Safeguarding update The PCC received a mid-year update on Safeguarding matters from Jane Gray, HR Advisor. Apologies had been received from Jane Preest, Safeguarding Officer. The report included an update on actions, including on face to face training that PCC members had undertaken and which had been well received.
HR Policies review As part of its ongoing review and update of policies, the PCC reviewed and approved the following updated policies following advice from St James’s professional advisors and scrutiny by the Standing Committee: Anti-Bribery Policy, Capability Procedure, Disciplinary Policy, Equal Opportunities and Diversity Statement, Flexible Working Policy, Grievance Policy, Harassment Policy, Holiday and Holiday Pay Policy, Lone Working Policy, Retirement Policy, Sickness and Absence Policy, Social Media Policy and Whistleblowing Policy.
The PCC was advised that an initial meeting of a working group of members of the congregation had taken place, with the aim of launching a new campaign to increase the level of St James’s planned giving income, which had fallen in 2018. Details of the Church of England’s Giving for Life scheme had been circulated and were reviewed, and it was hoped to use this scheme that includes guidelines on preaching, teaching, how to encourage giving and how to talk about giving, as a platform for raising excitement and deepening a culture of celebrating giving, not only financial but of time and talents at St James’s.
Fees for Special Services 2019 The PCC undertook an annual review of fees and approved fees for special services for 2019.
Welcoming and Volunteering Strategy The PCC received an update from the churchwardens on the development of a structured approach to volunteering. This followed on from consultations with the congregation and work to date by the PCC. The consultation process was continuing with an initial focus on developing a number of objectives that had already been identified, including extending the role of welcomers, agreeing a protocol for use of the kitchen, reviewing the arrangements for coffee after the Sunday service and generally improving the communication and co-ordination of opportunities for individuals to become more involved in volunteering at St James’s. It was noted that the iKnow Church software package that St James’s had subscribed to would be used increasingly to support this activity, and PCC members were encouraged to become accustomed to using the system and to encourage other members of the congregation to do the same.
Christmas Services planning LM provided details of the various Christmas services planned, and PCC members were encouraged to volunteer to assist by liaising with Eleanor Butler, who was organising rotas.
Animal Friendly Church Application The PCC considered and approved for submission to the Anglican Society for the Welfare of Animals (ASWA), an application prepared by the Animal Welfare Group for Animal Friendly Church accreditation. It was noted that the application aligned well with St James’s environmental policies. The PCC also approved an accompanying set of guidelines for assisting stray or injured animals found on the St James’s site.
Hart of London Art Installation The PCC received a briefing on an art installation planned in the Southwood Garden over the Christmas period. The freestanding sculpture, in the form of a stag standing 3 metres high constructed from recycled milk bottles and illuminated, was a joint commission by Heart of London Business Alliance and Veolia UK (Westminster Council’s waste management contractor), and was the work of renowned artist Faith Bebbington. The installation would also be used to raise voluntary donations.
Other matters The PCC received for information and discussed/noted:
- A verbal report from Robert Duirs on his liaison role with the Animal Welfare Group.
- A report from Trevor Lines on his liaison role with Living Spirituality.
- A report from Carolyn Davies on her liaison role with the Winter Shelter.
- A report from Deborah Colvin on her liaison role with the LGBT Group.
- A report form Joan Ishibashi on the activities of Churches Together in Westminster.
- The minutes of the Liturgy Group meeting of 19th September 2018.
- The minutes of the Health & Safety Committee meetings of 27th September 2018 and 8th November 2018.
- The minutes of staff meetings of 3rd October 2018 and 7th November 2018.