Jane Gray, our HR Advisor, presented a review of St James’s Safeguarding Policy, Safeguarding Self-Audit and Action Plan. The PCC approved these, noting the timescales for further actions, principally relating to enhanced DBS checks for PCC members and a number of volunteer roles, together with further safeguarding training for volunteers. Additionally, Jane apprised the PCC of the introduction of new regulations relating to the reporting of serious incidents.
Election of PCC Officers for 2019-20
Membership of the Standing Committee for 2019-20 was confirmed as the Rector, the Churchwardens, the PCC Lay Vice Chair and also the Associate Rector in view of her staff management responsibilities. The Honorary Treasurer and Director of Business & Operations would also continue to routinely attend meetings of the Committee.
The PCC also unanimously re-appointed Wilson Wong as PCC Lay Vice Chair for 2019-20.
PCC member roles and responsibilities
PCC members were provided with a copy of St James’s bespoke PCC Members’ Handbook 2019-20 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 2019-20 were confirmed, aimed at maintaining and further developing relationships between the PCC and the 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.
London Festival of Architecture (LFA) Exhibition
The PCC approved a proposal relating to St James’s participation in the LFA exhibition during June 2019, which would involve the installation of a number of temporary information display boards in the Southwood Garden. The PCC resolved to apply to the Diocese for the necessary faculty permission.
Interfaith Iftar Sunday 12th May
The PCC reflected on the success of the recent Iftar, noting positively that this had been well received and well organised and importantly, in support of developing interfaith friendships, had included members of the local Jewish as well as Muslim and Christian communities.
The PCC perused the management accounts for the three months to 31st March 2019, noting the reasons for the variances to budget to date, due mainly to timing differences. The deficit for the year to date was noted as not untypical for this early time of the year, and it was recognised that, given the unpredictability of one-off items, the accounts did not as yet provide any meaningful indication of the likely full year performance. A number of specific areas were being closely monitored and investigated further.
The PCC agreed the total funds to be allocated for Away Giving for 2019, in line with the same methodology as the previous year. Proposals relating to individual Away Giving projects are to be submitted to the PCC Secretary by Sunday 2nd June.
Business & Operations Director’ update
Guinevere Short, our Business & Operations Director, provided a report. She explained her key areas of activity and achievements during her first seven months in the role, which included fostering external relationship, reviewing policies and seeking to raise price thresholds for room hire etc and to maximise income from donations, as well as managing a number of difficult operational matters. Focus for the near future would be on the launch of a system for contactless donations, improvements to marketing and communications, and supporting the newly appointed Accounts Manager. Guinevere also explained the support that she would be looking for the PCC to provide going forward as she develops a new Business Plan, including work on a new brand identity for St James’s building upon the results of the survey recently undertaken.
The Revd Lucy Winkett presented a proposal for a Planned Giving review and renewal campaign to explore the theology and spirituality of giving at St James’s. The PCC endorsed the proposal and approved the appointment of Debbie O’Brien as Planned Giving Co-ordinator for an initial twelve months, along with plans to establish a Planned Giving Group. An interim progress report on the activities of the Group was scheduled for December.
Wren (Site redevelopment) Project
The PCC received the minutes of the Wren Steering Group meeting of 2nd April and the Rector provided a progress report, advising that potential enhancements to the scheme to further leverage the commercial viability of the site were to be discussed by the Steering Group and would be brought to the PCC in due course. The Rector also reported on discussions with the independent Chair of St James’s Audit Committee on governance of the project. The PCC approved arrangements and parameters for delegation of spending authority on the further professional advice and reports required in preparation for submission of a planning application in due course.
Diocese of London 2030 Vision
The PCC discussed the approach to be taken to contribute to the Diocese’s initiative on visioning for the future of the Church in London, through completion of the online survey on ‘Discerning our 2030 Vision’. It was agreed that a discussion would be held with the congregation at an Intentional Coffee one Sunday. The deadline for responses to the online survey is the end of July.
LBGT Group Change of Name
The PCC accepted notice from the LGBT Group, following discussion at its most recent meeting, to a change of name to the LGBTQ+ Group, reflecting a desire for the name of the Group to more appropriately describe the breadth of its approach to inclusivity using a language that remains relevant and current, particularly to younger members. Communications and publicity material would be updated to reflect the change of name.
The PCC received for information and discussed/noted:
- The minutes of the Health & Safety Committee meetings of 21st March 2019 and 2nd May 2019
- The minutes of staff meeting of 3rd April 2019.