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 19th March 2019

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.