THE PAROCHIAL CHURCH COUNCIL OF THE
ECCLESIASTICAL PARISH OF ST PETER-IN-THANET
PCC ANNUAL REPORT FOR THE YEAR ENDED 31 DECEMBER 2017
The PCC is very aware of the hard work and effort that goes in to maintaining our worship and outreach here at St Peter in Thanet. This report provides the opportunity to say “thank you’’ to all the organisations and volunteers for their continuing commitment and help, which is greatly valued.
Church life at St Peter’s continues to flourish, but this could not take place without the commitment of so many people. I would like to express my personal thanks to the following people: The Churchwardens, the assistant Churchwardens, 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 and the churchyard working parties. 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 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 has been invaluable.
As part of the Broadstairs Group of Churches, with St Andrews 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 have continued to meet separately offering mutual support to one another. During Lent, we participated in the Broadstairs Group of Churches Lent Lectures followed by a soup lunch, provided by the social committee. At St Peter’s we welcomed Domenica Pecoraro – Diocesan Refugee Project Officer – who gave an interesting talk about the refugee crisis in the south east.
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. During the year Andrew Jacobsen our Rural Dean resigned; Richard Braddy took over on an interim basis.
Links have been strengthened within the St Peters churches. A joint service led by Elim Oasis, Baptist, Anglican, Kairos and Beaconsfield churches took place on 4th June (Pentecost) at St Peter’s Baptist Church. This service, at which our choir sang, was embraced by all denominations, was warmly received and considered very successful.
We also jointly led a Good Friday Walk of Witness in St Peters. This was followed by hot cross buns and coffee and was attended by over 100 from the local community.
With the arrival of Maggie Paddison (at St Peters Baptist Church, as Ministry Support and Schools Development Worker), Messy Church took place on the 4th October and then again during October half term. This was attended by over 100 children (plus adults), and was supported by all of the St Peters Churches. Members of our congregation also helped out with Easter Cracked and Christmas Unwrapped held for year 6 children from St Peters and Bromstone schools (in St Peters Baptist Church).
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 Peters Tide, Harvest Festival, and Remembrance Sunday. They also decorated Christmas Trees in the Christmas Tree Festival and helped out at the Summer Fete
I served on the Governing Body of both St Georges and St Peters schools until the middle of the year, when I made the very difficult decision to step down from being Governor of St Peters School. I am still involved with the school, leading assembles twice a term and going in to talk with the children. School services will continue to be held in St Peters church as it is vital that both school and church recognise the importance of our historic links.
At Georges School I was appointed chair of the Christian Ethos Monitoring Committee and so take responsibility for ensuring that the very distinctive Christian Ethos is maintained at the school. I now lead and monitor school assembly in the primary school once a term.
St Georges School held their St Georges Day Service in church in April and along with Dane Court and St Peters held their Christmas services in church this year.
In church, our Sunday services continue to be well attended, but where numbers attending the 8am congregation have fallen slightly, we have experienced an increase in people attending the Wednesday morning Holy Communion service. Numbers attending Evensong have fluctuated so we will need to look at this next year.
On the second Sunday of the month we continued to hold our Sunday Praise Service. This is a more relaxed and informal style of worship, which although popular with many of the congregation, has not yet managed to attract the youngsters, I had hoped for. During these services we have celebrated Lent, Palm Sunday, Christian Aid Week, Sea Sunday, The Jewish Sabbath, Education Sunday and a Pet and Teddy Bear Service.
Throughout Lent, Holy Week and Easter, a variety of services and worship took place. The two home groups led different Lent Courses which were well attended, and the Broadstairs Group held the usual Lent Lunches.
Palm Sunday coincided with Sunday Praise so we incorporated our Palm Sunday procession with a Passion Narrative written and directed by Patrick Dunn.
Throughout Holy Week an evening service of Compline was held each evening in St John’s Chapel; foot washing and stripping the church was carried out on Maundy Thursday and on Good Friday we held a joint Walk of Witness with the St Peters churches. I was delighted to be joined and helped by The Rev’d Peter Attwood (retired priest from Somerset), and following the walk of witness, we led The Stations of the Cross together (in church) then led 2 hours of Bible readings, music and meditation.
Our Time to Remember Service took place on the 5th 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.
On Armistice Day, a service was held in the Churchyard attended by over 100 people, this was followed the next day by our annual Service of Remembrance where we had an excellent turnout from the uniformed organisations.
The Christmas Tree Festival, held on the second weekend of December was another successful event with around 30
trees decorated and sponsored by local organisations and businesses. This festival continues to attract many local residents who may not usually come to church. We were entertained by our local school’s children, St Peters Players, David Lammler, our church choir and Thanet Gospel Choir.
On the Sunday morning, the choir and Sunday club (under the direction of Patrick Dunn and Christine Denton) performed a Nativity Drama which (so that we could make use of our new screen and projector) took place in the Church halls. Sadly, because of the inclement weather, numbers were down on last year.
The combined Christingle and Nativity Service was again very popular this year, taking place at 4pm on Christmas Eve. This attracted many local families, many of whom only come once a year to this service.
