Minutes of Church Council held on 23 January, 2018
Rev. Mark Wakelin (Chair), Barbara Rusis, Ann Arthur, Meryl Smith, Carol Stringer, Richard Smith, Jane Williams, John Wilson, Jacqui Raggett, Andrew Jennings, Suzanne Gunton, Rachel King, John Riley, Richard Chandra-Rajan, Simon Jump, David Williams, Jim Bosley, Chris Shaw, Judith Wakelin, Martin Harrison
Val Imms, Peter Thompson, Kathryn Thompson, Margaret Sheils
The minutes were agreed, as updated, and signed.
Membership of the meeting:
Rev. Un Soon Nguang to be added to Church Council membership list.
Safeguarding policy to be re-issued by Methodist Church and therefore will be presented in April.
Finance Report: Richard
The annual report for the year ended 31 August 2017 was presented and approved. This report will be used to drive the AGM review of church finances. Thanks was given to the many people who contributed to the document which illuminates our purpose and the direction of our mission.
The accounts were presented for the first 4 months of this year. The planned budget deficit for 2017/2018 of around £10,000 was noted. EMC is actively using resources and reserves to further the mission of the church. Harry Wilkinson wishes to step down after a number of years as our auditor.
The property report was presented as general information and updates of ongoing known projects, such as the flower kitchen.
The lease on the Dovecote Bookshop was discussed as the bookshop has requested an extension of the current lease for a period of two further calendar years until March 2020. Currently EMC has no plans for this space and it was agreed to extend the lease to Dovecote for 2 years.
General Resource committee items:
The strategic plan over the next three years was presented. As of 1 September 2017, EMC has £572K in cash and investments, of which £110K must be kept as a in minimum cash reserve. With the resulting £462K available, £372K is uncommitted and available for future expenditure over the next three years. It was recommended that funds in the amount of £200K be spent on 1) employment of a Children and Family Worker; 2)employment of an assistant for Roots Coffee Shop; 3)Continue to improve premises; and 4)Music upgrades such as a new grand piano.
The appointment of a Children and Family Worker was approved based on the terms and pay level set out in the written proposal submitted by the committee as well as general approval for Andrew to seek all forms of support from the congregation. The need to be enthusiastic about backing this hire was highlighted. The need to differentiate between a ‘child’ and a ‘youth’ was raised, with those identified as a child up to the age of 11 or 12. This is the group that this role would focus on. Should an intern be appointed in the future, that role would focus on ‘youth’.
Roots has been a success and a good form of outreach for the church and extended opening hours are planned to keep up this form of mission. A second person is requested to be an employee and to job share with Wendy who wants to decrease her hours. The role would be for a 1 year fixed term contract, renewable. A proposal was made to employ a second coffee shop person for up to 20 hours a week in a job share arrangement with Wendy. The intention is that this new post is a genuine job share, with the same title, though Wendy will be working slightly longer hours and will of course have been in post for longer, so will have some seniority. This was approved by a near unanimous yes vote, with one no vote.
A detailed report was received on music recommendations following a musical review to consider the use of musical instruments for the services as well as a survey of the congregation. The result was a recommendation by the resource committee to buy a new grand piano for £20K as well and a new organ. Technical issues regarding the choice of a new organ were raised and will be investigated by David W and Tony B who will report back to the Resources Committee.
Following discussion, a proposal was made to buy a new or 2nd hand piano as well as a new organ. The proposal to buy a new piano was approved with 10 votes for and 2 against. The proposal to buy a new organ will be postponed to a later date following additional information on technical specifications.
The hiring of Flashpark to issue invoices to unauthorised parkers in the EMC carpark was proposed. The advantages and disadvantages were discussed. An initial six month trial was approved with a vote of 8 in favour and 6 opposed.
Sr Stewards report: Rachel
There have been a number of big events since Christmas to include Christmas Together and Ignite. Tony and Heather are stepping down after 5 years of running Christmas Together and now Keith and Lisa Halstead will run this event. The Steward team had an away day to prepare objectives for the next year and to prepare for the AGM on 21 April.
The external decorations committee would welcome new members so that the Easter and Christmas scenes outside the church can be supported.
