The Parish Church of St Margaret, Rainham Parochial Church Council
Minutes of the PCC Meeting on Wednesday, 13 January 2021 via Zoom, 19:30
CA opened the meeting with prayer.
JGW chaired the meeting. Apologies were received from Ian Bryant (IB) – guest; Revd Jonathan Jennings (JPJ); Kayleigh Ward (KW); Revd Nathan Ward (NW)
Decisions of Standing Committee:
Given the recent change in Government Covid guidance, the current working situation for Kate Canton and Jane Forsyth had been reviewed. It was agreed that neither would be furloughed but continue to work (from home where possible); Kate to assist clergy in dealing with funerals; and Jane to continue with bookkeeping and as point of contact for the Orchard Preschool.
A letter had been written and sent regarding the locking up of children for 23 ½ hours at Rainsbrook Detention Centre. A holding reply was received suggesting a response would be provided by 16 January 2021; our lawyers have advised that after further enquiries, conditions have improved but we don’t know to what extent. We await the official response on 16 January.
LR confirmed there was nothing new to report. The Safeguarding matrix had been sent to Jo Whittaker before the meeting and will be circulated as soon as possible for discussion at the next meeting.
Finance Committee Update:
DOB reported that the Finance Committee had met on Monday 11th January where TW was elected as Chair. They will meet every two weeks for the time being, with the next meeting being 26 January. Matters Arising: Terms of Reference have been finalised; the Treasurer profile is awaiting the safeguarding wording in order to complete it. LR confirmed she will send this to DOB who will then file the two documents appropriately.123 Station Road – NB has chased Mark Foster for the valuation, and he will be attending the property on Friday, 15th January.Bookshop Accounts – a closure request has been sent to NatWest.Deposit Account – the Finance Committee suggested the consideration of this new account be deferred until a new treasurer is appointed and they can assess whether this is needed.2020 Accounts – FP and DOB have met with Jane to resolve outstanding questions and these are being finalised. DOB is in contact with Simon Galton, our independent examiner. Discussions are ongoing.
2021 Budget – in order to keep controls on income and expenditure, Finance Committee suggested ‘owners’ be appointed for budget headings. This is being worked on.DOB has clarified Jane’s finance tasks for inclusion in her job description, this to be forwarded to JGW.There has been some debate with the Diocese over Parish Share – this is now all agreed and remains as per the 2021 budget.
Following a meeting between JGW & DOB the PCC was asked to think about how Giving could be promoted within the church community and how to make it more accessible for people to give. JustGiving and Amazon Smile were mentioned. CA suggested she email other clergy friends. All ideas to be emailed to DOB. It was clarified that if any cheques were donated, the Millennium Centre should be used as a collection point as post is regularly collected from there.A question was raised as to how regularly the PCC would receive finance updates. TW confirmed the plan is to provide a brief monthly update and a more detailed one each quarter.
Operations Group Update:
The Ops Committee met last week. Matters Arising: The Millennium Centre refurbishment project has been closed off with Clays, the architects – they have filed their papers and are happy to pick this up again if needed at some point in the future.The use of funding from the sale of 123 Station Road has been changed from the refurb. project to the general fund.There is currently no budget for renovation of the toilets in the Millennium Centre – the committee are hopeful this can be looked at some time in the near future.
Ops/ Finance Gp
Additional Updates: Master Alarms – there is a plan to secure a contract with Master Alarms to cover the Church, the Millennium Centre and Childscroft Road (where it was pointed out that the alarm doesn’t currently work – JW is hoping to get a quote for a new system). Church Risk Assessment – this needs to be reviewed.Church Roof Repairs – BW Mayes have repaired the roof, but it has been identified that more need doing. DOB has contacted them, and they should be attending Thursday 14th or Friday 15th January.
Ops Gp Ops GpDOB
Quinquennial Report Actions:
The last inspection of the church building was carried out in 2016 and the Diocese have confirmed today that they will be inspecting again this year, date to be confirmed. LD and DOB have established that all immediate actions raised previously have been carried out and we are in good shape. A portfolio of all the surveys that have been carried out on various parts of the church will be put together in preparation for the inspection. The Wardens will manage this with the Diocesan surveyor. It was agreed that we ask the surveyor to check on the church roof and, in this way, gain a second independent view of work that needs doing. In this respect we will withhold the surveys that we have until the Diocesan surveyor’s draft report is available ensuring a truly independent view.
‘Just Say Hello’ project – JW advised that need has increased since Christmas with 7/8 parcels being given out in the last two weeks and some families returning from a few months ago; the need is rising from within the parish. Before Christmas, a decision was made by the group to move the food stock from the Concorde Pub into the chapel at Childscroft Road to avoid issues of inaccessibility to food when needing to pack parcels. JW requested that it be formally noted that the chapel be used in this way and not just as a place for services. DO advised that, historically, the chapel was established as the church had no presence that side of the railway. JW proposed and NG seconded the proposal that: ‘the PCC approve for the Just Say Hello project to run out of the Epiphany Chapel.’ FOR: 17 I AGAINST: 0 I ABSTENTION: 0 I Proposal unanimously agreed. JW then advised that the area was in disarray with lots of items in there and requested £200 be provided to buy appropriate storage units as well as £60/£70 for a fridge freezer to store bread and cold items. A question was raised as to whether the money was being requested from the PCC budget or the ringfenced fund for this project (where people had donated in excess of £3,000). It was agreed that the understanding of the donated funds was for the provision of food, but it was accepted that this is a related cost enabling good and adequate storage of the food. DOB advised that she had been offered a fridge freezer for free and the meeting agreed this should be accepted rather than buying a second-hand one. JW proposed and HB seconded the proposal that: ‘up to a maximum of £200 be spent on the storage units’. FOR: 16 I AGAINST: 0 I ABSTENTION: 1 (due to missing the discussion) I Proposal agreed.
Minutes of the Meetings on 09 and 23 December 2020
These were both agreed as true records of the meetings.
Eco Church – meeting was deferred due to illness. A full update will be brought to the February meeting.
Prayer – a WhatsApp group has been set up which was mentioned in the Newsletter this week. JW has accessed the list of roads in the parish and hopes to include these in future Newsletters. There are various prayer conferences and training days available online and JW is investigating options for these. NG highlighted an upcoming Zoom event ‘Covid and Prayer’ on 20 January and there are others, including a national prayer event on healing and repentance for the nation as well as the theology of caring for our planet. JW will circulate the links for these. The meeting agreed to include a section in the Newsletter for upcoming events that may be of interest to others which will broaden the scope of prayer. A further question was asked whether there was scope to address specific prayer requests for, and from, individuals during Night Prayer, especially for those who have no or little experience of church. The staff team agreed to consider this at their next meeting.
JW JW JWStaff team
Bankline system – JJ confirmed this had been handed over to him. Alex Brewer currently remained as a secondary user but would prefer to hand this over; the Finance Committee will contact JJ and review this at their next meeting. It was agreed that, at this present time, all related correspondence should be directed to JJ home address.
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