Location: St John’s Church, Saxmundham, 7.30pm

Hugh Aldous, Margaret Bezant, Lindsey Bickers, Tom Boswell, Geoffrey Boult, Jackie Day, Katherine Dunnett, Mark Dunnett, Marjorie Gibbs, Tony Gibbs, Carol Golding, Paul Golding, Jack Hague, Sheila Hague, Stephen Hart, Celia King, Adrian Kinsey, Julia Kinsey, Roger Mills, Wendy Mills, Pam Peeling, Phil Peeling, Rob Potter, Sue Potter, Annie Reive, Jacqui Studd, Jill Stuchfield, Nic Stuchfield, Shirley Thomas, Olive Warren, Chris Williams, Revd Andy Wolton, Jan Wolton

Carol Cotton, Chris Cotton, Elizabeth Rowson, Mark Stancombe-Duhm, Richard Wills-Crisp, Viv Wills-Crisp

Annual Meeting of Parishioners

  1. Opening Worship

    Revd Andy Wolton opened the meeting with a reading from John’s Gospel and a reflection on the love of God. The Collect for the season was read and the hymn “Lord, the light of your love is shining” was sung.

  2. Election of Churchwardens

    Revd Andy Wolton explained that the Annual Meeting of Parishioners is open to everyone living in the parish and is for the purpose of electing a Churchwarden.

    Andy advised that Chris Williams had decided to step down as Churchwarden after five years and thanked Chris for her service. Those present thanked Chris with a round of applause and flowers were presented.

    Andy informed those present that Adrian Kinsey was willing to continue in the role and that Shirley Thomas had volunteered to fill the other Churchwarden position and asked if there were any objections.

    There were no objections and Andy welcomed Adrian and Shirley as Churchwardens. Andy highlighted that they would be officially appointed by the Archdeacon of Suffolk, Ven Ian Morgan, during the Archdeacon Visitation in May.

The Annual Parochial Church Meeting 2017

  1. Minutes of the APCM on 20 April 2016

    Revd Andy Wolton asked whether the minutes of the APCM on 20 April 2016 were an accurate record. Jack Hague advised that his presence had not been noted (page 1). Andy asked that this be amended.

    Nic Stuchfield highlighted that the minutes referred to the Queen’s 80th birthday celebrations (page 5) which should read 90th birthday. Andy asked that this be amended.

    Acceptance of the amended minutes was proposed by Nic Stuchfield and seconded by Tony Gibbs. The majority of those present accepted with a show of hands. The minutes of the APCM on 20 April 2016 were accepted subject to the two amendments.

  2. Matters arising

    Pam Peeling referred to her request for PCC minutes to be made available (page 3) and asked if this had been done. Revd Andy Wolton advised that Roger Mills provides a precis of PCC business in the weekly news sheet but apologised that the publication of PCC minutes had not been actioned. Future PCC minutes, once approved, will be made available.

    Tony Gibbs asked whether the Charity Commission had provided guidelines on parish reserves. Revd Andy Wolton advised that the level of parish reserves is left to the discretion of the PCC but should be kept to a sensible minimum.

  3. Election of Parochial representatives of the laity:

    Revd Andy Wolton explained that the church was permitted to have 12 elected representatives on the PCC and three elected representatives on the Deanery Synod.

    Andy introduced the following names as nominations:

    Deanery Synod:
    Tony Gibbs
    Stephen Hart
    Mark Stancombe-Duhm
    Tom Boswell
    Geoffrey Boult
    Katherine Dunnett
    Mark Dunnett
    Paul Golding
    Jack Hague
    Roger Mills
    Cheryl Payne
    Sue Potter
    Jill Stuchfield
    Chris Williams
    Viv Wills-Crisp

    No objections were received to the nominations and all were accepted without a vote.

  4. Appointment of Sidesmen and the Independent Examiner of Auditor

    Revd Andy Wolton explained that the appointment of Sidesmen had not been recorded in the past, but that this year’s appointments would be noted, and that Janice Cole and Joyce Baker had volunteered to become Sidesmen. Adrian Kinsey had taken on responsibility for the management of Sidesmen and was asked to add their names to the rota.

