Annual Parochial Church Meeting ,
Sunday 22nd March 2015
In the Church, following the 10am service
The reports below are those for the AGM 2014 and it is hoped to remove them and to replace them with this year’s reports (2015)
The Reports for that meeting are listed below and were published for all to read:
- 1. Chairman’s Report for 2013 Revd. G H James Clapham
- 2. APCM minutes for 21st April 2013
- 3. Churchwarden’s Report
- 4. PCC report for the APCM on the 30th March
- 5. Worship Committee Report
- 6. Sunday Club Report
- 7. Christian Concerns Group
- 8. Choir Report
- 9. Praise and Play Report
- 10. Prayer Circle Report
- 11. Mothers’ Union Report
- 12. Churchyard Working Group Report
- 13. Chaplaincy Report
- 14. Taunton Deanery Synod
- 15. Taunton Churches Together
- 16. 1 st Taunton (Wilton) Scout Group
- 17. 16th Taunton (St George’s, Wilton) Brownies
- 18. 16th Wilton Guides
1. Chairman’s Report for 2013 Revd G H James Clapham
Wilton Parish – Annual Report of the Parochial Church Council
for the Year Ended 31 December 2013
The correspondence address for the Parish of St. George’s, Wilton is:
TA1 3JT. 01823-284253
The Parochial Church Council (PCC) is registered as charity number 1134647.
PCC members who have served from 1 January 2013 until the date this report was approved, unless otherwise stated, are:
Vicar: The Revd. G H James Clapham Chair
Associate Vicar: The Revd. Jennifer Jeffery
Churchwardens: Mrs Hilary McKegney
Mr Geoff Winterson
Deanery Synod Representatives: Mr Chris Michell
Dr Mike Yardley
Secretary to the Church Council: Miss Grace Davies
Treasurer to the Church Council: Cdr John Page
|Mr Richard Booth||Mr Christopher Michell|
|Mr Adrian Dyer||Mr Stephen Page|
|Mrs Elizabeth Flower||Mrs Rosa Parsloe|
|Mrs Cathryn Howse||Mrs Carole Smith|
|Mrs Jane Joyce||Mrs Claire Steel (resigned during year)|
|Mr Peter McKegney||Dr Michael Yardley|
Structure, governance and management
The method of appointment of PCC members is set out in the Church representative Rules.
All Church attendees are encouraged to register on the Electoral Roll and stand for election to the PCC.
Members of the PCC, together with co-opted members, serve on three sub-committees to consider worship, nurture and outreach and make recommendations to the full PCC.
There is also a sub-committee to formulate a policy for the PCC’s consideration on the use of the churchyard.
Objectives and activities
It is our intention that St. George’s Church, Wilton, its hall, churchyard, and allotments should be available to the whole community, whether they are church members or not. Wilton PCC has the responsibility of co-operating with the Vicar (the Revd. J Clapham) in promoting in the ecclesiastical parish the whole mission of the Church, pastoral, evangelistic, social and ecumenical. It also has the maintenance responsibilities for the aforementioned properties.
During the year, an entirely new electoral roll was compiled. The previous roll listed 172 names. There are 155 members on the new Church Electoral Roll. The total of regular worshippers [which includes housebound Communicants], counted during October, was 166 [there were other people new to our church, but these are not counted in the calculation until they have been with us for one year].
St George’s continues to enable the community to mark life’s milestones. During 2013 there were 5 weddings and 9 baptisms in the church. There were over a dozen funerals either in church or at Taunton Deane Crematorium. All of these events bring the church into contact with people at very significant times in their lives and the ministry of the church is appreciated. It does present an opportunity to make those members of the community of aware of other things the church is able to offer.
The Parish Share was paid in full for 2013 thereby maintaining the proud tradition of St George’s Church.
Voluntary Income for 2013 was £118,456, down £6,412 on the previous year, resulting substantially from a reduction in Christian Giving of £5,764. However, this was offset in the main by a reduction in the annual Parish Share of £7,308. Maintenance Costs rose significantly by over £7,000 due primarily to remedial electrical work required in order to satisfy Church and Hall insurance stipulations. Yet overall, Disposable Assets showed a modest growth of £2,807, and Hall Revenue continued to improve increasing by £3,334.
We were able to send £14,400 to charities from our Sunday collections this year.
The welcome trend of income exceeding expenditure has been successfully maintained. The PCC are setting objectives to actively pursue measures to increase income and/or reduce expenditure in order to ensure the positive trend continues.
Having considered what its needs are, the PCC has agreed that reserves for a three-month period should be held in order to cover any foreseen and unforeseen expenditure. JP
Sometimes against considerable pressure in the past, St George’s has maintained its approach to Christian giving. All the running costs of our church, including our parish share (our contribution to the Diocese that pays for clergy salaries, education, school support, smaller churches etc.) are met from the committed giving of our church members. The church is often regarded by non-church goers as being concerned about fund raising for itself. It’s an important part of our witness to be able to say to any visitor that any money put into our weekly collections is always given to other registered charities and not a penny is spent on maintaining the church. It’s a witness that can only be sustained by the prayerful, committed, regular and generous giving of the members of St George’s.
John Page, as our Treasurer for almost five years, has accurately kept track of every item of our church’s income and expenditure. Michael Small has taken over from Jacqui Cottey, looking after our committed giving and making the most of our income from Gift Aid. Peter McKegney has also started to help the management of our money by dealing with the numerous cheques that have to be paid each month.
Achievements and Performance
Although there are areas of overlap, all the activities of St George’s can be considered under three headings, worship, nurture and outreach. (These also correspond to subcommittees of the PCC.)
Because it’s a weekly occurrence, it is very easy to take our Sunday services for granted. Although both morning services at 8 and 10 a.m. are Eucharistic and liturgical, the atmosphere is relaxed. The larger numbers attending the latter service and the way it is led create a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Two residents of Elmsmead, accompanied by a carer make a particular contribution to the relaxed atmosphere. Our Lay Readers (PTO) Peter Ball and Bob Dunning provide valuable help in running services and preaching. On the first Sunday of each month, Sunday Club for children, and any parents who wish to join them, is held in the Church Hall while the service is in progress. The children re-join the service before it finishes.
