St. Mary’s, Woolpit PCC Minutes

We will post the minutes of the St. Mary’s PCC after they have been approved.

St Mary’s Woolpit Parochial Church Council

Minutes of the meeting held on 21st May 2019

at 7pm in the Church

    Present:- Rev Ruth Farrell, Trish Baker, Judy Dean, Jean Kendall, Betty Curry, Jo Brown, Sue Griffin, Rosey Skrimshire, Jon Branham,  Barbara Pashley, Anne Clarke, Paul Clarke ( ex-officio).

     1.   Welcome and Evening Prayer. Ruth welcomed everyone to the first PCC meeting of      the new year and read from Luke 5.

         2.   Apologies: – David Hughes, Margaret Walker, Mike Birt, Jennifer Baker.

  • Minutes:-These were approved unanimously except for two amendments ….9v) Priest’s     door, and 14v) Jo did not agree to meet with a representative from the Catholic church.                                                                                                                                   
  •   Matters Arising:-

4:14:vii)Top Grass are cutting the churchyard grass every 4 weeks.

9:iii)      Weltons have carried out initial testing and will return to inspect what else needs to be done.

9:v)      Richard has a new key source, and so we will have a new key for the Priest’s door and also the main church door.

12:iii) The Archdeacons visit was successful.

iv) Stanley thanked everyone for the help in Bridges garden on 19th May, and the tea raised approx. £500 before expenses. The book stall raised £40, so we may get £400. The garden will be open again on 1st September.

 5.     Correspondence:-

i) Ruth has a letter from the Church Urban Fund, and an invitation for someone to go for tea at Lambeth Palace.

ii) Our Archdeacon Ian Morgan is unwell, and so Jeanette Gosney will be acting Archdeacon for Suffolk

6.   Finance.


  1. Donations for Kagera reached £677.62. With Gift Aid this will total £749.94
  2. Cyclone Relief donations were £228.50.  With Gift Aid the total is £268.50
  3. An interim Bequest of £60,000 from Bob Cook has been banked. At present in Barclays current account as I can move it around from there. I have some figures from CAF bank of alternative deposit rates, which vary according to your intentions for the money i.e. Fixed Term / Fixed rate / 60 day deposit / 90 days deposit.
  4. The Bell fund has increased by £40 to £9506.


  1. The Insurance premium has been paid. At £4840.57 it is £58 higher than last year.

                              Fabric – the Scaffold Alarm is set up and paid for.

  • Scaffolding – I have a copy quote for £18250 which is what the scaffolding should have cost Lodge and Co ( our builders) but Dave Sheldrake ( the owner of landmark Scaffolding) charged only £8000 as a contribution to support the Church.
  • For information: E Bound Alarm people have been called out twice in 4 days. First visit because not all the scaffolding was erected and second time because ‘intruders damaged the sensor’.  Please note that the call out fee is £192 each time and hourly rate is £46.73 per person. The two bills add up to £682.41.  

Banks:    Barclays current account:             £ 77,438.33

                         CAF current account:                    £ 32,309.60

                         CAF Gold account:                       £121,390.81 

                         CAF Gold account number two:    £ 23,820.38

     a)  Trish will liaise with David Hughes re investing the money we have received from Bob    Cooks legacy.

     b)  We will ask Philip Orchard about having glass doors at the entrance to the church to avoid draughts which we currently experience.

    7.    Safeguarding:-  Written report from Sue:

Craig Hutton has left the Diocese as safeguarding trainer for a national safeguarding post.

The Diocese will appoint a new person to this position in due course.

At present we do not have any C2 or C3 courses available in the Diocese.

Everyone in the Benefice who needed C3 training has done so.

We do have several people who need to do C2 training (mainly Woolpit Pastoral Care team)

We also have quite a few who need to do CO. This is the most basic level we all have to do.

Nobody has done C1.

I was advised by Craig before he left not to bother because there will be changes to the training nationally.

I will be asking Ruth for a catch up meeting in the near future to check where we are at.

Lynne continues to maintain the database and we spent some time last month refining the codes for roles.

    8.   Health and Safety.

 i) The policy needs to be reviewed to make sure it is up to date.

 ii) Betty wishes to resign from this post, although she will continue to liaise with the PCC. She said that for every function we hold we  should have a risk assessment. Rosey would like to be part of a group to set this up, but cannot run it herself. Ruth will approach both Ian Price and Kath Eaden to see if they are  interested in this.

