«Annual Vestry Report For year ended 31st December 2015 Parish Mission Prayer Father, pour out your Spirit upon the people of this parish, and grant ...»
THE CHURCH IN WALES
YR EGLWYS YNG NGHYMRU
Annual Vestry Report
For year ended
31st December 2015
Parish Mission Prayer
Father, pour out your Spirit
upon the people of this parish,
and grant us
a new vision of your glory,
a new experience of your power,
a new faithfulness to your word,
and a new consecration
to your service,
that your love
may grow among us
and your kingdom come;
through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Minutes of AVM held on Sunday 26th April 2015 2 Living Faith Course 3 Coity Sunday Club 3 Coity Church Choir 5 Nolton Church Choir 5 Coity Church Bellringers 6 Parish Recorder Group 7 Mothers’ Union 8 Tuesday Fellowship 8 Coity Church Flower Club 8 Report on Conferences 9 Fabric Committee – 2015 10 And that’s not all… 10 Description of the Parish 11 Objectives 11 Administrative Information 12 Members of the Parochial Church Council for 2015/2016 12 Organisation of Parochial Church Council 12 The Mission Sub Committee 13 The Communications Sub Committee 13 The Events Sub Committee 13 Finance Sub Committee 13 Fabric Sub Committee 13 Electoral Roll 13 Parish Sunday Services 14 Independent Examiner’s Report to the Parochial Church Council 15 PCC Report and Financial Statements for the year ended December 31st 2015 As we come to review another year and look forward to the next twelve months, so we become aware of just how much for which we have to be thankful to God. We have continued to benefit greatly from the dedication and devotion of so many people whose ministries and labours have strengthened the mission of the Church in our communities. We have been served by a large number of individuals in so many different capacities, people whose love for God and his Church are immediately evident in the commitment that they bring to their office.
Special mention must be made this year of our retiring Parish Warden, Linda Jenkins, who has now served her maximum term of office (six years).
I believe she has discharged her duties enormously well, combining her dedication and commitment with faith. We wish her every blessing in her ‘retirement’, though of course we are not going to let her sit back and relax completely!
Mention must also be made of Gwynne, her husband, who has made his own very significant contribution to the life of the parish over these years. We thank him deeply.
During the course of the year we said sad farewells to a number of long standing, faithful members of our congregations who had borne their illnesses and infirmities with great dignity, strengthened by their remarkable faith. They will be missed.
Every year brings its own challenges and opportunities, some of them predicted, some of them surprises. Financially and in terms of the soundness of our buildings we remain on a very firm footing, for which we have to thank the generosity of previous generations of worshippers and the dedicated teams who continue to look after our finance and fabric.
Our membership, sadly, continues its slow decline, despite the number of new people who have been welcomed to our congregations in the last year.
Towards the end of the year I was appointed as Area Dean of Bridgend for the second time, and at the time of writing bear responsibility for five parishes and ten churches. Thankfully, it’s a responsibility that can be shared, but the situation is indicative of the direction in which the Church is moving – with reducing numbers of clergy vacant posts become harder to fill, and the process for doing so often takes longer.
This is just one more reason why parishes such as ours need to embrace the principles of Ministry Areas, as indeed we are beginning to do. Our relationship with our neighbouring parish of Coychurch is starting to develop, though there is a good deal of distance to be travelled before we can begin to think of ourselves as a single, organic unit. The need for us all to think in terms of ‘the Church’ rather than ‘our church’ will not go away.
But we need not be pessimistic about the future. The PCC has begun to utilise a diagnostic tool – Growing Healthy Churches – to assist the parish in the task of setting priorities and strategic goals for the years to come.
A great deal of excellent work continues to be done by very many different people in the parish, and we thank them. As long as there are people who are willing to work for the building up of God’s Kingdom in this place we should trust in Christ’s promises to be with us ‘to the end of the age.’ The Reverend Canon Michael Komor, Rector 1 Minutes of AVM held on Sunday 26th April 2015 Apologies: John O’Leary, Glenys O’Leary, Sue Parfitt, Tricia Davidson, Charlotte Davidson, Alexis Frew, Barry Williams, Gloria Williams
1. The meeting was preceded with Holy Eucharist at 10:00am in St Mary Nolton
2. The AVM opened at 1215 with Parish Prayer led by Father Michael
3. Apologies received were read by Secretary
4. The Rector was in the Chair and warmly welcomed everyone to the AVM 2015 The Rector then gave his address thanking all those who have given so much in service to God and the Parish over the last year. Particular mention was made of Prof. John Dixon, who, having reached his 75th birthday, will not be continuing in his role as Rector’s Warden.
The Parish is indebted to the service he has provided as Warden. John has always been a source of so much wisdom and counsel and his deep thinking and faith brings a considerable influence across the Parish. The Rector presented John with a small gift in token of appreciation for all his work as Warden.
John thanked the three Rectors who had appointed him as Warden and the members of the Parish who have supported him and to his wife who has supported him so well especially over the last year.
Also singled out for an expression of gratitude was Dave Sullivan who has carried out the role of Treasurer diligently and efficiently, never with any sign of getting flustered or impatient. Dave is standing down and was thanked for his years’ service, and a small token of gratitude was presented to Dave by the Rector.
The Rector continued by saying that looking forward the extension of the Benefice is not yet apparent, but we will be working and growing together. We look forward to a time of exciting change in the Church with the 2012 Church in Wales Review being progressed.
There is a lot to celebrate looking back and a lot of work and excitement going forward which we hope to achieve with God’s help.
5. Minutes of previous Annual Vestry Meeting as published in Annual Report were received by the AVM and accepted as a true record
6. The Annual Report had been issued, thanks to those who had submitted reports on Parish groups and activities. No questions were raised on the Mission of the Church.