The provision of freshly made coffee in the Church Hall after the service provides an opportunity for church members catch up with each other and welcome visitors and newcomers.
On alternate Sunday afternoons services are held in the residents’ lounge at St George’s and Elizabeth House residential homes. This is in addition to the midweek communion services taken by church members at those homes as well as Mountbatten Nursing Home. Communion is also taken to a small number of housebound people who are not in residential care.
The Tuesday morning communion service provides a quiet opportunity to worship during the week.
Once a month two groups who normally meet weekly in the Church Hall gather in the church chancel for services of their own. One is the mums and toddlers of Praise and Play and the other is the Harmony Club who have learning difficulties but still enjoy their special time in the church.
Once a term Jenny Jeffery organises an extremely well attended Family Fun Afternoon. It’s a short service in church followed by craft activities in the Hall and rounded off with food and drinks. The afternoon is designed to involve both children and parents alike. Many people perceive it as their main church activity.
There are countless tasks to be carried out to ensure our services run smoothly from cleaning the church to washing the altar linen, from running the sound and projection system to programming the boiler to heat the church. There are lots of jobs and lots of people who do them. Thanks are due to all those people for what they do to make sure our services run smoothly.
For many years Dot Axon has been beautifying our church and making it more welcoming with flower arrangements, not only her own but organising a team of arrangers especially for Christmas and Easter. We expressed our gratitude for all she has done when she retired from her organising responsibilities. We have two people who will be taking on her role in future.
Christmas and Easter are particularly busy times in the life of the church when our congregations are swelled by a large number of visitors and parishioners who might not attend other services.
Christmas can be quite hectic for the community both inside and outside the church; this year it was good to have time to stop and reflect in a series of very creative candlelit evening meditations during advent led by Revd. Jenny Jeffrey. The Christingle Service was as packed as ever and required some ingenuity on the part of the welcome team to fit everyone in. It is obviously something of a tradition for many families even when the children have grown quite a bit older. In the absence of a Music Director, we combined what had been our traditional and contemporary carol services into one extremely well attended service. (Perhaps people prefer to come to “the” carol service than decide whether they would prefer a traditional or contemporary one.) For many families who don’t usually attend church the Christingle or Carol service obviously marks the start of their Christmas.
Easter at St George’s created many memories :- the procession through the churchyard of mums and toddlers from Praise and Play waving flags and palm branches a few days before Palm Sunday; in the Church Hall remembering Jesus’ last supper with his friends then walking in the darkness to the candle lit church before stripping the altars; the stark wooden cross at the front of church on Good Friday afternoon as Revd. Simon Hill (Director of Clergy Development at Wells) led our three hours of meditation on the arrest and crucifixion and finally Sunday morning with bright sunlight streaming through the church windows on beautifully colourful flower arrangements and many happy faces as we celebrated the resurrection. While we would dearly like to leave the church open all day for people to drop in for quiet reflection or prayer, previous thefts have made this impossible. During Holy Week, however, the church was open every morning with church members on hand to welcome visitors.
Music is a very important part of our worship. After several years as Director of Music, Elaine Thomas decided to change her working pattern and gave up the post but we are delighted she remains a member of our congregation. We soon discovered what a rarity Elaine was when we started to look for a replacement. Organists are reluctant to commit themselves to every Sunday service. God has nonetheless provided for our needs but perhaps not in the way we at first expected. We’re very pleased that Ian Carson has agreed to rehearse the choir and play for two Sundays every month. The other Sundays are covered by other similarly very capable organists. The choir have played an important role in this change. They have shown great flexibility and have taken on extra responsibility in selecting hymns and getting the music together. Their none-too-musical vicar is very grateful.
St George’s provides partial funding and supports in other ways, the chaplaincy at Bishop Henderson School. Jenny Jeffery is not only our associate vicar with all the input she has into pastoral care, leading worship and preaching but she is the chaplaincy at the school. With her teaching experience, creativity and empathy she has made the role her own. She is in regular contact with parents and children who would never come to church but appreciate it when the church comes to them in this way.
Social events play an important part in the life of St George’s; it’s an opportunity to get to know each other better and offer hospitality to friends and neighbours. In addition to our Harvest Supper and regular monthly soup lunches we have had a “Posh Tea” which enabled many of us to rediscover the delights of an old fashioned tea with cake-stands and delicate china. In August there was also a ‘bring and share’ lunch in the Vicarage garden and on a sweltering summer day in the churchyard, a strawberry tea.
The noticeboards in the Church porch as well as the church website are now being kept up to date by Pam Anderson and, as a result, are receiving more attention. Plans are in hand to make the website of even greater use to the public. Inclusion of details of the rooms available for hire in the Church Hall has led to a large increase in bookings.
During Lent weekly bible study/discussion groups were held in the vicarage. One group met one afternoon and the other the following evening.
In order to support couples getting about to be married at St George’s, the church pays for an online questionnaire and then provides feedback to assist the couples’ communication skills. To the same end, a marriage preparation day is held in the Winston Room.
In the past St George’s has won an eco-award for its green approach to its activities. The award is for a limited number of years and to receive the award again, as we hope, we will have to show that we have taken further steps than last time. All our activities will be reviewed from a creation care/eco perspective. It is also likely to involve the many keen growers who use the church’s allotments.
Buildings: the Church and the Church Hall
Our website says that the church is the people not the building. While that is true, there is a heavy reliance on our buildings that house some of our activities as Christians in Wilton.
It was the outreach subcommittee that identified the Church Hall as a huge potential asset in growing the church. It is by far the greatest visible interface the church has with the wider community. Grace Davies, who as Church Administrator also has responsibility for Church Hall bookings, has overseen a considerable increase in the use of the Hall, that is to say the main hall, the kitchen, the Dunning and Winston rooms. There are now many occasions when the Hall is fully booked. She has estimated that on average 500 people use the Hall every week.