Christine Denton and her team continued to provide a variety of activities for children on a Sunday morning, but in September, due to the declining numbers attending Sunday School, Christine stepped down as Sunday School Leader. My thanks go to her and Joan Fuller for the many years they have given to this church working with our youngsters and I am delighted that Christine continues to help in organising our Sunday Praise Services.
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 and Geoff 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.
At the beginning of the year we were delighted to welcome the Bishop of Dover, the Rt Rev’d Trevor Willmott as he came to bless our newly restored Church Tower. This was the culmination of many years of hard work and dedication of so many people, to whom we all should be very grateful.
Other work also continued on the maintenance of the church building, including the re-ordering in the Lady Chapel which is still ongoing, the never ending small and large repairs and maintenance needed to keep our beautiful, ancient church in good repair, and my thanks go to Richard Baker and the fabric committee for their ongoing work.
In the churchyard considerable work has been done to ensure the Garden of Remembrance continues to be a place of tranquillity and solace to the many who visit. Thanks go to Don Bumpstead for the work he has done in keeping it look so beautiful and to the newly formed Garden of Remembrance Committee as we continue to make decisions which will take us in to the future.
The halls have once again continued to be well used by the local community and thanks go to Don Bumpstead and the halls committee for the work they do in maintaining the buildings, and to Simon for managing the increase in number of bookings. Work began in August to refurbish the main hall, kitchen and toilets and my grateful thanks go to Don for the hard work he has put in over seeing these works – which have not always been straightforward. Although the work is still ongoing we can already see the enormous difference this refurbishment has made to those hiring our community halls. Income from the halls provided much needed funds towards both the running of the church and enabled us to continue to pay our full Parish share.
Throughout the year, the fundraising committee, co-ordinated by Hamish McGregor, continued to put on a wide and interesting range of events. The Committee ran 15 events, raising £14,611.90. These events included a wine & wisdom evening, musical evenings, indoor boot sales, with the summer fete in July and our Christmas fayre again being a huge success, providing a great opportunity to reach out to the local community, whilst raising much needed funds for the church. My thanks go to Hamish for the incredible amount of hard work he has done as chair of the FR Committee.
Being aware that our finances were not in great shape, a Gift and Stewardship Day was held in church at the end of September. Inviting all our parishioners, congregation, and anyone who has used our church in the past, this was a great opportunity to welcome people back to church, highlight the importance St Peters plays in the local community and raise much needed funds for the church.
The pastoral visiting team is now up and running and my grateful thanks go to all of them for the considerable amount of time they give visiting the sick, elderly, and the lonely. In a parish of this size it is just not practical or possible for me to visit all those identified as needing a visit, so the time they give helps me enormously.
During 2017 we lost many valued members of the parish. These include Myrtle Alexander, John Carter- Chapman, Paddy Earp, Rev’d Ron Frost, Michael Kingham, Michael Knill, Derek Philip, Fred Shutler, Joyce Stansfield, Beryl Wager, and Manana Watson, all of whom have contributed so much to the life and worship of this church over many years. They will all be greatly missed.
2017 has been a very busy but enjoyable year. The finances are more stable, pastoral visiting is being carried out, we are reaching out to our local community through fundraising and working with the local churches. We have again supported
Thanet Winter Shelter with very generous donations of specifically requested items and continue to make weekly donations of food to the Thanet Food Bank.
However, there is still much to be done especially in trying to attract young families to our congregation, but with the help and grace of God I truly believe we can achieve this so that our parish is sustainable for future generations.
Rev’d Janet Durrans
Priest in Charge and Chair of PCC.
PCC Secretary’s Report
The membership of the Parochial Church Council (PCC) consists of the Priest in Charge, as Chair, two Churchwardens together with representatives elected from the Church congregation as well as co-opted and 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.
Since April 2017, the PCC has reduced in number owing to the resignation of Charles Watson, an ex Officio member. The Rev Jan Durrans, as Chair, and the PCC as a whole offered their grateful thanks to Charles for all his service, both past and continuing, to St Peter’s Church. Fortunately for us, Charles has continued to play an active role in the congregation.
The full PCC meets every two months, alternating with the Standing Committee. The PCC has met six times during the period from April 2017 to April 2018. Attendance at the PCC has averaged 96% annually.
The members of the PCC are members of the congregation and, in many instances, members of the sub-committees which are responsible for specific aspects of Church business. The PCC includes representatives from committees responsible for the Halls, Finance, Fabric, Goods and Ornaments, Mission and Worship, Social Activities, Bell ringing and Fundraising. The representatives to the Deanery Synod are also members of the PCC.
All members have produced annual reports which record their activities over the past twelve months, which have been discussed and sanctioned by the PCC. The Rev Jan Durrans, as the Priest in Charge has chaired the PCC and has set the Agenda for all meetings.
