Parish Reports

 


ST MARK’S CHURCH, ENGLEFIELD
in the Deanery of Bradfield


ANNUAL REPORT
April 2018 - March 2019


Organisation

Benefice of Theale with Englefield - until September 2018

Priest-in-Charge of the Benefice The Revd Ann Templeman  Associate Priest The Revd Peter Templeman

The Parish of Englefield 

Resident Priest The Revd Nicholas Wynne-Jones, Chairman of PCC 
 

Benefice of Englefield - from November 2018

Rector                          The Revd Nicholas Wynne-Jones, Chairman of PCC 
Parish Office                 St Mark’s House, Englefield, RG7 5EP
Bank                            Lloyds TSB, 1-2 Market Place, Reading, RG1 2BQ
Independent Examiner   Mr F W Wells FCA 

 

During the year the following served as members of the Parochial Church Council: 

Wardens
Dr Carolyn Boulter   
Mr Peter Haig (Vice-Chairman until June 2018) 
 
Representatives on Deanery Synod
Dr Hugh Boulter  until APCM 2020   
Mr Torquil Montague-Johnstone  until APCM 2020   
Mr David Gibbons   until APCM 2020 
 
Elected Members
Mrs Gill Barton  until APCM 2019   
Mrs Dinah Perkins  until APCM 2019   
Mrs Penny Savage, Secretary  until APCM 2019   
Mr Don Barton  from APCM 2017   
Mrs Liz Marillier  from APCM 2017   
Lady Benyon   from APCM 2018   
Mr Richard Benyon   from APCM 2018
Mrs Victoria Fishburn  from APCM 2018   
Dr Aldo Guiducci (Vice-Chairman from June 2018) from APCM 2018   
Mrs Catherine Haig  from APCM 2018   
Mrs Susan Smith  from APCM 2018   
Mrs Melanie Townsend  from APCM 2018 
 

Co-opted Mr Ron Marillier, Treasurer   at APCM 2018     

   
Members of the PCC are either ex-officio, co-opted annually or elected by the Annual Parochial Church Meeting (APCM) in accordance with the Church Representation Rules.  The Council maintains 12 elected lay representatives having declined to accept the default laid out in the Synodical Government (Amendment) Measure 2003.  Twelve elected members served during the year, and one member was co-opted for a 12-month term. 
 
The PCC has met five times during the year with average attendance of 70%.  The Standing Committee (Rector, Churchwardens, Lady Benyon, Treasurer and Secretary) was appointed for the year.    

ATTENDANCE (last year’s figures are shown in brackets): 
The electoral roll has been completely renewed as required every 6 years in accordance with Church Representation Rules and stands at 93 (139), 73 (113) of whom are not resident within the parish and 20 (26) of whom are resident.  The average ‘normal’ Sunday attendance is 57 (63) including children. The “Statistics for Mission January to December 2018” includes the following data:-   Baptisms, Blessings or Thanksgivings  2 (3)  Marriages  4 (6)  Funerals  0 (1) Attendance is greatly increased at special family services: Harvest, Mothering Sunday and Christingle service.  Easter Day and Christmas services enjoy a full church.  This year the 'Midnight' service was withdrawn and that of Holy Trinity Theale was advertised as the local 'Midnight' service. 
 
PCC and PARISH The major event to report is the pastoral reorganisation which was completed with the separation of the benefice of Theale and Englefield.  The PCC resolved to forego rights under the Patronage (Benefices) Measure 1986.  The Revd Nicholas Wynne-Jones was appointed as Incumbent of the new benefice with a service of Institution and Induction at St Mark's Church on 26 November by the Bishop of Reading and Assistant Archdeacon of Berkshire.  The PCC is grateful to the Pastoral Reorganisation Sub-committee for overseeing the pastoral reorganisation. 
 
