Minutes of the meeting of the PCC on 17th June
THE PARISH CHURCH OF St. MARGARET, RAINHAM PAROCHIAL CHURCH COUNCIL
WEDNESDAY 17th June 2020 AT 7.30PM
To be present: Revd. Nathan Ward, Revd. Jonathan Jennings, Miss Jodie Sullivan, Mrs Janet Garnons-Williams (Chair), Miss Lorna Dyer, Mrs. Davina O’Brien, Mr. Frank Pantony, Mrs Heather Baker, Mr. Tony Fairclough, Mr. John Gilkison, Mrs. Felicity Holton, Mr. Jamie Jackson, Mr. David Ormiston, Mrs Linda Randall, Mrs. Kayleigh Ward.
This meeting was online with all participants connecting through the Zoom cloud platform to meet the Covid-19 Social Distancing rules.
- The meeting opened at 7.33pm with prayers led by Jodie Sullivan.
- Apologies – Jamie Jackson – an agreement was in place for Kayleigh Ward to vote on behalf of Jamie.
- Minutes of the last meeting
The draft minutes of the last PCC meeting were circulated before this meeting. A comment was made that not all recommendations were set out clearly and it was agreed that the minutes be updated and circulated as soon as possible,
4. Annual Report
Janet Garnons-Williams introduced the subject of the Annual Report which is required to be agreed and adopted by the PCC. A copy of the report had been circulated prior to the meeting and there was 1 mistake in the detail – Linda Randall’s name had been included for Deanery Synod when she wasn’t a representative and it was advised that Linda’s name be replaced with that of Chris Young.
There is also a technical accounting presentation update required which Bob Moon has discussed with Simon Galton, however, this update does not affect the accounts and ‘bottom line’ financial information.
The report needs to be filed with the Charity Commission once these minor changes are made and so Janet proposed that the report be accepted by the PCC.
Seconded – Frank Pantony
5. Re-opening of the church
Following the government’s update, the date for re-opening the church for private prayer was agreed for 1st July. This is to allow the completion of the building work and prepare the space with social distancing etc. in mind.
Nathan Ward made the announcement that the church would be open on Wednesday and Saturday from 1st July, in the services at the weekend. The choice of Wednesday and Saturday was made to give 72 hours between opening times. There will be a one-way system in place with tissues, hand sanitiser, etc. Face coverings will be required.
Volunteers are required to man the opening hours (2 per session) and all PCC members will be emailed with the details. iKnowChurch will be used to manage the rota.
Nathan said that he was currently completing the Church of England Risk Assessment form and having 2 volunteers at any time will remove the ‘lone working’ issue. Red battening will be used to identify the pews which cannot be used (maintaining the 2m social distancing rules).
He also proposed that if anyone visits without a face covering or will not follow the rules, the church will be closed.
Frank Pantony asked if the toilet facilities will be closed. Nathan said this was quite difficult to decide but on balance felt that the facility should be open and managed.
Davina O’Brien suggested that there would be a set of instructions given to all volunteers.
John Gilkison asked if there was a maximum number of visitors that could be admitted.
Nathan said that he was not including numbers in the Risk Assessment but if we get overwhelmed, we should close the doors. He added that we needed to think about this carefully, and one of the staff team will be available for advice. There is no formula in the guidance so it’s up to the people on the ground to gauge the situation.
Felicity Holton asked that as it’s advertised to be open for private prayer, would clergy be available?
Nathan responded that no face to face pastoral care is possible at this time and advertising would be low level (no posters or notices etc.) The details would be given at services only for now. It would be useful to have a quiet few day to get confidence that we have everything in place.
Janet commented that this is about managing expectations – its not full services just private prayer.
Nathan commented that we should set expectations that things will be different for some time. There will be a priestly presence but not 1:1 pastoral care. For example, if a funeral for a child took place and sometime later, the parents visited the church, the priest in attendance would expect to spend a little time with them, but this should not be considered as pastoral care but as priestly presence.
