The first PCC meeting of the new year was held after the APCM. Steve Innes was welcomed as the newly elected church warden and Penelope Douglas was welcomed as the newly elected PCC member. Simon Stedman was unanimously elected as Honorary Treasurer and Mercedes Pavlicevic was unanimously elected as co-chair of the PCC.
The new PCC handbook was distributed, outlining the roles and responsibilities of PCC members, the conduct of meetings and the Diocesan and national structures of which we are a part. The Archdeacon of Charing Cross is due to make his 3-yearly visitation in the autumn of 2014, to check the governance, finances, property of the parish. Preparations will be made by the church wardens, PCC secretary and clergy.
St James’s has sent a statement supporting the appointment of women to the episcopate to the Diocesan Synod and urging members of the Synod to vote in favour. (note: at the Diocesan Synod, London members did vote in favour, having previously voted against which means that all the Dioceses in the C of E have now voted in favour).
Jo Hines advised that a meeting and lunch had been held with representatives of West London Synagogue, as part of the dialogue arising from the Bethlehem Unwrapped Festival. The meeting had been very positive, and it was intended to reciprocate by hosting a meeting at St James’s. Lucy Winkett highlighted the potential for a productive on-going local partnership with WLS, and advised that it was intended to arrange a meeting of the two wider communities in due course, with plans also to celebrate two Jewish festivals together over the next eight months.
Simon Stedman advised that following previous discussion by the PCC, the Finance manager had now added a note the management accounts to show where cash balances are held. He highlighted that the account balance with Co-operative Bank had now been reduced to below £85k (the amount covered by the Financial Service Compensation Scheme). Members suggested, in view of recent public concerns regarding the Co-operative Bank, that consideration should be given to moving to another bank, whilst retaining the ethical considerations that had led to the move to the Co-op. SS explained that practical issues relating to the use of non-clearing banks, and the need for a local bank account for the vergers to pay in cash. It was noted that a further review of banking relationships would be undertaken at a future date.
Discussions were held to update the PCC about the Wren Project steering group. As part of its research, led by Andrew Mawson and Donald Findley of Andrew Mawson Partnerships, the project steering group had undertaken two days of visits to various café enterprises. Members remarked on the different approaches and strategies of the enterprises that had been visited, and noted that there would be a need in due course for St James’s to be absolutely clear on its aims for the project.
The PCC discussed the possibility of undertaking a St James’s pilgrimage in the UK during the next year or so. This might be a pilgrimage from London to Canterbury, or within London, visiting a combination of historic and holy sites, alongside more political projects supporting disadvantaged groups. There was enthusiasm amongst PCC members for this, noting the potential for it to be done on an affordable basis, raising funds for agreed causes, to take place over a long weekend and to involve walks. Further consideration would be given to this in due course. It was agreed that as part of the strategic plan, a thorough review of the process for welcoming newcomers would be undertaken, led by the church wardens.