Jane Gray, HR Advisor and Jane Preest, Safeguarding Officer, presented St James’s safeguarding policy and procedures and an update on implementation of the safeguarding action plan previously approved by the PCC. The PCC approved the safeguarding policy statement for 2016-17 and also the appointment of Nikki McKnight as Children’s Champion.
The PCC elected officers to serve for 2016-17. Kevin Hipgrave was unanimously elected as PCC Lay Chair, Deborah Colvin, our Sustainability Champion, was unanimously elected as Deputy Churchwarden, and Simon Stedman was unanimously appointed as Honorary Treasurer. Membership of the Standing Committee for 2016-17 was confirmed as the Rector, the Associate Rector, PCC Lay Chair, Churchwardens, Deputy Churchwarden and Honorary Treasurer.
A presentation was given as an induction for new PCC members. This included an explanation of roles and responsibilities for PCC members, the planned annual schedule of PCC business and the code of conduct expected of PCC members in line with the Nolan Principles for standards of public service. Additionally, the PCC noted the new St James’s Strategic Plan approved at the previous PCC meeting following consultation with the St James’s congregation and presented at the recent APCM, and that steps were being taken to put in place a format of regular reporting to the PCC on progress against the planned objectives. Some progress in relation to the Wren (site redevelopment) project was also noted, with very early consultations currently in progress with Westminster Planning authority, heritage bodies and the Diocesan Advisory Committee. A full update was to be provided at the next meeting.
The PCC received the management accounts for the three months to 31st March 2016, and a revised budget for 2016-17 was presented and approved. The PCC noted in particular that the current year deficit was expected to be covered by the substantial surplus carried forward from 2015, together with one-off compensation monies due in relation to works in the garden, but that the current financial position was not sustainable in the longer term and that initiatives would be needed to increase regular income.
The PCC approved an Investment Policy which had been reviewed by, and was recommended for approval by, the Audit Committee. In doing so, the PCC emphasised the need for ethical principles to be taken into consideration in implementing the policy, and members agreed to complete a questionnaire on the parameters acceptable to St James’s for the next meeting.
Arrangements for pensions auto-enrolment of staff to meet the requirements of new legislation, and the level of employer contribution from July 2016, were ratified by the PCC. Arrangements for staff to be provided with advice from an independent financial advisor, as agreed at the previous PCC meeting, were also noted.
The PCC discussed proposals relating to Eco Church, a sustainability award scheme organised through a partnership between A Rocha UK, Christian Aid, Tearfund, the Church of England and the Methodist Church. The PCC endorsed St James’s ambition to work towards Gold status accreditation, and agreed the membership of a working group to take this initiative forward.
A number of members of the PCC agreed to attend the Diocese’s Capital Mass Refugee information evening on 19th May 2016.
The PCC received for information and noted:
- The minutes of the Health & Safety Committee meeting of 21st April 2016
- The minutes of the Liturgy Group meeting of 20th April 2016
- The minutes of the Staff meetings of 2nd March 2016 and 6th April 2016
The PCC noted plans for ‘The Key’ art installation during June to August 2016 and approved a resolution to apply to the Diocese for faculty permission to host the exhibition.
The PCC noted the opportunity to co-opt additional members. Pearl Willis, a regular attendee on Sundays had expressed interest in standing for election although hadn’t at the time met the requirements of time served on the electoral roll. The PCC, noting Pearls skills and experience as a qualified barrister, unanimously approved her co-option of Pearl as a member of the PCC for one year 2016-17.