Annual Parochial Church Meeting - St. Peter’s Draycott

Minutes of meeting 26th April 2009

Meeting held at 6:30 p.m. in the church

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1.        Opening prayer. 2

2.        Attendance/ Apologies for absence.. 2

3.        Vestry Meeting for the Election of Church Wardens. 2

4.        Confirmation of Minutes from meeting on 27th April 2008.. 2

5.        Matters arising.. 2

6.        Electoral Roll. 2

7.        Report on PCC proceedings. 2

8.        Financial Report. 2

9.        Audited accounts for the PCC for 2007.. 2

10.           Report on Fabric, Goods and Ornaments of the Church.. 3

11.           Supporters of St. Peter’s (S.O.S.P.). 4

12.           Report on Deanery Synod.. 4

Other reports. 4

13.           Preaching Team.... 4

14.           Covenant Secretary.. 4

15.           School. 4

16.           Local Ministry Group.. 5

17.           Charitable Giving.. 5

18.           Bible study group.. 5

19.           Web site.. 5

20.           Readership training.. 5

21.           Incumbent’s summary.. 5

22.           Adoption of reports. 6

23.           Election of PCC Members for 2009/2010.. 6

24.           Any other business. 6

25.           Closing prayer. 7

Reports. 8

A.      Electoral Roll. 8

B.       PCC Proceedings. 8

C.       Financial Report. 9

D.      Audited accounts. 9

Independent examiner’s report to the PCC of St Peter’s Church, Draycott. 13

E.       Fabric, goods & ornaments. 14

F.       Supporters of St. Peters. 14

G.      Deanery Synod.. 15

H.      Preaching team report. 15

I.         Covenant report. 16

J.        School. 16

K.      Local Ministry Group.. 16

L.       Charitable Giving.. 17

M.           Bible Study.. 17

N.      Web site.. 18

O.      Readership training.. 18

P.       Incumbent’s Summary.. 19


1.               Opening prayer

The Revd. Sue Rose opened the meeting with a prayer, and took the chair.

2.               Attendance/ Apologies for absence         


Barbara Brice, Tricia Corrick, Nikki Devitt, Lois Dingley, Richard Dingley, Sylvia Dingley, Chris Green, Tricia  Heckbert, Gordon Jeff, Tricia Lumley, Audrey Morgan, Thea Oliver, Barry Rose, Sue Rose, Rita Skinner, Victor Skinner, Sue Walker, Lynda Whittle.


Gillian Crease, Maria Millard, Elizabeth Rose.

3.               Vestry Meeting for the Election of Church Wardens        

Two nominations had been received for the two posts of churchwarden, David Cheetham and Thea Oliver; both had agreed to stand. All were in favour, so their unanimous election was declared.

4.               Confirmation of Minutes from meeting on 27th April 2008

No inaccuracies were reported in the minutes of the previous APCM, which had been available for about 10 months. Richard Dingley proposed that they should be accepted as an accurate account, and Thea Oliver seconded. All were in favour.

5.               Matters arising

All matters arising from the minutes had been dealt with in PCCs during the year. These had been reported in the minutes themselves (section 5).

6.               Electoral Roll

Richard Dingley

(See report A)

Richard was willing to continue as electoral roll officer, and was thanked. There were no questions.

7.               Report on PCC proceedings

Chris Green

(See report B)

Chris Green presented the highlights of the year- undoubtedly the appointment of Sue Rose as incumbent- and the low point, probably the support of the Court of Arches for the objection to selling the font. There were no questions. CG was thanked.

8.               Financial Report

David Cheetham

(See report C) (discussion in next section)

9.               Audited accounts for the PCC for 2007

David Cheetham

(See report D)

David asked us to note that we did not face any outstanding costs for the Court of Arches, as costs for this had been awarded against the Victorian Society. We still had the original consistory court judgment to pay for, but the diocese would probably give us a grant to cover this cost (archdeacon Nicola Sullivan had been very supportive).

Victor queried the fact that some of the English Heritage funded work from West Country Tiling was appearing against the general fund. This would show in the refurbishment fund next year.

Colette Jeff proposed that we accept the accounts; Tricia Heckbert seconded. All were in favour, so the meeting adopted the accounts and thanked David Cheetham.

10.       Report on Fabric, Goods and Ornaments of the Church

Richard Dingley

(See report E)

The roofs are still a problem, mainly due to guttering (inadequate size of rainwater goods). Also rising damp was an issue, which would continue to hamper redecoration. It would be necessary to strip the existing paintwork before repainting, as the wrong paint had been used.

