diocese, Andy Earl, had met with Lorraine Rogers, the proposed Benefice SO. New software (Hub) is being developed which will encompass all aspects of safeguarding and KW will meet with Jo on 6th June to complete the dashboards for Devoran and St Piran’s and trial the new Hub. In the meantime Lorraine Rogers is happy to act as SO for both Devoran and St Piran’s.
8. Diocesan Synod. We have no representative.
9. Deanery Synod. The next meeting of Synod will be June 21st.
10. Worship and Events.
a) Messy Church. Working well, with an average of 12 children and SM’s organisation of the afternoon teas is much appreciated. AR had met with Pastor Adrian with the hope of forging links with Carnon Downs. Signatories for the bank account had now been updated. b) Sunday Stars. Designed for 8-13 year olds. Six young people are now signed up with the group meeting at 4-6pm every 3rd Sunday before the Celtic Service.
11. Working Groups.
a) Churchyard. AS had submitted a written report which highlighted the need to replace the shed and the problem of the bamboo roots in the area around the War Memorial. Members discussed the various options to eradicate the roots and the need to cut the sycamore in the church wall. AR reported that a survey of the trees had been carried out and a report would be received in due course. A special needs group would be coming on Thursdays to work in the churchyard as a community project. TH requested that the branches of the tree overhanging her family’s grave could be cut back. In reply to a query from WJ, AR stated that there were only a handful of burial plots left in the graveyard.
b) It was noted that Kate Robinson was no longer a PCC member. It was suggested that she be asked to submit a brief report for future PCC meetings. ACTION AW
c) Wider Church and Social Group. SM drew attention to the Fete to be held on June 10th. The list for contributions and volunteers to man the stalls was available at the back of the church. AR reported that she had received an e-mail from Mrs Covey (school music teacher) and the recorder group from the school would be present at the fete.
AR stated that with local agreement for a Benefice SO she was happy to remain as the link for Devoran.
a) Creation Care. CC reported on the recent meeting which had focussed on graveyards. The next moves will be towards signing us up to work towards the various levels of environmental awards.
b) Tots and Toys. JD stated that, since opening on 21st April, 30 parents/carers and 30 toddlers had attended the group. She had a few dedicated helpers and was in process of setting up a rota. Insurance was under the churches insurers and a bank account opened with compensation for a delay in the process. A number of significant donations had been received and the group has an Amazon wish list. JD outlined the continued publicity for the project and plans for fund raising.
It was noted that both the above items would be part of future PCC agendas. ACTION AW
c) Office printer. This had been inspected and required replacing. TH and AR were asked to liaise to purchase. ACTION TH/AR
Date of next Meeting. Wednesday 18th October 2023
The meeting was closed at 20.30hrs with the Grace
The Parish Church of St John and St Petroc, Devoran
Minutes of Meetings held on 16th April 2023
The Revd. Karen Wilson (KW) chaired the meeting and opened in prayer.
Apologies were received from Ann Jewell and Rosemary Crocker.
Election of Church Wardens. Anne Ramsden (AR) had indicated her willingness to continue in the role for a further year. An immense vote of thanks was proposed by KR for all the work that Anne has done, alongside her commitments on the Worship Team. This was endorsed by the whole meeting. No nominations had been received to allow the appointment of a second church warden. The opportunity would be left open for further nominations during the coming year.
1. Minutes of the meeting held on the 24th April 2022 were received and unanimously agreed as a correct record of the meeting.
2. Matters Arising. Bill Jewell (BJ) noted that the longstanding issue of the church heating system had now been addressed and thanked the working party for their solution.
3. Presentation of Accounts. The annual accounts for the year ended 31st December 2022 had been previously circulated and copies were available. The treasurer, Trish Holmes (TH), spoke to the accounts and highlighted a number of items. - £20,000 had been paid during 2022 towards the MMF. This was £5,000 less than planned. Our contribution for 2023 had been set at £18,000.
- The major building and decorating invoices had now all been paid.
- Oil prices had increased greatly but would not be required further! The electric usage, however, was still being estimated by our supplier. - Our Cofunds investments stood at £86,000 at the end of last year. £30,000 had since been withdrawn to pay for the heating system.
In reply to questions, TH informed the meeting that energy grants would be included in the 2023 accounts and VAT claims would be rolled up and presented when the final heating invoice was received.
KW expressed the appreciation and thanks of the PCC for TH’s work on behalf of the church.
