APCM 2019

PCC ANNUAL REPORT FOR THE YEAR ENDED 31 DECEMBER 2018

Review of the year.

Church life at St Peter’s continues to flourish, but this could not take place without the commitment of so many people. This report is an opportunity for me to say thank you, on behalf of the PCC, to the many volunteers for the tremendous amount of hard work and effort which they put in, giving of their time and expertise to help maintain this beautiful, ancient church and ensure that the worship and outreach continues. Thank you all so much for your help and support.

I would like to express my personal thanks to the following people: The Churchwardens, the assistant Churchwarden, Simon Perry in the office, the chairpersons of the various committees, Patrick Dunn and the choir, the Bell ringers, Gill Horne and the servers, David Gale in the halls, the sides people, intercessors, lesson readers, chalice assistants, tea/coffee makers, the cleaning team, Monday Lunch Club, Andrea and her SPRATS team, the flower arrangers, the social committee, the churchyard working parties, and all those who serve on any of the various committees. I would also like to express my thanks to Robin Page who continues to collate and edit the magazine each month, providing interesting and informative articles and information to the wider community. 

My thanks also go to the retired priests who have covered services whilst I have been on holiday or off sick, and to John Cox who (until recently) has continued to preach monthly at the 9:30 service, prepare and lead the Taizé Service (bi-monthly) and preach and lead Choral Evensong once a month. His support and help have been invaluable. In September, in recognition of the many years’ service to this parish and the Diocese, he received the title ‘Reader Emeritus’ from the Bishop. He now no longer preaches, but will lead the occasional evening service. 

My thanks also go to Rev’d David Tate, who, after receiving his PTO from the Bishop in February has assisted me in presiding and preaching once a month at the 8am and 9:30 services, (and the occasional evening service) and to Rev’d Michael Cooke and Rev’d Brian Sharp for their help.   

In October I was elected to the Diocesan Synod and I am looking forward to playing a more active part in the Diocese and hopefully influencing any decisions which may affect our church and deanery.

June Binfield and Kate McGregor, our Deanery representatives have regularly attended Thanet Deanery meetings and have fed back to the PCC. Our thanks go to them for their commitment to this. Following the resignation of Andrew Jacobsen, Richard Braddy and Clifford Stocking were appointed joint Rural Deans and my thanks go to them for the support they give me.

As part of the Broadstairs Group of Churches, with St Andrew’s and Holy Trinity, we have continued to work together sharing and hosting joint services throughout the year, and meeting regularly as a group. The clergy has continued to meet separately offering mutual support to one another. In December, at the request of the Group, both myself and Dominic Fenton were licensed by The Bishop of Dover, as Vicar and Rector (rather than as Priests in Charge).

Links have been strengthened within the St Peter’s churches.  A joint service led mainly by Elim Oasis, but attended by the Baptist, Anglican, Kairos and Beaconsfield churches took place on 20th May (Pentecost) at Elim Oasis.  This service, although very different from what we usually experience, was embraced by all denominations, and was well attended.

Links have continued and strengthened with the local uniformed organisations as a large number of Scouts, Cubs and Brownies have joined in with our well attended services on Mothering Sunday, St Peter’s Tide, (where Dave Cullen did the talk), Harvest Festival, and Remembrance Sunday. They also decorated Christmas Trees in the Christmas Tree Festival, and helped with the making of Christingles, as well as organising the Peace Light Service held in church the week before Christmas.  

I continue to serve on the Governing Body of St George’s School, and, as Chair of the Christian Ethos Monitoring Group, try and ensure that the school maintains its distinctively Christian Ethos in all areas of school life. I have continued to lead and monitor assemblies once a term in the primary school. The school decided not to hold their St George’s Day Service or the carol service in Church this year as we cannot accommodate the large numbers of staff and parents who attend.

With regard to St Peter’s School, I continue to lead assembly once a term. I have also been in to school to talk with the older children and answer questions concerning the links between church and community.  The Year 6 children held their Leaving service in church in July, and their Christingle service in December. The Harvest service was cancelled due to the inclement weather.

Dane Court and Bromstone schools held their Christmas services in church this year, Bromstone school for the first time. I am hoping to encourage these links with both schools. Members of the congregation have helped with Messy Church, Easter Cracked and Christmas Unwrapped for year 6 children from St Peter’s and Bromstone schools held in St Peter’s Baptist Church, and with the summer holiday club held at Upton School, organised by Rhodri Walters (minister at St Peter’s  Baptist Church) and Maggie Paddison, (Ministry Support and Schools Development Worker at St Peter’s Baptist Church). It was good to see all the local churches working together with these projects.

In church, our Sunday services continue to be well attended, though numbers are declining slightly at all services with the exception of the Wednesday morning Holy Communion service, where numbers are still increasing.

Evensong, although popular with the choir is still not well attended by members of the community, even though we have changed the time back to 6:30pm for the whole year.

On the second Sunday of the month our Sunday Praise Service has gone from strength to strength.  More young families are attending and seem to enjoy the more relaxed and informal style of worship. My thanks go to Jan Gee and Christine Denton for their input with these services.  During the year we have celebrated Lent, Christian Aid Week, Sea Sunday, and Joseph And The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat (led by Patrick and the choir).

Throughout Lent, Holy Week and Easter, a variety of services and worship took place. The two home groups led different Lent Courses. The Wednesday Group worked through the York Course written by Bishop John Pritchard; the Monday Group reflected each week on one of the characters who encountered Jesus during Holy Week, and on the first Saturday in Lent, The Rev’d Gordon Warren led a very informative and reflective talk at our Lent Lunch about The Passover and Holy Communion.

I was privileged to be involved in the organisation of the visit of the Archbishop of Canterbury to Thanet during Holy Week. This was a great success and appreciated by so many (church and non-church) people.

In Broadstairs, I accompanied the Archbishop as he was interviewed on Academy FM on Palm Sunday, helped show him around St George’s primary and junior schools and helped host a community leaders forum. My thanks go to those householders who provided meals and transport for The Community of St Anselm who accompanied the Archbishop.

During Holy Week, Compline was said each evening in St John’s Chapel. We were invited to join the Baptist Church for their Passover Supper on Maundy Thursday, after which we held a service of Holy Communion in church with foot washing and the stripping the church which (for the first time) was attended by the other local churches.