New hymn books had been bought, and paid for by contributions from the congregation. They needed to be put on the inventory


Rita Skinner raised the question of the electrics in the kitchen, as there was a light that was not working properly. A PCC had previously examined it and decided that it was not a sufficient risk to merit replacement of the light fitting. Rita requested that her dissention from this view be recorded.

ACTION: for the next PCC to re-examine.

It was pointed out that two unfortunate developments could have been prevented by better communications.

1.         The inadequacy of the rainwater goods (specifically: the size of the gully guttering). The goods had been dismounted, painted and re-installed, when they could have been replaced with something adequate.

2.         The tarmacking of the path around the east end of the church. This prevents digging out of the land, which will be necessary to combat rising damp in this part of the church.

The first was the responsibility of the architect, who should have warned us of the inadequacy in the specification. The second was due to Mendip District Council, who did not warn us of their action.

ACTION: PCC to consider both issues.

A point of accuracy in the report: the lightning conductors had initially failed their inspection, and new conducting rods had been required. Now these had been installed, the lighting conductor is satisfactory.

We are still waiting to renew the bell rope when we carry out interior decoration, and erect the scaffolding that both will require.

11.       Supporters of St. Peter’s (S.O.S.P.)

Tricia Lumley

(See report F)

The target of this group has been to raise £100 per month, and this had been achieved (on average, and for all individual events except the tabletop sale). One event in the planning stage is the harvest supper. We were invited to put forward new ideas.

We thanked those involved for their hard work and imagination.

12.       Report on Deanery Synod

Sylvia Dingley

(See report G)

Sylvia had only been able to get to two meetings. For some reason, Tricia Lumley had not been informed by the organisers so had missed the meetings.

Other reports

13.       Preaching Team

Gordon Jeff

(See report H)

We were very fortunate to have a strong preaching team. We hope that there will be a chance for them to continue to preach. Gordon expressed himself happy to stand down to give more opportunity for other team members, if required.

Sue Rose said that the preaching team was a very valuable resource and was sure that it would continue to be used.

14.       Covenant Secretary

Victor Skinner

(See report I)

Rules have been changed such that submissions have to be made twice yearly. There has been some movement in the contributors. One person has died.

Victor was thanked for his hard work.

15.       School

Nikki Devitt

(See report J)

Now that we have an incumbent, Nikki’s position needs be made official (if this is Sue Rose’s wish).

The death of Jane Hampton, chair of governors, has been a bitter blow to the school as it has to the community. Nikki asked for us to hold the school in our prayers.

A worrying development is that demographic changes are leading to a reduction in the intake in the bottom classes. Such fluctuations can have a disproportionate effect on a small school.

16.       Local Ministry Group

Richard Dingley

(See report K)

We have a very successful LMG, due in no small part to the excellent contributions of Ann Wait in Cheddar.

17.       Charitable Giving

Colette Jeff
(See report L)

Colette explained that she had listed charitable activities that the church supports, although it is not the case that church funds are spent on charity. It would be inappropriate if they were, given our failure to pay our way in the parish share.

18.       Bible study group

Thea Oliver

(see report M)

Thea made a plea for people to try it out.

19.       Web site

Chris Green

(See report N)

Sue Rose endorsed the idea that this was a genuinely useful facility for the church, giving her for one a window on our activities when she was applying for her current post. She regretted that Cheddar did not currently have any equivalent. Chris said he was willing to help anyone who would construct a joint site for the benefice, but did not have the time to do it himself.

Chris was thanked for his work in maintaining the website.

20.       Readership training

Chris Green & Nikki Devitt

(See report O)

The licensing would take place on the first Saturday of October.

21.       Incumbent’s summary

Richard Dingley

(See report P)

Richard expressed his especial appreciation for the visiting celebrants, who had helped during our vacancy.

Thea expressed all our thanks and appreciation for Richard.

Rita Skinner thanked Thea- and singled out the way she gave the notices for special commendation. She made them lively and interesting, and it had been one of the things that had drawn Rita and Victor to the church in the first place.

22.       Adoption of reports

Tricia Lumley proposed that all the reports be adopted; Gordon Jeff seconded. All were in favour.

23.       Election of PCC Members for 2009/2010

The following nominations had been proposed and seconded:

Richard Dingley, Chris Green, Tricia Heckbert, Colette Jeff, Barry Rose, Victor Skinner.

