Annual Reports

ST MARK’S CHURCH, ENGLEFIELD

in the Deanery of Bradfield

ANNUAL REPORT

April 2012 - March 2013

 

Structure, Governance and Management

Members of the PCC are either ex-officio 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.

 

Objectives and Activities

The PCC has the responsibility of co-operating with the Priest-in-Charge in promoting the whole mission of the Church pastoral, evangelistic, social and ecumenical in the ecclesiastical parish of Englefield and as part of a joint Benefice with Holy Trinity Theale. 

The vacancy of Resident Priest at St Mark’s was filled by the Revd Nick Wynne-Jones who moved to Englefield with his wife, Harriet, in March 2013, having retired from Christ Church Beckenham, Kent.  The Council appreciates the help given by the many local priests during the vacancy who have provided a continuity of worship at St Mark’s.  The Council is very grateful to the Reverends Ann and Peter Templeman for officiating regularly at Sunday worship and also with weddings, funerals and baptisms during the vacancy.

The PCC has met four times during the year with average attendance of 87.5%.

The Standing Committee constitutes the Priest-in-Charge, Resident Priest, Churchwardens, Patron, Treasurer and Secretary.  It comes under the Chairmanship of the Priest in Charge.  In the absence of the Priest in Charge the Vice-Chairman of the PCC takes the chair.  The Standing Committee has met in person once this year, but items for discussion are usually circulated via email and proposals rejected/agreed.  

 

Mission Action Planning

A plan was formulated with the proviso that it would be reviewed once the new resident priest was in situ.

           

Child Protection Policy

The Council has a Child Protection policy statement in accordance with CRB legislation. The Council is grateful for the volunteers who comply with the CRB disclosure procedures and greatly appreciates the careful organisation of this important area by the Council member who is the Parish Representative.

 

Inspections

The Quinquennial Inspection took place during October 2009.  During the year a schedule of structural work was compiled and a Faculty has been applied for.  The Council gave approval for the first 18 months’ work to start and is grateful for the services of the Estate surveyor in preparing this.

Inspections of fire equipment were made.  The electrical system was also fully tested and any necessary work carried out to meet current safety requirements.

 

Achievements and Performance

 

Attendance (Last year’s figures are shown in brackets)

A completely new electoral roll has been prepared in accordance with Church Representation Rules and stands at 113, 84 of whom are not resident within the parish.  The average ‘normal’ Sunday attendance is 65 including children (66), with this number greatly increased during festivals.  The “Statistics for Mission January to December 2012” form includes the following data:-

              Baptisms   4 (12)           Marriages   6 (5)            Funerals   2 (3)

The high educational achievements of Englefield Church of England Primary School continue to attract families to St Mark’s and a number of these are regular worshippers.  There is a pleasing attendance of families of all ages at the special services for festivals such as Harvest and Mothering Sunday.  The Easter Day and Christmas services continue to attract high numbers in church.  Because of the vacancy there was no Midnight Communion service on Christmas Eve and villagers were offered transport to attend the service at Holy Trinity Theale.

 

Mission Link

During the year the Council continued to support its mission link with the Diocese of Ruaha as a partnership parish with Iringa.  The Harvest offertory is sent to Ruaha as well as one third of the Christmas giving. 

The Council also supports the work of The Children’s Society and Christian Community Action in Reading, at Christmas.  During Advent a collection of food was organised which was given to Readifood, the local foodbank.

The work of PACT is acknowledged at Harvest and Christmas by collecting gifts in conjunction with Englefield Primary School, which arranges distribution.  The congregation is encouraged to support the Berkshire Churches Trust at its Ride and Stride event in September. 

 

Spiritual Development 

The Council is pleased to endorse the Monday Bible Study group which continues with Isaiah.  Members of the congregation have been welcomed to the house groups in Theale.  One service of worship, reflection and discussion was arranged during Lent at Holy Trinity Theale under the Churches Together arrangement. 

The Eucharistic Prayer B of Common Worship is used, as well as the Book of Common Prayer for daily office and Eucharist.  A member of the congregation kindly financed the repair of several badly worn prayer books in memory of her family which coincided with the 350th anniversary of The Prayer Book.  Members of the congregation regularly lead the intercessions and a member of the Council co-ordinates this facility for the community of Englefield.             

 

Church Aided School

Two elected Governors from the Council continue to serve and there is a close association with the school, with both practical and prayer support.  Spiritual links are provided with regular services in St Mark’s Church.  The Priest-in-Charge and Associate Priest have taken regular assemblies during the absence of a resident priest in this year of vacancy. 

 

Ecumenical Links

Churches Together in Theale and Englefield (CTTE) continued to meet but with fewer events organised this year, mainly due to the vacancy at St Mark’s and a change in clergy at St Luke’s. 

