THE PARISH CHURCH OF St. MARGARET, RAINHAM PAROCHIAL CHURCH COUNCIL
Wednesday 9th September 2020 AT 7.30PM
To be present: Revd. Nathan Ward, Revd. Jonathan Jennings, Mrs Jodie Ward, 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 7.32pm with prayers led by Terry Whittaker.
- Apologies – Rev Christine Allen, Felicity Holton, Jamie Jackson.
- Operations Committee Update – Davina O’Brien
At the PCC meeting on the 12th August, we agreed to pursue a phased approach to the Millennium Centre Refurb project. The Operations Committee met with the architect to discuss the phasing of the project and he agreed to develop a new version of the plan based on the elements of phase 1.
A detailed update on the plan was provided along with expected costs and suggested funding.
To start this work, instructions must be given to the architect to begin work on the design and plan, and we want to have this completed and signed off by the end of 2020.
The first step is to formally engage the architect for the execution of the plan (Design Development and Technical Design (RIBA 3-4)) and Construction, Handover and Closeout stage (RIBA 5-6)). This would commit us to spend £19968 + expenses, for the architect’s fees. We would not be expected to pay this until each stage is complete, but we would be committed to the spend.
Before this undertaking, it was recommended that the Ops Committee review in detail the breakdown of the architects and survey fees.
The project timeline is expected to be:
September – December 2020 – Design and Plan phase 1
January – March 2021 – Tender and schedule building works
March – September 2021 – Construction, handover, and closeout
A recommendation was made to review the architects and survey fees and once agreed, a letter of intention would be signed with the architect.
Proposer: Davina O’Brien
Seconder: John Gilkison
2 additional points to the requirements were discussed:
Multiple tenders should be requested to ensure the most competitive is secured
A required overrun payment should be agreed at £400-500 per day to ensure the work is completed on time
Davina agreed that both points would be taken back to the discussions with the architect.
- Safeguarding Update – Linda Randall
The Safeguarding group have not met since the last PCC meeting.
1 referral has been made since the last PCC meeting and there have been 6 referrals YTD.
- Mission – Nathan Ward
A presentation was circulated to PCC members before the meeting and Nathan presented on the Development of the Strategic Plan to meet the year ahead. There were a few questions from PCC members during the presentation, but these were mostly clarification with some minor changes requested.
At the end of his presentation, Nathan stated that as a PCC we need to be happy with the proposed plan and made the formal resolution that the plan should be accepted.
Linda Randall commented that for all roles appropriate checks need to be completed.
Nathan agreed and asked for PCC to approve the plans as they have been presented (with the minor changes), agreeing the structure and not consider any names for roles at this time.
Terry Whittaker asked whether the PCC were going to adopt a zero-tolerance policy relative to safer recruitment and issues of safeguarding, no one to be in role unless they have completed process.
Nathan responded that the accepted proposal is an operational strategy. When people are offered positions within the plan it will be using the safer recruitment policy and procedures and would ensure that there is a zero-tolerance approach.
The expectation for the parts of the plan relating to licensed staff, the changes are expected to start on 1st October.
Alongside the plan, every person who ends up on the organisation chart will have a role description and will sign up to the role as a paid employee or volunteer and volunteers will not have rights under the Employment Act.
Resolution proposed by Nathan Ward
Seconded by Dave Ormiston
Terry continued that safer recruitment for long-term role holders should not be considered as it would be a nonsense to ask for references. PCC should set a limit of ‘time in role’ for safer recruitment.
Nathan responded that this would only apply to the Parish Administrator, and he was nervous about giving such a dispensation generally.
Janet suggested that this needed more thought and she suggested that a meeting should been arranged to discuss the process to be adopted.
An action was agreed for Linda Randall, Nathan Ward, Janet Garnons-Williams and Terry Whittaker to meet and discuss the process for safer recruitment including the long term staff, grandfather rights, DBS checks etc., in order to bring a recommendation back to PCC at the next meeting.
Dave Ormiston suggested that for long term staff, it might be possible to use a panel of approvers who would discuss and if they agree, references would not be needed.
