Malcom Stern, Venetia David and Richard Dunkerley, Directors of Alternatives, provided an update on the activities of Alternatives. The PCC discussed a number of aspects of the ongoing relationship between Alternatives and St James’s including the extent of alignment of values and the recent and forward programme of events.
Management Accounts for the 12 months to 31st December 2018
The PCC perused the management accounts for the twelve months to 31st December 2018, noting the reasons for variances to budget and prior year performance in relation to individual items, and the overall satisfactory outcome for the year. No material adjustments were anticipated, and the final Trustees Report & Accounts for the year would be presented to the next PCC meeting for approval prior to going forward for presentation to the APCM. It was agreed that the allocation of the final surplus for the year would be discussed when the final Report and Accounts are presented to the next PCC meeting.
Identity and Branding Project
The PCC received an update on this project to consider St James’s identity and to improve and harmonise St James’s ‘branding’. It was noted that a survey was currently being put together, with the objective of gathering the views of various groups, including individuals who regularly worship at St James’s and others who are affiliated or who feel a sense of belonging to St James’s in other ways, as well as members of neighbouring organisations. In order to make the results of the survey as meaningful as possible, members of the PCC and the congregation would be asked to encourage people to participate. The outcomes of the survey would be presented to the PCC for further discussion on the way forward in due course.
Welcoming and Volunteering Strategy
The PCC received an update on the work that was being undertaken to develop St James’s welcoming and volunteering strategy, building upon earlier consultations with the congregation. A number of initiatives had been trialled during January and a structure had been devised with the aim of developing a more coherent and effective approach to these activities, including volunteer recruitment, development and celebration and communication. An early opportunity would be taken to present the finalised strategy to the congregation
Lent, Holy Week and Easter planning
The PCC received and noted plans for Lent, Holy Week and Easter. In addition to the usual pattern of services and events, there were plans to include a St John Passion for All in collaboration with people form the local area, staff choirs, neighbouring organisations etc.
Wren Project update
The PCC received an update on this project. Following on from consultations with Westminster City Council and heritage bodies, impetus was being renewed to move forward to a formal planning application later in the year. This further work would include the commissioning of a number of specialist reports including an archaeological survey, daylight survey etc. Alongside the planning work, further consideration was being given to the financial and commercial implications, and to the feasibility of fundraising for the project.
Retreats, Parish Weekends and Quiet Days
An update on retreats and parish days was provided. The usual annual Parish Weekend would not be taking place this year – instead, there were plans for a Parish Retreat, to be held at Bishop Woodford House in Ely in August. The retreat was already oversubscribed, and efforts were being made to enable more people to be accommodated. Additionally, the PCC noted plans for Quiet Days, to be held at St Saviour’s Priory Haggerston on the following Saturdays: 30th March, 21st September and 14th December.
Eco Church update
Deborah Colvin, St James’s Sustainability Champion, provided an update, highlighting plans from the calendar for the year ahead, including talk and events, eco contemplative liturgies and communication. In addition, efforts would continue in order to further reduce St James’s carbon footprint, develop plans for managing biodiversity and explore how St James’s might support a diocesan wide eco activity. The PCC commended the work and achievements to date and endorsed the forward plans.
The PCC noted plans for the APCM, to be held on Sunday 28th April. There would be an opportunity for members of the electoral roll to stand for election to the PCC. Additionally, it was noted that this year there would be a cyclical complete revision of the electoral roll, which would be managed by David Hamilton-Peters, St James’s Electoral Roll officer. There would be a major effort to encourage people to sign up to the electoral roll, which was highlighted as an opportunity for individuals to demonstrate their sense of belonging to the St James’s community. The number of people on the electoral roll is also important for administrative reasons, and determines the number of representatives that St James’s is able to appoint to the Deanery Synod, which is an important aspect of St James’s having a voice in relation to wider church matters.
The PCC received for information and noted:
- The minutes of the Liturgy Group meeting of 13th November 2018.
- The minutes of the Audit Committee meeting of 19th November 2018.
- The minutes of Staff meeting of 6th December 2018