Joint services during the year were held in Christian Aid Week and in Christian Unity Week and during Lent.  A Parish Quiet Day, Passover meal and Harvest lunch were well attended.  The Council welcomes co-operation within the benefice, which has been greatly in evidence this past year.  Extended Communion with a small team of licensed administrators has been endorsed by the Bishop of Reading and is managed under the guidance of the Priest-in-Charge.  The arrangement will be reviewed on the arrival of the new resident priest.

 

Outreach

The Council aims to provide 10% of its unrestricted income, averaged over any three year period, to any specific outreach collections or appeals.

 

Children 

The Sunday Club is attended by up to 20 children and babies, with numbers varying from week to week.  It has an enthusiastic rota of seven leaders for the primary-age group and four for the crèche, for which the Council is most appreciative.  A member of the Council organises the rota of leaders and distribution of the teaching materials from On the Way.  Sessions are structured around the church year with activities leading up to and including the major festivals.  Otherwise stories from the Old and New Testaments are used for teaching and activities.  The children are encouraged to play a part in the family services throughout the year. 

 

Choir

St Mark’s is affiliated to the Royal School of Church Music.  The choir continued to support weekly worship and gave a large selection of choral pieces at the Christmas Carol service.  Three new members (two of whom are children) were welcomed during the year.  The Council greatly appreciates the talent of the local organists who play at our Sunday morning services, one of whom moved away in November, reducing the rota to three.  There is a book in church for people to write in hymn requests for inclusion in Sunday services throughout the year.

 

Bells

The Council appreciates the enthusiasm of the dedicated team of bell ringers and those who join them for weddings and special services.  The Tower displays the Bell Ringers Central Council’s own guidelines on child protection.  2012 gave several opportunities to our ringers to mark national events – at Holy Trinity for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee service and the arrival of the Olympic torch in Theale.  The bells of St Mark’s joined Big Ben and churches across the nation to mark the opening of the Olympics on July 27th at 8.30am.  There were more weddings this year, so a new member of the team was much appreciated.

 

Deanery

 The Council is kept informed of all Deanery matters via the two lay Synod representatives.  This year Synod has been discussing the Mission Action Plan.  The Council member who chaired the Spiritual Development Group (SDG) has stepped down during the year but it is hoped the varied programme of eminent speakers will continue.  Deanery events are widely advertised in the parish and generally well supported.

 

Public Benefit

We make Bible study classes open to everyone, we leave the church open for visitors to the maximum extent possible, we hold special services 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.

 

Website

The St Mark’s website – www.stmarksenglefield.org.uk – continues to receive a good number of visitors and provides information about the church, the services and the events.  It gives links to the Nursery, the School, the Five-a-Day Market Garden, Theale churches and Village.  The web master does a good job in keeping the site up to date and interesting.  Information about St Mark’s services continues to be uploaded onto the website “A Church Near You”.

 

Fabric

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.

The most recent Quinquennial Review identified repairs totalling over £100,000 and we plan to complete these within the next three years.  A Faculty for work to be carried out over the next eighteen months is to be submitted shortly.

 A Faculty was granted to secure loose stones on the Spire and work is well underway.

           

Financial Review

There are no reserves and accordingly the Council has no policy for this item.  There are no separate funds. 

The Council intends to keep a cash balance at all times sufficient to cover commitments.

 

 

 

ST MARK’S CHURCH - APCM 2013- ANNUAL REPORTS

 

The past year of vacancy has seen a variety of clergy officiating at St Mark’s and for this we are thankful.  The congregation has been faithful numbering 50-60 most Sundays.  The Reverends Ann and Peter Templeman have taken many of the Sunday morning services as well as a good number of weddings, baptisms and funerals, for which everyone is most appreciative.  The major festivals continued to be well attended by all age groups.  The Welcome Service for the Revd Nick Wynne-Jones and his wife, Harriet, on March 3rd was received with joy and we wish them a happy and fruitful ministry in Englefield. 

 

DEANERY SYNOD

During the year 2012-2013 St Mark’s was represented on the Bradfield Deanery Synod by Hugh Boulter and Torquil Montague-Johnson.  During the year the Deanery Synod met four times and considered the Deanery Mission Action Plan on two occasions.  In addition one meeting focused on the missionary opportunities presented by church schools, both aided and controlled, while another heard from our Archdeaconry Parish Development Adviser and how she is able to support individual parishes.  During the vacancy for a new resident priest, it has been difficult to formulate a specific Mission Action Plan for St Mark’s and this will become an urgent priority in the coming year.

