APCM Group Reports
Parochial Church Council Secretary’s Report 2021
Although I fully expected my report for the year 2021 to be similar to those of the ‘pre-Covid’ times, unfortunately we started the year with ‘Lockdown 3’ and accompanying restrictions for meetings and services. As previously agreed, we continued with our PCC meetings on Zoom and were pleased that this enabled several members in particular to be part of the PCC. All meetings were well attended as we came together virtually to make decisions in light of the pandemic to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our church community and in support of our Clergy and volunteers. At the regular meetings we discussed many items, including Safeguarding, festivals and events, church services and maintaining our buildings. Thank you to everyone for their commitment over the last 12 months. We offer a warm welcome to anyone who would like to join us – no special skills are required, just 7 meetings a year in the comfort of your own home, and an enthusiasm for helping the church flourish.
As a PCC we are committed to safeguarding children and vulnerable adults. The PCC is aware of its duty to have due regard to House of Bishops’ guidance on safeguarding children and vulnerable adults. In 2021 and going forward in 2022, the PCC use the ‘Safeguarding Toolkit’ provided in the diocese as a way of self-assessment to ensure fulfilment of its duty.
The PCC wish to thank retiring member Chris Spencer for her valued contribution to the PCC over the years but especially for her role as Safeguarding Officer as she has navigated us calmly and efficiently to ensure that we comply with the regulations.
Electoral Roll Report for the year ended 31st December 2021
As at the 31st of December 2021 the number on the ER was 127 of which 95 lived in the Parish and 32 lived outside the Parish.
Electoral Roll Officer
Hagley and District Christian Aid Committee
Christian Aid week took place from Monday 10 May to Saturday 15 May 2021.
Unfortunately, because of COVID restrictions no special events were held during 2021 and a different method was used to collect instead of ‘door to door’, during Christian Aid week. Envelopes were delivered, by volunteers, to houses and it was then left to people to return them to central collection points instead of a doorstep collection. In this way, across Hagley, nearly £4000 was raised, a fantastic amount!
Once again, a big ‘thank you’ to all of you who continue to support this work with your time and donations.
Mollie McPherson, Barbara Albert, Kathy Francis, and Sue Priest
Fabric Report for 2021.
Maintenance and upkeep of the fabric of the buildings and environs has been carried out as required and where possible though the year as follows –
St John the Baptist Church and the Wychbury Room -
The safe locks and vestry door locks have been serviced and repaired. The boiler has been serviced. Also, the boiler has been replaced in the Wychbury Room as it was leaking. Roof valleys have been replaced and the cost covered by the “Friends of St John’s”. Any necessary work arising from the Quinquennial Report are also kindly paid for by the “Friends”. What appeared to be a roof leak above the vestry was investigate and considered to be not an ongoing problem and a one-off event due to a freak rainstorm. A proposal for minor works to improve rainwater disposal from the north aisle roof is in hand. Tree stumps have been removed and grassed over in the churchyard (we are grateful to a generous anonymous donation for this).
St Saviour’s Church –
The lighting in the church has been inspected and overhauled with lamps and fittings replaced/renewed as required and necessary. A PIR system has been installed to control the lighting in the south porch to discourage covert users during darkness and the associated nuisance arising from this. The boiler has been serviced.
Church Hall report 2021.
Bookings are generally holding up, although there have been a few losses following the pandemic which have yet to be replaced. Thanks are due to Jane Cartwright for her excellent and efficient control of the bookings and thanks also to the House Keeping Team, including Linda Juiler, for their continued efforts. Cleaning and maintenance has continued through the year, including a boiler service and inspection and the necessary replacement of a leaking convector radiator with new.
Mothers’ Union Group Report for 2021
In 2021 once again Covid stopped us meeting together at the beginning of the year, but as the weather got warmer we were able to start to have our garden meetings, which were very successful and got our ladies together.
August brought an end to restrictions outside, so I held a party in my garden where 53 people attended from our church, Clent Mother’s Union, and other invited guests. We held fund raising stalls including Mollie McPherson’s pottery, Margaret Norris’ knitting, a tombola by Derek and Kate Aldridge and raffle and made over £360.00 for M U Charities.
Our indoor meetings started up again in September with visiting speakers and our annual Advent service in December.
As our patron, the Queen, has her Platinum Jubilee in 2022, we were given 2 roses to commemorate the year by the Diocese. One is planted halfway up the drive at St. Saviour’s Church and the second, with kind permission from Martin Lister, is in his rose garden adjacent to St. John’s.