Following the successful church tower project, one vital focus for the PCC has been on working to improve the financial standing of the church. The work of the PCC, together with all the other church committees, in organising events and initiatives has enabled us not only to meet all our financial obligations but also to pay for the extensive refurbishment of the halls. Planning for future fundraising to pay for work on the Garden of Remembrance and the church interior is already on-going. A sub-committee of the PCC organised a very successful Gift Day in September 2017.
Fundraising is thriving, although more volunteers are always required. In particular, thanks are due to all those who support the events and the excellent catering by Sylvia Mills and her team.
There is no doubt that the PCC has continued to be vital in maintaining the role of St Peter 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. We anticipate with confidence that the challenges of the coming year will continue to be met by working together with each other and the wider community.
Report on Fabric, Good and Ornaments
We are very grateful to Charles Watson for all the work he has done organising and supervising repairs to the building and fabric for the past five years while he has been Chairman of the Fabric Committee. Richard Baker has now taken on the onerous duties associated with being Chairman of the Fabric Committee. Charles has continued to oversee the work to do with the Lady Chapel wall which remained damp in patches but continued to dry out during the summer and in February 2018 it was finally possible to re-plaster it. During the year, the temporary licence for removing the pews in the Lady Chapel became permanent so that the remaining pew could be removed. New chairs have been ordered at a cost of £100 each and the money for these has been donated by individual sponsors in memory of loved ones and we are at present awaiting delivery. It is proposed to remove the sidesmen’s station and to build a new cupboard to the right of the south door in which the hymn and service books can be kept, using the wood of the redundant pews.
A faculty has been applied for but we are still awaiting permission not to rebuild the brick pier which was demolished by a car in February 2017. The PCC had decided that the entrance looked more welcoming and open, also apart from making it easier for funeral cars to drive up to the South door, the War Memorial is now given more prominence and this matter is ongoing. We are also still awaiting work to be done by the Council on the footpath to the west door which is very uneven and broken.
Following the clearing of the Garden of Remembrance, Nobles offered to supply and insert sunken vases which can be requested from them by the relatives of the deceased. A churchyard committee has been set up and it is proposed to repair the pathways and entrance to make it wheelchair friendly and also to improve the general appearance. The wall on the south side has been repaired.
We are very grateful to Don Bumpstead for all the work he does, and has done for many years, in the Garden of Remembrance and also to Heather Wood, who spends several hours a month removing dead flowers etc and trimming the grass around the tablets. Broadstairs and St. Peter’s Town Council have undertaken to cover the cost of £1670 to renovate the Goodson Memorial in the Churchyard. The Friends of St. Peter’s Churchyard do a great deal of work at monthly working parties to keep the churchyard tidy and we are very grateful for everything they do, despite the fact that this group is not as large as it once was.
It has not yet been possible to reinstate the broadband facility in the church, which would enable weddings and funerals to be relayed to those unable to attend, which is a pity but efforts are still being made to reinstate this. A new clock hammer is to be installed very soon so that the clock chimes will be improved. We are very grateful to Mary Bridges for all the efforts she has made to find a firm willing to do this work.
The Inventory of Goods and Ornaments owned and held within the church has been checked and updated.
Pauline Osborne Trevor Hogben
Deanery Synod Report
St. Peter’s Church is represented in the Thanet Deanery by two lay members, Kate McGregor and June Binfield. The Deanery Synod meets several times a year. The Deanery seeks to develop a long term plan for our mission and ministry across the deanery in collaboration with the diocese; manages aspects of the collection and distribution of money across the deanery; encourages partnership between and across parishes where appropriate to our overall mission; acts as a means of communication between the diocese and the parishes and offers fora of consultation on wider issues affecting the church. The Deanery Synod is concerned with encouraging all its churches in renewal, mission and meeting the needs of our local communities
The Dream Team is a Deanery Project, which was launched in May 2016. It is led by Captain Peter Bone and Sister Lynne Bone of the Church Army. They are helping our churches to discover their dreams and support one another in strengthening our faith, developing our mission and responding to the needs of the Thanet Community. Lynne has encouraged a group of children who meet fortnightly as Prayer Warriors. There is also a weekly prayer group which prays for the Deanery and its churches. Several evening meetings over the year have enabled mutual support and the opportunity to hear from local charities about their work. A recent project is YAHWEH which has been started to provide an afternoon’s support to the elderly who are lonely and isolated by providing companionship, refreshments and the chance to discuss spiritual matters. Some churches in the Deanery are supporting an evangelistic event to be held in Gillingham in June 2018. In the summer 2017 a Prayer Space was provided at Westwood Cross which was successful and it is hoped to have this again in 2018.
The Deanery has also supported the Thanet Winter Shelter, now in its second year. Church halls have been used on a rota basis and have sheltered 20 -25 homeless from November to the end of February. Beds, hot meals, washing facilities and suitable clothing were supplied, as well as making available some health and life style advice. St. Peter’s responded very generously by giving practical gifts every Sunday. Thanet Council, Porchlight and other Charities, the Police and the Salvation Army were all involved.