    Shirley Thomas advised that Gwen Haxell had been appointed the Independent Financial Examiner and had examined and signed off the accounts for 2016 and would remain Independent Financial Examiner for 2017.

  5. Consideration of reports:

    Revd Andy Wolton informed those present that St John’s Annual Report for 2016 had been distributed before the meeting and asked for confirmation that the report had been received. This was confirmed by the majority of those present. Hard copies had also been made available.

    a) A Report on changes in the roll since the last Annual Parochial Church Meeting
    Revd Andy Wolton referred to the Annual Report (page 2) and advised that the church electoral roll now stands at 119. He thanked Sue Potter for managing the electoral roll.

    b) An Annual Report of the proceedings of the Parochial Church Council and the activities of the parish generally
    Revd Andy Wolton directed those present to the Annual Report (pages 2-4) and asked if there were any questions.
    Tony Gibbs advised that the sound desk was not yet equipped. Mark Dunnett asked if the desk itself had arrived and been paid for, and Revd Andy Wolton advised that it had. Rob Potter explained that there were still decisions to be made on the audio system, including the kit and format.

    c) The Financial Statement of the Council for the year ending on 31st December immediately preceding the meeting audited or independently examined
    Shirley Thomas referred to the financial report (pages 5-8) and asked for any questions. Phil Peeling asked if the new format of the financial report would provide a breakdown of activities, and the ability to compare the current year’s finances with previous years. Shirley Thomas advised that the full report would be available shortly which would enable the PCC to do this.
    Tony Gibbs advised that the hourly rate for cleaning had increased (page 9).
    Shirley Thomas explained the importance of gift aid contributions, which had raised £15.5k last year; the benefit of standing order contributions; and the merits of leaving bequests to the church. Shirley advised that further financial support would be required to guarantee the employment of a Youth and Community Worker and for repairs to the church roof.
    Revd Andy Wolton advised that Shirley was standing down as Treasurer, so this would be her last financial report.

    d) A Report on the fabric, goods and ornaments of the church or churches of the parish
    Rob Potter updated those present on plans for the church building. A grant of £165k had been received from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for repairs to the church roof and high level windows. The HLF grant is provided to improve and enhance the experience of visitors to the church. Work is to begin in August and last for three months, during which time the church will be closed. The cost of the works will be £210k, so a balance of £15k will need to be found. Work is also taking place on display boards around the church and updating church guides.
    Geoffrey Boult asked when the work would be finished. Rob Potter advised that work was due to finish in November. The Church Hall will be used for worship during this time.
    Revd Andy Wolton thanked Rob for his work on the project and also Stephen Hart and Phil Peeling for their assistance.

    e) A report on the proceedings of the Deanery Synod
    Revd Andy Wolton referred to the Annual Report (page 10) and advised that Deanery Synod representatives are there to raise concerns and issues on our behalf.
    Tony Gibbs advised that there was no plan to restructure the Deanery at present. Revd Andy Wolton added that the adjacent Loes Deanery anticipated a reduction in stipendiary clergy posts but the Saxmundham Deanery had taken its cuts a couple of years ago.

    and other matters of parochial or general Church interest, given verbally on:
    The Church Shop
    Jill Stuchfield, Celia King and Chris Williams provided an update on the work of the church shop.
    The Church Hall
    Revd Andy Wolton advised that Celia King is standing down after eight years of managing the Church Hall, and thanked Celia for all her work. Those present also thanked Celia with applause and flowers were presented.
    Celia King highlighted the work involved in managing the Church Hall and asked for volunteers to take over this role

    [There was a break for refreshments between 8.25 – 8.40pm.]