We hope to enrol two new members at the beginning of next year, so our branch is flourishing.
Anyone else interested in what we do can come and join us as a guest.
Hagley Tower Bell Ringers for 2021
During the recent lock downs with limited services little ringing has been done.
During 2021 we kept the enthusiasm with the group going by ringing on -line with Zoom & an “app” Ringing Room. This enabled ringing across the country & even with those in the USA & other places across the world to be practiced.
As services and weddings have recommenced we have rung for them with whatever risk assessments were in force at the time.
One recent innovation has been to toll the tenor bell at funeral services. This has been particularly appreciated by the grieving family. This could be added as an option when funerals are arranged. We could offer this for £50 plus whatever the PCC wish to add on.
Over £2000 has been spent on re- bushing the clappers & tower inspection by Taylors.
It is intended to restart weekly practice sessions in early May. We have ringers keen to restart practice including two who were learners from 2020.
One bit of bad news is that the hand bell ringers group has folded. The keys for access to the hand bells have been given to the church wardens.
Friends of St John the Baptist
During the past two years, like many other charities, we have been unable to hold any events including our popular coffee mornings in St John from May to September.
The Friend’s Council have however held two committee meetings and two AGMs in 2020 and 2021 both being in person. The Executive Officers – Trustees and Officials – have also met on several occasions to discuss applications for financial assistance from the PCC for minor fabric repairs etc.
In 2020 The Friends contributed over £1,000 including safety handrails to the West Door of the Church.
In 2021 further sums were approved totalling £3,746 which covered many items raised by the Church architect in the Quinquennial Report for 2020. One major item was the replacement of the Valley Boards on the Church roof.
Going forward into 2022 we have instructed the architect, on behalf of the PCC, to draw up a contract for several minor stonework repairs and it is anticipated the cost will be approx. £5,000. In addition, the PCC requested help in upgrading the Church audio system for which an estimate of £5,000 had been received. The Friends will contribute £4,000 from its funds and the balance will come from the C G Davies Trust Fund, a bequest which directly benefits St John’s Church.
Due to climate changes, there have been three occasions when water has leaked into the Vestry from rainwater on the North Valley. A scheme has been developed by the Church architect in conjunction with The Friends and builder Steve Tyler, for a new branch pipe to discharge excess water from the Valley hopper direct to a downpipe local to the Vestry Door. We are still waiting approval from the PCC Fabric Committee for this important work to go ahead at an estimated cost of £3,000. Further sums of £750 have been paid for work on the Church Organ and £80 towards a replacement water boiler.
Finally, much work has been done by the Executive Committee, a specialist Charity Solicitor and approved by The Friends Council, in reviewing and revising the Friends Trust Deed in accordance with the Charity Commission Act 2006. It is expected that a new Trust Deed will be registered with the Charity Commissioners by the end of March 2022 and a transfer from the existing Trust Deed to the new one, after completing any enquiries from the Charity Commissioners, shortly after.
Outreach Giving for 2021
We were able to commit £4,000 of income to Outreach Giving. Cheques were sent to :-
£1,000 to Bishops Lent Appeal. Supporting Church's work in Peru.
£1.000 to Foyer Kidderminster. Support for young homeless people.
£1,000 to Embrace the Middle East in support of planting olive trees.
£1,000 to Christian Aid
We had thank you letters from all recipients who were particularly grateful for our support in such a difficult year for fundraising due to the Pandemic.
Safeguarding report 2021
It has been another strange year for Church life, but hopefully we can look forward with optimism to some normality in the future.
Many activities have resumed in the past year observing safeguarding guidelines, with the exception of Messy Church, which has been paused over Covid restrictions. During the past year I have been dealing with DBS renewals, and DBS checks for the new roles within the Parish.
I have been updating the Dashboard, which remains at level 3. There are some areas which need action, one of which is training. Volunteers who have had recent DBS checks will need to complete their safeguarding training. Church wardens also must be aware of their safeguarding training responsibilities. PCC members must also undertake relevant training which is available via the diocesan website. The Diocese requires risk assessments for Church activities involving children and vulnerable adults. Therefore, leaders need to complete this annually.
The Parish of Hagley PCC complies with the duty under section 5 of the Safeguarding and Clergy Discipline Measure 2016 in relation to having due regard to House of Bishops guidance on safeguarding children and vulnerable adults.
