PARISH CHURCH COUNCIL - ANNUAL REPORT.
St Agatha & St Oswin’s Church
Gilling West-Annual Report
St Agatha & St Oswin’s Parochial Church Council has the responsibility of co-operating with the incumbent, the Rev’d John Richards, in promoting in the ecclesiastical parish the whole mission of the Church, pastoral, evangelistic, social and ecumenical.
Members of the PCC are either ex-officio or elected by the Annual Parochial Church Meeting (APCM) in accordance with the Church Representation Rules.
During the year the following served as members of the PCC:
The Rev’d J. Richards.
Mr M. Metcalfe Chairman
Mrs S. Hillary Vice Chairman
Mr R. Bradley Treasurer Mrs S. Coyle
Mrs P. Herring Mrs P. O’Neill
Mrs T. Prentice (resigned June 2013)
Mr R. Watts Secretary
Mrs B. Willis
Mr M. Gauntlett
Representatives on the Deanery Synod:
Mrs P. White Mr J. Young
This is the only committee required by law. It has power to transact the business of the PCC between its meetings, subject to any directions given by the Council. It is comprised of the chairman, wardens, secretary and treasurer.
There are 57 parishioners on the Electoral Roll, 11 of whom are not resident in the parish.
The average Sunday attendance on an ordinary Sunday during 2013 was 21 over 16’s and 1 under 16’s .These figures are not entirely representative of St Agatha & St Oswin’s core congregation as there were several other well attended services during the year. They do however indicate, the opportunity for contact with visitors given by such services.
There was an average attendance of 5 at the Holy Communion Services on Wednesdays.
Attendances at Major festivals:
Easter attendance in 2013 at 9.00am service was 33 communicants and 2 non communicants. The attendance figure has decreased over 2012.
The Harvest Festival service attendance figures were 54 and the Carol service had 103 attending.
The Christingle service was attended by 17children and 49 adults.
The Christmas morning Eucharist service numbers were 36 communicants and 6 non communicants. The Christmas Eve Crib Service was attended by 40 adults and 22 children.
Service times do affect attendance and whilst every effort is made to have services for major festivals at the most convenient times, it has to be balanced with the availability of Clergy to take the services.
During the year there were no weddings, 1 baptism, and 7 funeral services.
The parish wishes to thank Canon Christopher White and the Reverend Alan Gledhill for their continuing support in leading worship and in other practical ways. The parish also wishes to record their thanks to Mrs Sue Young the Reader for her valuable work within the parish including leading services and also Derek and Norma Newton.
Review of the year:
The PCC met 5 times during the year, with an average attendance of 85%; an increase on the previous year.
Gilling West and Kirkby Ravensworth are a United Benefice and have been so for many years. The PCC, in the interests of continuing to work together had a joint meeting in October 2013 and further joint meetings are planned for 2014.
The beauty of the church is regularly enhanced by the flower arrangements. Our thanks are due to those who create such beautiful displays and also to those who ensure the church is cleaned and cared for.
The warmth of the welcome offered at services in the parish, both regular and occasional is often commented on and it owes a great deal to the support given to the worship by the organists, churchwardens and sidesmen. Our thanks are due to them for all that they contribute to the provision of worship.
Comments in the Visitors Book in St Agatha & St Oswin’s continue to express delight and gratitude that the church is open during the day for visitors. We are grateful to those who attend to opening and closing the church and to keeping a candle burning as a symbol of continuing prayer. The mission of the church is not only expressed in public worship, but also through the building itself as a sacramental presence in the heart of the community which it serves.
The care given to the maintenance of the churchyard continues to be appreciated by the general parish and by visitors from a much wider area; though it is a considerable financial undertaking by the PCC to ensure the grass is cut as frequently as required. Donations to this work are very welcome and are always reserved for the work on the churchyard.
The magazine continues to be an important part of the outreach of the wider parish. During 2013 the magazine continued to be distributed free to every house in the parish. It is good to record that it was possible to do this at no cost to the PCC since donations more than met the cost of production. The editor would be pleased to receive material from the whole community, not just from church sources. Our thanks go to Myles Camm for editing the magazine and to all those who contribute to it, are involved in printing it and to those who distribute it.
Planned Giving and the Share:
The 2013 share has been paid and the PCC have agreed a formula with the Diocese to pay a proportion of the amount owing on the 2011 share over the next two years. The PCC are determined to ensure, as far as possible, that the share is paid in full each year henceforth.
It is important for people to understand that the share paid to the diocese is largely used to pay the cost of providing clergy in parishes, by paying for stipends, pension and NI contributions, housing costs and clergy training. Our thanks are due to the work of the treasurer in encouraging parishioners to review their level of planned giving and seeking additional parishioners to commence planned giving. Tax rebates on giving increased our income by £3,062.05.
The accounts show an overall surplus of £3318.82 at the year end.
The PCC are very pleased to report that in 2013 the full amount of the share of £11,150 has been paid over to the Diocese.
The PCC will continue to explore ways of ensuring that we have sufficient funds to maintain the ministry in the parish and also to maintain the fabric of the building. All expenses are carefully examined by the treasurer to ensure that we practice good stewardship. We need to continue to explain to the wider parish how a rural parish church needs to be financed if it is to continue to serve the needs of the surrounding community.
The 100 club remains one of our principle sources of fund raising, other than direct giving and we are grateful to those who organise it.
During the year we have had a number of fundraising events; the Christian Aid Coffee morning, a car boot sale, a Coffee morning at Richmond Town Hall, a summer concert and the North Country Theatre production, all of which were well attended and greatly enjoyed. The PCC would also like to record its thanks to all who hosted events; those who organised them and all who gave their support by attending them or contributing in other ways.
Various fund raising events are planned for 2014 and it is hoped they will be well attended.
Music at Services:
Music is a vital part of our worship and greatly enriches our services. The PCC is very grateful to Myles Camm and Michael Moran and others who provide music at our services each week and at other times.
The Doomsday book records the existence of a Parish Church in Gilling since 1086. There is also evidence that Gilling was the centre of religion many years before that. The Church has provided a space for private prayer, public worship, Marriages, Baptisms and Funerals. Many hundreds of these services have been held over the years with many thousands of people attending them.
Each generation has kept the church going through both lean and plentiful times and the PCC are determined that the church will be there for future generations, just as those who have gone before us have left it for us to safeguard for future generations.
However, we need everyone’s help to ensure we can carry out this responsibility. The PCC have commissioned a small team to examine the church’s mission in the Parish. This is a considerable task and it is anticipated that a report will be submitted to the PCC in the spring of 2014 for them to determine the Parish’s response and activities in answer to the Diocesan call to increase church membership and attendance. It is vital that the church in the village is supported so that the PCC now and in the future, can ensure there is a church there for the Parishioners be they young or old. It is the PCC’s aim now and in the future to ensure that the mission and building are fit for purpose in all respects.
The work in supporting the ministry, the worship, the building and the churchyard in a small parish is not much less than that involved in a parish of much greater size, but the resources available both in terms of money and people are much more limited. The gratitude of the PCC is due to all those who faithfully support the church in many ways, giving of themselves and their time and money to ensure that the church will survive in this community to serve those who need it in future.
Anyone who would like to help maintain the church and churchyard or to contribute to worship using whatever gifts and talents God has given them would be made most welcome. Please contact the churchwardens. It is a myth to think that we do not need help from everyone as we work for the growth of Christ’s church in this place.
On behalf of the PCC
Malcolm Metcalfe Chairman