The Church Hall is used by a very wide variety of groups. The list includes exercise classes for people with cardio-pulmonary diseases, poets, bridge players, Morris Men, scouts, badminton players, theatre classes for children, as well as private parties.
In 2013, thanks to a hard-working team of fund raisers led by Rosa Parsloe, the facilities in the Hall have been enhanced with new tables and new children’s chairs. Ron Gibbs has also constructed a new sink area at the end of the main hall, for washing and cleaning of non-food related items which will greatly assist the uniformed organisations and any craft activities in the Hall.
The outreach subcommittee have recommended redecoration of the Hall lobby; new lighting and a noticeboard for church activities will make it more welcoming for visitors and establish a better link in people’s minds between the Hall and the church.
During the year, at the request of our insurance company, all the electrical systems in our church and Church Hall were surveyed and upgraded to the latest standards.
The quinquennial survey of our church building will take place shortly. It may well highlight repair work that needs to be carried out and, while our spending on buildings has been relatively low in recent years, that is unlikely to be the case in 2014.
The churchyard subcommittee of the PCC, originally given the task of reviewing our churchyard policy, has taken a practical initiative in making a real difference to the appearance of the churchyard by organising a series of working parties throughout June to tidy the largest part of the churchyard to the north of the church. Thanks to the generosity of a donor there is now also a new bench from which one can contemplate the length of the churchyard. The considerable improvement made by all these efforts has been noted and appreciated by people visiting relatives’ graves.
Perhaps inspired by the success of the churchyard working parties, there has been a Church Hall working party to have a sort of winter “spring clean”. Further working parties will doubtless be required if we are to fulfil all our hopes for using the Hall in our outreach to the community.
Geoff Winterson and Hilary McKegney have served as our Churchwardens for much longer than they intended. They stayed in post to see the church through its vacancy period and then kindly carried on to support me as the new vicar for a further two years. They have more than fulfilled their commitment and will be standing down at our APCM even if we have no one to replace them immediately. As vicar, I would like to thank both Geoff and Hilary personally for their unfailing positive approach and on behalf of all our church members for all they have contributed to St George’s during their time in office.
I would also like to thank Grace Davies, our Church Administrator, for not only all she does so efficiently for me and the church, but also for being such a welcoming and helpful representative of the church to everyone who visits the Church Office.
The invaluable contribution Jenny Jeffrey makes to St George’s has already been mentioned but I would like add my appreciation of her as a colleague who is always willing to share her great creativity, wisdom and experience.
Finally, I would like to thank the members of St George’s church who actually make the ministry of the church happen and have always been so responsive and faith-filled.
James Clapham, Vicar, March 2014
(Photo taken by Matthew Norman after the 10am service in the Hall on 9th March 2014)
2. APCM minutes for 21st April 2013
ST. GEORGE’S ANNUAL VESTRY & PAROCHIAL CHURCH MEETING
SUNDAY 21ST APRIL 2013, HELD AT ST GEORGE’S CHURCH AFTER THE 10.00 am SERVICE
PRESENT: Revd. James Clapham (Chair), Revd. Jenny Jeffrey, Hilary Howe (Minutes), John Page (Treasurer) plus approximately 67 church members.
James thanked everyone who had stayed on for the meeting.
Apologies were received from Grace Davies
2. APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF VESTRY MEETING OF 29th APRIL 2012
James Clapham pointed out that anyone who is on the electoral role is entitled to vote on matters at this meeting and the APCM; those not on the role could be ‘observers’ but not vote.
The minutes were proposed by Laurie Jeffrey, seconded by Cathryn Howse and approved as a true record of the meeting.
3. ELECTION OF TWO CHURCH WARDENS:
Hilary McKegney and Geoff Winterson both agreed to continue for another year. They would like to hand on the responsibility next year and requested assistants to work with them over the coming months and so be ready to take over next year. James Clapham commended the matter to our prayers. Hilary McKegney and Geoff Winterson were proposed by Michael Small, seconded by Liz Flower and unanimously elected.
James thanked Hilary and Geoff for their invaluable help during his first year in the parish.
4. APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF APCM OF 29th APRIL 2012:
Acceptance of the minutes proposed by Chris Michell, seconded by Mike Jones and unanimously accepted as a true record of the meeting.
5. ELECTION OF THREE LOCAL MINISTRY GROUP/DEANERY SYNOD REPRESENTATIVES:
Chris Michell confirmed that the current members had another year to serve on the Deanery Synod. James Clapham thanked Chris Michell and Mike Yardley for continuing with this role. We have over 150 church members on the electoral roll, and are entitled to three members on the Deanery Synod, but no one was nominated for this role.
6. ELECTION OF UP TO SIX REPRESENTATIVES OF THE LAITY TO THE PCC:
According to the rules it was not necessary to elect the new members to the PCC because six people had been nominated to fill the six vacancies. The following had been nominated: Liz Flower, Peter McKegney, Steven Page, Rosa Parsloe, Carole Smith and Clare Steel, all were duly appointed.
James Clapham expressed thanks to the retiring members for serving on the PCC, and to those who had agreed to stand. He also said there would be a short (one item) meeting of the PCC immediately after the APCM.
Ex officio members (6 in total), Licensed Clergy (2), Churchwardens (2) and Deanery Synod Members (2)
7. APPOINTMENT OF SIDESPEOPLE (WELCOMERS):
Everyone on the rota was willing to continue, but new members were always welcome to spread the load. Hilary McKegney proposed, Chris Howse seconded and all were in favour. With the theme of ‘Welcome’ during the coming year we will all be involved but the welcome team will be taking a lead role.
