The PCC reviewed recommendations from the Away Giving Group, based upon proposals put forward by members of the congregation. A discussion was held on the criteria used to assess proposals. In particular, in previous years, there had been a move towards making more substantial grants to fewer organisations, but the PCC agreed this year to a more even distribution of grants to organisations and projects that members of the congregation felt worthy of support and that are in line with St James’s ethos and strategic objectives. Those members of the congregation who have submitted proposals will be advised of the outcome shortly. The PCC agreed to hold a further discussion on future criteria prior to inviting requests for proposals next year.
Estates Manager’s Report
Ryan Tyler, our Estates manager, reported on current issues. He provided an update on the work steadily being completed to upgrade the lighting across the site to new LED lights, and also plans for completion of redecoration work over the summer. He also advised that the next quinquennial inspection of the site was due in the autumn, and that this would assist in defining further work needed over the next 18 months or so and in setting the budget. Steps taken to date, and ongoing efforts, to encourage the segregation and recycling of waste from the site, in line with St James’s Eco policies, were also discussed.
In light of recent terrorist incidents, the PCC also discussed arrangements in place for St James’s to remain a place of safe haven and procedures for evacuation of the site if necessary. The PCC was satisfied that all appropriate measures are in place, with the Vergers and other staff well trained and briefed, although further steps that might augment the current contingency planning were also suggested, including a possible site evacuation on a Sunday.
Concerts and Events Manager’s Report
David McCleery, our Concerts & Events Manager, reported on recent activity. The PCC noted that the programme of concerts and events was going very well, and commended David on the policy of arranging events that are aligned to and support the wider ethos and programme of activity at St James’s. Health and Safety matters, including a review of staffing levels at concerts, were also discussed.
The PCC discussed plans for activities planned over Pride weekend at the beginning of July, including this year St James’s hosting the Christians at Pride service on Saturday 8th July as well as holding its usual Pride Eucharist on the Sunday. As usual, there will also be a tea party in the garden on the Saturday. Appropriate steps are being taken to publicise, resource and fund the various events.
Wren Project update
The PCC received an update on the Wren (site redevelopment) project, commending the work that had been undertaken to date and agreeing next steps towards securing approval for the project. A further update to the PCC and a briefing to the wider St James’s congregation will be provided during the autumn.
Community Sponsorship Scheme
The PCC noted, and encouraged discussions that are taking place regarding St James’s participation in the Community Sponsorship Scheme (resettling Syrian refugees in the Borough). This was noted as an additional means through which St James’s can support its mission to provide help to refugees and asylum seekers. A review of wider activity in support of this scheduled for the next PCC meeting at the end of July.
Koestler Trust Arts by Offenders project
The PCC considered, and agreed to participate in, a touring exhibition of artwork by prisoners, being co-ordinated by Churches Together in Westminster (CTiW) to take place during 2018. Associated talks/events will be organised to take place alongside the exhibition.
Patronal Festival Planning
The PCC discussed and agreed arrangements for the forthcoming Patronal Festival to take place on Sunday 30th July, which will include the usual Patronal Eucharist at 11.00am and Choral Evensong at 3.00pm, both to take place inside the Church. Volunteers came forward to organise the community lunch on the day and the PCC also discussed and agreed the content of the liturgical action to take place during the Eucharist.
The PCC received for information and noted:
- The minutes of the Health & Safety Committee meeting of 4th May 2017.
- The minutes of the staff meetings of 10th May 2017
- The minutes of the Liturgy Group meeting of 17th May 2017
- A report from Adolfo Sansolini on liaison with St James’s LGBT Group