The Spiritual Development Group’s termly lectures included talks by the Reverend Lucy Winkett, the Reverend Canon Dr Edmund Newell and the Reverend Major Simon Farmer.  Lucy Winkett talked on patterns of ministry within the Church and evoked strong support from the audience in favour of the ordination of women bishops.  Ed Newell’s talk on God or Mammon? was of particular interest to those to those involved in the City and financial affairs, while Major Farmer’s talk on Chaplaincy in Afghanistan attracted a very different audience of those who are concerned with military matters.  In addition the Group organised a day on different patterns of meditation led by the Reverend Pat Clegg from Salisbury.  It is clear that meditation is an important part of the spiritual life of a number of Christians which the Group will wish to continue to foster.  All events were supported by members of our congregation.  Hugh Boulter    

 

SUNDAY CLUB 

Sunday Club continues during the Sunday service, with the children coming forward for a prayer after the first hymn and then coming back into church in time to join their parents for a blessing at Communion. Numbers are very variable from Sunday to Sunday with about 20 children in total, the majority in the 4-9 age group with only 3 or 4 now in the crèche. There are 7 leaders on the 4-9 rota and 4 on the crèche rota. We continue to use a series of study books called On the Way which is structured around the church year with special activities leading up to and including the major festivals, and sessions on the Old and New Testaments in between. It has provided a good structure for leaders, allowing time for reading and discussing the Bible text and doing a craft/colouring/cutting out activity related to it. It includes three activities each week tailored to the various age groups so leaders can choose the one (or two) that they feel would work best. It also fits well within the limitations of time, space and resources available. The children joined in the services on Christmas and Easter Day, and wrote and read out their own prayers on Mothering Sunday.   Catherine Haig

 

CHOIR

In the autumn the choir were very pleased to be joined by Mark Harrison with Belinda and Tessa, so our numbers were swelled for the Christmas services which we all enjoyed.  It is lovely to see the children’s enthusiasm.

The early part of 2013 has been a quieter time and our numbers have been few on some Sundays, partly due to illness.  Cynthia has been away since February and will return at the beginning of April, so we have missed our practices, particularly as Easter approaches.  Happily most of us were able to attend the special service of welcome for Nick and Harriet Wynne-Jones.

We now have three regular organists, since Keith Allnatt left in December to move abroad.  He had served our church faithfully for a number of years.  Gill Barton

           

 

CHURCHES TOGETHER IN THEALE AND ENGLEFIELD (CTTE)

The Churches Together in Theale and Englefield committee has met several times throughout the year to plan, organise and review services and events. Ann and Peter Templeman have established good links with Father Peter at St Luke’s Church and he is supportive of joint activities. Family Church takes place at St Luke’s on a regular basis and has an attendance of around 30 families including one from St Luke’s.

The Queen’s Jubilee was celebrated with a special Jubilee Service at Holy Trinity, followed by a Big Lunch on the Recreation Ground. Despite the rain, this was well supported and drew many different groups in the community together. Holy Trinity’s 180th anniversary was also an occasion which drew members of all the churches together for a special service led by the Bishop of Oxford, followed by lunch in St Luke’s Church Hall.

Joint bible study groups have continued to meet throughout the year, with central meetings including talks/discussion led by Peter Templeman on Jesus in the Old Testament, and by Ann Templeman on ‘Science and Faith, and ‘A Time to Die’, looking at a biblical view of euthanasia. Another in the series of CTTE breakfasts was held in May with Richard Benyon speaking on the topic of Christianity in public life, and was well attended.

Christmas cards were again distributed throughout the parishes with details of Christmas services in the three churches and there was joint carol singing outside the Co-op on the Saturday before Christmas, with lunch provided afterwards by St Luke’s. Members of all congregations have been warmly welcomed to services and events including the welcome service for Nick and Harriet Wynne-Jones in March, followed by a joint bring and share lunch in the Long Gallery, the Service of Thanksgiving for Loved Ones, the Service for the Week of Christian Unity, the Lent service at Holy Trinity, the Maundy Thursday Passover Meal in Englefield, and the Good Friday Walk of Witness in Theale High Street.  Catherine Haig

 

BELL TOWER

The Englefield bell ringers had a busy schedule for ringing at weddings at St Marks during 2012. We are now looking forward to the first wedding of 2013 on Saturday 6th April, and another busy year.

Englefield and Theale bell ringers rang together to mark the special celebrations during 2012 beginning with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee service in Theale.  In July we marked the arrival of the Olympic torch in Theale high street, although our ringing was drowned out by the other bands and the enthusiasm of the floats and crowds.  For the opening of the Olympics Englefield bell ringers arrived at St Marks at 8.30am to take part in the mass bell ringing.  Big Ben was joined by hundreds of churches and other organisations across the nation as ringers marked the official start of the London Olympics on 27th July 2012.

We are pleased to welcome Belinda as a new bell ringer, and hopefully in the next few weeks she will be ready to ring with us on Sunday mornings.