Nathan responded that safer recruitment has clearly defined rules and required process. This includes advertising which clearly states that safer recruitment policy is being followed and used at recruitment and interview stages and requires DBS checks and references. He also commented that we should safely recruit churchwardens.
Janet commented that churchwardens could not be screened before election and that the role is prescribed in Church Representation rules.
Nathan continued that for official church roles, Church Representation rules would be used for role descriptions and that it was important to tell people that we will run DBS checks on all candidates. This would set the church tone for safeguarding.
Janet commented that the Vestry meeting appoints the Churchwardens.
Nathan agreed that role descriptions for churchwardens would be created from the details in the Church Representation rules. He went on that a role description is required for PCC members.
Lorna Dyer stated that there is a notice for DBS checks on the PCC members nomination form.
Terry commented that it would not be difficult to write a few lines to create job role descriptions for all roles and that this would show our commitment.
Nathan agreed and suggested that role profiles for the Ops Committee lead, Finance lead, etc., could be created and the appointee could use that as the basis for their direct reports. These profiles can then be used for role management.
Janet asked if the role descriptions need to be created ready for the APCM on September 30th.
Nathan said that he would start with the high-level roles to get something in place, but the remainder would not be available at APCM, although the Strategic Plan would be presented at the meeting.
- Draft Minutes of the PCC Meeting held on 12th August
The draft minutes were circulated prior to the meeting and an amendment had been received from Felicity which was adopted. Lorna also asked for some minor grammatical changes be made to the section on Standing Committee approvals.
The minutes with the minor amendments were approved for signature and Janet signed them.
- Matters Arising
The new projector which was approved for purchase at the last meeting, has arrived and we are awaiting an installation date.
Nathan gave an update that a grievance had been received from Barry Kemp and referred to the solicitors.
- Pastoral Concerns – confidential
- Any Other Business
Janet gave the update that APCM will include an election of 5 PCC members. These places are available due to a few factors, but that John Gilkison and Tony Fairclough are stepping down and Linda is seeking re-election. Therefore, members should think about nominations.
She continued that requests to join the electoral roll are required by 15th September as the roll is required to be closed 14 days before the APCM meeting.
There has been a change to Government guidance regarding Covid-19 and therefore, the APCM and Vestry meetings will be held on Zoom only. The Vestry meeting is open to all members of the parish and will be an open meeting, but the APCM is for people on the electoral roll only and will be a closed meeting.
For the APCM Zoom meeting, email addresses will be collected for all of those who want to attend. A small group will be looking at the management of the meetings, how to vote, how questions are asked etc.
Nominations can be accepted by electronic signature and will be uploaded to the website. Tony Fairclough will discuss with Kate. Nomination forms are required for Deanery Synod, churchwardens, and PCC, and can be created as an online form but it needs to include the point about DBS checks etc.
Lorna commented that paper forms are needed for anyone who does not have internet access.
Janet continued that permission to run APCM meetings on Zoom had been granted by the Bishop.
Nathan stated that the new Government guidance does not affect private prayer or acts of worship, but that the APCM was considered a meeting and therefore, could not contain more than 6 people. This means that there will not be a physical APCM. We have synodic approval do hold the meeting online.
Frank Pantony commented that this would also affect the Friends AGM and they would need to consider how they hold that meeting considering the new guidance.
Janet proposed that a decision should be taken to defer holding face to face PCC meetings until March 2021.
Nathan said that we need to make sure all PCC members can use Zoom and this question should be deferred until all new members are voted on, and it can be considered at the next PCC meeting.
Nathan went on to thank John and Tony and Frank for their time on PCC etc., and it had been a privilege to serve with them. Their skills, knowledge and experience had been invaluable to him since he joined St Margaret’s church. He continued by thanking Janet for chairing this session of PCC meetings and that her management style was likened to a swan.
PCC members seconded these thanks and stated that they are grateful to all of those who had served and were stepping down at this time.
Davina O’Brien proposed that the Risk Assessment for the 252 Kids activities, which was circulated to PCC members, was approved in order that that they restart on 13th September.
This was seconded by Nathan and unanimously agreed,
- The meeting closed at 21:38 with a prayer from Nathan Ward