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The Waterside Churches -

Devoran PCC - Meetings & Minutes



DRAFT Minutes of Devoran PCC Meeting

 Wednesday 24th January 2024 at 1900hrs in the Parish Centre


Those present: Revd. Karen Wilson, Anne Ramsden, Trish Holmes, Adrian Walker, Bill Jewell, Natalie Shaw, Rosemary Crocker, Alicia Skeplorn, Mandy Walker, Shirley Morrish, Clare Chipman, Jane Darlington.

Revd. Karen welcomed members and opened the meeting with prayer.


Apologies were received from Sarah Seddon, Will Charnley and Steven Buckley.


Minutes of the meeting held on October 25th 2023 were received, agreed and signed by the Chair as a correct record.

Matters Arising:

AW noted that a future visit of Christine Salaman to discuss fundraising and legacies and a service to celebrate Canon Martin Boxall’s Ministry were still to be arranged.

 WC had raised issues that he had encountered with the Waterside and Devoran websites.


AW confirmed that e-mails he had received had been circulated to members. He drew attention to a) an invitation to join a zoom session on 6th February as part of the public consultation in the process of appointing a new Bishop and b) a Church of England audit of safeguarding experience.


6. Treasurer’s Report.

TH circulated a summary of current account balances and stated that the accounts for the year ending 31st December 2023 had been completed and were with the Independent Auditor. The full MMF had been paid and there remained a small surplus for the year. TH noted that monies collected at the Christingle Service required a form to transfer direct to the charity: AR would supply. Action AR                                                                           

AW explained that were a matter of concern. Electricity usage had been estimated in invoices all last year and we had run out of contract at end of September. A new contract had now been negotiated with Total Energies and backdated to 10th October 2023. Energy costs, however, were still high and AW stressed the need to be vigilant in our use of the heating system as, on more than one occasion, heaters had been left on overnight.TH reported that to the Guides were in process of payment. After discussion it was agreed that Explorers should be charged at £45 per term.

KW informed TH that JCC had wished to ease some of TH’s workload and had agreed that the management of the JCC bank account should be transferred to Trish Willcox



KW reported that a recent item on the JCC agenda had been ‘Living in Love and Faith’ (LLF). She stressed that the prayers and liturgy were, at present, only for use during intercessions at regular services. There should be an open discussion of LLF matters but the decision for the prayers to be used was for individual PCCs and the priest. KW stated that she would circulate the links for information, liturgy and prayers to members.                       

On a personal note, she would be happy to include the prayers in her own intercessions.


KW emphasised the importance of JCC representation.  There were currently only 2 representatives from Devoran and it was suggested that the need for a third should be advertised widely in Church notices.


Deanery Synod.  CC noted that the next meeting was planned for February.


Christmas Services were well received and well attended. SM commented that the Midnight Christmas Eve service was much missed and KW promised to explore the possibilities for 2024. It was unfortunate that the crib service/nativity had to be brought into the Church and all agreed that firmer control of the children was required in future services. AW commentated that, although all the services and concerts were worthwhile, the multiplicity of activities placed a heavy load on those supporting and organising events.                                             Evensong and Celtic Services. Numbers at both services were usually less than 10 and had not attracted others from the congregations in the Benefice. MW reported that in conversation with regular attenders at Evensong it was recognised that this service, though valued by the few, was not sustainable. AR suggested that a Celtic service could be held once a month in the Parish Centre. KR agreed that the future of the services would be considered at the Ministry meeting with a decision deadline by Easter.


Church choir. John and Barbara Sellers had promoted the idea of forming a choir. In recent weeks there had been an ad hoc presence in the choir stalls which had been well received. Members debated the matters of robes and choir practice but, while there was enthusiasm for the proposal, it was felt that the proposal should develop organically as our overall numbers are few. It was noted that WC had offered his support and experience with the project.


Church Warden’s report and other church matters.

