Jane Gray, our HR Advisor, and Jane Preest, our Safeguarding Officer, presented a review of St James’s Safeguarding Policy, Safeguarding and Procedures Handbook and Safeguarding Self-Audit and Action Plan. The PCC approved these, noting a number of specific enhancements to the policy and the timescales for further actions, principally relating to DBS checks and further training.
As part of its continuing work in ensuring that St James’s has a robust policy framework covering its various activities, the PCC considered and approved, subject to minor amendments, a periodic review of the Health & Safety Policy, and also a new policy for hire of the Church Hall, Meeting Room, Basement Office and Kitchen, encapsulating mainly already established practice.
Election of PCC Officers for 2018-19
Deborah Colvin and Trevor Lines were congratulated for their re-election at the April APCM as Churchwardens for a further twelve-month term of office. The PCC thanked Kevin Hipgrave for his service as PCC Lay Vice Chair over the past two years and Wilson Wong was nominated and unanimously appointed as PCC Lay Vice Chair for 2018-19. The PCC also thanked David McKinley for his ongoing valued contribution as Honorary Treasurer to the PCC. Membership of the Standing Committee for 2018-19 was confirmed as the Rector, Associate Rector, Churchwardens, Honorary Treasurer and PCC Lay Vice Chair.
PCC member roles and responsibilities
PCC members were provided with a copy of St James’s bespoke PCC Members’ Handbook 2018-19 containing key information and setting out their responsibilities as PCC members and as charity trustees. In addition to signing up to St James’s Code of Commitment for PCC members (which includes adherence to the Nolan principles for standards in public service), PCC members completed necessary Declarations of interest and non-disqualification declaration forms.
PCC Member liaison roles for 2018-19 were confirmed, aimed at continuing to strengthen links between the PCC and various organisations and groups closely associated with St James’s. Those PCC members who have volunteered will provide feedback on their visits to these groups to PCC meetings throughout the year.
Wren (Site redevelopment) Project
The Rector provided feedback on a recent consultation meeting with Historic England, which had resulted in more favourable feedback than previous consultations, and notified the PCC of a further forthcoming consultation meeting with the amenity societies and the Diocese. A presentation to the congregation in relation to the project is to be held after the service on Sunday 27th May.
The PCC perused the management accounts for the three months to 31st March 2017, noting that performance was broadly in line with budget and raising a number of questions for clarification. The deficit for the year to date was noted as typical for this early time of the year and, given the unpredictability of one-off items, it was not to be expected that the accounts would as yet give any meaningful indication of the performance for the year.
Nick Worsnop, Assistant Treasurer, presented a proposal relating to St James’s operational banking. Following an analysis of St James’s banking requirements as presented to the PCC in November 2017, Requests for Proposals had been sent to a variety of banks. Following an assessment of responses, a recommendation was made, and the PCC approved, a consolidation of St James’s operational banking with a single bank, CAF Bank. A separate review and proposals in relation to the investment of St James’s surplus cash would be considered in due course.
Rector’s trip to Syria
The Revd Lucy Winkett provided feedback on her recent trip to Syria as a member of a pastoral visit by a group of church leaders, artists, charity workers, peers, journalists and writers, at the invitation of the Syrian Orthodox Church. Recounting some of her experiences on the trip and observations on the plight of ordinary Syrian citizens, including Christians, Lucy advised that taking into account some criticism of the trip in some of the UK press, her view was that it was valuable and important to take part in visits like this, emphasising that the church should remain independent from government, and be prepared to take some risks to understand the conflict, taking part in an ongoing dialogue across faith and cultural boundaries. Further discussion about the trip would be held with the congregation in due course. After note: LW discussed the trip at the Vagabonds meeting 20th May 2018.
Data management update
The PCC received for information and discussed/noted:
- The minutes of the Health & Safety Committee meetings of 22nd March 2018
- The minutes of staff meetings of 7th March 2018 and 10th April 2018
- The minutes of the Audit Committee meeting of 19th March 2018