On Good Friday the joint Walk of Witness (with the St Peter’s churches)  took place on the green. This was attended by over 100 from the local community, and my thanks go to Sylvia and her team who provided hot cross buns and coffee afterwards.

The Archbishop of Canterbury led The Churches Together in Broadstairs’ Walk of Witness, along the sea front, where (after worship led by QRBC) he spoke to us about forgiveness. Returning to Church for the Stations of the Cross, our choir and organist then performed a beautiful reflective concert.

In June we blessed with wonderful weather and an even better stream of visitors as we held our first Open Garden event. Thank you all to those who opened their gardens and baked cakes, and to Sue Brooks for organising it!

In September we were delighted to welcome the Bishop of Dover, the Rt Rev’d Trevor Willmott to the Deanery Confirmation service.  Twenty Candidates from across the churches in Thanet were confirmed – including five from St Peter’s. It was indeed a joyous occasion and it was a real honour to have hosted it.

Following my appointment as Mayor’s Chaplain to the Mayor of Broadstairs, I hosted the Mayor’s Garden Party in the vicarage garden in July, and in September we held the Mayor’s Civic Ceremony in church, well attended by local dignitaries and congregation.

Our annual Time to Remember Service took place on the 4th November in which relatives of those whose funerals we have taken over the past year were invited to this special service of remembrance and thanksgiving.

In my role as Chaplain to the Mayor of Broadstairs I led the annual service at the war memorial in Broadstairs on Armistice Day, so my thanks go to Rev’d Gordon Warren for leading the service in church. There was an excellent turnout in church from the uniformed organisations. In the evening the choir led us in a Vigil Service commemorating the Centenary of the end of the First World War, during which the bells were rung out across the country, including ours at St Peter’s.

The Christmas Tree Festival, held on the third weekend of December was another successful event with 32

trees decorated and sponsored by local organisations and businesses. This festival continues to attract many local residents.  We were entertained by children from St Peter’s and St George’s Schools, St Peter’s Players, David Lammler, our church choir, Patrick Dunn (on the piano), and the Thanet Gospel Choir. On the Sunday evening we held our annual Nine lessons and Carols.

In the week before Christmas we joined in with community carol singing at Tesco (Westwood Cross) and in The Red Lion, and the combined Christingle and Nativity Service was again very popular this year, taking place at 4pm on Christmas Eve.

The two home groups have provided a homely, supportive opportunity for people to meet on a regular basis. My thanks go to Michael and Elspeth Cooke, and to Barbara Love for their hospitality in allowing people to get to know each other and share in their growing faith. My thanks also go to John Cox for leading the home group in St Leu.

The ongoing maintenance of the church has continued and my grateful thanks go to Richard Baker as Chair of the Fabric Committee, for the enormous amount of work he has done this past year in ensuring that everything which needs to be done in the way of maintenance and repair to our ancient parish church is completed. The Lady Chapel is now a beautiful space for worship and prayer, and the new sound system ensures that the people leading the service can now be heard by all.  Thank you to Richard and the Fabric Committee

I would also like to express my thanks for the commitment and dedication given by Charles Watson over many years before his sudden death. He will be sorely missed by us all.

Don Bumpstead has continued to work tirelessly in the Garden of Remembrance planting, weeding and tidying. He has overseen the extensive repairs (recently completed by the contractors) to the paths and wall, as well as creating a ramp at the entrance, and erecting a new notice board. It is vital that our Garden continues to be a place of tranquillity and solace to the many who visit, so my thanks go to you all for your help and understanding in ensuring this is so. Thanks also go to Heather Wood who spends many hours removing the dead flowers and generally keeping the garden tidy.

I hope you have all noticed (and made use of) our new refurbished halls, and my grateful thanks go to Don Bumpstead for overseeing these works. Following Don’s retirement at the APCM, Roger Waddell took over as Chair of the Halls Committee. Roger has spent a considerable amount of time in the past eight months, updating and renovating the Portland Centre, (kitchen, floor and under stage), as well as doing constant ongoing repairs to the whole complex. With the improvements to the halls, bookings have increased, so my thanks go to Simon for his hard work.

You may have noticed that the office is now only open in the mornings (9-1) thus enabling Simon the time to catch up on the increase in the workload.  Thank you to Roger and the halls committee.

Following the retirement of Hamish McGregor as chair of the Fund-raising Committee at the APCM in April, Roy Brown took over and has continued the good work in raising funds. The Committee ran 15 events, raising £17,771. My thanks go to Roy and the Fund Raising Committee and to Roger Waddell as organiser of the Summer Fete and Festive Fayre, two wonderful events.

At the end of 2018 the PCC decided that in future fund raising would be for the benefit of St Peter’s as a whole not for individual projects. Holding fund raising events is not just about raising much needed funds for the church, it is also a wonderful opportunity for the church to reach out to the community which I believe we have done admirably.  My thanks go to everyone who has helped in any way with this great effort.

2018 has been a very busy but enjoyable year, although sadly we lost many valued members of the parish. These include Rev’d Ron Frost, Geoffrey Love, Betty Turner, June Eteen, Marjorie Morigi, Jean French, Dick Strahan, Charles Watson, and Joyce Miller, all of whom have contributed so much to the life and worship of this church over many years. They will all be greatly missed.

I am very grateful to the pastoral visiting team who continue to visit the sick, elderly, and the lonely in the parish. I would like to thank them all for the wonderful work they do on my behalf. It is simply not possible for me to visit all those I would like to in a parish as large as ours, so the time they give helps me enormously.  

Finances do continue to be of concern especially with the increase in the amount we have to pay to the Diocese, and the increase in utility costs;  without the income from the halls we would struggle to meet all of our expenses. My thanks go to Robin Page as treasurer for the enormous amount of work he does in trying to balance the books.  But despite our struggling finances I am very proud of the very generous contributions (from my congregation) to the Thanet Food Bank, the Winter Shelter, Christian Aid and The Children’s society.

2018 has been a very busy year for everyone associated with the church as we have completed major works to the halls complex, the Garden of Remembrance and the inside the church.  I have enjoyed working with the other churches in St Peter’s as we have tried to work out how to reach out across the community, but most of all I have enjoyed serving as your vicar, for the love and support you have given me, and I look forward to doing so in 2019.  