AR expressed her thanks to all those who helped with her duties during the period she was recovering from her hip operation. Her enforced inactivity had underlined the need for a second warden and KW encouraged her to include this issue in the regular church notices. AR reported that she had arranged an appointment for the sound system to be checked and she would investigate the possibility of playing musical accompaniments through the system when organists are not available. She would also explore the practicality of installing a projection screen. . A recent survey of the trees in the churchyard had recommended that the yew tree by the corner gate be felled and the shrubbery around cleared. Notification to the council was required and the tree surgeon would do the necessary paperwork. The pine tree at the top of the churchyard required the removal of several damaged branches. the zoom meeting arranged for public consultation on the appointment of a new Bishop. AW reported that he had spoken with Michael Greet (chair of the Diocesan Property Committee) and underlined the importance of progressing agreed plans to retain the area in the Vicarage garden for unloading and disabled parking.). WJ spoke to a paper already circulated to members promoting a proposal to re-site the statue of BVM away from the pulpit. WJ described the history of the present arrangement and argued that the statue should be moved to the ‘Marion corner’ near the picture and candle shelf. The two patron saints, St John and St Petroc would remain in the two more prominent pulpit niches. The donor had agreed that the BVM could be moved after her death and it was not anticipated that the DAC would object to the proposal. KW suggested that she would talk with Sue Thorold to assess the need for a Faculty. The matter was discussed and a vote invited. There was unanimous approval for the proposal.AS reported that, following the use of the Centre, the toilets had been left in a very dirty condition. AR suggested that she would write an official letter on behalf of the PCC to all hall users to emphasise the expectations for leaving the facilities as they were found.

AS further noted that the Parish Centre is overdue for a ‘Spring clean’ and it was hoped to organise a cleaning party to tackle the task.MW reported that several quotes from locksmiths had all been around the sum of £150+VAT. In view of the expense and access to keys it was agreed not to pursue the matter at present.. KW reported that the safeguarding team had indicated that the person who had been causing problems in recent months appears to have moved away from the area. We are asked, however, to remain alert and report anything suspicious to the Diocesan team..AW reminded members that it had been proposed that a donor list for the new chairs would be recorded in the Church. AR agreed to liaise with TH to compile the list of contributors.WC had written that, while time had been very restricted recently, he was happy to put a team together and draw up a ‘to do’ list for the team.


Creation Care:

 CC stated that she had been unable to attend the last meeting and had nothing further to report.


Messy Church. 17-18 children attended regularly. More help with setting up, clearing and catering would be much appreciated.

Sunday Stars. This was now a mixed group which met regularly on 3rd Sunday of the month.                                             Tots and Toys.  JD had circulated a paper. The session is extremely busy and more help is urgently needed to assist with setting up the room.

Guides. Kate Robinson had submitted a report. It is hoped that at least 2 new young members will join the group this term. She outlined a program of activities and regular meetings that are planned for the term. 


Churchyard: AS noted that the wall, in the top left area of the churchyard where the gardener had been clearing brambles, was in need of work. The compost bins were gradually being emptied and the soil used to fill in sunken graves. An area had been prepared to receive the donated tree.                                                                                      


Tea/Coffee in Parish Centre. SM reported that we had received a gift of tablecloths from the chapel when it closed and that supplies had been used to support the Summer Fete and November coffee morning.  A number of special birthdays had been celebrated and the net profit of income over expenditure was £328.35. SM presented £300 to the treasurer. 


14. Safeguarding. The outstanding matter had been addressed under item 10.



KW reminded members of the invite to the Volunteers’ coffee morning on 27th Jan.

 WC had written that the links were broken to the main Waterside page and to the Devoran page on the Waterside Churches site. He no longer had access to the Devoran standalone website. It appeared, after a brief discussion, that others were not experiencing the same problems. AW agreed to investigate the current status of the Devoran site.  Action AW  


Dates of future meetings:   

Sunday 24th March 2024 (after service) Meeting to ratify accounts.

Sunday 14th April 2024 (after service) APCM


The meeting was closed with the Grace at 9.15pm.

Minutes of Devoran PCC Meeting                                                                                                                       Wednesday 25th October 2023 at 1900 hrs in the Parish Centre