At the June meeting appointments of Lay Chair, Treasurer, Secretary and other members of the MMC. were made for the coming 3 years and Archdeacon Jo Kelly-Moore spoke on Diocesan Mission. In October, the synod devoted the meeting to prayer and sadly this was not very well attended. The March meeting will be focused on plans for Mission in preparation for the Deanery Holy Week Mission, Transformed by Hope, when the Community of St. Anselm will be visiting our Deanery. This meeting will also approve the Deanery Annual Accounts. The Deanery administers the setting and collection of the Parish share, which goes to the Diocese to cover the cost of our clergy, clergy pensions, training, children, schools and young people and a number of other areas.
June Binfield. Kate McGregor. Deanery Synod Representatives
I succeeded Mary Bridges as Captain in September 2017, I take this opportunity to thank Mary for all time effort and concern she gave as Captain and still does as our representative on the PCC. During 2017 we acquired quite a few beginners who are coming as regularly as they can. All are doing extremely well and you may even have seen some of them ringing with us on a Sunday morning. I am very much hoping to get them to join the Canterbury district ringing association at the April meeting at St John’s Margate. I have been running an extra practice on most Saturday mornings for an hour aimed at helping our beginners progress as quickly as possible. We have also started visiting St Laurence Ramsgate once a month for their muffled practices.
A total of 4 quarter peals were rung during 2017:- The Inauguration of the Tower and Bells; Petertide Flower Festival and Fete also in remembrance of Reg Foreman, Adrian Nicholls and Paddy Earp; Mr and Mrs Bridges’ Golden Wedding also the births of Sue Cook’s and Felicity Lewis’ grandchildren; finally the Christmas Tree Festival.
We rang our first quarter peal for 2018 on Saturday 17th February, which we rang as a Birthday compliment to Rev Jan, Sue Bones and Felicity Lewis; it was also Jane Green’s first quarter.
Felicity Lewis is going to take a ringing course to enable her to help with teaching new ringers which we hope to continue to attract.
We have a number of experienced ringers from other towers who visit us regularly on Monday evenings for whom we are greatly indebted to for their help and guidance.
Sarat White. Tower captain
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, Hiliary Kendrick, Marjorie Hirst-Cohen, Edwina Baker, Jeanie Kear, Christine Balding, Michael and Elspeth Cooke, for keeping their part of the church clean. We would welcome anyone who can spare an hour or so to help. Please see Richard or Sally if you think you can give a little time to keep our church spick and span. Cleaning can be done any day to suit your schedule and is very rewarding.
Community Halls Committee
The Committee which oversees the Community Halls for you comprised: – Don Bumpstead (Chair/Mins), Simon Perry (Admin), Richard Baker (Finance), Jean Hawkswood (Contents/cleanliness), Alan Smith, Roger Waddell plus ex officio Pauline Osborne(CW), Trevor Hogben(CW) and Rev’d Jan Durrans. We met 6 times over the last 12 months. John Reid joined us in Nov and Jean Hawkeswood left us in Dec and was replaced by Judy Hodgson (Lunch Club).
May I thank everyone involved for all their help, endeavours and support in running the Community Halls and the various facilities.
Lettings– Simon’s excellent relationship with the Hirers and Administration continues. So, lettings have held up well throughout the year despite the building work. Voids are very few and we often have to turn down bookings because we cannot fit them in. “One off” parties are very popular at the moment. The electronic equipment is being used by a few hirers – we are hoping for more in the future. Roger Waddell has kindly overseen this aspect of the Hall improvements and has produced comprehensive instructions – special thanks to him for this work. Fees for 2018 have been increased by around 3/5%.
Finance – Income over the year was slightly down at £53k (2016 – 55k) due to the August closure of the Main Hall (see below) but after paying £11,251 for a gas boiler and Church items £11,481 (Gas£4,808 & Parish Share £6,673) we made a small loss of £1,192. Reserves/balances remain at around £50k
Health & Safety – Statutory requirements are up to date. The overall H & S policy is to be reviewed again shortly including the Halls fire precautions.
Modernisation – Work finally started on this project in early August with the Hall (ceiling, equipment, curtains, & redecoration) and Kitchen (renewed entirely – including a commercially compliant gas cooker and extractor) being the first. Delays were experienced from the outset and have plagued the project throughout. Next was the disabled, gents and ladies toilets & office. Contractors are currently working on the understage area which they expect to finish shortly and then move on to the cloak room and foyer. There are still very long snagging lists which include the long-awaited heater/air con in the kitchen. We hope you agree that with what has been done so far there has been a great improvement.
Our regular Hirers who have been inconvenienced with all this have been very cooperative. The few complaints have been dealt with satisfactorily.
The total cost of the work £120k is being met by Fund Raising -£70k, James Gillespie legacy – £35k and £15k Garfield Weston Grant (finally achieved after many attempts by Richard Baker). We also received 1.9k from the Coop and 2.00k from Tesco’s. Many thanks to all who helped us achieve these amounts. So far, we are within budget.
You will no doubt know by now I am giving up the Chair in April. I would like to say that despite the difficulties I have enjoyed the challenge of being Chairman of the Halls over the last 3 years. However, with the building work & boiler as well it has been a very demanding job, time consuming and frustrating (workmen!!) I need to have some time away so I wish whoever takes over the position all the very best – you certainly will have a great team to support you.