Rev’d Janet Durrans, Vicar and Chair of the PCC of St Peter in Thanet, Broadstairs

The Proceedings of the Parochial Church Council and Parish Activities

PCC Secretary’s Report

The membership of the Parochial Church Council (PCC) consists of the Priest in Charge, as Chair, two Churchwardens and representatives elected from the Church congregation or co-opted as Ex Officio members.  The role of the PCC is a significant one as it is charged with promoting the pastoral, evangelistic, social and ecumenical mission of the church as well as the upkeep and maintenance of the church buildings, its goods and ornaments and its finances. 

Throughout the year the full PCC has met regularly, alternating with the Standing Committee.  The PCC has met eight times during the period from January 2018 to December 2018.   Attendance at the PCC has averaged 75% annually.

The role of Secretary has altered slightly, as it no longer encompasses minute taking or any administrative work for the Standing Committee.  This is now undertaken by the Standing Committee members themselves.  The change was made at my request to enable me to manage the workload combined with my other jobs.

Fund raising has been one of the chief priorities for the PCC.  Once again, the work of the PCC, together with all the other church committees and with support from the congregation and the community, in organising events and initiatives has enabled us to meet all our financial obligations.  Planning for future fundraising to meet the running costs of the Church, pay for work on the Garden of Remembrance and the church interior continues.

Thanks are due to all those who support the events in any way and for the excellent catering by Sylvia Mills and her team.

The PCC has continued to be vital in maintaining the role of St Peter’s in Thanet in good heart throughout the church year.    Their service has been invaluable to all the congregation and the village of St Peter’s.

We give thanks to God for the hard work of all our volunteers and committee members.  Despite the increase in our running costs, we will continue to meet the challenges of the coming year working together and with the wider community. 

Sue Brooks. PCC Secretary

Report on Fabric, Goods and Ornaments

During the past year a great deal of work has been undertaken in the Garden of Rest which has been totally transformed as a result of extensive tidying with the help of volunteers, followed by repair of a boundary wall on the south side, removal of a tree, and renovation of the paths and gateway which has enabled wheelchair access, especially by removal of two curved walls adjacent to the altar on the east side of the garden.  There is now a new notice board on  which the churchyard regulations are displayed and it is hoped that this will help those visiting the Garden to abide by them so that it remains a peaceful and calm place for those who wish to come and remember their loved ones.  We are very grateful to Don Bumpstead who has overseen all this work, as well as undertaking most of the gardening upkeep all year round with the help of Heather Wood and, in the last few months, the  Rev’d David Tate. The churchyard itself has continued to be tidied by the Friends of St. Peter’s Churchyard, a voluntary group who work also very hard throughout the year and without whose help the churchyard would look very neglected. We are also very grateful to Sally Wood who spends many hours cutting the grass in the immediate vicinity of the church building and planting flowering plants which so improves the appearance as one enters the church grounds.

The saga of the brick pier which was demolished by an unknown vehicle in 2017 continues but the Planning Department at Thanet District Council have now said that it must be rebuilt and since the Council are responsible for our churchyard, by virtue of the fact that it is now closed, we await their attention to this.

The Fabric Committee under the chairmanship of Richard Baker has continued to maintain our ancient church building. A great amount of work has been done in and around the church building as usual during the course of the past year. The south wall of the Lady Chapel has at last dried out so that it was possible to re-plaster it. To improve the entrance from the south door, the sidesmen’s station has been removed and a large new cupboard installed to hold all the various orders of service and the hymn books. This was made from the wood of the redundant pews which had formerly been in the Lady Chapel.  The cost of the cupboard was financed by a generous donation and it has greatly enhanced this area. The necessary work on the clock hammer has now been completed and the sound of it chiming the hours can once again be heard in the village. Following a request at the APCM 2018 for kneelers at the high altar rail, these have been donated and stitched by volunteers and are now in place and are appreciated by our congregation. A new carpeted ramp has been installed at the south door to facilitate entry for disabled persons. The Children’s Corner has been tidied and a new carpet laid. The sound system has recently been checked and upgraded with new microphones thanks to a generous donation towards the cost.

We have recently received the Quinquennial Report following inspection of the church building in June 2018 by Andrew Clague which has revealed some work which needs to be done. This is largely concerned with attention to the roof and rainwater goods. The masonry around the east window in the chancel will also require some work and there is some re-pointing in other areas still to be done.

Charles Watson, former Chairman of the Fabric Committee, who died suddenly recently, will be greatly missed for all he contributed to the maintenance of the church, both inside and out. Most recently he was involved in the re-plastering work in the Lady Chapel and over the years has been unstinting in his time devoted to overseeing work undertaken by contractors.

The inventory of goods and ornaments in the church has been checked and updated. The new ciborium purchased in memory of Paddy Earp, sacristan, has been added to the silverware detailed in No. 1 safe.

Pauline Osborne           Churchwardens

Sylvia Mills

Deanery Synod Report

St Peter’s Church is represented in the Thanet Deanery Synod by two lay members, Kate McGregor and June Binfield. The Rev’d Jan Durrans is one of the Clergy members, who also meet as clergy across the Deanery. The Synod usually meets three times a year.

The Deanery manages aspects of the collection and distribution of money across the Deanery. There is an on-going review of the parish share which this year will increase by three and a half per cent. Our treasurer attends when finance is an agenda item and there are additional meetings for the Church treasurers in our Deanery. The July meeting focused on finance. Part of the share finances the five strands of the Diocese’s Strategy, Changed Lives-Changing Lives; these are Engaging with Deprivation, Engaging with Young People, Connecting in Prayer, Enriching Leadership and Innovation. Archdeacon, The Venerable Jo Kelly-More, gave Synod an update on progress. The Church Commissioners also help with grants to parishes in deprived areas, with schemes like Ignite, with education and with youth work. Our money also goes to pay for clergy salaries and pensions as well as recruitment and training of clergy. Our diocese is training an increasing number of curates.

The Church faces problems like the age profiles of our priests and congregations and heavy workloads on clergy and lay leaders. Reaching out to children and the young, an area where church schools are so important, is an important but challenging mission.