9.   Growing in God: Growing deeper, Growing in Influence, and maybe Younger

i) Eco Friendly Church – adopted at the APCM – Denise Mawhood, Angus Wainwright and Ken March may be interested in church-yard aspect of this initiative.

There may be a childrens activity day set up in the summer holidays for making bug boxes etc. this is an important issue for the church at this time.

ii) Jon gave a progress report as follows:
The earth is the LORD’S, and all it contains, The world, and those who dwell in it. For He has founded it upon the seas And established it upon the rivers.’ Psalm 24 1-2

  We have been busy in laying the groundwork to achieve Eco-Church status with A Rocha UK. The tasks ahead have been broken down into a three phase approach, phase one is already well underway. The phases are as follows.                                                                                                               ‘The heavens are the heavens of the LORD, But the earth He has given to the sons of men.’ Psalm 115:16

Phase 1 (Underway)                                                                                                         

  • Creation of Master document to explore all possible improvements to the church and grounds to achieve Eco Church Status and possibly more…
    Update – Currently a six page document with suggestions for in building and on grounds improvements as well as other suggestions that go beyond the building and into the minds and homes of the congregation.
    To do – We require more input for ideas to add to the document to ensure no quality ideas are missed. Ideas can be emailed to
  • Contact A Rocha UK to organise a speaker for a upcoming family service.
    Update – A Rocha has been contacted and a speaker request form has been sent. We are looking at either July, August or September.
    To Do – Once we receive a date we will need to collectively confirm costs and time. (Phase two will begin after the speaker has visited, this will help us in completing the ‘Short List’
  • Contact Suffolk Wild Life Trust to organise a visit to give us some tips of what we can do to become environmentally friendly.
    Update – Made contact, awaiting reply with relevant information.
    To Do – Taking into consideration costs and time, look out for their reply and get them over to give advice. Perhaps they can also look through our master plan and help suggest things that are worth focusing on.
  • From the Master Document create ‘The Short List’ a selection of manageable tasks will be selected which will pave the way to achieve the bronze A Rocha award. The Short List.
    Update – Process is underway to fully outline the criteria for the A Rocha Eco Church award structure.
    To do – Create a list of criteria for Eco Church, Reduce Master Document into manageable chunks in order to achieve objective (completion of this will begin Phase 2).
  • Form an organised group of volunteers who will help see the project through each phase. We will be battling economic constraints, listed building constraints, geographic constraints and manpower constraints.
    Update – Appealing for you now…
    To Do – Email me please.

A date will follow for volunteers to meet and go through the master list and make suggestions to the process, nothing is set in stone here and all voices will be appreciated!

‘You shall not see your countryman’s donkey or his ox fallen down on the way, and pay no attention to them; you shall certainly help him to raise them up’ Deuteronomy 22:4                                                                                     Phase 2                                                                                                                                          This Phase will be set aside to go deeper into the short list. To begin implementation of ideas and to set realistic targets on the various projects that will be necessary to accomplish our goal. There may be a cycle of removing ideas that made the short-list and replacing them due to the reality of the situation.
In addition the practical work will commence during this phase.

‘A righteous man has regard for the life of his animal, But even the compassion of the wicked is cruel.’ Proverbs 12:10                                                                                                                                                                       Phase 3                                                                                                                                                                        This will oversee the end of the Phase 2, as the shortlist begins to dwindle. On completion of the tasks we have set ourselves we will delve back into the master list, compiling new ideas that may have arisen and creating a new manageable ‘Short List’. The granting of the A Rocha Award could be met with a special service appreciating the beautiful work accomplished through God.

 10.   Thy Kingdom Come.

i) This takes place between Ascension and Pentecost when churches across the world are encouraged to pray. There will be prayer stations in both churches in our benefice, and a prayer walk on June 5th at 5pm starting at the Pump.

ii) On Friday 7th June there will be Grill A Vicar in the Institute, when Ruth, Mike and Tiffer Robinson, Rural Dean, will answer any questions fired at them!!

ii) On Pentecost Sunday, 9th June, there will be a Messy Church service at 10.45am. preceded by breakfast from 10am.

11.  Fabric.

i) Lots of work has been completed in the church, and some of the work is not as bad as forecast. Although progressing well, we are now waiting for specialist materials.

ii) Thanks were recorded to Ed Walker for making a pigeon hole system for holding the Service booklets and we are grateful to him for taking away away the old bookcase. Sue G will wax the new pigeon holes.  

12.       Fire Plan.

            Jean presented a plan incorporating Fire Safety Management, Emergency Evacuation

Plan and ‘How to use a fire extinguisher’  – see attached.  