Remembrance Sunday commemorated the one hundredth anniversary of the end of WW1. The Englefield Estate, St Mark’s Church and the Parish Council joined together to remember the fallen through the lighting of a Beacon and ringing the bells for peace in a nation-wide commemoration (Battle’s Over) and a Service of Remembrance in St Mark’s, 
 
Our mission has supported the Mama Bahati Foundation in Tanzania, Tearfund Emergency Relief for Burundi and Myanmar refugees and PACT (Harvest); The Royal British Legion (Remembrance); PACT, Church Army, and Christian Solidarity Worldwide (Christmas).  The popular Word Puppets provided young and old with the Gospel message at Harvest and Mothering Sunday services. 
 
Spiritual development is extended at all times. The Englefield Chapel was organised to support the Archbishops' prayer vision 'Thy Kingdom Come'.  An afternoon group followed a 6-week study of Revelation using DVDs entitled 'The Vision of his Glory' and the Lent home group studied St Paul's letter to the Colossians.  'Time to Pray' in the Englefield Chapel continues on the first and third Mondays.  The Eucharistic Prayer B of Common Worship and the Book of Common Prayer are used for daily office and Eucharist. SDG lectures and local prayer meetings/talks are well advertised.  A member of the Council co-ordinates a rota for those leading intercessions during the Sunday service and is the contact point for prayer requests.  The Deanery Spiritual  Development Group (SDG) has provided a regular programme and St Mark's hosted David Heywood, author of "Kingdom Learning" using lay and clergy to develop ministry and outreach. 
 
The Council ensures that Bible study classes are open to everyone, the church is left open for visitors to the maximum extent possible, special services are held for the local school, etc.  Having referred to the guidance contained in the Charity Commission general guidance on public benefit, the trustees are confident that they comply with the Charity Commission guidance. 
 
The three main forms of communication are the pew bulletin at each Sunday service which contains the readings, reflection on the sermon, prayer requests and details of local church/parish events. The Parish News which is published every two months and is distributed free of charge to members of the congregation, all residents of Englefield parish and visitors to the village. This is a church and parish magazine with regular features on church matters, as well as articles about the Estate, the Primary School, the Fiveaday Market Garden, the Garden Centre, the Old Fire Station Nursery, Theale Medical Centre, Holy Trinity Theale, Cobbs at Englefield Farm Shop, Rushall Farm and Bradfield Young Farmers. Costs are largely covered by advertising revenue and Englefield Parish Council generously underwrites any shortfall.  The magazine is also available digitally on the St Mark’s and Parish Council (www.englefieldpc.org.uk) websites. The St Mark’s website - www.stmarksenglefield.org.uk - provides information about the life of the church, its history, the facilities available and the church rota, alongside the weekly reflections, the Rector’s monthly letter and a daily Bible reading.  There are links to most of those featured in the magazine.  The website is managed through ChurchEdit with an average for the year of around 36,000 pages visited per month, a significant increase on last year. Special services are advertised on the external notice board near the lych-gate.   
 
A close association with the school continues and one of the joint PCC governors reports to the PCC once a year.  The Rector takes an assembly each week and his wife is a regular and valued helper at the school.  Spiritual links with the school are provided with special services in St Mark’s Church.. 
 
Sunday Club attendance varies considerably, but over 20 children join in Sunday Club at any time during the year.  There are 12 leaders and helpers and the children take part in the various family services throughout the year.  The PCC is very grateful to the Sunday Club organiser and all who enthusiastically support this vital ministry.   
 
The Child Protection policy is under review following the C1 Diocesan training evening in January at Englefield and PCC members have been encouraged to use the on-line C0 training module.  The Council appreciates the many volunteers who comply with the DBS disclosure procedures as well as the Safeguarding Officer and Verifier who were reappointed during the year. 
 
Music on Sunday mornings has been enhanced by some new and experienced organists joining the rota.  The Singers support Sunday worship at special times along with guest singers, eg at Christmas and Easter services.  Performance by the School Choir at family services are also enjoyed. 
 