8. TO DISCUSS, RECEIVE AND APPROVE THE ANNUAL REPORT AND ACCOUNTS FOR THE PCC FOR 2012:
a) The Treasurer, John Page, gave a brief summary of the 2012 Accounts, focussing on the key elements governing the Church’s financial performance. He announced that for the first time since 2006 the Disposable Assets ended the year greater than they started. At long last Income had exceeded Expenditure with the Unrestricted Funds showing a total Income of £130,792 against a total Expenditure of £120,734. This had come in marked contrast to the previous five years where a deficit in the Unrestricted Funds had occurred year on year.
b) The prime reasons for the healthy financial situation compared to the previous year had been threefold. Firstly, the magnificent response to the 2012 Christian Giving Appeal raised an additional £9,632 (13% increase); secondly, the Hall Revenue was up by £4,002 (44% increase) as a result of a resolute promotional campaign by the Church Administrator; and thirdly, the Maintenance costs were down £4,317 (61% decrease). Consequently, the Unrestricted Funds had grown by £10,058 during the year, and the Parish Share had been paid in full.
c) At the end of his presentation the Treasurer invited questions on the full set of Annual Accounts, which had been on display for inspection at the back of the church and in the hall during the previous week. However, no enquiries were raised.
John thanked Jackie Cottey for her help in looking after the administration of the Gift Aid donations. Michael Small had agreed to take over from Jackie.
Acceptance of the accounts proposed by Peter McKegney, seconded by John Howe and unanimously agreed.
James Clapham thanked John for his efficient work in looking after the accounts throughout the year.
9. TO APPOINT AN INDEPENDENT EXAMINER FOR THE YEAR 2013:
Lentells were willing to undertake this task again and Geoff Winterson proposed, Brian Underwood seconded the proposal, and it was unanimously agreed that they be appointed for the coming year.
10. TO RECEIVE THE ELECTORAL ROLL:
James Clapham explained that as the present electoral roll had been in existence for five years it had to be completely revised and a new one set up. Laurie Jeffrey reported that forty seven names had been removed from the register and thirty added (reducing the total number on role from 172 to 155). The reduction was much smaller than anticipated because the additions were greater than previously. Laurie agreed to continue to act as manager of the electoral roll. James thanked Laurie for co-ordinating the new electoral register.
11. TO RECEIVE REPORTS: FABRIC & ORNAMENTS AND FROM ORGANISATIONS:
(a) Reports had been available for inspection in the folders both in church and in the hall, and thanks were expressed to all those who had contributed to them.
(b) Geoff Winterson enquired whether it would be a good idea to establish another fund for the building. John Page pointed out that there was £262 in the existing building fund, but it was restricted money. The electrical system was not satisfactory and needed updating, and this will incur expenditure. Rachel Neal proposed and Liz Flower seconded and it was unanimously agreed that the matter should be looked into.
12. ANY OTHER BUSINESS
James Clapham asked if anyone had any comments arising from his talk.
(a) Brian Underwood raised the matter of the shortfall in the Parish share two years ago. James said we had to apply for funds and the fact that we said we would repay the shortfall helped the application. PCC had not yet reached a conclusion as to whether we should pay off the entire shortfall (£24,690). Jenny Jeffrey explained that we had been given ‘one off’ funds for church growth for Bishop Henderson School Chaplaincy – it is unusual to get funding if a shortfall had not been paid and the church is marked down as ‘defaulting’ although it was three years ago.
(b) Barbara Reeves suggested we pay what we can afford and write to the diocese for the ‘black mark’ to be removed so that we could apply for funds in future, especially as the parish share had been paid in full this year.
(c) Laurie Jeffrey said that what we owe is much more than we would be given from the diocese. Our parish share goes towards Bishop Henderson School and helps fund poorer parishes in the diocese.
(d) James added that unfortunately we do not get any recognition for our witness in giving our collection to various charities every week – but we will continue to do this because we believe it is the right thing to do.
(e) Peter Joyce noted there had been an increase of £9,000 in Christian giving this year. Only Jackie Cottey had access to the stewardship giving records so John Page was not able to say whether the extra giving came from a growing base, or whether established givers were donating more. Jenny Jeffrey suggested it was probably a mixture of the two, but it was important that people were not approached about the matter.
(f) Hilary McKegney and Geoff Winterson made a floral presentation to Ciaran Clapham on behalf of everyone, in acknowledgement of all her support over the past year.
The meeting ended at 12.15
3. Churchwarden’s Report
St George’s, Wilton, Taunton
Premises, Goods and Ornaments
In accordance with The Care of Churches and Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction Measure 1991, the Terrier, Inventory and Log Book, which to the best of our knowledge are up to date, will be presented to the PCC Meeting on Tuesday 18 March 2014
The Churchyard Group have continued to work hard, leading to the introduction of volunteers to care for different parts of the churchyard, and gravestones. The group is also planning ahead, with the possibility of making parts of the churchyard more accessible, as well formulating a policy document for guidance in terms of future works. The churchyard has been closed for burials for a number of years and the aim is to produce a policy which is both respectful and sensitive but also complies with Diocesan regulations.
With regard to the fabric of the church, the latest Quinquennial Inspection is now overdue, and it is hoped that it will be carried out in April. Our previous architect, John Bucknall, has retired and it is hoped that the new church architect will be named soon. Previous inspections have indicated that maintenance work is needed on an ongoing basis, and this still needs to be addressed. The inclement weather this last winter has caused water ingress into the building, and this will certainly require attention.
The Premises, Goods and Ornaments remain intact and in generally good condition. Our thanks go to those members who continue to give their time to care for and maintain the properties and grounds.
The FROGS group have handed fundraising responsibilities over to the PCC, and it is hoped that the PCC will be able to continue in the same vein in raising money for repairs to both the church and the hall. Grace has continued to work very hard in maintaining, and increasing, the number of bookings for the hall; with this in mind the PCC is looking into improving the appearance of the building.
Our thanks go to the members of the ministry team, the choir, the leaders of all the uniformed organisations and various groups, and all those in the congregation who give so freely of their time to contribute to the Nurture, Worship and Outreach of our church.