13.      Future Events                                                                                                                                      i) Grill a Vicar….as described above.                                                                                                     ii) 11th August  Summer lunch or brunch at Broadacres.                                                                         iii)1st September Bridges garden open.                                                                                                  Iv)13/14/15 September Arts and Crafts

14.     Drinkstone report.                                                                                                                     The recent MUB2 had 11 children present and was a delightful occasion.                                 1st June  Murder Mystery Play                                                                                                       15th June Open Gardens, 16 gardens open, 4 are new and 2 are in the NGS scheme.    26th May Holm House Garden open for church funds.                                                             Drinkstone church has a hole in its roof, and the bell frame is being inspected for wear and tear. Work begins in September on church windows, costing £120,000.

15.     Appointment of Officers.                                                                                                       i) Trish as Treasurer and Anne as Secretary were elected unanimously.                                ii) Betty was elected Liaison officer for Health and Safety,

          iii) Sue Birt was elected as Safeguarding Officer.

           iv) Paul was elected as Churchyard Officer and will inspect grave stones.

16.     Future Meetings.

  It was decided to continue to hold PCC meetings at 7.00.

  Future meetings will be on 2nd July, 3rd September, 15th October and 3rd December.

16.     AOB

  i) Jo appealed for more help on the coffee rota.

  The meeting closed with prayer at 8.40.

Training Needs for Fire Safety Management

1. EXITS, Door management – Train all available sides people to open both doors of the South entrance and North entrance. Ensure they practice this operation at monthly intervals. Choir member or appropriate person to unlock Priest’s door. This is particularly important for major services and events when the church may be occupied by more than the usual congregation.

2. Identify and train appropriate people to assist those with mobility problems to evacuate the church in the event of a fire.

3. Educate those who are willing and able in the use of the appropriate fire extinguishers.  Class of Fire and suitable extinguishers  Use of Water extinguishers  Use of CO2 extinguisher

Emergency Evacuation Plan

For St Mary’s Church, Woolpit

In the event of a fire:

  • Raise the alarm by shouting “Fire! Fire”
  • Designated person to phone the Fire Brigade by dialling 999.
  • Sides people and or Church Warden prepare to evacuate the church, initially by opening both South doors and checking external door is also open; opening North doors including the curtain. The Priest’s door may also be used if necessary after unlocking with key.
  • If the fire occurs in the hours of darkness, torches to be used by sides people to assist the evacuation.
  • Evacuate the building by quickest route; designated people to assist any person with mobility problems including assisting with mobility aids.
  • Assemble in the car park opposite the church.
  • Trained people can tackle the fire using the fire appliances if it is safe to do so, without taking any risks.



Use of Fire Extinguishers

1. Select correct extinguisher for the observed fire.

            – Water extinguisher for ordinary combustibles e.g. wood, paper, plastic and fabric, NEVER on electrical fires or burning fat.

            – CO2 extinguishers for Electrical fires and flammable liquids


2. Check gauge on water extinguisher is fully charged (CO2 extinguishers do not have gauges).

3. Before approaching fire pull off the safety tag and remove safety pin.

4.  Check the range of the extinguisher by discharging the spray.

5. Approach the fire while spraying from extinguisher, initially applying to the base of the fire.

6. As the fire diminishes change water jet to a spray by placing your finger over the nozzle. This is more effective at reducing the temperature of embers.

7. When the fire is controlled, separate the pieces and continue to spray until the fire is completely out.


2. Position the discharge horn first. (It will be too cold to do so when the extinguisher is being used)

3. Pull off the safety tag and remove safety pin.

4. Hold the handle and body of the extinguisher.

5. Check the extinguisher to ensure it works.

6. Point the horn at the base of the flames and whilst walking towards the flames discharge the extinguisher.

7. Once the flames are out, walk backwards away from the fire, continuing to discharge the extinguisher. This will help to keep you safe if the fire is not completely out.

Minutes of the meeting held on 19th March 2019

St Mary’s Woolpit Parochial Church Council

at 7pm at Green Hill

    Present:- Rev Ruth Farrell, Rev Mike Birt (Chairman), Jennifer Baker, Trish Baker, Judy Dean, Jean Kendall, Betty Curry, David Hughes, Jo Brown, Sue Griffin, Rosey Skrimshire, Margaret Walker, Anne Clarke, Paul Clarke ( ex-officio).

     1.  Welcome and Evening Prayer. Mike welcomed everyone to the meeting and read from    Matthew 1, todays reading about Joseph.