All had agreed to stand, and there were no objections. Together with the ex officio members David Cheetham and Thea Oliver (churchwardens) and Sylvia Dingley and Tricia Lumley (Deanery Synod representatives) they were welcomed as the new PCC (proposed: Nikki Devitt, seconded Gordon Jeff; all were in favour).

24.       Any other business

Several items of other business were accepted.

a.        Children’s Society

Linda Whittle reported that the Children’s Society currently has an anomalous position among the charities supported by the church. Some years ago the church decided to dissociate itself from the Society over a controversy much publicised at the time. Linda had however continued to distribute home collection boxes and to organise the Christingle services. The charitable account was registered in her name. Supported by David Cheetham, the PCC treasurer, she requested that this be reinstated as an official church charity. Benefits would be the integration of Children’s Society giving of Rodney Stoke and Cheddar.

Several people spoke in favour of this idea, which was put to a vote (Linda Whittle proposed, David Cheetham seconded, all were in favour).

ACTION: Next PCC treasurer to confer with Cheddar and Rodney Stoke concerning the setting up of a joint Children’s Society account.

b.       Roof Fund should be given a new name and remit

This was a PCC sponsored motion. The ‘roof fund’ was set up to provide a separation between giving specifically towards the roof (at the time the subject of a major appeal) and our general funds. However it was providing unduly restrictive, as there were other items of refurbishment that we would like to be able to use the funds for. The PCC suggestion was that this be called the ‘refurbishment and maintenance fund’. After discussion on the limitations of the term ‘refurbishment’, and whether ‘maintenance’ was an appropriate addition, an alternative title of ‘Fabric Fund’ was suggested. This was generally used and understood, and offered a large degree of flexibility.

It was proposed by Richard Dingley that the name of the ‘Roof Fund’ be changed to ‘Fabric fund’, and this was seconded by Chris Green. All were in favour apart from one abstention, and the motion was carried.

ACTION: the next PCC treasurer would make the required application to change the names of the accounts (a current account and a deposit account).

c.        Church Newsletter

Alan and Jenny Newman have given us notice that they are unable to continue to edit the newsletter. This led to a wide-ranging discussion.

·         Many have paid up-front for a year- what do we do about them? Not difficult to resolve- we can substitute whatever alternative we have, and give refunds if this is not acceptable.

·         There was a plea to make the magazine more up-to-date, and encourage youthful participation. NB. there could be valuable career experience for a budding journalist at one of our schools. It could also be used as a network for an exchange of help and offering of opportunities in the community.

·         We must be careful to take account of the flourishing bi-monthly local parish newsletter.

·         It was suggested by several people that we should consider combining with Cheddar in a single newsletter, with some pages dedicated to our parish under the responsibility of one of us.

·         We thanked the Newmans for their wonderful work over the last few years.

25.       Closing prayer

The meeting was closed by Sue, who led us in saying the Grace.



A.    Electoral Roll

Richard Dingley, Electoral Roll officer

In the year under review there have been no changes to the Electoral Roll. The number on the present Roll remains at 46 members.

The annual survey for the Parish Share also remains the same as last year.  This is based on attendances in October last and NOT on the Electoral Roll.  Our active membership this year is counted as 32.

B.    PCC Proceedings

Chris Green, PCC Secretary

Your PCC started the year numbering 9, until 21st October 2008 when Stanley was co-opted back on to help deal with the font appeal.  We had eleven meetings, on the 8th May, 23rd June, 14th July, 1st September, 13th and 21st October, 11th November, and 9th December in 2008; and on 19th January, 16th February and 23rd March in 2009. Those of 23rd June and 21st October were ‘extraordinary’ meetings, called to discuss the font. We have been very ably chaired by Tricia Heckbert, and the meetings have generally been kept within 1½  hours. We have mostly met in the house of Gordon and Colette Jeff, and would like to thank them for their hospitality. We hope that their cat Rumpus has not been too much put out due to our presence.

As you would expect, the bulk of our business has been the day-to-day matters of fabric, fundraising and the planning of worship. During the period of vacancy, the last matter falls more than usually on to the PCC. We have greatly appreciated the work of Richard Dingley, in organising cover for our services.