Don Bumpstead. Chairman
Director of Music
Our Lenten Chorale Performance (Tuesday 28th March) comprised a programme including Vivaldi’s Gloria. St. Peter’s choir were joined by the choirs of Dane Court Grammar School and other members of the church community. Our soprano soloist was Bridget Tizzard. The concert raised funds for the church.
Again, the church has been busy with many weddings and funerals for which we have provided music. Stefan Catto has been standing in for Patrick when necessary.
On Sunday 4th June we joined the congregation of St. Peter’s Baptist Church when our choir sang a harmonised version of Be still, for the presence of the Lord. Other joint services have occurred with Holy Trinity and St. Andrew’s.
Gift Day (Saturday 23rd September) featured organ music and hymn-singing.
The church has hosted a number of performances during the year, most notably, the spectacular Verdi’s Requiem with The Merry Opera Company.
The choir sang at the fourth 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 choir has recently acquired new music: some new anthems for Christmas and Karl Jenkins’ Sacred Songs. Patrick has also published a collection of his own choral compositions.
Patrick Dunn. Director of Music
Much work has been going on behind the scenes to keep our ancient church up to scratch as follows:
1 Work on the gully repair external to the Lady Chapel has been completed.
2 Re-plastering of the Lady Chapel wall is presently being undertaken. Following on from this the floor will be painted, and new chairs have been ordered. Thank you to all who have generously sponsored a chair.
3 Permission is being sought to remove the sidesmans work station and cupboard and replace it with a cupboard on the right of the south door. Detailed drawings of the cupboard and a cost estimate are awaited to complete the Faculty application.
4 Following the demolition of the pier at the entrance of the churchyard, meetings have been held with the Thanet District Council to discuss how best to rectify the damage. 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. We are awaiting the Diocese decision.
5 The Garden of Remembrance needs much work – levelling paths, repairing the boundry wall, and various work to make it more disabled friendly. Again an application is with the Diocese for consideration, and we await their response.
6 Following the demolition of the gate pier, new posts have been erected for banners advertising our special services.
7 One of the clock hammers has become detached, and quotations for this repair are awaited.
8 The repair to the pathway outside the west porch is being undertaken by Thanet District Council (at no cost to ourselves), when permission is received from the Diocese.
9 Negotiations continue about the church broadband equipment. A new company has agreed to take over the equipment, but we await the Commissary General agreement.
10 Improvements to the ramp at the South porch are being considered.
11 A request has been received to repair the Goodson memorial. This is ongoing and a faculty will be necessary.
12 We are presently updating our fire and health and safety policy for both the church and halls.
In conclusion, with our old church there will always be many repairs needed. In 2018 a quinquennial report is due, which will I expect, highlight other matters needing attention. The new on-line faculty application is time consuming, and not straight forward, and decisions take a long time. My thanks to the members of the fabric committee, particularly Charles Watson who is completing the work on the Lady Chapel, Peter Saunders our secretary, and Sally Wood for her work on the new chairs in the Lady Chapel, and all the work she does to keep the front of our churchyard tidy. I would also like to express our grateful thanks to Gordon Warner for his work for the Church over many years, as he steps down from our committee.
Richard Baker. Chair Fabric Committee
This is my eighteenth year organising the flowers at St. Peters, with a willing group of twelve people.
We work a rota, usually in pairs, two weeks at a time, with all those that can, helping at festivals.
Last year several members worked hard to make the Church look attractive for the St. Peters fair.
We try to keep the cost down by supplementing some fresh flowers with artificial mixed in, I don’t
think many people notice. We have a meeting, always on Shrove Tuesday to plan the following years rota.
Fundraising at St Peter’s
Background. The Fundraising (FR) committee was set up in late 2013, mainly to raise urgent funds to save the 15th Century Tower which needed urgent attention. However as both the interior of the Church required refurbishment (e.g. the heating) and the much-used three Community halls also needed to be updated, a combined appeal was formally launched to local businesses and dignitaries in April 2014. An all-purpose Appeal flyer was produced and later updated to reflect the three stages of our Appeal:
ü Stage 1-Saving the Tower.
- Stage 2-St Peter’s Community Halls and the Garden of Remembrance.
- Stage3-The Church Interior.
Fundraising Method. Because donors in the area are few and grants from charities are equally sparse, it was recognised that the only way to raise funds is to run a series of events. These were designed to attract the widest possible sectors of the local community, while at the same time offering our own congregation a good choice of affordable and enjoyable entertainment. Events (on average about one a month) have therefore taken place both in the Church and the Community Halls and have been attended by a large number of the local public and even holiday-makers. This has undoubtedly widened the Church’s outreach and appeal to all ages, as well as earning vitally needed funds at about £15-17,000 per year.
ü Stage 1: With the help of the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), local charitable funds and some donations, Stage 1 was completed in 2016 and so FR priority was switched to
- Stage 2: To refurbish the rather ‘tired’ Community Halls and refurbish and repair the Garden of Remembrance to support the bereaved. The former has been achieved.