         2.  Apologies: – Barbara Pashley

  • Minutes:-These were approved unanimously except for one amendment ….remove the word lunch from 4:11.                                                                                                                                          
  •  Matters Arising:-

 4:4  The Church mowers have been serviced, one has a new gear box.

         4:14: vii) Weltons have installed a new PIR light at the rectory road gate

           Top Garden services are happy to cut the grass for us when we ask.                            Will Parker has been asked to quote for grass cutting, but needs to know exactly what is          required before he can provide a quote.

  No graves have had turves replaced yet.

 11:   Michael Lambert has offered his garden in Drinkstone for a picnic style occasion

 14:i) Church radiators have been cleaned and are working more efficiently.

   ii) We will continue to look at the church web site, the damaged chalice is still with   the   silversmiths. there is no update on the glebe land,

  5. Correspondence:-

i)  Letter of thanks sent to Betty from the Women’s Refuge in Bury thanking us for all we send to them.

ii)  The Cathedral Friends have returned the standing order for £5 as they now have no account with Lloyds bank. The minimum subscription is now £25.

iii) Pilgrims Court Residential Court has a new manager and she will showcase the home on 14th May for us to look around if we would like to do so.

iv) There is a legacy from Rev’d. Canon Bob Cook of about £150,000 for St Marys. We need to decide where this money might best be used and how it will be invested. These matters will be discussed at the next PCC meeting.

v) There will be a service called Palms and Thorns at the Cathedral on Palm Sunday evening.

vi) John Bell will give a training music day on 26th October.


i) Treasurer’s report:

Year to date since meeting on 15.1.19:

  1.  Plate collections for MSF £15 in January / £30 for Bury Drop In, in February.
  2. The insurance claim of £209 on the Challis repair has been paid.
  3. A Lecture Supper with Margaret Cook brought £767.53 to Church funds.
  4. The payment for MICC 2018 was received in January 2019, therefore will be included in the 2019 accounts. After expenses, £3000 was available to share 50% with Drinkstone. Cheque for £1500 paid.
  5. Standing orders for Jan/Feb amounted to £4,455. This includes £390 for the Fabric Fund.
  6. The accounts were completed in double quick time thanks to Michelle at Churchgate Accountants.  Allaying my fears of imposing on them, Churchgate have said that they are only too pleased to help:

       2018 Accounts:

  1. No losses to show this year, unlike the slight loss shown in the General fund last year.
  2. Once again, the emphasis of the Fund Raising was directed towards the Restricted Fund for our on-going repairs, but the net, General Fund shows a positive figure of £5,562, after paying our Parish Share in full; and the net  Restricted Funds were £59,507.
  3. Donation to the Fabric fund were £38,763 up on last year, thanks in large part to legacies and Trust donations.
  4. The Bell Fund has increased slightly to £9,466.
  5. The balances at the banks on this date are:                  Barclays            £   8,332.76

                                                                                      CAF current ac. £  53,260.02

                                                                                      CAF deposit ac. £121,345.96

                                                                                      CAF no 2 ac.      £  23,811.57

ii) If Ruth requires extra money for the discretionary fund, she can go directly to Trish, AIF

iii) The Annual Accounts were inspected by all members of the PCC, Judy proposed they be accepted, AIF. Huge thanks were recorded to Trish for steering us through another year.

vi) As far as the Parish Giving scheme is concerned, we are currently ok.

7.  Safeguarding:-  Written report from Sue:

On the 15th February we had another CO training session for 8 people.

One person was from a neighbouring benefice.

On the 5th February 5 people attended C2 training at the cathedral.

The changes which I heard about in December are not yet in place.

I have checked with Craig Hutton and he has advised that we should hear more in May.

Any training done prior to the changes will not need to be repeated until the usual time.

Training normally lasts 3 years. DBS is 5 years for laity.

Lynne and I will meet on return from annual leave to discuss how the database is shaping  up and where we are now.

I must admit I have been focussing on training rather than the database.

8.   Growing in God:-

 Nothing to report this time.

  • Fabric:-

   i) Currently, there is nothing happening on the church tower, but Betty reported that Philip  Orchard has asked Lodges when they will start work.

  ii) Ruth will ask Paul Ebsworth if he will look at the tower floodlights.

  iii) Weltons have carried out the electrical condition testing. Defects requiring immediate to maintain electrical safety amount to a provisional cost of £600 plus vat. Other defects, while not urgent at present but for which attention is strongly recommended, amount to £537 plus vat. Overall cost £1137.00 plus vat. In view of the comparatively modest nature of the cost Paul proposed that we instructed Weltons to carry out all the work while on  site. AIF

iv) Our Fire Safety inspection passed with recommendations that we keep a Fire Safely Log Book in the vestry safe. Sidespersons must be trained in evacuation techniques. Videos are available for teaching us how to use fire extinguishers .

           v) The key which has been found is not for the vestry door.