Hilary McKegney, Geoff Winterson
Churchwardens, March 2014
4. PCC report for the APCM on the 30th March 2014
St George’s Parochial Church Council Report for 2013-2014
The PCC held 5 full meetings during 2013/2014 in June, September, November 2013 and January and March 2014.
On the PCC we currently have 2 clergy, 2 churchwardens, 2 deanery synod representatives and 10 elected representatives. There are 3 officers, who are not eligible to vote on any PCC matters.
There are 3 main sub committees to the PCC, namely Worship, Nurture and Outreach which report to the PCC at each meeting. These committees are made up of PCC members and other members of the church.
At each meeting we also receive reports from the Deanery Synod, Bishop Henderson School Chaplain, Taunton Christians Together and the churchyard group.
During 2013 some of the things we have focussed on are:
- 1. The increased bookings in the Church Hall and how that impacts on the cleaning schedule, decorating etc. A Hall Focus Group has been set up to look at this.
- 2. A small group has also been set up to manage the re-decoration and installation of new lights and noticeboard in the entrance hall.
- 3. Repairs to the drains at the back of the hall and the effect this has had on the store room attached to the back of the building. Remedial work has been carried out.
- 4. Appointment of a new church architect
- 5. Raising awareness and funds to renovate the War Memorial
- 6. The Churchyard Working Party (a subcommittee of the PCC) have introduced an ‘Adopt a Grave’ scheme and arranged monthly practical working sessions to tidy up the churchyard.
- 7. Replacing the Church microphones
- 8. Coming to terms with the retirement of our Music Director and how to cover the many things that she did
- 9. Updating of the Welcome leaflet
Members of the congregation are welcome to bring any matters of concern at any time to our PCC members.
You can read about the activities of all the groups associated with St George’s in the reports that follow.
In 2014, it is planned to put all the PCC minutes and Annual Parochial Church Council (APCM) reports on the website. www.stgeorgescofetaunton.co.uk
Grace Davies, PCC Secretary
5. Worship Committee Report
St George’s PCC Worship Committee March 2014
The Committee met together, three times in the last year to review our worship and to discuss future services.
Members were involved in putting together a job specification for the music director (with reduced hours and responsibilities) after the retirement of Elaine Thomas at the end of September.
A presentation was made to Elaine during the Harvest service, to express our thanks and appreciation for her musical leadership. We are delighted that Elaine continues to play for the mid-week Buggy and Harmony Services and for The Family Fun afternoons.
After a few initial enquiries we had only one application, which proved after interview, not to be suitable. We have been fortunate in finding five or six organists (including Stephen Page) to play the organ on a Sunday. Thanks to them and to Jill Paul who is arranging the current rota. We are also grateful to Ian Carson who has now agreed to play regularly for us on two Sundays a month.
The choir have been very willing to hold their own choir practices and fit in with the differing styles of organists, their anthems contributing richly to our Harvest and Remembrance Sundays and our Christmas Carol Service.
Members of the choir are helping James Clapham to choose hymns on two Sundays a month and Jenny Jeffery will plan the other two Sundays. We have endeavoured to keep the broad style of music that brings the best of traditional and contemporary music together.
In the past year there have been four Family Fun Afternoons , and the worship there is very lively and much enjoyed by the many young families that attend.
We have also had more reflective worship during our three meditations during Advent and look forward to a joint LMG Ash Wednesday service at Trull and a joint service with St George ’s RC Church on St George’s Day.
Our thanks go to the many people who help prepare for our worship on Sundays and during the week – Grace in the office, our Readers, retired clergy, the choir, those who operate the visual and sound systems, act as welcomers, set up the altar, read, lead prayers, clean the church, count the collection, wash the altar linen and those who serve coffee afterwards. Thank you
Jenny Jeffery, Chair Worship Committee.
6. Sunday Club Report
Sunday Club 2013-2014
We have been meeting on the first Sunday of the month, starting in Church then going over to the Hall until it is time to return to Church in time to go up for a Blessing or to take Communion.
While we are over in the hall we have been looking at stories in the Old Testament that tell us what happened from the beginning-The Creation, Joseph, Jonah, Daniel and many others and we do this using songs, games and art and craft.
The children attending are aged from babies to 9 and 10 years so we have been very pleased to have mums and dads joining us.
Before Christmas we acted out the Christmas story and dressed up to bring it more to life.
This year we have started to tell the children some of the well- known parables and miracles.
Each week we have been keeping a record of what we have done in a Scrapbook and we hope that members of the congregation will have a chance to look at it during Coffee time in the near future.
7. Christian Concerns Group
St George’s Christian Concerns Group
The Christian Concerns Group at St George’s has continued to manage the Church’s relationships with outside organisations, both Christian Mission and Social Concern, who seek to share God’s love with those most in need of it both worldwide, within the UK and especially within our own town. Many members are engaged voluntarily with some of these organisations and we seek to support them in this work.
Over many years St George’s has developed a number of personal links with mission partners in several countries and we are pleased to receive news and prayer requests from these ‘Links’ – and occasional visits if and when they are able to be in the UK. On these occasions the Group continues to make available to Church members the opportunity to meet with the visiting mission partners and to develop a greater understanding of their work and calling.
As part of their work the Group arranges the programme of support for these outside organisations through the weekly Sunday collections which are given to support God’s work in the world. When appropriate the Group has brought the attention of the congregations to situations of current concern or need and provided information to enable St George’s to make a Christian response. In doing this, St George’s has been able to uphold the biblical guidance to tithe one’s income to God’s work – and to show that God does repay many times over.
Co-ordinator, St George’s Christian Concerns Group
8. Choir Report
Choir Report 2013-14
The most significant event over this last year was Elaine leaving as the Choir Director after 6 years of dedicated service. Her last Service was at Harvest. Her talent as a musician was clear for all to see and she has become a good friend to many. We have enjoyed working with her and it was sad to see her go. However, it is good to see that she is still involved with St. George’s so that we still see her. We held a farewell lunch for her at Taunton & Pickeridge Golf Club.