Janet continued that St Margaret’s does not want to be the church which becomes famous for people catching Covid19,
David Ormiston suggested that regarding face coverings, we might ask the bookshop for their feedback re: mandatory face masks.
A discussion followed covering who would be exempt from wearing a face mask/covering.
Nathan suggested under 2’s, people with breathing difficulties and some disabled visitors. We could use the TfL guidance on this.
He continued that under no circumstances should we do anything like the Frankfurt Baptist Church did which hits the worldwide media. If anything increases the risk – we do not do it. If it reduces risk – we do it. This is a clear-cut line – if we wobble, we do not do it. We would rather St Margaret’s be in the media for stopping private prayer rather than for being the epicentre of a second wave of Covid19.
Janet said that everyone will receive an email from Lorna about volunteering.
6. Plans for the Patronal Festival – Jodie Sullivan
The plans were discussed at the Staff Meeting and the celebration would be over a 2-day period. On Sunday 19th July, the 10:30 service would be tailored to celebrating St Margaret and the 6:30 informal service would look at who St Margaret was and tie that into a piece about the persecuted church, maybe as a Zoom discussion session.
On Monday 20th July, Morning Prayer, Word for the Day and Night Prayer would be tailored to include that it is St Margaret’s day. At 3pm, there will be a virtual tea party for all. The format would be similar to coffee morning but sharing a cup of tea.
People will be asked to celebrate how they want to. Cards will be sent out to everyone on the Electoral Roll and people who have joined online. Inside the card will be a flyer inviting participation in the tea party and an individually wrapped tea bag.
Some concerns were raised around people who did not have internet access. Jodie responded that she thought it may be possible to ask PCC members or others to go and join them for tea (albeit socially distanced).
Jodie continued that she expected to get the cards sent out in the next 2 weeks and asked PCC members to think about those who need support etc.
Janet made a recommendation for the expenditure on postage, teabags, flyers, etc., to be approved.
Seconded by Jodie Sullivan
7. Update on Organisation Review plans – Janet Garnons-Williams
Following the last PCC meeting Janet contacted Kate Canton and wrote to her giving the outcome of the meeting and advising her of the terms which had been passed.
Kate will be taking some leave over the next month within the furlough arrangements.
Regarding the Organist role, Janet has spoken to Barry Kemp to explain that PCC have agreed not to pay for organist services, but he was welcome to continue to play.
8. Millennium Centre Refurbishment
A further update was given on the plans being discussed with the architects, but it was felt that the plans were not at a point where PCC could vote on the project. It was proposed that the Ops Committee work with the architect to agree a plan and bring it back to PCC for discussion and agreement.
There are 2 non-negotiable parts of the plan – the upstairs kitchen is unsafe so must be decommissioned from now, and there is a physical health issue with ventilation because we cannot open the windows. We could write to the council to advise them on the ventilation issue and our licence, and not hire the upper hall for functions.
We should use this window now if we can because we shall lose income if we have to close later to carry out the work.
Janet gave the update that St Margaret’s is a beneficiary from the will of Constance Cohen and her family has asked that we would do or buy something in her memory. We need to consider what Constance’s interests were – photography, travel etc., and the thought is that this might fall into the role of the Community Journalist. Therefore, the legacy could be put towards the cost of the post. The PCC was asked if anyone had any other ideas or could suggest anything else which it could be used to buy or support. PCC members were asked to consider this and bring any thoughts or ideas to the next meeting.
Janet asked PCC members to consider the date of the next meeting – pencilling in June 24th and July 1st at 7.30pm. The date of the next would be confirmed once the Ops Committee had the opportunity to look at the Millennium Centre project in detail.
10. The meeting was closed at 9.10pm with the grace lead by Jonathan Jennings.
Signed …………………………………………………… Dated ………………………………………….