7. David Sullivan (Treasurer) presented the report on the Parish Financial Accounts for 2015 as presented in Annual report This was an unusual year following the surrender of the Nolton Institute lease by MacDonalds. The property was eventually sold and the proceeds were held in a holding account managed by RB until a new investment property was purchased in Autumn 2014.
The loss in value of assets due to the sale was considerably less than if we had to pay to repair and reinstate the property. We are now receiving rental income for the retail property purchased in Leominster.
Income from Nolton Hall rental increased due to the hard work of the Parish Administrator.
The current financial outlook for the Parish is more than satisfactory. Dave thanked the team of counters who carry out that work every week and thanks to John & Glenys O’Leary for carrying out the Audit of expenditure regularly.
In response to a question re the Leominster property, Dave explained it is a retail outlet let on a long term lease to a large pharmaceutical retail chain.
Linda Jenkins was elected People’s Warden Glenda Davies was appointed Rector’s Warden Dave Godin was elected Subwarden at Brackla Gaynor Coles was appointed subwarden at Brackla Nader Omidvar was elected Subwarden at Coity Fred Custerson was appointed Subwarden at Coity There was no nomination for Subwarden at Nolton Keith Jones was appointed Sub Warden at Nolton There was no ballot for PCC as there were only17 nominations, all were elected All Sidespersons listed were appointed
9. The Vestry agreed to ask Ewan Grant to continue as Independent examiner of its accounts,
10. The meeting was declared Closed at 12:21 Living Faith Course The Living Faith group continues to meet fortnightly for our regular bible study. This year we have been studying the Old Testament. It was a broad ranging study that included Creation, Early Israel, the Prophets, Psalms and Proverbs. We learned a great deal from this study, not least how much we do not know about the Old Testament!
The group continues to have lively and interesting discussions around the subject, often with as many viewpoints as there are people in the group! Most of the group are now working on essays related to the Old Testament which, if previous standards have been maintained, will be a pleasure to mark. It is a privilege to lead such a committed and lively group and to see them develop in both knowledge and faith.
They have worked through concepts that are challenging to either faith, intellect or both and have come through with a stronger, more mature faith as a result. Well done to all… only two more modules to go!
Glenda Davies Coity Sunday Club The number of children attending was slightly reduced, in the period from April to July 2015, the average attendance, during that time, being 13 children per week. We continue to fight the good fight against football, swimming, hockey, netball and drama activities, for the Sunday morning time slot. However, it has been encouraging to see several children starting in Coity Sunday Club, via the Play & Praise activities. After a slow start in September 2016, the number attending increased, with the average in the period January to March 2016, rising to 17 children per week. The fairly even balance in the ratio of boys to girls has been maintained, although, for the “Regular” attendees, the boys : girls ratio is significantly lower, while the opposite is the case for the “frequent” attendees. The following table
represents the current position since January 2016:
3 Regular Frequent Occasional Rarely Total Total 14 11 6 5 36 Girls 10 4 4 2 20 Boys 4 7 2 3 16 There were also 5 children who have only been once – but we continue to hope for their return. Our lowest attendance was 5 children, although that was on 3rd January 2016, when, officially, Sunday Club had not been scheduled to open. The highest attendance was 29 children, on 12th July 2015. The older members’ attendance has been less frequent, as they approach GCSE Mock exams and the final exams loom on the horizon, but our previous record of 31 children in attendance on one Sunday, may yet be broken.
Despite missing several weeks, due to a sports injury and illness, Kathryn Titley’s attendance total is still significantly ahead of the others, having reached 405 weeks, at the time of this report. Megan Fairchild is in second place, having recently passed the 300 weeks mark and Rachel Ellis is currently on 296 weeks. Commendations for best attendance in 2015 /16 have to go to Rhys Fairchild (38 weeks out of a possible 43 weeks) and Ali Taylor (35 weeks – but all the more impressive when one takes into consideration that she attends a church service with her school, on 6 or 7 Sunday mornings per year). Lara Omidvar manages to share herself out, between Sunday Club and the Choir and, including both activities, Lara has attended 31 times since last Easter. Lara is now able to take communion, having completed the preparation course, with Revd Jayne and myself, in October 2015.
The introduction of the puppet ministry has raised much interest among the older Sunday Club members and we have seen some very talented performances from Emily, Kathryn, Megan, Rachel and Rhys, in the past year. Much is owed to Rose Edwards and Hollie Evans for their considerable skill with the puppets and for their ability to stage-manage and interpret the song lyrics and to Revd Jayne, for her continuing support and her evident “red coat” entertainment skills and knowledge. We are also extremely grateful to all of the other adult puppeteers who are involved, especially Anne Komor (Academy Award nominated for best actor for “the Tramp” in the Harvest Services) and Philippa Coulson (nominated for her brilliant characterization of Eddie the Donkey).
We continue to start each Sunday Club session with our prayer circle and then with one or two “action songs”, which are very popular with children of all ages, although it is evident that the requested tempo for the songs is usually inversely proportional to age!
The Operation Christmas Child Cake Sale was held on 27th September 2015and raised an incredible £275.96 (the generosity of the congregation and the Sunday Club parents never ceases to amaze!), which enabled Sue Morgan to fill 21 shoe boxes for Samaritan’s Purse.
We don’t yet know where our shoe boxes were sent, in 2015, but we were provided with a DVD, showing recipients of our 2014 shoe boxes, which had been received in Belarus.
The Christmas party was held on 19th December 2015 and was attended by 25 children, from Coity Sunday Club, 7 from Play & Praise and 3 from Brackla Sunday Club. The party included a performance by the puppets. Thanks again to Santa for bringing along the selection packs and for taking time to talk to each child.