This is my last report as PSO for the Parish of Hagley, before I hand over to Jenny Moulder. It has been my privilege for me to contribute in this way, even though it has been a challenge to keep abreast of all the changes. Jenny, I know, will bring her wealth of experience and insights into this role, and I wish her well for the future.
Pastoral Care Report 2021
On Thursday, 21st January 2021 we held our first meeting since the pandemic began. A lot has taken place over this time including much pastoral work by phone and through visits. Elizabeth Benjamin has now moved to Devon, and we thank her for all her care over the years. It is with pleasure that we welcome June Perkins to our Group. June will be a very valuable addition and we look forward to working with her.
In an ever-changing world, we are reminded of our need to keep in touch with one another which the Group and others continue to endeavour to do. Over the course of time, we have visited many who are sick, bereaved, or housebound and there is a great deal of care for people both practically and spiritually.
Churchwardens Annual Report for 2021
The constraints of the pandemic led to another year of worries and difficulties in maintaining both churches, and the attendance at services. Most of which have been overcome with the easing of restrictions.
Gradually we have returned to a regular pattern of services at which the numbers are steadily growing. Regular Zoom services have continued to accommodate those who are finding difficulties in getting to church or are still restricted in mixing with large numbers. Our churches are continuing to encourage sanitising of hands and the wearing of face masks, this is to ensure that those working in our churches can continue to do so (especially our Clergy).
Following the easing of restrictions, it has been wonderful that weddings and baptisms have been able to be celebrated again, numbers have been as follows:
Weddings - 15 & 1 service of prayer & dedication
Baptisms - 18 children & 3 adults
Sadly, there have also been 13 funerals & 2 burials of ashes.
All these additional services are hard work for all those involved, but at the same time very rewarding.
As a team of Churchwardens, we are SO grateful to all those people who support both churches and give so freely of their time, we could not manage without them. There are too many to individually mention – here is a list of the many tasks that are undertaken by volunteers:
- Daily opening & closing
- Floral arrangements *
- Heating – ensuring service requirements
- Sacristan duties
- Sunday Club
- Pastoral visiting
- Christian Aid group
- Organist & Choir members
- Gift Aid admin. & Banking
- Contact contributors
- Rota compilation
- Care of the Wychbury Room
Even with the restrictions the annual Songs of Praise & cricket match went ahead – thanks to all who contributed.
Some Christmas services went ahead too. The churches looked magnificent – flowers, the Crib, and the beautifully decorated trees. The candlelight added to the splendour. Thank you.
Thanks to the late Thelma Carwardine, a bequest in her will enabled the purchase of a new Font for St. Saviour`s Church. This was dedicated at a service on March 13th, 2022.
Our Rector, Richard Newton and Curate Kim Topham continue to conduct weekly services and produce weekly service sheets.
It is thanks to Richard that we are able to receive our monthly `CONTACT,` whilst we still seek a new Editor.
Sue Priest, our Administrator, undertakes all the admin. tasks for both Hagley & Clent churches. It is good to be more involved with St. Leonard`s Church and to share a number of services & activities.
We are grateful to Gwen who came out of `retirement` to cover for Judy.
Thanks to you all for your support and understanding when we occasionally fall short in our duties – we are learning all the time! All Churchwardens work closely in support of clergy and congregation.
*many thanks to Gill Higgins, who after many years of organising and arranging the flowers in St. Saviour`s, has stepped down due to a house move and health issues.
NB. Please note that all details of church maintenance will be reported in the Fabric report.
Churchwardens: Barbara, Judy, John, Michael and of course, Gwen
Contact – Hagley and Clent C of E Parish Magazine
The Contact year of 10, 24-page issues, now begins in June, and ends the following May. The magazine aims to live up to its title and provide a link between our churches and the parishes. Around 100 of the subscribers do not attend church, but many have had links in the past through their children. Richard Newton continues to collate the material but is often left with a number of pages to fill close to the printer’s deadline.
The printing of each issue costs £190 for 250 copies. Advertisements enabled us to ‘break even’ in the past, but since the pandemic, 5 advertisers do not wish to continue. Seven other businesses have been approached but have declined. There will be a shortfall of approximately £500 this year, mainly accounted for by the loss of a page of advertising. From time-to-time distributers have to give up because of age and infirmity. We would like to thank all those who help by contributing to and distributing the magazine, and especially Linda Jordan who leads the distribution team and the finance.