Notes From Linch PCC May 4 2016

Notes from St Luke’s Linch PCC meeting on 4 May 2016

Anne Alderman and Jacqui Woodhams were re-elected as Hon Treasurer and Hon Secretary respectively.

The churchwardens reported:

  • Essential pruning and cutting back of trees and shrubs had recently been done in Linch churchyard. There is ongoing discussion as to how best to deal with uneven graves in Iping Marsh churchyard, and how to manage the ashes plot at Linch which is uneven and overgrown.  It was agreed to have a clear-up working party at Linch on 28 May and at Iping Marsh on 24 September – volunteers to help at either or both would be most welcome.
  • It appears that the cesspit problem at Linch has finally been resolved and the surrounding area has been reseeded. The damaged wall at Iping Marsh has been repaired.
  • A smart new noticeboard has been erected in the porch at Linch, thanks to Olive and John Fleming.
  • The churchwardens were to be officially installed at Easebourne on 24 May.

Lea Grocott reported that the DAC has recommended to the Chancellor that the faculty for repair of the south and west windows be granted.  Lea has received quotations for treatment of the woodworm-infested chairs.  There have been very occasional leaks via the bell tower following very heavy rain but they are manageable until repairs can be combined with other work.  Nesting birds at Linch are occasionally getting trapped in the church so a notice on the church door will ask visitors to take care to close the door securely on entering and leaving.

Bob Farwell, our Deanery Synod representative, told us that the parishes of Linchmere and Camelsdale have now joined the parish of Fernhurst and there is concern about the viability of other neighbouring congregations.

Easter collections at Linch were almost the same as in 2015.  Lent Lunches donations of £260 would be sent to the Tear Fund for reconstruction work in Nepal.  Women’s World Day of Prayer collection was £121.50 and donations following the talk on Iran were £137.

Now that repayment of loans on the Bettesworth Room are virtually complete and parish finances appear to be on a more even keel, it was suggested that the annual transfer of a set amount from the General Fund to the Fabric Fund be reinstated.  The Fabric Fund is restricted and monies in that account can only be used for repair of the church fabric.  After discussion it was agreed that any gifts/donations made specifically for the upkeep of the church fabric be deposited in the designated Fabric Fund, but that the possible creation of a non-restricted fabric fund be considered towards the end of the year.  Application of the monies in such a fund would be more flexible.

Janet Werner had volunteered to be responsible for organising the practicalities in connection with the benefice presence at the forthcoming Rural Fair: gazebo, tables and chairs, T-shirts and aprons with the St Luke’s logo.  The Milland congregation would also be bringing materials.  Janet would also be organising a plant and produce stall at the Tuxlith Art and Craft Exhibition on 18/19 June.

The new St Luke’s website, developed by Julie Ireland, was due to go live on 1 June.  Rev’d Trish asked the PCC to view it and comment.  Rev’d Trish told the meeting about a community initiative to be called Milland Cares: a directory of sources of local help.  The PCC felt that official involvement in the scheme could be problematical but they would unofficially aim to be supportive.

Linch APCM 10th April 2016

Notes from the Linch APCM

  • The two churchwardens, Carol Stacey and David Alderman, were re-elected for a further year.
  • Joe Gallagher reported that there are now 83 on the electoral roll, one more than in 2015.
  • The churchwardens thanked the many in the parish – too many to name individuals – who help in a wide variety of ways. New this year was Rev’d Trish’s Messy Church initiative which involves children and parents outside the formal church service environment.  We also appreciated the contemplative Taizé services.  The parish had welcomed Bishop Martin, helped light the Pentecostal beacon, and joined with Milland in several Benefice services.  There had been celebrations, social and fundraising events including the biennial fete and annual Christmas Party.  Lent Lunches were hosted in the Benefice and raised funds towards the Diocesan appeal to support Christians in the Holy Land.  The Rector led a Lent Course the tempting theme of which was based on the film Chocolat.

Lea Grocott continued to look after the fabric of the church and does a huge amount.  The cesspit installed in connection with the construction of the Bettesworth Room had proved an ongoing headache and taken a great deal of Lea’s time in negotiating with the builders.  When not dealing with overflows Lea had also submitted a faculty application for repair of the church’s south and west windows: work which it is hoped will be carried out in 2016/17.  The problem of damp in the vestry wall was finally resolved by the addition of external tiling.  The installation of a new gate post enabled the churchyard gates to hang properly.  Woodworm has been found in chairs and is to be treated.  Following the attempted theft of coping stones from the Iping Marsh churchyard wall, our insurers agreed to pay for the repairs.

The churchwardens expressed their own and the PCC’s thanks to Lea for his quite exceptional efforts.

  • Anne Alderman presented her Treasurer’s Report and the accounts for 2015.  Receipts exceeded payments by £4,655, a welcome improvement on the budgeted deficit of £3,006.  Receipts into the unrestricted general fund were higher than in 2014 thanks to planned giving, fundraising events and some generous donations.  There were also grants and donations directed specifically to the restricted fabric fund, which will help to finance the window restoration and other quinquennial works.  The best news was that we now have sufficient funds to cover the final loan repayments on the Bettesworth Room.  In her budget for the coming year Anne anticipates a deficit of some £2,800 but there are several imponderables in the calculations and as last year proved, things can change.

Trish expressed huge thanks to Anne on behalf of the parish for her fantastic management of our finances.

  • In her own Rector’s Report, Trish added her own thanks to the many who do so much in the parish; in particular she thanked Nicky Fairhurst who was relinquishing responsibility for the flower arranging after several years.  She was delighted that the Bettesworth Room is paid for and is so well used.  Trish emphasised that the church is a charity and to fulfil that role we need to reach out to the wider community.  She was pleased that in this Year of Mercy the Benefice had recently responded magnificently to the appeal for clothing and other supplies for those in need in Syria and Iraq.  She acknowledged that our own finances were good but stressed that we shouldn’t be complacent.
  • Members of the PCC retiring this year were Olive Fleming, Pam Way, Mary Turton and Mu Bullingham, all of whom were thanked for their service. Two new PCC members were elected: Janet Werner and Tricia Macgeorge.


More detail on the above, and reports on the Deanery Synod and Tuesday and Sunday Clubs, were in the written report distributed at the APCM (copies of which are still available if you’re short of bedtime reading).