Interviews took place soon after but no-one was appointed. We now have a rota of Organists which is working well. We are meeting fortnightly for Choir Practice, with Ann playing the keyboard and Jill leading. We are involved in some of the Hymn choosing. We are now keeping the same Communion Setting for 2 months at a time instead of monthly.
We sang a Choir item for Remembrance Sunday. In the run-up to Christmas, we were lucky to have Stephen Page practising the 3 Choir Carols with us and conducting and playing in the Carol Service. He will do the same for Easter. We sang Carols at St. George’s Residential and Elizabeth House.
Last year we bought copies of the new A&M Hymn books and started using them regularly in the New Year. They are quite heavy but contain many of the hymns and songs that previously we had to use sheets for so it does make it a lot easier.
We have recently enjoyed a Choir Lunch at the Vivary Arms.
Looking slightly further ahead, Ian Carson has agreed to play the Organ twice a month and take Choir Practices on a fortnightly basis from May. We feel confident that this will work well.
Outside of Wilton, some members attended a Singing Day with Bob Chilcott last year and this year it is to be David Ogdon.
9. Praise and Play Report
Praise and Play Report for APCM March 2014
Once more Praise and Play has enjoyed a happy and eventful year.
After our annual Teddy Bears Picnic we said farewell to those starting school after the summer holidays.
During the year new families have joined our group, and we have also had the pleasure of welcoming several beautiful babies. There is a great atmosphere of support and friendship among those who attend.
Our Nativity service is also a highlight of the year, but last years was beyond expectation. The many parents and grandparents were delighted and joined us afterwards for coffee staying until the end.
Everyone was excited to see Father Christmas who arrived with his helper, and sacks of presents for young and “old”. He even promised to return next December – if we were all good!
Due to changes in the hospital shop rota, we had to say good bye to Ros Andrews who has helped with serving drinks for at least 20 years. Helpers past and present met together for an enjoyable meal at the Vivary Arms to mark the occasion.
Our mums with those from Sunday Club are keen to support the Hall Redevelopment Fund and are helping to organise the Soup Lunch in the hall on Sat 8th March.
If any of the congregation would enjoy spending the occasional Wednesday morning with us, you will be most welcome – even more so if you join the drinks team. Judith Pickles would love to add you to the rota.
Finally thanks go to Jenny and James, for their care and help and also to Elaine who continues to play for our monthly Buggy Services
Barbara Reeves March 2014.
Very many thanks also to Barbara Reeves who continues, every week, to give so much time and energy to support Praise and Play, and the families and individuals, every week. JJ
10. Prayer Circle Report
The Prayer Circle.
During the year there have been some new additions to the Prayer Circle. All those people involved in Prayer Ministry in church on Sunday mornings are now part of the circle.
Requests for prayer, which are always confidential to the members of the circle, are passed around mainly by e-mail, though a few people receive them by phone.
It is a great privilege to be able to pray for the many people and situations, in need of our prayers. The requests are very varied, and very much appreciated by those who are encouraged and helped by prayer.
We have met together as a group on four occasions this year, to pray for each other, to pray corporately for those on our lists, receive updates and to encourage one another in our praying.
Requests for prayer can be made to any member of the prayer circle.
The current members of The Prayer Circle are:
Rev James Clapham,
Rev Jenny Jeffery
Chris and Pauline Michell
11. Mothers’ Union Report
Mothers’ Union (Wilton)
Report to 2014 AGM
We lost our long-standing branch leader in February when Rosa Parsloe stood down. In the absence on anyone else to take over the committee ran the branch together until the next AGM in February 2014 when Helen Clegg became the Branch Leader.
We have had a good year of meetings with speakers from Nightstop, Taunton Food Bank and the Samaritans. Ann Goddard described life as a Reader and we heard from both James and Ciaran Clapham and Colin and Amelia Snell on their trip to India and Ann Hall on her year as Mayoress of Taunton but the highlight of the year was undoubtedly our speaker, Dr. Jennifer Bute on Living with Dementia when we had about 100 come to hear her.
A new Knitting Bee has been started and garments, toys and blankets are being produced for Children’s Centres, Special Care Baby unit at MusgroveParkHospital and Residential Homes.
We have another interesting year of speakers planned and are hoping to get a Parenting group up and running in May.
We have 34 members at present but are always glad to welcome more, and visitors are always welcome to out meetings.
12. Churchyard Working Group Report
CHURCHYARD GROUP, ST GEORGE’S WILTON
REPORT FOR APCM 30th MARCH 2014
The St George’s Wilton PCC Churchyard Group was set up in Autumn 2012 in order to remedy and improve the state of the churchyard, which had become rather neglected, and to review/renew the PCC churchyard policy.
Having researched current practice in other churches, both locally and farther afield, the possibility of creating a Garden of Remembrance was considered but rejected for reasons of feasibility and cost. It was decided instead to improve the care for St George’s churchyard, preserving its semi-rural character and making it a more attractive and comforting place for everyone.
Monthly Saturday volunteer working sessions were set up to run for 7 months annually from April – October. The cheerful and practical support given, together with the care by individual church members opting to take part in the newly created ‘Adopt-a-Grave’ scheme (i.e. caring for an old or neglected grave) made an immediate improvement to the churchyard. Neighbours and allotment holders were also consulted and supportive.**
Currently the PCC Churchyard Group is at the initial stage of applying to the Diocese for a Faculty, in order to ‘regularise’ the styles of memorials in and improve access to three clearly defined, designated areas for cremated remains in the churchyard. Some tree maintenance and the creation of a natural pathway would be necessary; quotes are being obtained and plans drawn up. As the churchyard is in a conservation area, all works must be approved first by the local authority (TDBC) and then the Diocesan Advisory Committee (DAC). Once all has been approved a draft PCC Churchyard Policy will be drawn up, which will give clear but compassionate guidance for anyone wishing to inter ashes in the churchyard.