In the first part of the year we were greatly occupied with the appointment of a new priest in charge, in partnership with Rodney Stoke and Cheddar. The PCC had to create and agree our parish profile. Most of the work however was undertaken by our chosen representatives, Richard Dingley, Nikki Devitt and Thea Oliver, to whom we are most grateful. We are delighted that their efforts have been splendidly rewarded in the appointment of Sue Rose, the new priest in charge for the expanded joint benefice of Cheddar, Rodney Stoke and Draycott.

The proposed sale of the font also greatly occupied the PCC this year. We learned in June that the Victorian Society were to appeal to the Court of Arches against the judgment of the Chancellor that allowed the sale. In October we knew that the appeal had been allowed. We had some anxious meetings in which we debated how we should defend ourselves at the hearing in the Court of Arches in December, particularly in view of the complex legal ramifications of the case, and the prospect of significant financial outlay. In the end Stanley took the majority of the organisational burden, and managed to recruit some legal representation to prepare our case and defend us free of charge (pro bono). We were also greatly indebted to Susannah Walker, who gave us much sound advice. We have been very disappointed by the eventual outcome, but feel that we gave the enterprise our very best effort. We have been relieved of the majority of the financial burden by a generous offer of a grant from the Diocese, for which we particularly thank the intervention of the Archdeacon Nicola Sullivan.

Both PCC minutes and APCM reports can be found on the website at:

C.    Financial Report

David Cheetham, Treasurer

This year has been less expensive than recent years for the upkeep of the church building. Although the gas boiler is not working efficiently, it is still working, so we have not yet felt it necessary to replace it, as we had feared. We have, however, had to pay for a major extension of the lightning conductor system to bring it up to modern regulations.

Throughout the latter part of 2008 we had the court case at the Court of Arches facing us, and we anticipated being liable to fees, which could have amounted to thousands of pounds. For that reason, and in order to keep a sufficient reserve in the bank, we decided that we had to stop paying regularly to the Parish Share. We have paid only £2000 this year: the Diocesan Board of Finance has been very understanding about this.

We are very grateful to the Supporters of St Peter’s for organising a full programme of fund-raising activities for the Restoration Fund. They raise not only money but also friendship and goodwill in our villages – and we enjoy ourselves into the bargain! The church has also, as in previous years, been very active in supporting other worthy charities.

At this time of financial stringency it may not be the right time to mention this, but can I say how important it is for us all to keep up and review our level of support to the church, if possible by signing a covenant and a bank standing order. A careful reading of the figures below will show that we are not raising enough income into the General Fund to pay our way; we were nearly £2000 short this year.

We have made the accounts somewhat tidier, last year by closing the Flower Fund and this year by treating the Coffee Fund as a separate petty cash fund; Richard Oliver administers this fund.

Many people work hard for our church, and the PCC is very grateful to all of them. May I give my thanks to Alan Rowntree for taking on once again the job of inspecting the church accounts.

D.    Audited accounts

David Cheetham, Treasurer

General Fund Receipts

Covenants and Gift Aid 1


Income Tax Recovered 2


Collections at services 3


Gift Days and sundry donations 4


Grants and legacies 5


Fund raising (gross) 6


Investment income 7


Charitable and ancillary trading 8


Restricted income from donors 9






1.             This includes money given regularly by bank standing order and also money placed in yellow envelopes. We can recover tax on all this money.

2.             This is the total money recovered from the Tax Office – some of it is then transferred internally to the refurbishment fund and some to the INF fund, in proportion to the gifts to these funds.


At Sealey Close


At the Laurels


At St Peter’s




4.            This includes the money in the safe at the west end and other occasional donations. We don’t have Gift Days.

5.             This is money reclaimed from the diocese to refund fees and expenses to visiting clergy, including Stanley, during the        vacancy. It also includes a grant of £300 kindly made by the Diocesan Readers’ Board towards the tuition fees of our new readers.

6.            This is the portion of money from fund raising activities which we have earmarked for giving away to other charities. All other proceeds of fund raising events go to the refurbishment fund.

7.            This includes the interest from the small amount of money that we have left with the CCLA. The interest from the deposit account at Lloyds TSB accrues in that account. (But it’s not much at the moment!)


Magazine sales and advertising


Income from funerals and wedding bans, most of which has to be paid out in fees




9.            INF donations, donations for buying new hymnbooks and one donation for legal expenses.


General Fund Payments

Grants 1


Diocesan quota 2


Clergy expenses 3


Upkeep of church 4


Upkeep of services 5


Trading 6


Major works 7


Salaries and support costs 8


Fund raising and church admin 9


Restricted payments 10







Grants we made towards the expenses of the Lambeth Conference


and to the Sisters of the Church, Bristol.




