The congregation noted that Mercédès Pavlicevic, who had served on the PCC for many years, including as Treasurer, PCC Lay Chair, Churchwarden and Deputy Churchwarden, would not be seeking re-election this year. The congregation expressed its huge gratitude to Mercédès for her contribution to St James’s.
Deborah Colvin and Trevor Lines were elected as Churchwardens for 2018-2019. For both, this would be their second year as churchwardens.
ANNUAL PAROCHIAL CHURCH MEETING
The number on St James’s Electoral Roll was reported to have increased to 217 from 207 reported at the 2017 APCM. It was noted that a full six-year revision of the electoral roll would take place in 2019.
Thanks to St James’s staff team
Thanks were expressed to all members of the St James’s staff team for their dedicated service throughout the year.
PCC Secretary’s Report
Graham Cooper, PCC Secretary, had submitted a written report on the activities and business discussed by the PCC during 2017-18 and Graham highlighted the focus on implementation of the 2016-19 strategic plan, the PCC’s oversight of the Wren (site redevelopment) project and the Archdeacon’s triennial visitation that had taken place in February 2018.
PCC Honorary Treasurer’s Report and Annual Report & Financial Statements for the year ended 31st December 2017
David McKinley, Honorary Treasurer, presented his report, along with the Annual Report & Financial Statements for the year ended 31st December 2017, providing assurance regarding St James’s overall financial health and highlighting key trends in income and expenditure. He particularly brought the meeting’s attention to a rebate of Business Rates that had been secured following a claim by St James’s to Westminster City Council based upon St James’s charitable status. This had an impact on current and future years, but the benefit of a rebate relating to the previous six years had been added to Reserves in 2017 and would be used towards meeting future costs, particularly in relation to essential electrical infrastructure repairs. The importance of voluntary income, including planned giving by members of the congregation, and a one-off anonymous voluntary donation during the year, was highlighted and acknowledged. The meeting unanimously resolved to accept the Annual Report and Financial Statements for the year ended 31st December 2017. David thanked Chris Rogers, Finance Manager, for his work throughout the year.
Re-appointment of Auditors
St James’s current auditors, Mazars, were re-appointed for the audit for the financial year ending 31st December 2018, although it was noted that it was the intention, Mazars having undertaken this role for the past five years, for a re-tender for future audit work to be completed during the current year, under the oversight of the Audit Committee.
A written copy of the Churchwardens’ report had been provided. The Chair thanked Deborah Colvin and Trevor Lines for their contributions and hard work throughout the year and for their report.
Deanery Synod Representatives Report
A report was received and Pearl Willis and Lia Shimada were thanked for their service as St James’s Deanery Synod representatives for 2017-18.
Election of new lay PCC member
Thanks were expressed to members of the PCC who had decided, for various reasons, to step down since the 2017 APCM, these being Stephen Bell, Nikki McKnight and Natasha Imison. Following the decision taken at the 2017 APCM to reduce the number of elected PCC Lay members to nine (notwithstanding the number of people on the electoral roll) with effect from the 2018 APCM, there was only one vacancy this year. One nomination had been received from Raks Patel, and Raks was appointed as Lay PCC member for a further term of office of three years. All members of the PCC stood in order to be acknowledged, and were thanked for their ongoing contribution.
Election of Deanery Synod Representative
There remained an unfilled vacancy for a Deanery Synod representative following the 2017 APCM. Shirley Dixon was nominated and appointed to this role for a period of two years until the next Deanery Synod elections in 2020, and would join Lia Shimada and Pearl Willis as St James’s Deanery Synod representatives.
The meeting received written copies of the annual Safeguarding Report, provided by Jane Preest, Safeguarding Officer and Jane Gray, HR Advisor. The importance of safeguarding, and the role of the PCC in oversight of St James’s safeguarding activity were stressed. Thanks were expressed to Jane Preest and Jane Gray for their work and their report.
Lucy Winkett, Rector and Chair, referred the meeting to her written report, copies of which had been provided. She commended the congregation on the boldness and enthusiasm that it had brought to a vast range of worthwhile activity during the year, whilst also emphasising the importance of maintaining a space of silence at St James’s. She, and the congregation, also paid tribute to the work of Ruth Edmonds, St James’s Pastoral Assistant. The importance of the Pastoral Assistant position becoming a permanent post to support St James’s ongoing activities was noted. Additionally, the Rector reported on the Archdeacon’s triennial visitation that had taken place in February, and on the recent Quinquennial Inspection of the site undertaken by Ptolemy Dean, St James’s Inspecting Architect.
2017-18 – A year in the life of St James’s
The congregation reviewed a slide presentation on key events, activities and relationships during 2017-18 and celebrated these. The volume and breadth of activity, and the important role played by many individuals, including volunteers was highlighted, although the potential to do more, and for St James’s to reach out and to provide support and a place of safe haven for many more individuals, was also discussed. Specific actions in relation to welcoming newcomers were discussed, including an agreed action that notices on Sundays should include an invitation for newcomers to speak with nominated welcomers after the service.
Eco Church Update
Deborah Colvin, St James’s Sustainability Champion, provided a report on activities underpinning St James’s Eco Church initiative and steps to achieving Eco Church Gold accreditation. Members of St James’s Eco steering group were introduced and the congregation discussed ways of further developing a more eco aligned lifestyle, including opportunities for St James’s to provide support by way of resources and guidance – e.g. by providing details of, and helping to source goods from, ethical suppliers. Opportunities for other St James’s groups, including the Animal Welfare Group and Traidcraft, to further engage with the Eco group on areas of common interest were also noted.
Wren Project update
A brief progress report on the Wren (site redevelopment) Project was provided, including brief update on recent consultation meetings with Historic England and Westminster City Council. A meeting with the congregation to discuss progress was announced, to take place after the service on Sunday 27 May.
Fiona Notman explained the key features of the Away Giving programme, through which St James’s supports a number of charitable organisations and projects that are aligned to its own objectives, with a commitment to social justice within and beyond the UK. Forms for current year grant applications were handed out and are also available from the Rectory and from Graham Cooper, PCC Secretary (email firstname.lastname@example.org). The deadline for submission of completed applications to the PCC Secretary is Sunday 3rd June.
Chloe Bentley was thanked for recently taking on the role of St James’s Children’s Champion, and a focus on initiatives to encourage further participation by children in worship at St James’s was noted.
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
A question was raised regarding St James’s readiness for new data protection laws, and it was noted that the PCC Secretary was working on plans for compliance. Additionally, St James’s had recently signed up to new church management software that would bring benefits to the organisation of regular activity and communication, and the congregation would be provided with updates on both of these matters during the next few weeks.
Thanks to the Clergy
The congregation expressed its thanks to the Rector and other members of the Clergy for their ongoing commitment and leadership.