10.   Parish Plan

The new audit is based on Growing in God – Depth, Influence etc, and is quite straightforward. It will be useful in such instances as appointing a new Rector. Ruth will meet with Mike, and the respective Church Secretaries to help fill it in. It needs to be with the Rural Dean by the end of April.

 11.   Diocesan Synod Report:-

         DIOCESAN SYNOD 16.03.19 at Salvation Army Hall, Stowmarket

 Upbeat and positive!

▪ marks end of Bishops’ Pilgrimage of East Suffolk: Southwold- Stowmarket

▪ saw enablers of God at work in businesses, community projects, church schools, patterns of worship etc

▪ all will influence Bishop’s work / vision

Synod Priorities

Outcomes from October Synod discussed. Voted for priority focuses. Working groups to be clergy led.


successful SDF bid (Strategic Development Fund) by Diocese (4.94 million over 6 yrs)

-more key appointments:

Inspiring Ipswich – Archdeacon Rhiannon King

Rural Mission- Archdeacon Sally Gaze

Diocesan Youth Officer – Matt Levett

-increasing Mission focus

-Deanery / Parish plans more essential

-Lightwave- new name for new mission groups

General Synod Feb 19

Focus area synchronicity with Diocese, Deaneries and parishes. Some examples:

Homeless: Ipswich Night Shelter- Oct to Jan- helped  723

Environment- Diocesan Bronze Award within Eco Churches: 57 churches registered, 24 awards

Evangelism- patterns of worship, Thy Kingdom Come 10 – 19 May

Youth Evangelism- Matt Levett (see above

Estates Evangelism- linked to Inspiring Ipswich

State of the Nation

Diocesan Updates

Safeguarding: In 2018

Training on track- 5,969 units of training completed CO – C3

113 referrals and 425 DBS checks processed

PGS- 105 parishes-24% Diocese

Parish Share- Thank You! 6.3 million collected- 90% of budgeted

Cathedral 2020 Millennium Celebrations

May 23rd: Benedictine style worship in Abbey Ruins with Rowan Williams to speak

Edmund Ale from Greene King

Lent Appeal– Kagera

12.   Future Events:- 

       i) APCM on 9th April, 6 o clock for fish and chip supper followed by the meeting. Ruth needs reports from groups for the booklet. The  new electoral roll will be in place.                        ii) Easter:  Maundy Thursday: Agape Supper at the Rectory followed by Communion and Stripping of the Altars.                                                                                                                 Good Friday: Walk of Witness starting at the Room at 10.30, followed by Hot Cross Buns at St Marys. Reflective Service at 2.00.                                                                          Childrens activity afternoon on Saturday 20th.                                                                            Easter Day: Sunrise service on at 6.30, and Parish Communion at 10.45.                           iii) 1st May: Archdeacons Visitation. Jo and Bridgid will provide refreshments after the service.                                                                                                                                      iv) Under the National Gardens Scheme, ‘Bridges’ garden is being opened on18th May, and any donations will be given to St Marys. We are asked to provide cakes for this occasion.                                                                                                                                   v) Autumn Bazaar 2nd November.                                                                                      vi)There will be a Pentecost service at the Cathedral on 9th June.                                                       

13.  Drinkstone Report:-.                                                                                                                  The Rector from South Hartismere Benefice came to the recent MYB2 service and was most impressed by the welcome she received and by the entire set up. There are currently 11 gardens opening on June 15th. £100,000 has been raised from grants for the restoration of some of the church windows.

14.   AOB:-                                                                                                                                          i) There will be an afternoon of prayer in the church on 28th March from 2 until 6.                     ii). Ruth told the PCC that, sadly, her father is poorly and in respite care, and that she may well have to go to Australia at short notice.                                                                             iii) Do we want to keep meetings at 7 pm or change to 5pm? Will be discussed next time. iv) Jean asked if an announcement could be made about Gift Aid to provide encouragement so more people to use it.                                                                              v) Jo asked if the choir vestry could be tidied and sorted. Alan cannot access his choir robes because of things in the way. She will meet with a Catholic rep to try to sort this out. Jo will also investigate the cost of new robes for the choir.                                                                                                                                  

The meeting closed with prayer at 8.40.