St Agatha & St Oswin’s Church

Annual Report For 2016

St Agatha  & St Oswin’s Parochial Church Council has the responsibility of co-operating with the incumbent, the Rev’d Antony Kirby, 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:

Incumbent:

The Rev’d A. Kirby.

Wardens:

Mr M.  Metcalfe Chairman

Mrs S. Hillary Vice Chairman

Elected Members:

Mr R. Bradley Treasurer  

Mrs S. Coyle

Mr M. Gauntlett

Mrs P. Herring       

Mrs P. O’Neill

Mr R. Watts Secretary  

Mrs P.White    

Mrs B. Willis

Representatives on the Deanery Synod:

Mrs S. Young.   Mr J. Young.  

The Parish wish to record their very grateful thanks to the Rev’d Antony Kirby for his dedication and hard work in the Parish his ministry amongst us is highly regarded and greatly valued.

Standing Committee:

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 Incumbent, chairman, wardens, secretary and treasurer.

Church Attendance:

There are 59 parishioners on the Electoral Roll, 15 of whom are not resident in the parish.

The average Sunday attendance on an ordinary Sunday during 2016 was 25 over 16’s and 2 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.

The average attendance at Family services is 27 adults and 3 under 16’s.

There was an average attendance of  4 at the Holy Communion Services on Wednesdays and the average attendance at the weekly Thursday evening Compline Service is 6.

Attendances at Major festivals:

Easter attendance in 2016 at the service was 55 communicants and 22  non communicants. The attendance figure has decreased over 2015.

The Harvest Festival Songs of Praise Service attendance figures were 105 and the Carol service had 103  attending.

The Christmas morning Eucharist service numbers were 56 communicants and 12  non communicants an increase over the previous year. The Christmas Eve Crib Service was attended by 50 adults and 40 children a decrease over the previous year.

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 12 weddings, 8 baptisms and 5 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 and Mrs Anne Whyman the Readers for their valuable work within the parish including leading services and also Mr R Bradley and Mr & Mrs D Newton.

Review of the year:

The PCC met 7 times during the year, with an average attendance of 73%; a decrease on the previous year.

Safeguarding of Children and Vulnerable Adults:                                                

The PCC take the matter of safeguarding children  and vulnerable adults seriously. They follow the requirements  under section 5 of the Safeguarding and Clergy Discipline Measure 2016 . The PCC have appointed Mrs Susan Coyle as Safeguarding Officer. The necessary checks are carried out on those who work with children or vulnerable adults during church activities, to ensure compliance with the requirements of the Safeguarding and Clergy Discipline Measure.

Flowers:

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 Flower Fund was set up in 1986 the intention was to provide flowers in church, so that  the Church or the PCC funds were not used to provide flowers each week in church. Coffee mornings and other fundraising events are held to ensure there are sufficient funds. Many donations are received from people who so kindly donate to ensure that there are flowers in the church week by week.

The Fund organise Flower Festivals, the proceeds of which are given to the Church. Flowers are arranged for the major festivals such as Easter, Mothering Sunday, Harvest Festival and Christmas. Without all of this fundraising, generosity and hard work we would not be able to enjoy having flowers in church week by week.

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.

Churchyard:

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; although 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.

Magazine:

The magazine continues to be an important part of the outreach of the wider parish. During 2016 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 2016 share has been paid in full and the PCC are determined to ensure, as far as possible, that the share is paid in full each year.   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 £3723.91.

Finance/Financial Results:

The accounts show an overall surplus of £7,611 at the year end.

The PCC are very pleased to report that in 2016 the full amount of the share of £11,466 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.

Fund-Raising:

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; two coffee mornings, two car boot sales, the Summer Luncheon and the North Country Theatre production, all of which were well attended and greatly enjoyed. Fund raising has contributed a vital £4330.62  to the church finances. This is a very vital contribution to church funds which ensures the church is there week by week for everyone, without this sum of money the PCC’s finances would be in a difficult way. Additionally the sum of £892.73 has been raised at other coffee mornings for the benefit of Christian Aid and Cancer Research .

The PCC would 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. The fund raising committee have various fund raising events planned for 2017 and it is hoped they will be well attended.  

Music at ServicesMusic is a vital part of our worship and greatly enriches our services. The PCC is very grateful to Myles Camm and   and Michael Moran and others who provide music at our services each week and at other times.

The Future: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.

The Diocese expressed the strong view in 2015 that the Parishes of Gilling West, Kirby Hill, Barningham, Hutton Magna and Wycliffe should be joined together. The PCC formed the view that an enlarged single benefice area was the sensible way forward, particularly bearing in mind the national shortage of clergy and the finance available to deploy them. Opportunities will present themselves for further and greater lay involvement in the future.The Diocese have the work in hand to lead the discussions regarding the formation of a new Benefice, this is likely to occur once the Parishes involved have agreed to make the changes.

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.

In the summer of 2016 the PCC appointed a new Architect to carry out the Statutory requirement for a quinquennial survey on the Church building and also to make suggestions and draw up an initial plan for re-ordering part of the inside of the building. The brief is to improve the welcome area and access in general at the west end of the building and to provide a storage  area and kitchen  along with WC facilities that will be more easily accessible. There will also be an area in the north side which could be used for a variety of purposes. The intention is to make the church building fit for purpose in the changing times we all live in, with the objective  to increase church membership and attendance, so answering God’s call to us all, to spread the Gospel far and wide in our community.

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 continue to be 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