There are 21 churches in our Deanery; 5 are growing in numbers, 1 is the same and 15 have fewer regular members. USA, (usual Sunday attendance), in 2017 was down by seven per cent. Statistics are one measure, but if we look at much that is going on such as involvement in the community, work with the elderly and the young, supporting the foodbanks and the homeless, groups and courses helping spiritual growth and interdenominational contacts, there is grounds for optimism. In a discussion at the November Synod, Jan, Kate and I discussed St. Peter’s. Our overall USA numbers are down due to a number of deaths among our congregation. We were pleased to have 5 members of our congregation confirmed in an uplifting service in our church. Jan is encouraging discipleship and ministry among us. She is planning a course for 2019. We are a welcoming and happy church, overcoming some divisions from the past. Bell Ringer numbers are increasing, both from the Gift Day and other opportunities the Bell Ringers have used to interact with the public. The Pastoral Team is well organised and their visiting has increased and the taking of communion is very important.  Our interaction with the Community continues in many ways, including Sprats, Lunch Club and Fund Raising Events. Contact with St. George’s School and St. Peters Junior School continue. Our Church is used by local Schools, for concerts, the Village Tour and the Christmas Tree Festival. These and other aspects of our church life indicate that we are celebrating our faith, planning for the future and challenging ourselves.

The Spring Synod briefed us on the Archbishop’s Mission to Thanet and subsequently much gratitude was expressed for all that happened in that week. The Ignite schemes which began here are now being used as models across all the dioceses of the Church of England. There has been much prayer and support offered to our Churches by the two Church Army Officers, Captain Peter and Sister Lynne Bones in their work leading the Dream team. In the Summer, Peter was ordained and is now part of the St. Laurence Team. This has left Lynne to soldier on alone and recently the Deanery decided that it could not finance a replacement for Peter.  She is rethinking her strategy and is currently running Prayer Warriors for young people and working with vulnerable children in Margate. The Deanery is among the organisations that support the Winter Shelter, now in its third year. St. Peter’s weekly donations of practical goods are much appreciated.

All Synod meetings begin with worship and prayer is an essential way that we can all help. The Deanery and the Synod are concerned with encouraging all Thanet churches in renewal, mission and meeting the needs of our local communities.

June Binfield. Kate McGregor. Synod Representatives

Bell Ringers

Since my last report, our beginners have gained in confidence. We have also acquired a new ringer in September who is learning very quickly. He rings on a Sunday for us and St John’s Margate. Felicity Lewis has almost finished her teaching course, having taught a beginner from scratch. She is just waiting for someone from smArt to come and assess.

Our Saturday practices are proving to be very popular. We have beginners from Birchington who come and visit. I will take this opportunity to thank Felicity Lewis, Ian White, Debra Stickels and Belinda Gallup from St Lawrence for their regular help. Also Elspeth Cooke and Heather Wood, Sue Bones and Mary Bridges for assisting when they can. It all helps the beginners to progress more quickly. 

Monday practices are regularly busy with ringers from other towers coming to help and join in for which we are always grateful.

We rang a quarter peal in December for the Christmas Tree Festival.  Annabelle Scarlett, a beginner who has been ringing for just over a year, rang at her first ever quarter. We stayed open after our practice that weekend and had a few visitors. All being well we shall do the same for the Summer Fayre providing the Church is open.

We are very proud of our contribution to the ‘Ringing Remembers’ and ‘The Battle is Over’ Campaigns. We had 16 ringers ring at each event during the day including the 11am Remembrance; 6 of these were beginners, 3 of which had only been ringing a very short time.

We will continue to try to get a few more of our new ones to ring on a Sunday, although we regularly have 8 bells going.

Sarat White. Tower Captain

Choir

Our Lenten Choral Performance (Good Friday, 30th March) comprised a programme including John Stainer’s The Story of the Cross and Karl Jenkins’ Sacred Songs.

Again, the church has been busy with many weddings (at Lloyd and Anna’s wedding we sang the opening chorus from Vivaldi’s Gloria) and funerals (including Charles Watson’s) for which we have provided music. Stefan Catto has been standing in for Patrick when necessary.

Joint services have occurred with Holy Trinity and St. Andrew’s.

The church has hosted performances during the year, most notably, the Thanet Community Choir

The choir sang at the fifth Christmas Tree Festival with a short concert of Christmas music. The usually busy time of Advent and Christmas was accompanied by very successful musical contributions by the choir at the Carol Service, Midnight Eucharist and Christmas day. The Carol Service introduced new repertoire by Kirby (Jamaican Noel) and Philip Stopford   (Lully, Lulla). Patrick, this year, had time off to spend Christmas with his family in Australia and was capably covered by Stefan.

Our Sunday Praise and Taizé services have developed and grown musically to incorporate other instruments (cello, guitar and ukuleles).

Some members of the choir sang carols at the Care Home in Westgate on Friday 7th December. The choir has acquired new music: Christmas anthems.

Patrick Dunn. Director of Music

Church Cleaning

I hope you all agree that the church is always very well kept and clean. This is due to a small band of helpers who give their time willingly to clean the church both inside and out. Thanks must go to the following:

Sally Wood particularly who cleans any part of the church when needed, and cleans areas when others are away. She also attends to the churchyard from the south door to the road, and keeps the paths clear from leaves and twigs.

Thank you also to Charles Watson (deceased), Hiliary Kendrick, Marjorie Hirst-Cohen, Edwina Baker, Jeanie Kear, Christine Balding, Michael and Elspeth Cooke, for keeping their part of the church clean. We welcome to the team, Richard Hawkins, who has taken over the part of the church Charles used to clean, and Mary Bridges who helps clean the North aisle. Please see Richard or Sally if you think you can give a little time to help. Cleaning can be done any day to suit your schedule, and is very rewarding.

Richard Baker

Community Halls.

Having taken over the reins from Don in May, after his completion of the Main Hall refurbishment, we should offer him our thanks and congratulations for a job well done. My new committee comprise Pauline Osborne, Richard Baker, Gill Page, (Treasurer) Judy Hodgson, John Reid, and Simon Perry (Parish Administrator). One of the first tasks was to set about restructuring the Halls Hire Pricing, in an effort to increase the income, in readiness for January 2019. The Income from the halls is paramount for the Church to be able to afford it’s running expenses, including the Parish Share which is set each year by the Diocese and for 208/19 has been increased by over 3% with a monthly expenditure of just over £7000 PER MONTH!