There have been numerous ringers from all over the Southern counties that have enjoyed ringing at Englefield. We would like to thank Gloria Sleep for her help in getting permission from Englefield House so that the visiting ringers do not upset any other activities happening at the same time on the Estate.   Janine Alston

 

 

ELECTORAL ROLL

A completely new Electoral Roll has been prepared in accordance with Church Representation Rules.  The number is 113, of which 84 are non-resident.   Doris Edwards

 

 

FINANCIAL

Overall the accounts for 2012 show a continuation of the healthier financial position reached in 2011 following leaner conditions in previous years.

Income: Generally income rose slightly in 2012, but the generosity of the congregation at St Mark’s continues and the importance of regular Gift Aid giving is again evident.  The use of the yellow envelopes by occasional visitors also boosts the value of the offertories.

Payments: The largest outgoing was, as hitherto, the parish share, although only marginally increased over the previous year.  Whilst the major works on the spire are also substantiial, other costs are generally smaller and can vary more year on year. 

Donations to the charities regularly supported generally increased, due mainly both to the PCC’s decision to donate £500 quarterly from general income to Ruaha and to other individual donations specifically given for that cause.  Funds for Ruaha totalled £4,882 over the year.

General: Whilst the parish share is likely to remain the major payment in the year ahead, the completion of the works to the spire, and particularly the continuing need to carry out the programme of Quinquennial review works, will keep pressure on the balances.  At the same time the PCC will wish to continue its help to charities and has confirmed that it has had regard to the Charity’ Commission guidance on public benefit when planning the activities of St Mark’s church.  Don Barton


 

PRIEST IN CHARGE

This last year since the retirement of the Resident Priest in March 2012 has provided a most welcome opportunity for Peter and myself to get to know the congregation of St Mark’s better as we have had the privilege of leading worship at St Mark’s on average twice a month. As we look back on the events and achievements of the year in the benefice, it seems sensible to consider these as last year in the light of the 3 fold purpose of the church which Lord Coggan when Archbishop drew to the attention of his flock – Worship, Holiness and Outreach.

 

Worship

Even within the structure of traditional Anglican worship there is scope for considerable variety and the vacancy at St Mark’s has meant that you have experienced the ministry of a wide range of clergy during the course of the year which I hope you have found enriching.

Outside Sunday morning worship there have been a number of opportunities to worship with the congregation of Holy Trinity and sometimes the congregation of St Luke’s Roman Catholic church. These include the midweek festivals of Ascension Day, Ash Wednesday, the week of Prayer for Christian Unity and the hugely evocative Passover Meal on Maundy Thursday in the wonderful setting of the Long Gallery.

The new Extended Communion group has been meeting regularly and bringing Home Communion to the sick or housebound which has clearly been much appreciated by the recipients.

 

Holiness

We grow in holiness by God’s grace as we strive to become more like our Lord Jesus Christ. Prayer, personal and corporate, and Bible Study are 2 of the most important facilitators of that process.

Many of you are involved in groups that meet regularly in and outside Englefield and others have participated in the 2 bible study groups that meet fortnightly in Theale and /or the monthly prayer lunch.

 

Outreach

St Mark’s has produced its own Mission Action plan which has been approved by the PCC, linked with the plan of Holy Trinity and submitted to the Deanery. Some of it is ongoing and other parts wait to be implemented.

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations provided a wonderful way to celebrate, with the community through street parties and garden parties, through beacons in Englefield and on Holy Trinity tower and through civic services in Theale.

Work in the primary school has continued throughout the vacancy. Peter or I have taken Assembly each week and I have started Latin clubs at Englefield and Theale primary which have proved to be an excellent way of getting to know children outside a specifically religious context. The parents of children at the school are very conscious of the Christian ethos of the school and exceedingly appreciative. This year some children at Englefield Primary also took part in the nativity play in the Falcon Inn yard in Theale.

The school have been closely involved in the new cross-benefice monthly Family Church. This initiative has attracted between 60 and 70 parents and children each month to the new interactive service which is held at St Luke’s Englefield Rd. The launch of Family Church, the tractor ride (called Prayer Safari) through Theale and Englefield was a huge success and subsequent services like Palm Sunday with the procession of donkeys and lambs through Theale have proved equally popular.

The new Trinity Bunnies mother and toddler group is meeting a very important need across the benefice for c50 mothers and about 60 youngsters who attend every week in Theale Village Hall

 

We are looking forward very much to the next chapter of outreach or mission in the benefice as we join with Nick and Harriet to work together for the growth of God’s Kingdom across the benefice in Theale and Englefield.

 

Finally may I take this opportunity of thanking all those who have worked so hard during the vacancy to ensure that all the work of the parish has carried on as usual.  Peter and I would also like to express our personal thanks for all those of you who have prayed for us and supported us as we have endeavoured to serve both parishes and embark on some new initiatives for the kingdom.  Ann Templeman