Ryan Tyler, our Estates Manager, reported on recent events, including the return to St James’s of access to the whole of the Southwood Garden, following part of this being partitioned off to facilitate works in relation to the new restaurant in the BAFTA building. He advised that the garden had been generally well-protected and that Catherine Tidnam, St James’s’ Gardener, would now be undertaking replanting and restoration work. Ryan also advised the PCC of emergency plumbing work that had been necessary in the Narthex following the discovery of a water leak. Additionally, he apprised the PCC of the intention to trial participation in a new waste management scheme being promoted by the Crown Estate for local businesses that included a recycling scheme which aligned well with St James’s eco philosophy. Other matters discussed included improvements to collection boxes in the Church and cleaning of the photovoltaic panels on the church roof in order to ensure that they are working to optimum capacity. The PCC also reviewed the effectiveness of the current shared service arrangements with St Martin-in-the-Fields for estates management, which were considered to be working well.
The PCC perused the management accounts for the nine months to 30th September. Whilst the current year is in surplus due to one-off additional items, the PCC discussed the current challenge of putting together a balanced budget for 2017, which would be considered at the forthcoming meeting of the Audit Committee and then by the PCC at its December meeting.
PCC Away-day 15th October 2016
The PCC reflected on the away-day that had been held on 15th October, at which the primary areas of focus had been driving forward specific initiatives within the 2016-2019 Strategic Plan and a review of the current status of the Wren (site redevelopment) Project. The day was considered to have been very successful and the output would be taken forward by the Strategic Planning group and the Wren Project Steering Group.
The PCC reviewed and approved the Staff Pay and Benefits Guidelines, which it was noted reflect current practice at St James’s, including the policy of a minimum level of pay of the London Living Wage (LLW) for all staff and where possible setting staff members’ pay within the salary range for each occupational group in accordance with Diocesan advice and benchmarked against marketplace information. The only exception to this is the Apprentice position, but for which the overall pay and benefits package nevertheless exceeds the minimum statutory requirement for the role.
Plans for St James’s new International Group, to provide a place of welcome, hospitality and sanctuary for people with no recourse to public funds, were reviewed. This new initiative will provide refuge for people referred by other organisations including the Red Cross, St Martin-in-the-Fields and Notre Dame de France, and will initially offer a Saturday morning breakfast and hospitality. The PCC commended this initiative, which had received strong volunteer support from amongst the St James’s community.
The PCC considered and endorsed plans for recruitment to two new part time roles. One is a Pastoral Assistant with areas of responsibility including support for St James’s Winter Shelter, new International Group, Student focus and working with the Children’s Champion, as well as being a member of the Pastoral Visitors Group which visits people at home or in hospital on an ad-hoc basis. The second is a Fundraising Administrator, to undertake research and to work on the creation of a database for future grant applications, which will be crucial to fundraising activity to finance the future planned site redevelopment.
Christmas Services arrangements
Deborah Colvin provided an update on volunteer arrangements for welcomers and people to assist with serving refreshments at Christmas services. Additional volunteers are needed and PCC members and members of the congregation are encouraged to contact Deborah if they are able to help.
Audit Committee membership and Terms of Reference
The PCC reviewed and approved slight changes to the Audit Committee membership and Terms of Reference. The role of the Audit Committee, chaired by an independent person, is to provide oversight of St James’s systems and processes relating to financial management, risk management and governance.
Eco Fun Palace
An evaluation of the Eco Fun Palace Event held on Harvest Sunday 2nd October, based upon feedback gathered on the day, was received. The PCC commended the event as having been very successful and expressed thanks for those involved in its organisation. Plans for a possible programme of events during Science Week (10th – 19th March 2017), building upon the contacts that had been made during the Eco Fun Palace project, were also noted and encouraged by the PCC.
Plans for fundraising from amongst the St James’s community in order to support St James’s participation in the Toilet Twinning Scheme (see toilettwinning.org) were discussed, and the PCC gave its support for this initiative.
Thanks were expressed by the PCC to Deborah Colvin for taking on the role of St James’s’ Churches Together in Westminster representative during the period of Ray Crocker’s sabbatical.
The PCC received a report from Heather Williams on her liaison role with LivingSpirituality.
The PCC considered and approved fees for special services for 2017.
The PCC received and reviewed an analysis of Parish statistics received from the Diocese.
Raks Patel provided feedback on the recent Two Cities event for PCC members which had been attended by a number of members of St James’s PCC.
The PCC received for information the minutes of the Liturgy Group meeting of 28th September 2016.
The PCC received and noted the minutes of the Health & Safety Committee meetings of 29th September 2016 and 3rd November 2016.
The PCC received for information the minutes of the Staff meeting of 4th October 2016.