It is important to note that although the general condition of the churchyard can be maintained by volunteers, there are several major matters that need specialist attention, e.g. tree surgery and repairs to memorial stones, several of which are not only unsightly but also becoming unsafe. Currently estimates for outstanding tree work stands at approx. £500 and repairs to memorial stones at £1100-£1500. All attempts will be made to contact relatives of people buried or interred in the churchyard, who it is hoped will agree to and fund recommended repairs.
**The Saturday working sessions will start again on 26 April this year and will be held as last year on the last Saturday morning of the month, 9.30am – 12.30pm. There will be reminders in Newsboard and in the church porch.
ST GEORGE’S WILTON CHURCHYARD GROUP
R Booth, C Howse, J Joyce, M Yardley
13. Chaplaincy Report
Chaplaincy Report, Bishop Henderson School
The Chaplaincy at Bishop Henderson School, bringing Church, School and Community together has continued to develop, in a variety of ways.
Pastoral support for pupils, staff, and parents continues to grow. Listening is a key part of the ministry of a chaplain and working together with other agencies. In many cases this can involve extended family members.
We have a small staff prayer group and in the past weeks a Contemplative Prayer Group for Staff after school. The pupils continue to request a “listening ear” and a prayer as they post their worries into the Prayer Box.
Last Easter we held a Holy Week Experience in the school grounds. Each class visited different “stations” depicting events in Holy Week. These stations were staffed by members of St G’s and St M’s congregations who, dressed in appropriate costumes, helped the children to engage more deeply with the events of Holy week. A similar (but indoor event) at St M’s, is planned for Easter 2014
Our link with the Hands of Compassion School continues, and we received a visit from Father Sammy Zulu (the Dean of Ndola Cathedral in Zambia and a trustee of The Hands of Compassion School) in May and a visit this May from Wendy Ray (another Trustee) is planned for May 2014.
The Clergy continue to lead Collective Worship for Key Stage 2 year groups on Thursday afternoons in St M’s church. St Michael’s Church was used as the venue for all the school Christmas Performances and The School Carol services. It was standing room only at each event.
At a School Service at the beginning if Lent, a joint Carbon Fast Lent Leaflet was launched. This has been circulated to all families at school and St G’s congregation and is part of the Diocesan 2014 Lent Initiative to reduce our Carbon Foot print by 40%. The School council helped St G’s Environmental Group to prepare 40 different “green” ideas.
A Prayer Week is planned for The Summer Term.
Those who use St G’s Church Hall continue to enjoy the displays of art work from the school.
Involvement in the re organisation and development of Fledgelings (the Children’s Centre adjacent to the School) continues.
There is only limited space to report on a full year of life as a chaplain. God continues to open doors and raise new opportunities, but this role, as with other chaplaincies, continues to be a fresh expression of church in the community
We were delighted to receive a small grant from The Diocesan Fund for Church Growth last April and continued and slightly increased financial contributions from St G’s, St M’s and BHS School which has funded the Chaplaincy for another year. The Prayer Support has also been very much appreciated.
14. Taunton Deanery Synod
TAUNTON DEANERY SYNOD 2013-14.
REPORT FOR APCM 30TH MARCH 2014.
Taunton Deanery Synod met on four occasions during the past year. The meetings were well attended and members were brought up to date with various facets of Christian work in the immediate area and in the Diocese. Meetings are held at different venues and this year Synod met at St James, West Monkton, Taunton Academy and Galmington.
The first meeting was led by Canon Roger Medley who stressed the need for each parish to have a Mission Action Plan.
The next was a Eucharist for the members of Synod.
The third gave Synod an up to date picture of the work of the Food Bank here in Taunton and that of Open Door and the Taunton Town Chaplaincy together with future aspirations for these areas of Christian witness.
The latest meeting was led by the Dean of Wells on the topic of same sex marriage and the Church’s position in regard to this change in legislation. Differing views were expressed but we were reminded that Christ loved all people.
15. Taunton Churches Together
Taunton Christians Together
St Georges Church Wilton – Report for APCM March 2014
Taunton Christians Together still has no chairman, but the committee plan to continue to pray for unity and work together and distribute information to churches.
On a positive note there are signs of a strong coming together of TCT and BI groups and the United Service on 19 January was very well attended (260+) and was inspiring and inclusive. The speaker was the new minister of Creech Baptist. There were contributions from different traditions and it was wonderful and unusual to see many young people there.
The Christmas Give-Away did not happen in 2013 but the Good Friday Walk of Witness and United Worship in the town centre is going ahead, possibly with give-aways of hot cross buns.
Taunton Food Bank – sponsored by local churches, is committed to helping people who find themselves in need.
Taunton Street and School Pastors – A training course is currently running to train Street Pastors for Taunton and other local schemes, and training for School Pastors has just started. We have one person from St Georges training to be a street pastor and possibly two training as school pastors. Sadly there has been very little prayer support from churches, including St Georges, but it is our turn to support on Saturday 22 February. If anyone comes to pray they may have the opportunity to come out with the team as an observer.
Town Centre Chaplaincy – the new Lead Chaplain is Rev Steven Reed and chaplains operate in several different workplaces in Taunton, including County Hall, the Orchard shopping centre, East Reach, Debenhams, Lindley House and Boots.
Taunton Youth for Christ – Youth Worker is Dan Webb. They are working with Christian Unions in several local comprehensive schools. TYFC has an office at St James Church and is in dire need of financial support.
Womens Day of Prayer 10.30am TempleMethodist on Friday 7 March.
Could we please invite speakers, on separate occasions, to St Georges to tell us about Taunton Youth for Christ and 4-40, the volunteers who support the families of 40 Commando Royal Marines?