Those present: Revd.Karen Wilson, Anne Ramsden, Trish Holmes, Adrian Walker, Bill Jewell, Natalie Shaw, Rosemary Crocker, Alicia Skeplorn, Sarah Seddon, Shirley Morrish, Mandy Walker.
Revd. Karen welcomed members and opened the meeting with a prayer.
1. Apologies had been received from Will Charnley, Jane Darlington, Steven Buckley and Clare
2. Minutes of the meeting held on May 18th 2023 were received, agreed and signed by the Chair as a correct record.
3. Matters arising.                                                                                                                                                      WJ stated that he had been unsuccessful in all attempts to find any interest in dismantling the boiler. AR agreed to advertise further on social media before we consider other options.                Action AR
4. Any other Business declared. There was none.
5. Correspondence. AW confirmed that communications he had received had all been circulated to members of the committee.                                                                                                                                a) KW informed members that no details of funeral arrangements had yet been released following the sad death of Archdeacon Paul. In reply to a query from NS she confirmed that flowers had been sent to the family from the Benefice together with many cards.                                                                 b) MW drew attention to a letter from KW informing PCC members of the decision by the Diocese not to renew the license of Canon Martin Boxall (MB). This decision had been communicated to MB by a phone call from Father John Eatock (Dean of retired Clergy) and had been the source of a great deal of hurt and upset to MB, his family and friends. The very real concerns expressed by the committee about the arbitrary and peremptory nature of this process were endorsed by the chair. KW informed the meeting that she had written to the Bishop and John Eatock and suggested that the PCC should refrain from sending a formal letter until she had received a response from the Bishop. NS spoke to the needs of MB and Janet in this situation and it was agreed that a brief letter expressing the appreciation and support of the PCC should be personally given to MB. AR, who had planned a visit, agreed to compose and take this to MB.                                                           Action AR   WJ stated that, at the appropriate time, we must celebrate MB’s valuable ministry. This proposal was supported by all members of the committee.                                                                                                                                                          
6. Treasurer’s Report. TH circulated and spoke to a summary of the account balances. She anticipated that VAT reimbursement for 2022 would be received shortly and this would cover the outstanding MMF contribution for 2023. £15,000 had already been paid this year.                                                            The Independent Examiner’s report for the year ended 31st December 2022 was received.                  In answer to a query from SB, the treasurer informed the meeting that the approximate ratio of regular giving in the Parish was 2:1 Standing Order to Parish Giving. This opened a debate about how best to encourage Parish Giving and a wider discussion about fundraising and legacies. It was proposed and agreed that Christine Salaman be invited to give a presentation to an ‘after church’ coffee time. KW agreed to initiate an invitation.                                                                            Action KW
7. Joint Churches Council. KW emphasised the importance of this committee in the governance arrangements of the Benefice. She noted that there were currently vacancies for representatives from both Devoran and Feock and encouraged an active process to recruit new members.               AW then gave a brief review of selected agenda items at recent JCC meetings.                                                           May 24th. It was reported that a new Head and Assistant Head of Safeguarding had been appointed for the Diocese. A review of the Benefice would take place in 2024.                                                       July 19th. JD gave a presentation on ‘Tots and Toys’. There was a debate regarding a return to the ‘common cup’ : the 3 churches wished to retain current practice at present.                                         August 30th. Agreed to hold an AGM for the JCC next year after the PCC annual meetings.                October 11th. Purchase of banners to be expedited to advertise church and benefice events. The limited capacity of volunteers in our three churches was discussed and the need not to over burden willing helpers.  
8. Deanery Synod.  The committee had received a written report from CC. The October Deanery meeting had been informed of the changing pattern of Rural Deans. The Diocese will be recruiting 3 full time Deans instead of the current 12 Rural Deans who also have busy Parish commitments. There were presentations on ‘Compassion UK’ and the work of Creation with updates from the Mission areas. 
9. Church Warden’s Report.  AR spoke to a paper, already circulated, which listed the many responsibilities which she had assumed as Church warden. This workload was not sustainable, particularly in view of her recommissioning as Local Worship Leader for a further 3 years. Her preference would be for the appointment of another Church warden but there is a necessity to reduce the current burden of duties. A number of offers were made to take on certain tasks and AW suggested that AR draw together a small group who would consider ways to progress the problem urgently.                                                                                                                                                           Parish Centre Security. Concern was expressed that, when the Church was open, the toilet facilities were being regularly used by the public and not always left as they were found. Without a lock on the Parish Centre door the contents were vulnerable. Following discussion it was agreed that the door to the vestibule and toilet should remain open but a lock should be purchased for the Parish Centre. MW agreed to explore the options for securing the door to the Centre.                Action MW                                                                         Pews and Chairs.  AW reported that a Faculty had now been granted for permanent removal of the pews; 3 had already been sold (£600) and it had been requested that 2 remain in the Centre. 