    Chris Williams games afternoon
    Chris provided details of the games afternoon, held every third Tuesday afternoon in the Church Hall.
    The Listening Ear
    Jill Stuchfield advised of her role as a trained Christian counsellor willing to listen to people’s problems.
    Pastoral care
    Roger Mills advised of the pastoral care within the parish, co-ordinated by Diana Nicholls.
    Open the Book
    Revd Andy Wolton advised that the Open the Book team currently visit Kelsale Church of England Voluntary Controlled Primary School twice each half-term. More volunteers are needed as the team have been invited to visit Saxmundham Primary School.
    Parents and toddlers group
    Annie Reive explained the work of the group which meets every Monday and Wednesday. The group is a lifeline for parents.
    Wholeness and Healing Ministry
    The wholeness and healing prayer team comprises: Revd Andy Wolton; Jan Wolton; Katherine Dunnett; Mark Dunnett; Jack Hague; Pam Peeling (who helped with the training); Jill Stuchfield; and Shirley Thomas.
    Youth worker
    Tom Boswell advised of PCC plans to recruit a youth worker. The full-time position is currently being advertised and four applications have been received, Shortlisting will take place on 10 March with interviews to follow. Tom thanked the congregation for their generosity in helping to fund this role but added that more funding will be needed as well as volunteers to assist the youth worker.

    A PCC look to the future
    Revd Andy Wolton asked those present to read through the details of PCC plans for Growing in God:

    Growing in God, the diocesan vision for growth, looks for growth in depth, in number, in influence and growing younger. A vision morning led by Bishop Mike specifically for our PCC at the end of February brought agreement that: 
    * Our church (that includes each of us) is currently engaged in activities which pursue each of the four perspectives of the Growing in God vision to greater or lesser degrees.
    * We need to grow in each of those four perspectives.
    * The two areas we should now prioritise are growing in number and growing in depth.
    * In pursuing growth in number and depth we should concentrate on three goals

    • embracing a readiness to change, adapt and learn
    • enriching the quality of worship
    • prioritising discipleship and Christian nurture.

Change is essential if we are to grow in numbers. Numerical growth means people who are not like us and we must expect to adapt in order to keep them and become their church. Growth in the depth of our relationships with God means change too, as we come to experience and share more of his love. We cannot be ready to grow without being ready to change, learn and adapt.

Worship together brings us to shared experiences of God through comprehension of his word, through our prayers, in our praise and through the Eucharist. Our challenge is to enrich this in ways which honour God, which are discernibly Anglican but accessible to all, and which are open to the intervention of the Holy Spirit yet bring comfort to those who value familiar patterns. And all that within the two settings of St John’s and Connections. ‘Good’ worship will help us grow in depth, but it is also attractive and will help us grow in number.

Personal discipleship, and our nurturing of others, are areas for growing in depth. They are fed by worship and fellowship together, personal devotions and the experience of God at work in his world. Our challenge is to break out of routines that simply hold us just as we are and develop new ways that help us grow.  

Teams will form to take responsibility for each of the above three goals aimed at growing in depth and in number. They will be led by PCC members but include others who are willing to participate. Each team will be tasked with defining the steps which, when taken, will accomplish that team’s goal. Their second task will be to take the actions needed to achieve the individual steps. There is work to be done, not just talk, and there will be accountability to the PCC. Let the Rector know if you wish to be involved.

6. Other business

Adrian Kinsey asked if the minutes of this meeting could be made available in due course.

Revd Andy Wolton advised that they would be made available. Andy advised that a PCC meeting would take place following this meeting to discuss essential business.

7. Closing worship – The Hymn “Jesus is Lord” was sung. The meeting ended with the Grace at 9.10pm.


(Apologies as with APCM)

  1. Cheryl Payne was elected PCC Secretary in her absence but with her prior agreement.
  2. Mark Dunnett was appointed PCC Treasurer.
  3. Katherine Dunnett was appointed to the new role of PCC Cashier and would also fulfil the new role of Deputy Treasurer.
  4. Sue Potter was appointed Church Electoral Roll Officer.
  5. The following dates were agreed for meetings of the PCC during 2017:
    3 April, 12 June, 14 August and 6 November
  6. Additional meetings would be arranged as necessary to pursue the PCC’s vision for growing in depth and in number.
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