2.             Out of the total payable of £8900.00

3.            Clergy travel and readers’ expenses, including tuition fees, and other travel expenses.


Gas and electricity bills


Minor works and cost of maintaining  the church building




5.            Candles, wafers, oasis, palm crosses, etc.

6.            Cost of magazine production.


West Country Tiling final payment


Lightning conductor


Organ repair


Architect’s fee





Clergy fees,


Fees to funeral organists and vergers





Insurance premium


Other admin costs





Donations to the  International Nepal Fellowship


Cost of the new hymnbooks





Balance Sheet

Total receipts



Total payments



Excess of receipts over payments






Bank balance at 01 01 2008



Less one cheque drawn in 2007 but not presented until 2008



Less transfers to the refurbishment fund



Less transfer to the deposit account



Add cheques drawn in 2008 but not presented until 2009



Add one cheque drawn in 2008, not presented, now out of date.



Add transfer from deposit account



Add excess of receipts over payments



Bank balance at 31 12 2008



General fund deposit account

Opening balance at 23 09 2008



Less transfer to general account



Add interest



Balance at 31 12 2008



General CCLA deposit account

Balance at 01 01 2008


Balance at 31 12 2008


(Interest added to the general account,   4.38)


Refurbishment Fund Receipts

Covenants and Gift Aid


Collections at services 1


Gift days and sundry donations 2


Fund raising (gross)


Charitable and ancillary trading 3





1. At funerals

2. From the PTA, the Red Lion and the Strawberry Special

3. Hire of building (Mendip Players)

Tax refund also goes into this account, but it appears as a transfer from the general fund, not as “new” income.

The refurbishment fund has not made any payments.

Balance Sheet

Bank balance at 01 01 2008



Add receipts



Add transfers from general fund



Less transfer to deposit account



Bank balance at 31 12 2008



Refurbishment fund deposit account

Opening balance at 23 09 2008



Add interest



Balance at 31 12 2008



Refurbishment CCLA deposit account

Balance at 01 01 2008



Add interest



Balance at 31 12 2008




Coffee fund

Opening Balance



Total Donations



Purchase Communion Wine



Purchase Tea/Coffee etc.



Purchase Microwave



Purchase Drinks for Concert






Closing Balance




1.      Summary prepared by Richard Oliver- not part of audited accounts

2.       The coffee fund is not only used for the purchase of after service drinks, but also for the purchase of communion wine (port), sustenance for special events and equipment for the kitchen area. It is also used as a source of money for the provision of floats at church events.

Independent examiner’s report to the PCC of St Peter’s Church, Draycott

This report on the financial statements of the PCC for the year ended 31 December 2008, is in respect of an examination carried out in accordance with the Church accounting Regulations 2006 (“the Regulations”) and section 43 of the Charities act 1993 (“the Act”).

Respective responsibilities of the PCC and examiner

As members of the PCC you are responsible for the preparation of the financial statements. You consider that the audit requirement of the Regulations and section 43(2) of the Act do not apply. It is my responsibility to issue this report on those financial statements in accordance with the terms of the Regulations.

Basis of this report

My examination was carried out in accordance with the General Directions given by the Charity Commission under section 43(7)(b) of the act and to be found in the Church Guidance, 2006 edition, issued by the Finance Division of the Archbishops’ Council. That examination includes a review of the accounting records kept by the PCC and a comparison of the accounts with those records. It also includes considering any unusual items or disclosures in the financial statements and seeking explanations from you as trustees concerning any such matters. The procedures undertaken do not provide all the evidence that would be required in an audit, and consequently I do not express an audit opinion on the view given by the accounts.

Independent examiner’s statement

In connection with my examination, no matter has come to my attention:

(1)    Which gives me reasonable cause to believe that in any material respect the requirements to keep accounting records in accordance with section 41 of the Act; and to prepare financial statements, which accord with the accounting records and comply with the requirements of the act and the Regulations have not been met; or

(2)    To which, in my opinion, attention should be drawn in order to enable a proper understanding of the accounts to be reached.

Mr Alan B Rowntree

Westfield Barn, Wells Road, Draycott, Cheddar, Somerset, BS27 3SF

25 February 2009

E.     Fabric, goods & ornaments

Richard Dingley, Church Warden

There has been little activity on the fabric of the church in the past year. 