The Committee made a list of all the jobs that require attention in all three halls and a plan to undertake rectification throughout the year. These include updating the lighting in the three Portland toilets and refurbishing the Gents toilet and painting the floor. Erecting new handrails outside the Main Hall emergency exit, for H&S compliance. Replacing the lighting in the Portland hall with LED fittings. Refitting the ‘Old Office’ in the Portland foyer to accommodate the Bridge Club and increase the hiring cost to them. Replacing the two broken Velux widows in the Mulberry Room and Kitchen. Sanding and re-varnishing the floors in the Portland Hall and Foyer.

Attending to the continuous flushing in the Gents toilet, to reduce water wastage, and repairing one of the curtain runners and window-winder mechanism in the main hall, and several other minor repair jobs throughout the year.

A new budget has been produced by our Treasurer, Gill, to enable us to keep an eye on income and expenditure, which will include a larger contribution towards the Admin Salary and two payments of the Parish Share. 

It is hoped that we may possibly find some more willing helpers to carry out some of the upkeep, repairs and renewals as and when they become necessary, to help reduce our costs; If anybody wants to volunteer their services, please let me or Rev. Jan know so that you can be utilised. 

I would like to thank my committee for their support throughout the year, with special thanks to Simon, who is responsible for all the Hall Bookings (regulars and one-offs), for the way he patiently deals with all their associated queries. I would also like to add David Gale, our cleaner, who is fast becoming our regular handyman, dealing with many of the jobs that would otherwise require calling in a professional, and particular thanks to him, for giving up his days immediately after Christmas to undertake the floor-sanding and varnishing in the Portland Centre, which I think really improves the look of the Portland complex . I feel that both these employees are dedicated to our cause along with the many volunteers who come in through the week to do all sorts of regular office jobs etc. We have a loyal team who keep the Community Halls ‘wheels’ oiled!

Despite all the costs and expenses of the above repairs and upgrades that have been undertaken to keep the halls in good condition, we seem to have finished the year in a fairly healthy financial state, albeit with a little help from the James Gillespie fund!

Roger Waddell. Halls Chair

Fabric

              Much work has been going on behind the scenes to keep our ancient church in good order:

1            Re-plastering of the Lady Chapel wall has been completed, the floor painted, and new chairs have been purchased and are in place.  Thank you to all who have generously sponsored a chair.

2            Permission by way of faculty, was given to remove the sidesmans work station and cupboard and replace it with a cupboard on the right of the south door. This work has been completed.

3            Following the demolition of the pier at the entrance of the churchyard in February 2017, your PCC agreed that we should seek a faculty not to re-build the pier, as it would give more space round the war memorial, and make an easier entrance for  funeral cars.

              This required the Thanet District Council to grant planning permission. Planning  permission was refused on the grounds that it would harm the heritage aspect of the entrance to the churchyard and the pier should be re-built. Our legal team in  London advised us that it was the reponsibility of the council to rebuild the pier, and  representations were made to them. Firstly they have made the base of the old pier safe              (as it was a trip hazard) and secondly they have appointed Clagues to apply for the required permissions from the council. After this a new faculty application will have to  be submitted, when the re-building cost is known, and the council have confirmed they  have the funds.

4            The Garden of Remembrance. A faculty was obtained to do extensive repairs to the  paths and wall, as well as creating a ramp at the entrance, and erecting a new notice board. This work started in November and has just been completed (January 2019).

              Thanks to Don Bumpstead who has managed this project, and continues to work  with David Tate and Heather Wood to make the garden a lovely, peaceful and restful  place.

5            Improvements to the ramp at the South porch have been completed, with a new carpet.

6            The sound system has been overhauled and new microphones purchased.

7            The children’s corner has been re-carpeted.

8            The repair to the Goodson memorial is on hold as funds could not be raised.

9            The quinquennial report was undertaken in June. The report has just been received (18 January 2019).

10         There are ongoing discussions about the restoration of the pre-reformation panels in the flower vestry. Due to other essential work this is on hold at present.

11         The flue to the church boiler has been repaired and re-pointed.

12         The clock hammer in the tower has been repaired. Thank you to the bellringers who  contributed £1,000 towards this repair.

13         New kneelers have been made for the high altar.

14         The path to the west door has been repaired by the Thanet District Council.

15         The committee are discussing plans to re-carpet St John’s chapel, with some  alterations. Also more chairs to be ordered for St John’s and St James’s chapel in  memory of James Gillespie.

In conclusion, with our old church there will always be many repairs needed. We are very lucky to have received a legacy from James Gillespie for the upkeep of the fabric of the buildings, and without this we would have to undertake even more fundraising.

My thanks to the members of the fabric committee, particularly Charles Watson (deceased) who assisted with the completion of the Lady Chapel, and was always willing to help and advise on fabric matters. He will be sorely missed.

In all we have spent £35,620.03 on refurbishments, maintenance, and upgrading.

This is made up of:

£20,016.25 spent on the Garden of Remembrance (funded from fundraising) 

£  5,406.48 upgrading the interior of the church (funded from Friend’s funds),

£ 2,436.84 Lady Chapel chairs (funded from donations)

£ 7,760.46 general maintenance and repairs.

We are very grateful for 3 donations of £1,000 towards the clock hammer repair, the new book cupboard, and the upgrade of the sound system.

Richard Baker. Chair

Flower Arrangers

We have twelve volunteers, usually two people work together for two weeks, except on festivals when most of us come in.

Flowers have become more expensive, so occasionally we include silk flowers to keep the cost down, also most of our arrangers donate flowers.

Diana Taylor

FUND RAISING

The following is a report of the activities of the St. Peter’s Fund Raising committee during 2018.

The original programme organised by the Fund Raising committee consisted of a total of nineteen events during the year 2018. In the event, and for various reasons, four of these events were either cancelled or did not take place. Of the fifteen remaining, six were indoor Boot Fairs, two were ‘Wine and Wisdom’ quiz nights and two were Discos. In addition, there was one ‘Talk and Tea’, a Fashion Show, a Choral Concert, a Summer Fete and a Festive Fayre. The Fund Raising Committee was also involved with, or assisted at, several other Church or Social Committee events plus an ‘Open Gardens’  event.

