The Church Annual General Meeting was held on Sunday May 15th. About 25 people attended. Most of what was discussed will appear in various ways in the Messenger and the Church Notices in the coming weeks.
Helen gave a brief outline of her work as the minister of a joint pastorate.
We were delighted to hear that, after nearly five years of confusion, we are pretty close to having our financial relationships with the two parent bodies (Methodist and URC) completely sorted out and a pattern agreed for how we progress in the future. The difficulties arose from the period of vacancy and the passing of the provision of Ministry from one denomination to the other. This had happened in the past without difficulty but changes in both personnel and systems caused a hitch which has taken many hours and much heartache to sort out. Our thanks are due to the Finance Committee (Mel Watson; Henry Rose; Margaret Mohyla and Ian Lawson) for doing a superb job and to Debbie Peatman from Churches Together in Lancashire who brought together all the leaders etc. from the denominational bodies so that lasting decisions could be made. Debbie has also been involved with negotiations about the sharing of expenses in the joint pastorate with Fulwood URC. The accounts have been passed as excellent by the auditor, Mr Stewart McKinnell, who does not take a fee for his services. Many thanks to all concerned.
Mel and the Tennis Court Trustees are dealing with the selling of this land which has recently been put on the market. There will no doubt be more about this in the future.
John Spencer reported that the main property improvement this year was the installation of a new central heating boiler for the heating in the worship area. New thermostats had been placed on all the radiators. The area between the vestry and the hall where the boiler is located is in the process of having a new floor laid and being redecorated. A major clean up of some of the less visible parts of the church including the cellar had also taken place. Thanks to all who contributed time, money or materials for these tasks.
Many of the people who hold office in the church were willing to continue and were re elected. However Olive Hurlstone has decided to relinquish many of her responsibilities after her recent period of ill-health. She has agreed to continue her work with Ladies’ Guild as long as she is able. Mel Watson will replace her as Communion Steward and Carol Rose will replace her as Church Steward. Sue Lawson has already taken over as our representative to the URC Area Meetings and Synod. This is the minimum representation we should have and we would always like to see others who would like to go along and find out how these bodies work and how they affect us. Carol Spencer is to step down as Senior (now called First) Steward as from September 1st. Helen, Mel or Carol would like to have any nominations for this post as soon as possible. (A brief job description can be found elsewhere in the magazine)
Formal membership of the church has declined this year. Three people died; three have moved away; three have transferred their membership to other churches and two have resigned their membership as they no longer attend. There are just a few regular attenders who are not members but we have not received any new members in the last 12 months. This leaves our membership at 59. There are still about 120 households comprising about 200 people on the Community Roll.
Reports were received from Junior Church; the Craft Group and Ladies’ Guild.
Plans for Church Services and Activities during the next twelve months were discussed and dates for Council/ Church Meetings were set as follows:-
Sunday July 17th after morning service
Tuesday September 6th at 7.30 pm
Tuesday November 1st at 7.30 pm
Sunday January 15th after morning service
Tuesday March 6th at 7.30 pm
Sunday May 20th Annual General Meeting bring your sandwiches!