Jo Gowers, our Pastoral Assistant, presented her report on her first six months at St James’s, explaining that she had enjoyed her role to date and considered that she had learned a lot, in particular about the ways of the church (this being her first church appointment), and the ways in which St James’s provides support for asylum seekers without recourse to public funds. She provided an overview of her work in relation to activities of the Circus Spirit Group, International Group Breakfast and children’s activities.
The PCC discussed St James’s membership of the reorganised London Citizens, and the need for leadership and co-ordinated involvement from a committed group from the congregation in order for this to be meaningful. Jo Gowers would be organising an ‘intentional coffee’ visit by Lydia Rye, Organiser for West London Citizens and members of the congregation would be invited to attend.
Report & Accounts for year ended 31st December 2018
The PCC approved the Annual Financial Report & Accounts, as recommended by the Audit Committee, and these would be presented to the congregation at the forthcoming Annual Parochial Church Meeting (APCM).
Reappointment of Auditors
The PCC noted that this had been the first year for the new auditors, Griffin Stone Moscrop (GSM), following a competitive tender overseen by the Audit Committee. The recent audit had run smoothly and the PCC agreed to recommend to the forthcoming APCM the formal reappointment of GSM as auditors for the year ended 31st December 2019.
Wren Project update
The PCC received an update on the Wren project, which was being overseen by regular meetings of the Steering Group. A number of modifications to the project plans were noted, focussed on delivery of a scheme that meets the agreed objectives, that is acceptable to the planners and amenity societies, and that is capable of providing a basis for a viable future for commercial activity on the site. An update on the project will be provided to the congregation at the APCM and a further consultation meeting will be organised in due course.
Welcoming and Volunteering Strategy
The PCC received and endorsed the final draft of the Welcoming and Volunteering strategy following the process of consultation and trialling that had been undertaken over the past few months. The three main strands to the strategy are welcoming on Sundays, volunteering and communications. A number of training sessions are planned and the strategy will be presented to the congregation at an intentional coffee on a forthcoming Sunday. The churchwardens were thanked for their considerable work in pulling the strategy together.
The PCC approved steps being taken to trial a system for taking electronic tap donations, and approved a resolution to apply to the Diocese for the necessary faculty permission for installation of tap donation points.
Electoral roll revision and APCM planning
The PCC noted progress in relation to the six-yearly revision of the electoral roll, which included the requirement for everyone on the existing roll to re-apply. Steps were being taken to encourage members of the congregation who had not already done so to complete the process. Plans for the Annual Meeting of Parishioners and APCM on 28th April commencing at 1.30pm, including the election of PCC members, and for the community lunch beforehand were also reviewed.
The PCC thanked the rector for her recent hospitality in hosting lunches for the various teams of volunteers at St James’s, which had provided an opportunity for individuals to get to know each other in a social setting. The churchwardens were also thanked for their help, and the PCC agreed to support further lunches for other St James’s groups.
The PCC received for information and noted:
- Recent Church of England guidance on hosting iftars and plans for St James’s next iftar on Sunday 12th May.
- The minutes of the Liturgy Group meeting of 6th February 2019.
- The minutes of the Health & Safety Committee meeting of 31st January 2019.
- The minutes of Staff meetings of 6th February 2019 and 5th March 2019.