Jane Preest, our Safeguarding Officer, and Jane Gray, HR Advisor, presented the updated Safeguarding Action Plan, reporting on good progress in relation to completion of DBS checks on PCC members, and with face to face safeguarding training now undertaken by all PCC members. With regard to the Safeguarding Handbook, it was now the intention to adopt the Church of England Parish Safeguarding Handbook, with St James’s Church bespoke Safeguarding Policy and Procedures Handbook as a companion/supplementary guidance to provide the St James’s context.
Reporting of Serious Incidents
The PCC approved new delegation arrangements for reporting of serious incidents. In line with new guidance, separate arrangements were agreed for safeguarding and non-safeguarding related incidents. Any of the former, should they arise, would now be reported in the first instance to the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisor, whereas non-safeguarding incidents would be reported direct to the Charity Commission. The PCC formally delegated responsibility for reporting of serious incidents to a sub-group of trustees comprising the Rector and the Churchwardens and involving, as appropriate, St James’s Safeguarding Officer.
St James’s Business Plan
Guinevere Short, St James’s Business & Operations Director, presented an updated business plan, the purpose of which she explained was to steer and develop St James’s business activities in an appropriate way and to increase revenue. She explained that the Business Plan would remain a live document that would continue to be developed and updated. The PCC discussed and provided advice in relation to identified priorities relating to venue/room hire, tap donations and accounting. The Communications review, a further major priority, was subject to a separate discussion as below.
The PCC received an update from Hugh Valentine and Guinevere Short on the Communications review following completion of a recent survey by members of the congregation and others who visit St James’s. The results of the review will be reported to the PCC shortly, following completion of some analysis. The PCC noted that the review was not just concerned with the business side of St James’s activities, but also with the important question of what type of church community St James’s is and wishes to be seen as.
Proposal from Heart of London Business Alliance: installation of ‘bee friendly’ flower baskets or planters to railings on Church Place
The PCC endorsed a proposal for ‘bee friendly’ flower basket or planters to be installed to the railings along the East side of the St James’s site along Church Place and approved a resolution to apply to the Diocese for the required faculty permission.
Away Giving 2019
The PCC discussed St James’s Away Giving grants for 2019 following a process of due diligence and evaluation of the proposals by the Away Giving Group (comprising David McKinley, Fiona Notman and Pearl Willis). The PCC agreed a variation to the recommendation and approved the grants for payment. The PCC also agreed that for next year, the criteria against which proposals are evaluated should be reviewed, in order to add further clarification and flexibility of approach.
Management Accounts for the six months ended 30th June 2019
The PCC perused the management accounts for the six months to 30th June 2019, noting the satisfactory year to date performance and reasons for variances in individual areas of income and expenditure. It was noted that it was still too early, however, to form a view on the likely outcome for full year, which should become clearer over the next three months.
Common Fund contribution 2020
The PCC approved a contribution by St James’s to the Diocesan Common Fund of £108k for 2020, an increase of 3.84% on the £104k paid in 2019.
The PCC reviewed progress in relation to the Wren project, noting that a date had now been set for a consultation meeting with the Head of the Diocese Property Department and St James’s architect at the end of August. Copies of the latest version of the draft plans were also reviewed. A meeting for an update to the congregation would be set for a Sunday in the Autumn.
Feedback from 29th June PCC Away Day
The PCC received a summary of the initial feedback from the recent PCC away-day. A small working group comprising the Rector, PCC Lay Vice Chair and the churchwardens would meet prior to bringing back the issue for further discussion by the PCC, at which time it was expected that other PCC members would also take a lead in exploring some of the areas identified as requiring a more significant amount of strategic focus going forward.
‘Discerning our 2030 vision’ – Response to Diocese of London survey
The PCC noted the collated response from the recent ‘intentional coffee’ discussion by members of the congregation and which had subsequently been shared more widely with members of the St James’s community using iKnow Church. The PCC commended the views expressed as a collective response, which would now be submitted to the Diocese.
Sunday Gospel Music in the courtyard 2020
The PCC discussed and endorsed further planning towards a series of services in the courtyard on Sundays featuring Soul Sanctuary Gospel Choir. The services would involve using the outside pulpit, intentionally reaching out to attract people who are beyond the gates to Piccadilly. They would also not be Eucharistic, but would include music and words for an hour on social justice and theological themes. The PCC confirmed that it was comfortable with the approach outlined, as a form of St James’s ‘evangelism’, making use of the outdoor pulpit to communicate outside the church.
Feedback on Patronal Festival Sunday 21st July
The PCC noted that the Patronal Festival had gone well, due to a lot of careful planning and preparation. A particularly positive aspect had been the high level of participation by members of the congregation who had attended – including the drama and preparations for lunch. Thanks were expressed to Janie Bickersteth and her team for preparing the lunch. The verger team had also worked hard on the set up, and a sound system had been hired for the day. A significant number of the congregation had worn red, as had been encouraged, which had added to the festive atmosphere.
The Revd Lindsay Meader
The PCC noted that after 14 years at St James’s, the Revd Lindsay Meader would be leaving her post as Associate Rector during September in order to take up a full-time role with theatre chaplaincy as part of a three-year pilot project with the Diocese of London. Theatre chaplaincy has been a passion of Lindsay’s for some time and she was delighted and excited about her new role. A suitable occasion to celebrate her contribution to St James’s and to wish her well for the future will be organised.
The PCC noted that this would be David McKinley’s last PCC meeting as PCC Honorary Treasurer following his recent decision to step down. It was hoped that recruitment of a replacement for this voluntary role would be completed by mid-September in order to facilitate a smooth handover of responsibilities. The PCC expressed thanks to David for his valuable contribution to St James’s during his time in the role and wished him well for the future.
The PCC received for information and noted:
- The minutes of Staff meetings of 5th June and 3rd July.
- The minutes of the Health & Safety Committee meeting of 27th June 2019 and the appended latest guidelines for staff on Terror Attack Prevention and Action.