In April 2018 Hamish McGregor, the long-standing Chairman of the FR Committee, stood down, his place being taken by myself. We owe a great deal to Hamish’s energy and organising ability and it is true to say that the FR Committee would have been far less successful had it not been for his unstinting efforts. I extend my heartfelt personal thanks to Hamish for all his work and for the help which he has extended to me as the new Chairman.

Three long-standing members, Don Bumpstead, Margaret Smith and Jane Green, have left the Committee over the past year, although all three continue to be closely involved with its work and offer invaluable help with events etc. Three new people, Marion Brown, Debbie Sargeant and Martin Sargeant, have joined the Committee during the year and their contributions have been very welcome.

Our Fund Raising efforts suffered somewhat of a blow during 2018 when the Calders’ Disco ceased to function mid-year. This brought about the cancellation of two Disco events, including a ‘Forties Night’ in August which promised to be very successful. This loss inevitably reduced our income for the year and this reduction will continue into 2019. The Calders’ Discos brought in some six hundred pounds per event and filling that gap will not be easy.

I am sure that Robin will have an accurate breakdown of the income brought in by our FR activities 2018, but an estimate which Don produced in January showed our total gross income from all sources to be £24,571, the net figure being £ 17,771. We will have to work very hard to match this total in 2019.

The 2019 programme of events is now well under way and includes Boot Fairs, Quiz Nights (the new name for ‘Wine and Wisdom’), another Fashion Show and a Barn Dance. The Summer Fete and Christmas fair, both organised by Roger Waddell, will also take place as usual. However, we on the Committee have also sought to introduce some new ideas into the ‘mix’ for the year. A ‘Beetle Drive’ took place in February and we have engaged the Railway Swing Band for an event in June, which we hope will be very successful. Work is underway to find other new events in the hope of increasing the FR income over the year.

Roy Brown. Chairman

Lunch Club

Once again, the past year has been a successful one for the Lunch Club, continuing to provide lunches for some 30 diners most Mondays with breaks only for bank holidays, Christmas and during August.

Our diners have enjoyed a first class two-course meal for a very modest sum and this has only been possible because of four teams of voluntary cooks and helpers, and four teams who work in the Hall laying the tables, serving the meals and clearing up afterwards.  Thank you for all your wonderful and tireless efforts throughout the year.  This club could not exist without all of you.

During the year, our diners celebrated Easter and Christmas with a free meal on 9th April and 10th December, the latter complete with all the traditions of that occasion – sherry upon arrival, full roast turkey lunch, crackers, wine, and leaving at the end of a splendid meal with a present.

Mention must also be made of Jane, Gill, Mary and Daniel for their individual and very valuable help throughout the year, and many thanks go to them.

As usual, the club members supported the Kent Air Ambulance charity with a weekly voluntary collection and on the 23rd July presented the charity representative with a cheque for the splendid sum of £615.  Thanks must go to Christine for the work she does in banking this money each week and running the account so efficiently.

Our club is open to anyone aged 60 and over who lives in the village or parish of St. Peter’s and can join us on a regular basis each Monday at 1p.m.  You will be made very welcome.

Doreen Wales, Jane Green

Mission and Worship

The Worship and Mission Committee is a committee of the PCC of St. Peter’s Church. Membership over the year has included, the Rev’d Jan Durrans, June Binfield, (current Chair), Christine Denton, Patrick Dunn, Janet Gee, Daniel Monaghan, Pauline Osborne, John Parsons.  (Sylvia Mills as Church Warden is invited and copied in to agendas and notes). An important part of our meetings has been a prayerful approach.

Last year’s report was written before Easter 2018, so it is good to look back to that time. The Archbishop of Canterbury led a Mission to Thanet, Transformed by Hope, during Holy Week.  Our Church helped welcome 4 members of the Community of St. Anselm who were part of the mission. The Rev’d Jan was very involved and she was interviewed with the Archbishop of Canterbury on Academy FM. Many of us attended some of the events. Many areas of Thanet Life were highlighted. 

We held our usual Holy Week services, including Compline. On Maundy Thursday we shared a Passover meal with our neighbouring Baptist Church followed by The Liturgy of Maundy Thursday in our own Church, with Foot Washing, Eucharist and stripping of the Altars. We held our Act of Witness on Good Friday morning and Rev’d Jan and some others also were part of the Witness in Broadstairs led by the Archbishop. Also on Good Friday we had the opportunity to follow the stations of the Cross and the Choir provided beautiful devotional music to accompany a chance to reflect in the afternoon. Easter Sunday Family Communion was well attended.

On Pentecost Sunday, 2018, we attended a service held at the Elim Pentecostal Church, along with St. Peter’s Baptist Church. This was quite a long service but we agreed that it was good to experience worship in different ways from our own. We are grateful to the Rev’d Jan for her leadership and effort which has greatly strengthened inter Christian relations in our locality.  Dave Cullen, Scout Leader, spoke about scouting at the main service on our Patronal Festival, attended by the uniformed organisations. Liaison with and participation by the Uniformed Organisations over the year is now at a very comfortable level.  

The Thanet Deanery Confirmation Service with Baptism was held in our church in September. There was a large congregation; the hymns, led by the Choir were well sung, the readings and liturgy moving and the Bishop encouraging. It was a joyful and memorable occasion and we were all delighted for our five home grown confirmands.

Also in September, a Civic Service was held and the Rev’d Jan as Chaplain to the Mayor of Broadstairs and St. Peter’s officiated. The Uniformed Organisations came to our Harvest Festival and there was a very full congregation as their families and friends joined our regulars.  At this service the Rev’d Jan blessed our new kneelers. In October, we had a Sunday Praise ‘Sing along Service of Joseph’. In November we had our annual ‘A Time to Remember’ Service. The Uniformed Organisations joined us for the Remembrance Service and in the evening we held a Commemorative Vigil to mark the centenary of the end of the 1st World War and our bells rang out along with those of churches and cathedrals all over the country. The Nine Lessons and Carols was held among the glittering Christmas trees on 16th December. The Uniformed organisations held their Peace Light Service a few days later and many children helped fill Christingle on Christmas Eve. I am sure they enjoyed the growing number of knitted attendees at the crib below the altar. The Midnight Service was very popular as usual and a reasonable number attended on Christmas Day. In January St. Peters was well represented at the Ecumenical Service at Queens Road Baptist Church to mark the week of prayer for Christian unity.