Funds. The balance in FR account, as at mid-Feb 2018, stood at £9,203.91 when the total raised, including a £10,000 grant for the bells, is £146,436, thus nearly £136,000 has already been dispersed. Costs are shown in the annual accounts as over £2,000. Apart from printing, these relate almost exclusively to hall hire charges, which we pay (at the charity rate) and also a proportion of the Parish Support Assistant’s salary for the work he does to support FR.
Innovations since last year: Re-design and increased use of website, use of Facebook, BACS facility for paying for tickets, increased use of Indoor Boot Fairs in winter months, and use of the Church to stage professional events.
Future events. The first event was in Nov 2013 and since then the FR committee has run some 65 events. None yet have had to be cancelled for lack of attendees. The events planned for 2018 have been widely advertised and are set at about one per month.
If the number of events is reduced, it should be recognised that the funds raised will reduce commensurately. Our committee, often helped by a hard core of volunteers from the congregation, has worked very hard and the results speak for themselves. I am indebted to them all.
Committee: At the start of the year: Hamish McGregor (chairman), Don Bumpstead (Treasurer & Dep Chair), Jane Birnie (PCC Rep), Paddy Earp (PR), Margaret Smith, Roger Waddell and Kate McGregor (Sec). Rev Jan Durrans and Trevor Hogben (Church Warden) are ex officio members. Sadly, Paddy Earp died, and Jane Birnie relinquished her post of Church Warden. However, we were delighted to welcome Jane Green and Roy Brown, who will share the responsibility for chairing the committee once Hamish McGregor leaves it in April. Don Bumpstead is also leaving the committee and Roger Waddell will continue to co-ordinate the two main annual events: The Festive Fayre and the Summer Fete. At least one more committee member is required.
Hamish McGregor. Chairman.
During the past year, St. Peter’s Lunch Club has continued to provide lunches for 30+ diners each Monday.
Many thanks to a wonderful team of voluntary cooks and helpers who have worked tirelessly to produce a first class two-course hot, home-cooked meal for a very modest sum with only a break for Bank Holidays, Christmas and during August. And we have managed this in spite of all the re-building and decoration work that has gone on in the main hall, kitchen and toilets!
During the year we have had two very sad events – one with the retirement through ill-health and subsequent death of Jenny Barclay who had been our treasurer for many years.
The second was the retirement of Barbara Love who, together with Doreen, has run the Club for the past nine years to the delight of our diners. We miss them very much.
We have been fortunate in having two ladies who have volunteered to help in their places and we welcome Gill Horne, as treasurer, and Jane Green, who will help Doreen in continuing the work of this valuable service for both the church and the village. Thank you both.
At Christmas, after she and her team had cooked a splendid feast for our diners, Jan Simpson, one of our cooks also retired after three years. She and her teams cooked twice a month during that time and, once again, we have been lucky in that Judy Hodgson has stepped in to replace her. Thank you, Jan and Judy.
Thanks, must also go to Mary, Daniel and Christine for their special help which is much appreciated.
Once again, our diners supported the Kent Air Ambulance charity and in July presented the representative with a cheque for £650 towards their marvellous work – a very splendid effort.
Our club is open to anyone over 60, 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.
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. An important part of our meetings has been a prayerful approach.
Last year’s report was written before Easter 2017, so it is good to look back to that time. On Palm Sunday, 2017, we had a narrative of the Passion in the Sunday Praise service. In addition to our usual Holy Week services, there were 3 Compline services. The Act of Witness on Good Friday morning, planned in conjunction with St. Peter’s Baptist Church and Elim Oasis, was very well supported by at least 80 walkers. It ended in our church providing an opportunity for some to enter our church for the first time. Also on Good Friday we had the opportunity to follow the stations of the Cross and then during the 3 hours at least 48 worshippers participated for at least part of the time in a service with readings, organ music, talks and hymns. Easter Sunday Family communion was well attended. St. George’s School held an Easter Service in our church. On Pentecost Sunday, 2017, we attended a service held at our neighbour Baptist Church, along with the local Pentecostal churches. It was well attended and our choir made an effective musical contribution to our worship. The main service on our Patronal Festival, attended by the uniformed organisations, enabled us to celebrate St. Peter among the Flower Festival arrangements.
Among the Christmas Services, which were very well attended, the Nativity Worship Drama and Christingle were exciting. All our services have regular dependable congregations and numbers at both the 9.30 am and Sunday Praise are edging upwards. Participation by the uniformed organisations has been happy and enjoyable. Schools use us at times, for example St. Peter’s Junior School held their end of year and their Harvest festival with us. The Pets’ service continues to be very popular. There is concern about numbers attending evensong, as the choir often exceed the numbers of the congregation. This matter is under review.
Evensong summer and winter hours have not affected numbers. The Remembrance Service is very well attended and is one of the ways in which we serve the wider community. In November we held a service in support of the Diocesan Day of Prayer to pray for the renewal, growth and flourishing of life and mission in our diocese. We continue to use banners to help raise awareness of certain of our services. The banners are important in our publicity. The task of displaying them in the front of the church is far from easy. We review feedback from our worship and inform the PCC in our notes.