The dedicated team of bell ringers and those who join them for weddings and special services is much appreciated.  Six regular ringers is adequate if all attend the weekly practice evening.  Pangbourne tower provides much appreciated support and training.  On some Sundays ringers from other local towers help to ring all 8 bells, which is very pleasurable.  In March St Mark's hosted a Reading branch practice and will be hosting the annual Bradfield Ringing Course in August.  The PCC agreed an increase in the fee for bell ringers from £150 (unchanged since 2015) to £200.  This helps to build a small fund for bell maintenance after payment to the ringers (£20 each), as this year projected expenditure for replacing the 18-year old bell ropes at £125 each and £280 for muffles (secured around the bell clapper for special occasions like Armistice Day) would leave the current fund depleted. 
 
Following the completion of the GDPR data audit the policy statement and procedures were agreed.  Consent forms have been distributed alongside the new electoral roll forms to revise the parish database.   
 
The Health and Safety policy statement was reviewed in September 2018.  The outstanding item of a step and handrail  to access the organ podium is currently under a Faculty application.  Annual inspections of fire equipment and testing of the electrical system of the church are carried out.  The public and employers’ liability insurance is arranged through Ecclesiastical. 
 
The Council aims to provide 10% of its unrestricted income, averaged over any three year period, to specific outreach appeals.  Good stewardship of St Mark’s is encouraged amongst the congregation and parish community.  The annual Pottenger Bequest distribution to those living alone in the parish is appreciated and the Christmas afternoon with tea and carols in the church for local people is very popular.  
 
Our experienced lay representatives on the Bradfield Deanery Synod - Hugh Boulter, David Gibbons and Torquil MontagueJohnstone - keep the PCC well informed.  This year the Revd Heather Parbury and Revd David Archer were elected to the House of Clergy and Chris Newman was elected to the House of Laity in Synod elections.  A Strategy Group was set up by the Bradfield and Newbury Deaneries to see if these are any synergies that can be better developed and their first meeting was scheduled for February 2019.  In October Deanery Synod members and Parish Treasurers were given an excellent presentation on the Parish Giving  Scheme by Jonathan Farnhill, the Diocesan Giving Advisor.  Parishes who have already implemented the scheme find it cuts down the work for Parish Treasurers and in most cases has resulted in a significant increase in giving.  All parishes are encouraged to consider joining the scheme.  At the same meeting Archdeacon Olivia gave a presentation on the Diocesan Strategy and its plans for serving the substantial increase in the population likely to result from new house building, particularly in Milton Keynes. Significant Diocesan funds will be allocated to serve the new developments.  With Bishop Andrew's retirement in May 2019 there will be several opportunities for the Deanery to wish him farewell in April. 
 
The Council aims to keep the church in good repair and to monitor the upkeep and appearance of the graveyard in accordance with the latest Diocesan and parish regulations.  Work has begun to repair the Vestry Cornice, the stone on the tower window head, the corner of the boundary wall and to re-lead the openings on the Quatrefoil windows. Having sought the opinion of the Diocesan Adviser an overhaul of the organ was not necessary, but some basic maintenance will keep it in a reasonable condition.  Christian Randall and Partners were appointed as architects and have made a feasibility study with regard to future renovations of the vestry. 



Commentary to the annual accounts year ending December 2018:

Income of £50,884 for the year was at a more 'normal' level after two exceptional donations in 2017. Collections and Gift Aid qualifying contributions both showed a healthy increase over the previous year.

Expenses for the year totalled £55,400, resulting in a loss for 2018 of £4,556. All expense items with the exception of repairs were broadly in line with the previous year. There were no exceptional repairs during the year but total repairs of £14,539 were inflated by £10,000 of minor items unbilled from earlier years.

There was a healthy cash balance of £26,510 at the year end and we continue to carry forward £21,000 in the fabric fund.

The Council intends to keep a cash balance at all times sufficient to cover commitments. A small committee is being formed to consider how to proceed in improving weekly giving.

 

 

Report signed on behalf of the APCM on Monday 29th April by Revd Nicholas Wynne-Jones, Chairman