Costas Benopoulos-Jones, our Market Manager, reported on recent developments. The Food Market on Mondays continues to do well, as does the General Market on Wednesdays to Saturdays. Since January, the Tuesday market has been run as a half food / half antiques market, rather than as an all antiques market as previously, and has recovered after a slow start due to bad weather. The success of the current arrangements will be kept under review. The Market Manager also reported that the market is now a ‘halogen free zone’, with 100% LED lights in place since April.
Concerts and Events
David McCleery, our Concerts and Events Manager, reported on the variety and success of the concerts and events programme during the year to date, highlighting in particular the Easter themed concerts during Holy Week, and the success of the ‘Flight’ concert and the staged production of Handel’s Messiah during late March and early April. It was also noted that, after a break during 2015, St James’s neighbours Waterstones have returned to hold three author talks / book launches during the current year, the Concerts and Events Manager having developed a good relationship with them. The ongoing problem of limited toilet facilities and the frustration that this leads to, particularly during concert intervals, was noted once again. this matter being high on the list of priorities to be addressed as part of the planned site redevelopment. The Concerts and Events Manager also reported on recent changes to the Concerts and Events staff team.
The PCC perused the management accounts for the six months to the end of June 2016 and a revised full year forecast. A deficit budget had been set for the year in the knowledge of compensation due from the Crown Estate in relation to works taking place in the garden. As a result of further negotiation following further delays to the work, additional compensation is due and it is now expected that a full year financial surplus will be achieved during 2016, although it is important to recognise that for 2017 St James’s will not have the benefit of this source of income to help balance its finances.
The PCC received an update in relation to St James’s’ apprenticeship. Hannah Turner had left her role as apprentice at St James’s in order to take up an opportunity elsewhere. During her time at St James’s, she had made a significant contribution to the day to day administration and had had a very positive impact. Plans were noted to recruit a replacement apprentice, at a level of pay equivalent to the national minimum for 18 to 20 year olds, which is significantly above that of the Government’s minimum for apprenticeships, in order to offer another young person a route into the world of work - and to enable St James’s to create a sustainable ongoing apprenticeship scheme, to be run in conjunction with a local FE college.
The PCC noted that Malcom Stern, Trustee and co-founder of Alternatives, had been invited to attend the September PCC meeting in order to discuss the ongoing relationship between Alternatives and St James’s, and PCC members undertook to raise their level of awareness and understanding of Alternatives’ activities ahead of that discussion.
The PCC discussed proposals for developing how St James’s supports the spiritual needs of children associated with the St James’s congregation, through a three-way strategy to include: finding ways to support families and children who are part of the St James’s congregation to build relationships with each other, a review and replenishment of resources, and supporting those who deliver activities for children.
Animal Friendly Church and Anglican Society for the Welfare of Animals
The PCC agreed a proposal for St James’ to join the Anglican Society for the Welfare of Animals (ASWA) and agreed to consider in due course specific actions required to enable St James’s to achieve accreditation as an Animal Friendly Church.
The PCC noted progress in relation to the Wren Project (site redevelopment), noting that the Steering Group would shortly be reviewing a set of detailed drawings to be provided by Ptolemy Dean, St James’s architect. A consultation meeting with the St James’s congregation would be planned for the Autumn.
The PCC received a report from Raks Patel on her liaison role with the Caravan Counselling and Drop-in Service.
The PCC received a report from Simon Perfect on the Circus Spirit, held on the fourth Sunday of each month, and plans to attract more students, supported by St James’ Link Church membership of the Student Christian movement.
The PCC received and noted the minutes of the Staff meetings of 7th June and 5th July and the Liturgy Group meeting of 22nd June 2016
Plans for Harvest Sunday (2nd October) were noted, including plans for an Eco Fun Palace (as part of St James’s’ Eco Church initiative) and a Forest Church style liturgy.
Plans were also noted for a PCC away-day to be held on 15th October, to include a review of progress in relation to St James’s current Strategic Plan.