12 chairs had been purchased and were presently stacked at the back of the church – a number had already been sponsored at £35 each.                                                                                                        Fundraising and Events.   A coffee morning will be held in the Village Hall on Nov.18th, with various stalls. Concerts in the Church with Will Keating (2nd Dec.) and the Dolce Ensemble (16th. Dec) are being arranged. A small group would be formed to manage the arrangements.                                    Car Parking.    AW asked if we had received any communication regarding plans for a permanent parking area in the Vicarage. AR stated that she had heard nothing further. In discussion members noted the importance of progressing this item at the appropriate time to secure disabled parking arrangements for the future. The committee agreed to keep the matter under review.     Appointment of Bishop.   AR referred to an article in the Church Wardens’ Newsletter regarding the process of input into the See Committee which would discuss matters relating to the appointment of a new Bishop of Truro.                  
10. Church services.   JD had requested that PCC review the afternoon/evening Evensong service. Following an earlier decision by PCC Evensong was now held on only one Sunday in the month. Numbers attending were small and the service failed to attract members from the other Waterside Churches. The limited capacity of those conducting Evensong, and the resources required, demanded that the viability of the service should be revisited. The pros and cons of stopping Evensong were debated. KW proposed that a conversation should take place with those who attended the service to fully assess the strength of support before a decision is made.      Action KW      It was suggested (AW) that the monthly Celtic services might be rotated around the other Waterside Churches but it was concluded, for practical reasons, that this would not be viable.                                                                                               
11. Children’s and Youth Activities.   A report had been received and circulated from JD on the ‘Tots and Toys’ initiative. KR stated that this activity, together with Messy Church and Sunday Stars should be items on the JCC agenda rather than PCC.                                                                                                                           Guides. Kate Robinson had submitted a brief report. The new term had started with some new members from the village. The girls are keen and have enjoyed a variety of activities, including an evening on Devoran Quay.                                                                                                                                  AS reported that a number of invoices for the use of the Parish Centre were outstanding. Members agreed that these should be pursued.
12. Creation Care.  A report from CC had been circulated and was received.  CC made a number of suggestions to further reduce our Carbon footprint and asked for volunteers to join her to make a Creation Care team. The meeting considered that it was still not practical to register with the ‘A Rocha Eco Church’ scheme.                                                                                                                              The proposal to switch to a ‘green tariff’ with our current supplier, ‘Total’, was discussed. The principal was accepted but it was first necessary to understand our present contract and our current tariff. It was agreed that TH would provide AW with recent electric bills so that he could request the necessary information.                                                                                                                 Action TH/AW
13. Working Groups.                                                                                                                                          Churchyard Working Party.  AS spoke to a report prepared for the meeting. Volunteers had met each month throughout the summer, sometimes with only 2 but 7 in September including 3 or 4 non church members. A near-neighbour has also taken an interest and works in the grounds at times outside the regular meeting time.                                                                                                                              Weeding, moss removal and drain clearing have been necessary activities but, although the area round the War Memorial has been sprayed a number of times, the bamboo continues to be a problem. The damaged Celtic cross has been reinstated in the ‘Lobb’ bed, although now a little shorter! The bonfire requires attention, the shed needs replacement and more help is always welcome!                                                                                                                                                                TH reported that 3 invoices for graves had not been paid.                   Action KW agreed to re-invoice. AR stated that a review of churchyard trees had been carried out. Most were satisfactory but some work was required on the yew tree.                                                                                                                                                            Wider Church and Social Group.  SM reported that the ‘Coffee Morning’ continued once a month and a ‘Harvest Tea’ had been arranged (29thOctober) to follow the Commemoration Service for the gifts from the Methodist Chapel. Invitations had been extended to the Methodist congregation to join us for the service and tea.                                                                                                                           AR explained that the Wider Church had, in the past, organised fund raising events for agreed national and international causes.
14. Safeguarding.   KW described the background of the new safeguarding officers who had been appointed by the diocese, together with the new Hub and IT package that was now available. The IT, with Dashboard, will ensure timely training, DBS checking and records of all safeguarding matters within the diocese.  KW read out the 5 standards of the new National Safeguarding Strategy and by a show of hands these were ratified by all members present. A poster would be displayed.    Action AR                                                                      The new diocesan appointments had been particularly helpful and effective with the management of an ongoing safeguarding issue in the Benefice. KW requested continued prayers and support while the matter was being resolved. 
15. Declared AOB. There was none. 
16. Date of next Meeting.         Wednesday 24th. January 2024 at 7pm 
The meeting closed with the Grace at 9.15pm.   


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