Technology has been used effectively especially in Sunday Praise and we are grateful to all who help with the considerable preparation that this requires. The informality of Sunday Praise is often enlivened by imaginative strategies and humour. Those with good memories may remember submarines and rucksacks among other aids to thought. Our sound system is still a little erratic at times. At the time of writing we are looking forward to our 2018 Holy Week and Easter Worship, including a service on Maundy Thursday, when we plan to share with the Baptist Church in worship and a Passover Meal.
We are very keen to welcome newcomers and regular worshippers and we look to every member of our church family to help us. The Sunday Club has been discontinued and we are very grateful to Christine Denton for her many years of wonderful and dedicated service. Christine is a Star and she is still helping both young and old in our worship with her contributions including some narrations. A number of children attend the Sunday Praise and some young children attend the 9.30 service and to help them the children’s corner has been made more comfortable for parents and carers. Some noisier toys have been removed. Other contacts with the young include local schools, the Rev’d Jan’s work as Christian Ethos Leader at St. George’s School, Messy Church and Sprats.
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 encourage the use of the church for recitals. Choirs from local schools sang at our Christmas Tree Festival, which brings many people and organisations into contact with our church. Our fundraising, Summer and Autumn Fairs, Sprats, lunch club and community hall events also help link with the local community. Our very successful Gift Day brought a considerable range of visitors into church. We have also seen the church open more frequently for visitors, including in the winter months.
We have continued to support and think about mission. As a church we support the food bank and help several charities such as Christian Aid over the year. Elspeth makes sure that we are well aware of the work and needs of Christian Aid and with plant sales among other ideas, our response is heartfelt. Again, a major effort has been made to support the Thanet Winter Shelter, which has helped a number of homeless over the months of November, December, January and February. The congregation have been very generous in giving a great variety of practical gifts every Sunday through out these months. We welcomed Lieutenant Carl Whitewood from the Salvation Army on Homeless Sunday and our collection was given to the Winter Shelter and to Porchlight. We support the local Food Bank throughout the year. Our Christingle service collection went to help the Children’s Society and that raised at the Pets’ service goes to the RSPA . Thanet Deanery is hosting the community of St. Anselm during Holy week, with the theme of “Transformed by Hope”. We have also supported some of the events organised by the Deanery Dream Team Project led by Peter and Lynne Bones, Church Army Leaders, who are helping all the parishes in our deanery to reach out in mission and to offer each other support. An Evangelical Event is being held in Gillingham in June 2018. 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.
Monday @ 7
I have recently taken over as Secretary of Monday @ 7 from June Binfield, I would like to thank her for all her hard work and organisation that she has put into the group.
We have 35 members and 4 honorary members. Sadly, 4 active members have died during the year, Paddy, Manana, Joyce and Beryl. In addition, 2 of our former members, Michael Kingham and Derek Philips, have passed away, and they will all be very much missed.
We had a good variety of events throughout the year, ranging from visits to gardens, croquet, interesting talks, and of course cream teas and meals at various locations, which everyone seems to enjoy.
We welcome new members, so if you are interested in joining our group, please contact 604524.
Monday Home Group
From a group at present of 11 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 “Receiving Christ”, a course produced by the York group with study booklets and some spoken input from a CD. In Advent we reflected largely without discussion on three of the great Advent themes using images and music.
On all occasions we then take a welcome 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
The past year has been a difficult one for the Servers, with the loss of Paddy. But, somehow we have got through it. I would personally like to thank all the servers for their help and support. To keep the 10am Service on Wednesdays, the 8.00am and 9.30 Service on Sunday; plus the various High Days and Special Services going 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.
Since the last APCM, the Social Committee has arranged two evening events. In September we held the annual Harvest Supper after which everyone took part in seasonal games. In January a Twelfth Night Party was arranged to bring to a close the Christmas season. Again, after the meal, games were played and an “Alternative Cinderella” was performed.
The Social Committee has continued to support the Fund Raising Committee and in the autumn we assisted with the provision of refreshments for the Gospel Choir concert and a performance of Verdi’s Requiem.
The Christmas Tree Festival was another event which was supported by the committee, providing mulled wine and mince pies. In March a Lent lecture has been arranged and once again the committee will be providing a soup lunch.
SPRATS is continuing to thrive, providing a valuable facility to the community with young families. Sadly, we lost a few long-standing families to Nursery School but towards the end of the year numbers picked up once again with new families and returning families with new babes which is always lovely to see.
During the Easter holidays we held an Easter Bunny hunt in the church. The children had to find 12 paper bunnies hidden around the church in exchange for an Easter egg at the end. This was well supported and enabled our families to explore the church building and to meet The Rev’d Jan.
We held a collection and cake sale this year for our chosen charity – the QEQM Bereavement Suite in support of a local mother who sadly lost her child who was only a few days old. On a brighter note, we welcomed back John Myhill who made a miraculous recovery from a major illness. I would like to thank Joan, Val and Daniel for their continued efforts in the everyday running of the group.
