Newcomers lunch, Notices after the Sunday 11am liturgy, London AdWeek 2015 and the Staff Development Day
Review of Harvest/Sukkot The PCC reviewed the activities during the week of Harvest and Sukkot. They also reviewed the reporting of the festival in both Jewish and Church press. The volunteer stewards, coordinated by Joan Ishibashi were particularly thanked both in the sukkah itself and for the events. Anna Sikorska was thanked for facilitating the team that built and dismantled the sukkah, and the staff of St James’s, especially the vergers and the parish secretary were commended for their strong support of all the events and the production of excellent publicity. Some controversy had been inevitable, but overall, the events were well attended and fruitful; and the sukkah itself had been hugely appreciated by congregation and visitors alike. The PCC noted that projects like this are very good for the integration of volunteers, staff and our neighbours; they also noted the significant impact that these projects have on the paid staff in terms of time and effort.
Management Accounts for September 2014 The projected deficit for the end of the year is just over £15,000. This is disappointing as the budget was set to balance. Income from the market has not been on budget, building repair expenses have been over budget and one off donations have been significantly down. One pleasing figure is that overheads are significantly under budget.
Concerts report David McCleery the concerts manager outlined the concerts programme. St James’s hosts something like 90-100 concerts a year, including events in partnership with Waterstones bookshop. This year, Chatham House have held a WW1 anniversary concert and we have had our usual 3 or 4 pop concerts alongside the classical repertoire. The lack of toilet provision is a constant difficulty for large audiences, but ticket sales are being helped by tickets selling in the market (on the Evanescence stall). In future, St James’s should look to running a box office.
Newcomers lunch The church wardens reported on a very successful newcomers lunch with about 30 newcomers present. These would be held every quarter on Sundays after the service to help people get to know one another and get involved if they want to. Huge thanks to Pete and Stephen for great food.
Notices The PCC reviewed the new Notices Charter and made a small amendment for immediate implementation. This was to say that if people wanted to highlight a notice already written in the service sheet, this was fine just to draw others’ attention to it.
London AdWeek The PCC again discussed the plans for London AdWeek for March 2015, especially the proposal of having an art installation of some kind in the courtyard to highlight an issue of social justice that St James’s would like to raise. Issues such as the isolation of elderly people, the fragmentation of the “public square”, the way that London is experienced by people who are trafficked or homeless were all raised. This would be the subject of a meeting with the AdWeek organisers later in the month.
St James’s Staff Development Day A report was received from a recent development day held at the Rectory for staff working here during the week. Lia Shimada facilitated the day, which was thoroughly enjoyed by all present. Day to day communication was discussed, and particularly the challenges of working on a site that is open to everyone all the time was highlighted. Staff are highly motivated and enjoy working at St James’s, forming their own sense of community, but some feel detached from the Sunday congregation and are not sure that the PCC or congregation understand what they do. Staff know the site and the church buildings very well Monday – Friday and the “wear and tear” was sometimes quite high, given the public nature of the work. A joint day was requested by staff so that the PCC and they could get to know one another better. This would be organised for 2015.