Details of events in other churches are displayed in the church porch and on the
Website – www.tauntonchurches.org
Barbara Winterson St Georges TCT Rep. February 2014
16. 1st Taunton (Wilton) Scout Group
Group Scout leader report 2014
The group has grown again this year and this is reflected in the number of adults who have taken on scouting roles. We now have 1 Beaver 2 Cub groups, 2 Scout groups and 2 explorer groups with near 200 children. We are now at capacity and looking at maximum numbers for each night
Jenny and Martin have been running beavers for over 4 years, their leadership will finish this summer but they will continue to support the group. We are actively looking for a new leadership team and hopeful we can continue with Beavers. Beavers meet on a Thursday with a colony of 30.
We have 2 Cub packs, Wednesday night run by Pete and Steve and Thursday night by Amanda and Mark. In all we have 60 cubs and run a full range of activities. Cub leadership is very stable but will keep numbers at 60 in total over the 2 nights.
Scouts run on a Wednesday and Friday night, the leadership team is in flux at the moment but Marigold on Wednesdays and Sophie on Fridays lead the 2 troops of about 45 in total. We hope to confirm leadership in the not too distant future and continue the success of the oldest scout group in the town, 104 years and counting.
Explorers now run over 2 nights on a Tuesday and Thursday, there are 50 Explorers coming over the 2 nights. Chris has oversight of both nights at the moment but will be looking for a permanent Thursday night leadership team. Explorers have been very successful and many of the youngsters act as young leaders with the younger sections.
The group has had many camps in the last year, a group summer camp to Cornwall saw 100 of us away for the week, we had a great time. Another camp is planned for this summer based in Brisol for Cubs and Scouts and Switzerland for the Explorers.. There have been something like 20 camps this year and rarley a weekend goes by when there is not an activity being run by one of the sections. We are the most active group in Taunton and this is due to the dediaction of all leaders who committ an awful lot of time to scouting not just to Wilton but to other groups as well. All groups use badges as a central part of the activities, with approx. 200 youngsters in Wilton our badge account is huge.
We are now running a second Cub and Explorer group due to demand which has moved us near to 200 youngsters, a good sized primary school!! We will be asking for help during the year for admin, finance support or to have a team that looks after equipment. If anyone feels they can help in whatever capacity we would be very grateful. I do genuinely feel the experience the youngsters get at Wilton is first class, we are not called First Taunton for nothing!!
17. 16th Taunton (St George’s, Wilton) Brownies
16th Taunton Brownies
2013 was a very eventful and successful year for Wilton Brownies. We saw the unit undertake some major changes within the Leadership team and also with the new Girlguiding Promise. We currently have 29 Brownies, 2 Young Leaders, 3 Guiders and 2 unit helpers and meet on a Tuesday evening from 6.00pm to 7.30pm.
At the end of July 2013 we said goodbye to Shirley Hooper, who had been Brown Owl for nearly 30 years. We celebrated with a Surprise Service at the church followed by a party at the hall and welcomed family, friends, ex-brownies, ex-leaders, parents and even the Chief Guide. Shirley was very surprised and had a lovely evening catching up with old friends and hearing all the wonderful things we had to say about her. She received presents from the Brownies and also a Silver Award from Girlguiding Somerset, the highest award within the County. We also said farewell to Judy Cockings who is concentrating on working with a Rainbow Unit in Galmington.
From September we have been running with a young team of leaders (all under 30, just!) who have worked extremely hard to help the Brownies develop and to adjust to a new Brown Owl. In recent months we have welcomed some new help and are always looking for anyone who is interested. September also saw the launch of the new Girlguiding Promise, we played games and did activities to help us understand and learn the Promise so that we could renew them together at a special enrolment ceremony.
Throughout the year we have worked on various badges, including our Night at the Theatre Badge, and have done lots of crafts, cooking and team building activities. In the summer term we went to the high ropes at Vivary Park and spent an evening playing games and having a water fight at Brown Owls Shirley’s house. In October we had a joint Sleepover with Wellington Brownies at Buckland St Mary with the theme of Birthdays. We have enjoyed trips to see the Gang Show at Junction 24 and the Pantomime at the Tacchi Morris Centre.
This year is very special as we celebrate 100 years of Brownies with our Big Brownie Birthday. Three of our girls and Brown Owl Emma celebrated the start of 2014 at a very special New Year Sleepover with other Brownies and Leaders from across Somerset. This had an international theme with all the girls staying up past midnight and was the first celebration in the Country for the Big Brownie Birthday. As part of our unit Big Brownie Birthday Celebrations we are completing a series of challenges to get a special badge, we are working towards our World Cultures Badge and are going on many outings. So far this term we have acted out stories from different countries, made food diaries and tried foods from around the world. We hope to do another Sleepover with Wellington Brownies and will be going on a specially chartered train from Bishops Lydeard to Minehead called ‘The Big Brownie Express’ in June.
Emma Pretty, Guider in Charge, 06 March 2014
18. 16th Wilton Guides
Report for 16th Taunton Guides 2014
Our current membership stands at 7 Guides, one young leader and one leader.
Last year we took part in the Girls in action programme to raise awareness of refugees and the work of the Red Cross, we raised funds to send to Syria. We enjoyed a mixture of indoor and outdoor activities such as Geocaching, canoeing on the Tone, swimming, badge and Go for It work .
This year is the 100th Anniversary of the Brownies. As many of our Guides (and leader) were Brownies once, we are also celebrating by taking part in the Brownie Birthday Challenge and looking forward to attending ZOOOM at Wincanton Racecourse in July.
We aim to increase our membership and recruit another volunteer leader to replace Tara Mogford who left the area to become a teacher.
Julie Turner, Guide Leader.
1000Communion with a mixture of traditional & contemporary worship
09501st Sunday of the month
Young People's meeting in Hall or Church - for those aged 4 - 14 year.
1600 Evening Worship in church or residential homes – see weekly Newsboard
1000Holy Communion at church
Holy Communion at Mountbatten Nursing Home
Holy Communion at Churchill Way Hall
Holy Communion at Elizabeth House.
Holy Communion at St George's Residential Home