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The APCM (The church’s AGM) is normally held in April each year, but this year, because of the Coronavirus restrictions, it was held on Sunday 18th October at 11.30am, following the 10.30 service in church. The APCM was live in church as well as being available via a Zoom link.

Technically, the Annual Parish Meeting takes place first, and is open to all in the parish. The only business is to elect Church Wardens, a reminder that they have a role to play in looking after the church buildings and property for the whole community. We were delighted that Mary Bunting and Peter John Davies had both agreed to continue in this role. As well as carrying out their normal duties as Wardens, they have played a major part in ensuring that the work of the church has been able to continue as much as possible within the current restrictions.

The Annual Parochial Church Meeting (APCM) then follows, and this is open to all on the church’s electoral roll. Rob Daunt, our Electoral Roll Officer, was able to report that an addition 8 members have joined the Electoral Roll during the year, bringing the total to 141. The main business of this meeting is to receive reports and to elect the PCC. In their report, the Church Wardens referred back to our mission aim to ‘Raise the Roof and Open the Door’, and Mary listed some of things which were successful in 2019:

  • The introduction of the Second Sunday Service, which regularly attracts a new congregation of between 30 and 40 young people and families to a slightly different form of worship;
  • Messy Church – which usually attracts about 70 young people on a Saturday morning for art and craft based activities and worship;
  • The continued success of the First Friday services, where the use of the newly installed ‘big screen’ was pioneered;
  • Special services for Easter (on the shore again), Christmas, Remembrance, St George’s Day and other special occasions;
  • The continued commitment of the congregation of St Mark’s at Nether Kellet;
  • The continued success of the house groups;
  • The links with the school through the visits to church on special occasions.

The Wardens thanks many people, including :

  • The Fabric Group, especially for all the work that had been done to bring the ‘Loo and Brew’ project, and the new sound system to fruition;
  • The teams involved in serving refreshments, cleaning, opening and closing church, arranging flowers, assisting at the communion, reading at services, and The Welcome teams, the Baptism Team, The Mothers’ Union and the Men’s Group;
  • Ian Entwistle, the music group and the choirs for special occasions;

Peter John set out the challenges facing us during the current year :

  • We need a PCC Secretary to help ensure that the PCC can run effectively and efficiently;
  • We need to develop and support growth at St Mark’s;
  • We need to ‘future-proof’ the church by encouraging as many people as we can to help and to enable us to have ‘succession planning’.

He concluded by saying that many positive things happened during the year 2019, and that we look to God for his guidance in the year ahead.

The Treasurer, Andy Hampshire,  gave a concise financial report, supported with PowerPoint slides. Andy’s report, and a full copy of the accounts, appears elsewhere in The Messenger. In summary, 2019 had been a good year, in which there had been an increase in all types of giving, from regular monthly and weekly contributions, one-off donations and fund raising events. This meant that we had been able to pay our Parish Share in full for the third year running, albeit with the aid of a Diocesan grant, which will also help towards paying our Parish Share for 2020. The ‘Loo and Brew’ scheme had cost £57K, of which £26K had come from donations, with the rest coming from reserves. This has left a much reduced balance of reserves, but he was confident that this was sufficient for our current needs. He mentioned the concern and challenge regarding the fabric and St Mark’s, which is current being considered by the PCC. Looking briefly at the current situation, he expected income to fall by about £25K, and, although some costs will be reduced, he emphasised the importance of regular giving, whether by standing order or weekly envelopes, and maximising the use of Gift Aid wherever possible. He thanked Liz Bateman, who is the voluntary Independent Examiner for our accounts.

PCC Elections : Revd Nancy explained that David Bateman and Brian James had reached the end of their four year term of office, and both were re-elected. Margaret Foster, Russell Longton and Kath Brough were elected to the PCC to fill existing vacancies. Revd Nancy thanked Karen Hillis, who has stepped down from the PCC, and the many other roles she carried out at church. This leaves a further vacancy on the PCC.

Deanery Synod :   David Bateman, Keith Budden and Andy Williams were elected as Deanery Synod members.

Revd Nancy thanked everyone for their attendance and closed the meeting with prayer.

There followed a brief meeting of the new PCC, at which Andy Hampshire was re-elected as Treasurer. However, there is still a vacancy for PCC Secretary.