We have reviewed the state of the building and it has become more urgent to deal with the rainwater goods and the rising damp to prevent further damage to the structure of the church. 

The major recent news that the Court of Arches has upheld the challenge by the Victorian Society and that we cannot dispose of the Font means that for these to be dealt with we will have to make a further round of appeals to various Charitable Trusts in order to obtain the necessary funding.  This is something that the new PCC will have to tackle urgently.

We also have been having some trouble with the sound system in that two of the microphones are not working and that is being attended to and which I hope will be in working order by the time of the meeting. 

The heating system has continued to function, usually! But the timer still needs regular adjustment for the temperature to be adequate through the winter months.

The annual inspections of the fire extinguishers and lightning conductor were satisfactory.

The other major feature for our worship is the provision, by a number of generous donors, of a new hymnbook giving us a wider selection of hymns and which has added to the quality of our worship.

F.      Supporters of St. Peters

Tricia Lumley

Though we had hoped that our financial situation would be eased somewhat with the sale of the font, we realised that this would be a drawn-out process and we must continue to fund the church from the community in the meantime. S.O.S.P. has therefore continued to work on a varied programme of events that would hopefully appeal to a wide cross-section of our community.

Many of these events were old favourites such as the Harvest Supper. This year this took the form of a rock n’roll evening with ‘the Lost Sheep’. I would like to thank the school for allowing us to use their hall for this function. This raised £390 of which £185 was donated to the Sisters of the Church in Bristol

There have been several events of a musical nature.

We again hosted the Russian accordion players and that was a most enjoyable evening. I never realised two accordions could sound like a full orchestra! Financially this was a great success as we raised over £500 but we decided that all but £100 of this would go to the Children of Chernobyl charity, which the tour was fundraising for.

Barry and Nicola Rose also hosted one of their very popular concerts which added £853 to our coffers.

Carol Arblaster entertained us with an evening of harp music which was a very different sort of event and gave us another £212 for our development fund.

Mendip Players and members of St Peters had an evening of carol singing round the village and as well as being a fun occasion netted us £90. I think the people actually paid us to go away.

Members and groups in the Draycott community have been very supportive this year. Though not strictly to be classified as fundraising, I must make mention of the donations of £220 and £265 from the Red Lion and the Strawberry Special from their summer skittles competitions.

The Crib Festival organised by Linda Whittle and Tricia Corrick was supported by many within Draycott and Rodney Stoke and raised £483. This was a lovely event as it saw not just groups within Draycott taking part but also support from our sister parishes.

The PTA gave us the opportunity to make tea at their Michaelmas Fair which brought in £79 and our Soup Lunch brought in £160 which we split with the Crisis charity.

Finally S.O.S.P. organised a walking Treasure Hunt and an Easter Quiz which raised £175 and £150 respectively and a stall at a tabletop sale which brought in £30.

I would like to thank and congratulate everyone who gave of their time and efforts in the past year and look forward to an even more successful year from here on.

G.   Deanery Synod

Sylvia Dingley, Deanery Synod representative

The Report on the Deanery Synod from me this time is very brief as I was unfortunately only able to attend two meetings and a breakdown in communications resulted in our other Representative, Trisha Lumley, not being informed of the time and place of meetings.

The first meeting was held at Wedmore. I was not present but the minutes report a very good meeting with the Archdeacon, the Ven. Nicola Sullivan, as the special speaker.  Her subject “No small change” was the theme of the Clergy Diocesan Conference.  One of the subjects highlighted the reduction of full-time stipendiary clergy now allowed in each Diocese which puts greater demand on the need for more Readers and other lay people to come forward and assist in all branches of parochial work.  The School of Formation having been organised to meet this need, the parishes need to use it!

The best meeting of the year was at St. Andrew’s, Cheddar.  An amazing evening of music – “How shall we sing the Lord’s song?”  Presented by Mr. Alan Cooke, the organist of Taunton Parish Church.  He had us all singing as he demonstrated by voice and the piano how to introduce the intricacies of church music to a congregation.  It was both serious, great fun and very interesting all rolled into a great evening of entertainment.

We were all asked which Parish we came from and were asked to pass a quick résumé of the minutes of the last meeting and elected a new member for Diocesan Synod.

The next Deanery Synod will be a visit to the Diocesan Resources Centre in the Old Deanery followed by a meal at Chapter 2 (the new Cathedral Restaurant) at a cost of £10.