– This had been available for some time and KW drew the meetings attention to certain items in the report. - Ministry. Chris Wilson has been commissioned as a LWL, Elly Buckley has joined the team and would be taking part in services during her discernment process and Revd. Jeff James may be available to rejoin the service rotas after September.
- The JCC, after a period of inactivity, planned to meet more frequently.
- Confirmations were planned for May and October. Adult Confirmation was being considered.
– Alicia Skeplorn (AS) reported that the number on the roll remained at 58 including 12 non-residents. Following the loss of two parishioners we had gained Steve and Elly Buckley. In reply to a query AS confirmed that it was possible to be on two parish electoral rolls.
AR’s report drew attention to the success of the new heating system and to the value of the open space at the front of the church for children and community events. The traditional variety of worship services has been maintained while there has been a special emphasis on developing the work among children and young people in Messy Church, a new Youth Church and Jane Darlington’s initiative, ‘Tots and Toys’. We have also been pleased to have welcomed the school to the church on a number of occasions. AR also welcomed Elly and Chris to the ministry team. Coffee Spot continued twice a month and the possibility of starting a ‘craft group’ in the Parish centre was being investigated. The gardening group, with new members from the community and the new gardener, is gradually developing the potential of the churchyard with the possibility of community voluntary work on the ‘big help day’ after the Coronation. A list of jobs for volunteers was being drawn up. A possible solution to the disintegrating shed was in hand. AR thanked all those who had supported her in the past year and repeated the request for a second churchwarden to help with the maintenance of the church and her other responsibilities.
5. Appointment of the Independent Examiner.
TH reported that the Diocese was still unable to provide a named auditor for this exercise. The 2022 accounts had been verified by Nadine Ashby-Johnson (Accountant and Financial Controller) and it was proposed (BJ) and seconded (JB) that she be asked to continue as auditor for the present year. Agreed unanimously.
6. Election of Deanery Synod Representatives.
Kate Robinson and Adrian Walker had indicated their wish to stand down. Following discussion, nominations for Jane Darlington and Steve Buckley were received. They were proposed and elected nem.con. and would join Clare Chipman as Synod representatives.
7. Election of PCC members.
The secretary reported that Janet Boxall, Will Charnley and Shirley Morrish have completed their 3 year term. Nominations were received for Steve Buckley (proposed by AR, seconded by Osborn Gurrin (OG) and Bill Jewell (proposed by Jane Darlington, seconded by Janet Boxall) – and agreed nem.con.
It was noted that the PCC could co-opt members with special responsibilities and this would be considered at the first PCC meeting.
8. Election of Sides-people.
The present sides-persons were willing to continue and were elected on block. (proposed OG and seconded JB). The value of a ‘reserve list’ of those willing to serve as sides-people was endorsed and the current list would be reviewed.
9. Devoran Religious Education Trust.
AR explained that the Trust had been established following the sale of Devoran School. The fund (in excess of £38K) is ring fenced for young people and religious education and is held in an account by the Diocese. She proposed that, while remaining as a separate account, the fund should be brought into the Parish Financial Accounts. The proposal was agreed nem.con.
BJ suggested that the current limited list of signatories for the account might need to be updated.
KW reported that the JCC had considered the option to appoint a single Safeguarding Officer for the Benefice. Support for this had not been unanimous and the committee had agreed to move towards this goal. At present AR stated that she was content to remain in the role.
1. BJ asked if he could explore the possibility of having the boiler removed from the boiler house. This was readily agreed. 2. He further queried if it was still planned to provide comfortable, stackable chairs for the space at the front of the church for events such as weddings. AR responded that this was still the intention. 3. It was anticipated that Devoran Methodist Chapel would close in the summer and BJ raised the possibility of an ecumenical integration, similar to St Piran’s. KW stated that the first intention was for the congregation to worship at the Carnon Downs ‘Hub’. However, contacts had been made to assure people of a warm welcome at Devoran Church.
The meeting was closed with ‘The Grace’ at 12 noon.
Appointment of Officers
Vice Chair: Adrian Walker agreed to continue as deputy chair.
Treasurer: Trish Holmes indicated her willingness to continue as treasurer.
Secretary: After many years in the post Clare Chipman (CC) stated her intention to stand down, due to her increasing involvement as ‘Green Champion’ and for health reasons. KW thanked Clare for her long service. There were no current nominations for the role. KW asked if CC would prepare a brief summary of her responsibilities as secretary and remain in post until the first meeting of the new PCC when all alternatives would be explored. CC agreed.
Date of next meeting. Thursday 18th May 2023. Meeting was closed at 12.30.