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PCC report - January 2023

PCC opened with prayers by Nneka Williams.

The first substantive agenda item was ‘matters arising from the minutes of the December Standing Committee.’ PCC was informed about email correspondence raising a number of queries about communication at St Andrew’s, and these queries were outlined. PCC agreed that the communications group should consider the detail of these queries. We agreed the need to have a Complaints policy and a policy about the use of Social Media.

Ian Smith introduced agenda item Care and Creation which is part of our Mission Action Plan. Viki Evans has joined the group specifically to focus on assisting with progress on the Eco Church Award. Andrew Love and Tim Retout have undertaken a number of investigative surveys in order to give context and fact to any future plans and proposals. The main focus has so far been on gas and electricity usage. It is too early to make any decisions about large schemes because of the constant changes in technology.

This was followed by the main item on the agenda, part of the Mission Action Plan -

Fellowship: Welcoming radically - encouraging inclusion and embracing diversity. A presentation was given by Sheila Bissell, Jenny Tomlinson and Ian Riches. Sheila began with words from Psalm 139 v14 ‘I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made’ and talked about the importance of the Church as the family of God on Earth offering welcome to everyone and her role as a member of both Inclusive Church and General Synod. Jenny explained more about the work of the charity Inclusive Church and its work supporting a network of churches who are wanting to ‘explore what it means to be ‘inclusive’ in today’s church’. Ian gave a very moving testimony of how he and his wife came to worship at St Andrew’s because of their understanding that church needs more inclusive spaces, places where people know they will be safe, be loved, and not asked to change how God made them. Group discussions followed and voting on the resolution, which was carried unanimously: “This PCC supports the Inclusive Church statement of belief, and resolves to join the Inclusive Church network as part of our journey towards becoming a more fully welcoming and inclusive community.”

PCC received a verbal report from Lionel about the budget for 2023.

Angela Huddart presented a short report from Mission and Outreach. The Reverse Advent Calendar was hugely successful. The foodbank warehouse will let us know the total weight of goods received from us. The Christmas collections came to £3,000, to be shared between Emmaus and the Food Bank. We continue to support Pajule, Uganda through £1000 given to World Vision.

A short report about Safeguarding was given by Sheila Bissell. PCC reviewed and renewed the policies for Equality & Diversity and Recruitment of Ex-offenders.

In AOB we heard of some changes at St Andrew’s. Money at St. Andrews will be closing at the end of March because of the increase in other organisations that offer debt advice. Belief is also not continuing. The manager of Fairtrade shop has retired, and volunteers will be meeting to plan a new way forward.

The PCC meeting ended with prayer.

Sheila Bissell

January 2023

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