Sunday Praise has provided some happy moments. The worship is imaginative and is definitely something we are doing well. The screen has been helpful and different musical experiences have recently included some ukuleles. A Sunday Praise where people moved around the Church building learning about each space but then realising that the church is the people was very enjoyable. Numbers of all ages are up and many stay behind to chat at the end. Some are children and with these services, the uniformed organisations, school services, Christingle, baptisms and weddings and the use of the children’s corner in main services, our church welcomes children more than many realise.

All our services have regular dependable congregations and numbers at both the 9.30 am and Sunday Praise are edging upwards. The Eight o’clock Service is steady and the Wednesday morning Service has seen numbers edging up. The Choir sing Evensong on the second and last Sunday of the Month; the numbers attending continue to be disappointing. Worship has been helped by an improved sound system.

At the time of writing we are looking forward to a very special 9.30 am Service on the 17th March when The Archdeacon of Canterbury will install the Rev’d Jan as our vicar. We are making preparations for Lent, Holy Week and Easter Worship. Music has continued to be a very important part of our worship. Patrick Dunn has increased participation by others in playing music in our church. We are very grateful to Patrick and the Choir. When reviewing our worship this year, our committee and the PCC wish to record our enormous gratitude to John Cox as he has now relinquished his preaching. We appreciate the many other ways in which he continues to help us all. He was made a Reader Emeritus in Canterbury Cathedral as a recognition of his service.

 Mission as mentioned above was encouraged during Holy Week by the Archbishop of Canterbury. As part of our regular mission, we collect and give to the food bank every week. This regular giving is much appreciated. From November to March we support the Thanet Winter Shelter by donating gifts such as socks, hats, scarves, gloves and many other things. The support from our congregation has been wonderful and those homeless who are being helped benefit from your generosity. Each year a few manage to progress to moving into a hostel place and even to finding a job. The hot meals, washing facilities and a bed for the night as well as being treated with respect are life lines for those who are able to come to the Shelter.  The Shelter provides some medical care.

A number of our services have collections which go to charity. Our Christingle service collection went to help the Children’s Society. Elspeth Cooke helps raise awareness of Christian Aid week in our worship and encourages our giving which is very well supported with donations and plant sales. We respond to disasters overseas with a bucket collection. We keep in touch with Sr. Lynne Bones of the Church Army, who now has the considerable task of being a lone worker in Mission in the Thanet Deanery as funding is not now available for a replacement for her husband Peter, who since he has been ordained, has joined the St. Laurence Team.  Lynne is working with vulnerable secondary age children in Margate as well as running an all age children’s prayer group. We also hear plans for a 20/20 non-denominational mission for Thanet.

We co-operate with our fellow Christian Churches in St. Peter’s in a number of ways, including some holiday projects for children. Some of our church members help with Ignite in Ramsgate. Part of our mission is our outreach to the local community.

The Rev’d Jan is a governor at St. George’s School and one of our PCC is a Governor at St. Peter’s School. Our fundraising, Summer and Autumn Fairs, Sprats, lunch club and community hall events help link with the local community. The Bell Ringers have offered taster sessions, a visit local gardens event was a great success, church watch has kept the church open during the week and the Christmas Tree Festival brings many into the Church. Banners and notices as well as events all help raise awareness of our Christian presence. Among many things that she does locally, the Rev’d Jan’s role as mayor’s Chaplain has also raised our profile in the community.

There is much to give thanks for in our worship, mission and church life but we need to keep up our efforts to respond to the needs of the local community, the serious problems confronting our society and the needs of many abroad, including those persecuted for their Christian beliefs.

June Binfield. Chair

Monday @ 7

We have 33 members, and 3 Honorary members.  This past year Jean French has died, and also, of course our Chairman, Charles Watson, who will be very sadly missed.

We enjoyed a good variety of social events in the past year, including meals out,  visits to gardens, and some interesting talks.  We have a full programme planned for 2019.

We are always looking to welcome new members, so if anyone is interested, please contact me, Marion Brown, Secretary on  Tel: 604524

Marion Brown. Secretary

Monday Home Group

From a group at present of 10 people, on average about 8 of us have met on 35 Monday afternoons over the past year – we tend not to meet over holidays.  We meet at the home of Elspeth & Michael Cooke in Dumpton Park Drive, forming thereby a ‘fellowship outpost’ at one of the extremities of the parish.

Our normal pattern is to spend about an hour reflecting on the Bible passages set for the previous day at St Peter’s main service – inevitably we find there’s far more to be savoured (or queried!) in the readings than is possible in a normal church service.  But in Lent we followed the series of 15-minute videos “Tales from the Madhouse”, published by the Bible Society and the BBC, and relating to some of the people who encounter Jesus during Holy Week.  In Advent we reflected though Art, Music and Word on three of the Advent themes: John the Baptist, Mary, and Emmanuel. 

On all occasions we then take a break for a short period of silence (maybe allowing God to get a different word in?), followed by tea and biscuits (or sometimes cake) – an occasion for catching up on news.  We are a very diverse group in terms of tradition and involvement in church activities, and we are highly tolerant of each other’s different views (and Bible versions!) – and indeed at every meeting there will always have been more than one occasion for laughter.  We are of course very open too for anyone else to join us – they (you?) would be most welcome!  For more details do phone 863293.

Michael & Elspeth Cooke.

Servers

I would personally like to thank all the servers for their help and support with the 10am Service on Wednesdays, the 8.00am and 9.30 Service on Sunday. Plus the various High Days and Special Services throughout the Church’s year.                                                                                                     

I am grateful to the various Choir Members, and to retired server, Jan Gee, who help out in times of need at the 9.30 service.

Because we are only a small team, we would really appreciate it if members of the congregation would consider stepping forward to become Servers. Full training will be given and the work is routine, rather than physical.  Please have a word with any of the Servers or Rev. Jan, if you feel you could help. Thank you.

Gill Horne. Sacristan

Social Committee

2018 was a busy year for the Social Committee. It started in January with a Twelfth Night Party attended by 46 guests.

In February and May we assisted the Fund Raising Committee in producing a ‘Tea and Talk’

In March we had the Lent lecture after which soup and rolls were served. On Good Friday a service was held on the village green and attended by members of the other churches in St Peters. After this, hot cross buns and coffee were served.

