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).