Since the beginning of 2017 attendance at Sunday Club consisted of one or two children or, on quite a few occasions, none at all. Considering the difficulty of providing a worthwhile experience for such a small attendance and the amount of preparation involved it was decided that Sunday Club in its present form was no longer viable and so has unfortunately stopped meeting.
It only remains to thank Joan Fuller for her reliable help and service and all those who have contributed over the years.
TREASURER’S REPORT FOR THE 2017 FINANCIAL YEAR
Amongst our successes this year was the Gift Day which, apart from generating badly needed funds also acted as a conduit for getting new people into the church and showing them our beautiful building. The bell ringers were able to recruit some new members and the church itself enlisted several new donors. This resulted in our being some £8,000 better off for this coming financial year but, most significantly of all, was the truly amazing gift of £10,000 from an anonymous donor which was such a HUGE benefit.
As with so many other areas of fund raising, our thanks must go to The Rev’d Jan for her unfailing support and tenacity with events such as this which has meant that our funds have been able to recover a little giving us cautious grounds for optimism for St Peter’s’ future.
However, there can be no grounds for complacency. Our Parish Share has again increased this year and we now have to pay £81,672 per annum which equals £223.76 per day which is a huge sum to find and fund. This alone makes the financial management of the church such an arduous task.
Sadly, some of our very generous benefactors have recently passed away and this will have an effect on our annual income so it remains VITAL that we continue to try and generate additional funding by whatever means – be it increasing Standing Orders with which we can recover Gift Aid (an additional 25p in every pound) or giving our wholehearted support for any of the fundraising activities.
New legislation comes into effect in May this year regarding data protection. Allied to that has been the need to gain consent from every donor who currently gives by Gift Aid to obtain their consent for such information to be held on file prior to the start of the new tax year. This has been an arduous task and my thanks must go to my wife, Gill, for overseeing this job. Regrettably, this has resulted in our being advised that some donors are no longer able to Gift Aid in addition to which, despite reminders, some people have failed to return their consent forms which has meant that we can longer recover Gift Aid on their behalf. This will lead to a reduction in the amount of GA we can recover for this financial year.
|Standing order credits||49,000|
|Income Tax Refunds (Gift Aid)||15,750|
|Weddings & Funerals||18,500|
|Grants – Friends etc||6,000|
|Ex Halls’ a/c||28,092|
|Total Income for church||151,172|
|Repairs & Maintenance||10,000|
|Salaries and NI||22,000|
|Legal & Professional fees||2,850|
|Surplus for 2017/18||955|
I show here our budget for 2018 which I hope will be clear. There are certain points which should be amplified.
We have made provision for an ‘Open Day’ this year which we hope will generate some additional funds. It was thought that we shouldn’t hold another ‘Gift Day’ for a while.
There is provision for help from The Friends for the re- plastering of the Lady Chapel and once again, we are appreciative of their assistance.
Likewise, in addition to the halls paying the Church’s gas bill (c £5,000), I have budgeted for the possibility of their this year paying TWO lots of Parish Share if the need were to arise. It’s important to acknowledge that without the halls’ income, the running of the church’s finances could be in jeopardy and we remain appreciative of this source of funding.
Once again, I would like to record my thanks to members of the Finance Committee who have made a vital contribution to the management of our finances.
Likewise, I would again thank Mr Michael Studham at our accountants (Spurling Cannon) for all his work in assisting me in the compilation of the accounts for 2017. You will find a copy of the statement at the back of these reports which I hope you will find readily understandable. If you should have any queries, do please contact me before the APCM so that I may have the opportunity of researching the necessary information beforehand.
With every good wish
Wednesday Home Group
The group met regularly on Wednesday afternoons throughout 2017 at St Leu, the home of Barbara and Geoff Love and we thank them for their hospitality. We have been led mainly by John Cox, with approx. between 6 and 10 of us at the meetings. The usual routine was to discuss the sermon of the previous week, but we often strayed! During the year we took time to study the York Courses for Lent and Advent, and we even took a couple of short breaks!
The group continues to thrive and offers the ladies a varied programme which I understand is enjoyed and appreciated. We have a talented committee and everyone is happy to help. The highlight of our January-December programme was the visit of Kevin Cook, Sandwich Town Sergeant, in February who stood on a chair to show us his full regalia, including fancy hose and shoe buckles. He humourously described his many duties. We welcomed a representative from our chosen charity – the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance – and enjoyed the informative talk by David Duncombe. We were pleased to invite Jan in June to hear of her journey to St Peter’s. In September another local, Catherine Law, spoke about her writer’s journey and we had the opportunity to inspect and purchase her books.
We entered the Christmas Tree competition, took part in the flower festival and have run the tombola stall at the fayres. We also had a church tour by Jill Hogben and donated money in support of her book. We meet some most interesting speakers and although sometimes the fees seem expensive the group endeavours to ensure the more mature ladies from the parish can meet, socialise, make new friends and become part of a wider community.