At the beginning of June the village was busy with the Open Gardens afternoon. No one knew quite what to expect but the weather was fine and plenty of people visited the gardens. Tea and cakes were provided at the vicarage at the end of the safari and the team in the vicarage kitchen could hardly keep up with the number of visitors and we ran out of cakes!

In September St Peters hosted the Deanery confirmation service. After the service the congregation was treated to Prosecco and a large variety of cakes and pastries.

At the end of the month we celebrated Harvest Festival and 45 people enjoyed Harvest Supper and entertainment.

At the beginning of November, the annual ‘Time to Remember ‘ service was held in the evening. This year, for the first time, the congregation was invited to stay for coffee or tea and cake.

Again in December, there was a Christmas Tree Festival in church at which mulled wine and mince pies were served on Friday evening and in the interval for the Gospel Choir concert on the Saturday.

I should like to thank everyone who helped in any way to make these events a success and hope we can make 2019 as successful.

Sylvia Mills. Chair

Sprats

Sprats continues to thrive, welcoming new families through the door every week. We are proud to welcome an increasing number of children with special needs which we endeavour to accommodate.

Joan, Val and Daniel continue their valuable support in the running of the twice-weekly group. Both Joan and Val have made lovely relationships with our carers, making their chosen drink before they come through the door!

We are also proud of the fact that Sprats isn’t exclusive to ‘Mums’. We have a group of Grandads who have formed a friendship group and meet up during the week whilst on their grand-parenting duties.

We supported the Shoebox Appeal and continue to raise money for the Special Care Baby Unit. We also introduced a new-born – 2 years clothes swap for families who wanted/needed to use this facility.

All in all, Sprats is still a wonderful asset to the community, providing positivity, fun, laughter, friendship and support.

Andrea Jones. Leader

Treasurer’s Report

Managing the church’s finances remains akin to trying to run up an escalator the wrong way – with luck, one gets there in the end but it’s extremely difficult.

On the income side, the year has seen the sad passing of some of our generous benefactors which had an effect on our income, especially where there was Gift Aid involved. The ‘envelope’ collections are down but, interestingly, the monthly Standing Order credits are up by about the same figure which is encouraging.

I would urge parishioners to consider the monthly Standing Order scheme which is so easy and, if coupled with Gift Aid adds an extra 25p for every pound given – in total, in excess of £16,000 last year.

The monthly magazine continues to generate a good income and many subscribers when renewing their subs so often include a generous donation as well.

Now that our fundraising for the Tower, Halls’ refurbishment and works in the Garden of Remembrance has achieved its aims, we will now direct our fundraising efforts towards the church as a whole and this will turn out to be our salvation.

Our expenditure continues to rise relentlessly – the Parish Share was raised by 3½% – now standing at £84,531 each year, equivalent to £231.60 EACH DAY. It really is a constant burden but we are determined to maintain this payment although some neighbouring churches can’t achieve this.

Last year we came to the end of our fixed contracts for gas and electricity and, on renewal (after much negotiation) we were faced with an increase of 30% for gas and 21% for electricity. We do our best to keep the church as warm as possible but do bear with us if, on very cold days, it doesn’t seem as warm as we’d like!

In respect of the Parish Share and utility bills, we remain dependent on – and appreciative of – the support given by the halls which pay for the church gas and one, if not two, payments of Parish Share. Their financial well-being is critical to St Peter’s.

Lastly, may I record my appreciation of the support and guidance offered to me throughout the year by our revered Vicar and too, the members of the Finance committee with whom it’s good to share ideas and concerns enabling us to ensure that the church remains a viable entity.

For a variety of reasons, I do believe that St Peter’s is beginning to gain in strength, both financially and numbers-wise and it remains everyone’s hope that we can build on this to enable us to reach out to the wider community in which we live. I never cease to be amazed at the sheer volume of people who work ‘behind the scenes’ in every corner of the church ensuring that our beautiful church is kept in such glorious order.

Robin Page. Treasurer

Wednesday Home Group

2018 was a very up and down year for the Wednesday Home Group. Back at the beginning we had the great benefit of the leadership of Ron Frost, but sadly – no longer. And then not that long afterwards we had the sad loss of Geoff Love who had been our co-host for so many years. And this of course made it very difficult for Barbara, who nevertheless kept her hospitality flowing. And then right at the end of the year there was the sad loss of Charles Watson who had been helping greatly as Group leader from time to time. All three had made such great contributions to the success of the group over the years.

We did manage the 2018 Lent home study programme but found this less helpful than in previous years. So much so that we decided to try an alternative course for the recent Advent Group, but again other events got in the way and we had to shorten the course without a lot of success.

We are trying to make some changes for 2019 which hopefully will prove successful and popular. We are still meeting at St Leu with the kind hospitality of Barbara helped by Caroline and Gill. We are now meeting at 2.30pm on the first Wednesday day of each month rather than weekly but we will go back to weekly meetings for both Lent and Advent when the time comes. A few new members would be very welcome.

Starting in January we now enjoy new leadership from June Binfield. Look out for details in the monthly parish magazine and join with me in giving June every support.

John Cox

Women’s Group

The group has 37 paid-up members and 9 guests, 2 of whom have now joined. The raffle is a source of additional income and acts as a financial cushion. We are a small group affiliated to the church and feel that the speakers and evenings are popular. There have been no complaints but, as both Chair and Secretary, I am mindful that rising costs may curtail our choice of visiting speakers and more in-house activity may be necessary.

We have an annual meal together and try to include at least one or two visits a year. A local charity is nominated and supported: a Silent Auction was held in March and raised £140 which was given to the Cheerful Sparrows (an endangered species!) at our meal at the Racing Greyhound.  

One very successful evening was a talk by Melanie Gibson Barton on Edith Cavell. I particularly found the visit to Lovelys in Cliftonville showcased a thriving local business. In September ex-CSI Metropolitan policeman, Jack Deans, gave us a fascinating insight into the meticulous works required when collecting evidence at a crime scene. Another interesting topic was explored by Dr Charlesworth in ‘A World of Lavender’ and Derrydown Farm, near Tonbridge, is certainly worth a visit.

We ended our year with a seasonal fun, frolics and refreshments session which provided much merriment and plenty of chatting – always popular!

I sincerely hope that the group will continue to flourish for the foreseeable future.

Gill Lovelock