Churchwardens News – Jacqueline Brown writes

Feb 23, 2018   //   by Terry Roberts   //   Blog  //  Comments Off on Churchwardens News – Jacqueline Brown writes
Annual Meetings and Elections

It’s that time of year again when I challenge you to support the really good, exciting things happening in our Parish and Benefice by joining one of the church committees or the PCC. I know always say it, and people think I’m joking, but it really is fun! And it’s very rewarding to be so involved in the life of our Parish, in the decision-making processes and seeing first-hand the good results.  If you’ve ever thought, ‘Why on earth are we doing that?’ then get involved and find out, and have your say!

Church Committees 

Each of our five churches has a committee which has delegated authority from the PCC to deal with matters of routine house-keeping and maintenance. Each committee has a treasurer who takes care of financial matters and a secretary to take minutes of meetings. Church committees generally meet once every two months.  Anyone who is on the Electoral Roll can be elected to the committee of the church where they regularly worship. The Church Committee is made up of its PCC members, those elected from the congregation and any ex-officio members, such as the Vicar, Associate Minister, Churchwardens and Synod members.

Each church has an AGM – this will be after the APCM this year –  at which the committee members for the year ahead are elected. There can be up to four. If you would like to stand for election, you should complete a nomination form.  These will be available in each church shortly. You must ask two other members of your church to nominate and second you, and they must complete the form where indicated. You cannot nominate another person without their agreement. You might also look around at your congregation and think about who would be a good person to have on the committee and then ask if you can nominate them. All posts are re-elected every year, so, if you are on a church committee this year, and you would like to continue, you must submit a nomination form. There is no automatic re-election of existing committee members. Pass the completed form to Margaret Groves for St John’s, Lal Mills for St Paul’s and Anne Osborne for the Parish Church, to Michael Lingam-Wilgoss for Ellingham and Lindsay Burtenshaw at Harbridge.  All nomination forms must be received before the AGM begins. If there are more people wishing to stand than places available on the committee, there will be a vote during the AGM. Being on a church committee is very rewarding and an excellent way of becoming more involved with your church. Do please think and pray about standing.

Elections to the PCC and Deputy Churchwardens

The PCC is unlike other committees because it has a mixture of spiritual, legal, financial, pastoral and missionary functions. It shares making certain  decisions with the vicar, and in return co-operates with him in the whole mission of the Church. The rights  and responsibilities of the PCC are many and if you would like to know more, the Church of England have produced a  booklet on trusteeship for PCC members. Liz Cook in the Parish Office can let you have a copy.

Members are elected for a three year term, so each year a number of places comes up for re-election. Being on the PCC means that you are involved in the key decision-making process in the Parish. This year, as we move ahead with our plans, the PCC will be making decisions and being involved in these key areas which will guide the parish into the future. It really is very interesting and rewarding. To stand for election you must be on the Electoral Roll and a Communicant. The nomination form is very different from the one for church committees and will also be in the churches. Please pass completed forms to Matthew, Ian, Steve or me.

Elections to the PCC take place at the Annual Parochial Church Meeting (the APCM). This is on Thursday 26th April at the Parish Church.

At the Parish Church, Ellingham, Harbridge and St John’s AGMs deputy churchwardens are also elected at the APCM. As with the church committees, re-election isn’t automatic, and a deputy churchwarden must be nominated, seconded and elected each year. If you would like to stand, or if you’d like to nominate someone, the nomination form in the churches should be completed and handed in as before.  Again, this must be done before the APCM begins.

The APCM is arguably the most important, and certainly the most interesting, meeting of the year. If you are on the Electoral Roll you may attend.  If you want to know about what’s happening in the Parish, the Benefice and the wider Church, if you feel there are things you don’t know, come along to the APCM and you’ll find most of your questions answered, as well as learning a few things you hadn’t expected!

Changes to the Parish Rooms and Parish Church – the whole picture

I’m sure that you will have heard by now that the Parish Rooms are to become the Benefice Offices, accommodating the Vicar, Associate Minister, Families Minister and Administrators, and in due course, a training curate and Moorlands placement students.

When people express their concerns to me I invariably find that they are thinking just about the Rooms and aren’t fully aware of the changes being made inside the church to accommodate the Rooms groups and users who are displaced. It’s vital that all the areas of change are seen together as no one will work without the others:

Parish Rooms – to be offices with the existing kitchen retained, and also with a meeting room for general use

Choir Vestry – stripped out and refitted with a range of storage to accommodate both Choir needs and storage from the Rooms. It will also be re-decorated,  re-carpeted and have a new ceiling. This will become a very usable room, for example for Beacons Sunday School. A second set of internal doors will be fitted to prevent noise into the church

Lady Chapel – the remaining pews will be removed, and the floor levelled.  Screening and gates will be added to the existing partitions so that it can be a very secure space, such as for Toddler Group. This area will be almost the same size as the main part of the Parish Rooms. There will be a new, hard-wearing, stain resistant carpet in here and the existing one will be put down in the Choir vestry. The wall heaters will be repaired and re-commissioned. And of course, it can still be used just as it is now, as a Lady Chapel for small services.

Coffee area – hot and cold water and drainage will be added, along with a refrigerator and hot water boiler.  Everything will be in cupboards to lock securely away.

Plans showing the changes are now on display in the Parish Church, so do have a look.

Jacqueline Brown 

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