H.    Preaching team report

Gordon Jeff

Stanley Price set up what has grandly become known as 'The Company of Preachers', to give us some variety in preaching (in alphabetical order, Nikki Devitt, Richard Dingley, Chris Green, Gordon Jeff, Thea Oliver and Stanley Price).

Nikki and Chris are well on the way to completing their course as Readers, and have recently been subjected to a ‘preaching assessment’ as part of their course. This has posed little difficulty to them, as by now they are quite experienced preachers.

Stanley generously conceded some of his own preaching slots, and during the interregnum some of the visiting clergy have made space for us. In the last year each of us has had at least four opportunities to preach. We are looking forward to working with our new incumbent, and finding out what plans she has to use such talents as we have.

I.          Covenant report

Victor Skinner, covenant secretary

HM Revenue and Customs now require the claim for Gift Aid tax relief to be made two times each year.  We have received £1591.77, including an interest payment for Charities of 91p, for the period from 6th April 2008 to 31st December 2008.  I shall claim for the remaining period, up to 5th April 2009, as soon as I receive the accounting information and the balance of envelopes.

As you know, on April 6th 2008, the basic rate of income tax changed from 22% to 20%.  This means that for donations paid to us from this date, we can only claim a tax repayment of 25p for every £1 donated, instead of 28.2p per £1. However, in the 2008 Budget, the Chancellor announced a Transitional Relief (TR) for charities of 3.2p per £1, (bringing us back to the current rate) but only until 5th April 2011.

Since the last report, one additional person has signed the Gift Aid pledge and one person is on the point of completing the necessary paperwork.

It is worth pointing out that Gift Aid donations can be made to either the General Fund or to the Refurbishment fund – the choice is yours!.

J.      School

Nikki Devitt, Foundation Governor

The schoolchildren continue to participate in Church life, albeit in relative seclusion, as they come at 11:30 on a Wednesday morning, rather than on a Sunday. They come to church once per fortnight in term time and the worship follows the RE curriculum at school. The children are lively participants in prayers, songs and drama, and often come up with thoughtful questions and comments about life and faith.

We have celebrated Harvest and Mothering Sunday, once again in school time, rather than on a Sunday, and these are occasions when parents, grandparents and siblings all come and join in our worship.

Needless to say, all parishioners are welcome at all of the school services. It’s good for both the younger and older generations to be reminded that God’s family spans the generations!

As I write this, the news of the death of our long-time Chair of Governors, Jane Hampton, has just broken. Jane had been a governor for well over 20 years and Chair of the Governing body for the past 15 years. She worked selflessly and unstintingly for the good of the children and staff over that time. She was thoroughly involved in the work of the school at an operational level as well organisationally.  Her contribution will be hugely missed. May she rest in peace.

K.    Local Ministry Group

Richard Dingley, Lay Reader

The Mendip Local Ministry Group comprising the Benefices of Axbridge, Cheddar, Crooks Peak and Rodney Stoke with Draycott continues to work well.  There are regular weekly meetings of the clergy for prayer and fellowship and a planning group meets quarterly.  I have been privileged to attend these on behalf of the congregation. Events in the past year have been well supported

Highlights of the activities have been:

L.      Charitable Giving

Colette Jeff, charities group

This committee has not met formally since we were asked to join it.

During the year, the church has contributed to the following:

·         Christian Aid, organised by Tricia Heckbert.

·         Christingle, with the School and Children's Society boxes, organised by Lynda Whittle.

·         The village has contributed to the Poppy Appeal, organised by Ronnie Moulton.

·         The church hosted an accordion concert in aid of the children of Chernobyl.

·         The Pasada figures travelled round the village and raised £50.00 for the Church Army.

·         Some church members also support Lois Dingley in Nepal.

·         The church sent £82.00 to Crisis.

The PCC has not allocated any funds to the committee.   In view of the continuing considerable shortfall in St. Peter's income and its expenses, and taking into account the current level of giving to the above charities, we consider that it is already adequately fulfilling its obligations.

M.  Bible Study

Thea Oliver

The Bible study group has continued to meet on Thursday evenings at the home of Chris Green & Nikki Devitt throughout the autumn until Christmas. We had steadily worked our way through to complete John’s Gospel by the end of November. Due to various commitments of members we have not met regularly since then, but a number of us joined the ecumenical Lent house groups studying the York Course and we hope to start again after Easter until the summer holiday season. Our group comprises members from both St Peter’s & St Leonards and most weeks we number between 5 and 7, there is always room for more, so please feel free to join us for ‘a no pressure taster session’ of fellowship and fun with excellent coffee too at The Old Forge, at 7.30pm on Thursdays. We would welcome any new friends, even from as far afield as Cheddar especially as we will soon be a united benefice!

