Ryan Tyler, our Estates Manager, presented his report. The PCC considered and approved essential repairs to the Church’s electrical infrastructure, whilst ensuring that the works proposed would fit with the longer-term church restoration and site redevelopment project. The works are planned for September 2018. The PCC also reviewed proposals for remedial works arising from the Quinquennial Inspection undertaken by Ptolemy Dean, St James’s Inspecting Architect, in October 2017, particularly work required on the church tower and spire. These works would be completed as part of ongoing repairs and maintenance work.
Children’s Champion update
The PCC welcomed Chloe Bentley, St James’s Children’s Champion, and discussed plans for attracting and encouraging children to participate in Sunday worship at St James’s.
The PCC approved resolutions to apply to the Chancellor of the Diocese for Faculties relating to the installation of scaffolding in the Southwood Garden to enable St James’s neighbours to complete essential works to their buildings, and also an application for a Faculty in relation to future art installations.
Report & Accounts for the twelve months to 31st December 2017
David McKinley, Honorary Treasurer, presented the Report & Accounts for the year ended 31st December 2017. The PCC noted that these showed a satisfactory outcome for the year, in line with the management accounts that already been received and reviewed. Additionally, David reported on success in securing a rebate on previous and future business rates payable to Westminster City Council. The rebate relating to previous years would be added to reserves. The PCC noted that the Report & Accounts had also been scrutinised by the Audit Committee. The PCC approved the Report & Accounts, which would go forward to presentation to the congregation at the APCM on 8th April.
Appointment of Auditors
The PCC discussed the re-appointment of Mazars, St James’s current auditors, for the current financial year to 31st December 2018 and agreed to recommend their re-appointment to the APCM on 8th April, whilst noting plans, under oversight of the Audit Committee, to undertake a full re-tendering for the audit service later in the year.
As part of its continuing work in ensuring that St James’s has a robust policy framework for its various activities, the PCC considered and approved a Befriending Policy and a Referencing Policy.
The PCC undertook a review of the ‘Suspended’ art installation that took place in the Church over the 2017 Christmas period, aimed at raising awareness of the ongoing refugee crisis. The installation, supported by a series of events, had created a significant impact, attracting thousands of visitors. The PCC noted that this had been a very significant and enormously worthwhile and successful project, rooted in St James’s values. The installation had been financed by various voluntary and Trust donations, enabling funds raised in excess of £10,000 to be donated to the Starfish Foundation.
The PCC received an update on the Wren Project, noting that a pre-planning consultation meeting had taken place with Historic England, and that plans were in place for further consultations with the Diocesan Advisory Committee and the Amenity Societies.
The PCC received for information and discussed/noted:
- A report from Deborah Colvin on St James’s participation in Churches Together in Westminster, including plans to host an installation of artwork by prisoners in the Church over Easter
- A report from Carolyn Davies regarding her liaison role with the Julian Group
- Plans for the 2018 APCM
- A business schedule plan for PCC meetings for 2018-19
- The minutes of the Health & Safety Committee meetings of 11th January 2018 and 15th February 2018
- The minutes of staff meetings of 6th December 2017 and 7th February 2018