N.    Web site

Chris Green, Webmaster

The address of the website of the benefice is:

The website has been continued as in previous years. Its purposes are:

·         To give St. Peter’s Draycott a ‘presence’ in the World Wide Web- so that people know we are there, and can contact us- for whatever purpose.

·         To give information (on services, rotas, officers)

·         To explain what we are for, and to put our point of view in any issues of public debate in which we are concerned (over the font, for example).

·         To publish public reports

·         To publish sermons from the preaching team.

We publish the APCM reports and PCC minutes on a regular basis. We also publish the Church Newsletter. The decision was taken by the PCC this year to continue to publish sermons from the preaching team, when they are available.

Looking at our statistics for visitors to the site, it has declined slightly from its peak in the previous year (1,410 unique visitors), and stands at 1,144 unique visitors in 2008.

Please go and have a look around the website, and feed back any comments- positive or critical- that you may have.

O.   Readership training

Chris Green & Nikki Devitt

As the two trainee Readers in the parish, we do feel most privileged to have been given such a wonderful opportunity. We would like to thank the PCC and congregation of St. Peter’s for supporting us in this- financially as well as morally. We are aware that one effect is our absence during a number of Sundays, due to ‘away days’ training. These will continue for a further year after our licensing in October, as we are trained in leading worship, and particularly in funeral ministry.

The focus of training this year is on preaching, and we have recently completed our formal preaching assessment. Our thanks to those in the congregations of Draycott and Rodney Stoke who agreed to feed back to us on the official forms. It has been most interesting to hear the responses of different folk, both formal and informal. If there is one lesson we have learned, it is that there is no such thing as having ‘learned how to preach’- we will continue to appreciate your comments, as we try to convey different messages in a variety of ways.

Our very own reader at Draycott, Richard Dingley, has been very generous in his comments and encouragement. He has been a rock for the parish since we have been here, and particularly during this and previous vacancies- an excellent role model for us aspiring Readers.

We should also like particularly to thank our mentor Canon Gordon Jeff for organising the local preaching assessment, and for his continuing support and wisdom. A phrase he uses about preaching is ‘Truth through personality’, and his own sermons have been a splendid example of this to us over the years

P.     Incumbent’s Summary

Richard Dingley, Reader (parish in vacancy)

My report on the Ministry of our Church is usual entitled the Vicar’s Summary and I view with some trepidation writing this in the place of Stanley Price!

The weekly worship in St. Peter’s has been well maintained during our prolonged period of vacancy, and I am indeed very please that tonight we can formally welcome as a congregation the Rev Sue Rose, our new Pastor, Mentor and Guide.  Sue we welcome you amongst us and I in particular look forward to handing back into more capable hands the organising of the weekly roster of celebrants and preachers.  For this success and the fact that the numbers worshipping week by week have remained at a steady level we have to thank all those who have come and ministered to us.

The ‘Company of Preachers’ remains active and has taken a large share of the preaching, something that we hope will continue in the coming year.  We are particularly looking forward to the licensing as Readers of both Chris and Nikki in October and for their fuller part in the ministry and worship of our church.

The intercessions have been another strong point during the year with the differing talents and approaches of our team of intercessors giving the variety which draws our attention to the content of our prayers week by week and prevents us from drifting into routine or, even worse, indifference.

During the past year we have, on the first Sunday of the month, changed from an informal Eucharist to the Iona Liturgy that we previously used twice a year on the fifth Sundays when the joint Benefice service is held in St. Peter’s.

The School continues to hold a fortnightly School Assembly in the church taken mainly by Nikki Devitt and we have retained the Mothering Friday and Harvest Friday services in conjunction with the First School. This attracts many parents making the church full with interested and exuberant people large and small.

On the music scene we have a new hymn book and we have allocated a few sermon slots to learn some new hymns and thus expanded our knowledge of the hymnology of the church.  At Christmas and Easter we have formed an ad hoc choir and enjoyed the experience of singing as a group.  It would be good if this could become a more regular feature of our worship.

Finally I would like to thank all those who have made these months so meaningful to our worship and prayer and especially to Stanley for being my mentor and guide as well as an important member of the worship team and leader of the campaign on the Font.

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