Pastoral Report: Carol
The committee continue to meet and assist members of the congregation in support and prayer. The committee always welcomes new members to join. Val Imms and Jane Williams are looking to set up a support group for those coping with loss and bereavement. In addition, they are planning a Christian Listening Training course so volunteers have the necessary skills to work with those in need. These skills could additionally fit into Roots mission so that guests have someone to talk to. A proposal was made to give this Listening Training a budget of £600. This amount was approved.
Children and Young People:
Guide Report: Rachel
There is an urgent need for leaders as one Rainbows unit has been cancelled due to a shortage of leaders. On a more positive note, the Guides and Senior Section are planning a trip to Switzerland in August. This will require further fundraising and it was requested that Guides be given permission to hold a raffle during a sing-along fund raising event. The proposal to allow a raffle passed with one vote abstaining.
Scout Report: Jacqui
The scout group continues to thrive and additional leaders are sought for cubs and explorers. The fundraising events held during the recent months were successful (firework display and Christmas Post).
Nursery Management: John Riley
The nursery has full capacity with a waiting list and is running very well. The Nursery Manager, Sarah Boswell, who has run the nursery for 10 years, indicated that she will step down and a replacement will be needed from September 2018. Efforts to start looking for a replacement started before Christmas with the aim to find someone by June to allow for continuity. It is unknown how this change will influence the staff or parents. We will think about how to express thanks to Sarah for her work over the years. John’s report is attached as his report during the CC meeting was oral.
A.O.B previously notified
Health and Safety policy was signed, as it was approved at an earlier meeting. Specific names agreed were put on the actual policy.
A proposal was made to share information by putting meeting minutes on the EMC web site in a restricted area for CC members. While individual committees will now discuss this to be addressed later, it was agreed that Church Council meeting minutes would go on the web for public viewing.
Representatives to the Circuit Meeting:
We need reps for the Circuit and Jane agreed to become Senior Rep. Val Imms agreed to be a rep.
We have 2 open places to fill. Jane agreed to give an oral report at the meeting.
The AGM will be on 21 April, Saturday.
The next Church Council meeting will be on 24 April at 20:00.
Senior Steward’s Update Jan 2018
Senior Steward’s Update
It has been a while since I have written an update and a lot of things have happened. Christmas was a joyful but frenetic event at EMC with many services and events.
EMC hosted another successful Christmas Together. I would like to thank Heather and Tony Blakeburn and their team for running the event. Heather and Tony have decided to step down after five years. Thank you to them for this commitment – the event makes a huge difference to those who would have been alone at Christmas. Keith and Lisa Halstead will be taking over in 2018.
In January we had an amazing church mission day. I hope that those who joined us for Ignite found it an uplifting and helpful occasion. It is really positive to think about our mission as a church. Keep your eyes open for follow up.
Over the last few months, Richard Smith and our auditor Harry Wilkinson have been working hard on our annual report. I would like to thank them for all their time and effort. It is an enormous piece of work which can be found on the Charity Commission website and in the office. It will be presented at the Church AGM on Saturday 21 April. Come along to hear about the plans for the year and be involved in the decision making. We will have children’s activities so that everyone can come.
This month we are looking forward to the church Book Fair in February. This will be EMC’s seventeenth successive Book Fair. There are many opportunities to get involved and plenty of books for sale so do come along and support it!
We are always trying to support you with any issues so please feel free to come and raise anything. You can see me in the welcome area between services, use my pigeon hole or email me ().
The Church Council meets formally three or four times a year. It provides leadership across the whole range of local church life and is responsible for ensuring that Epsom Methodist Church’s affairs are managed, decisions taken and resources used in a way which integrates into one community and purposes the work of the ministers, officers and members.
The Church Council appoints a number of representatives to the Circuit Meeting, which is responsible, in particular, for ensuring that there are adequate ministerial resources in all churches in the Circuit.
Following a very well supported and positive special general meeting of the church on 25th November 2014, we are delighted to let you know that we now have a much fuller complement of leadership/stewards. We were delighted to see a number of folk willing to stand for election and the meeting gave their unanimous support. The members elected are Neil Dallen, Liz Frost, Andrew Jennings, Sharon Lam, John Riley, Elizabeth Smith, Harvey Morris, Ann Arthur, Zoe Grant, Carol Thorley, Rachel King, Betty Mickelburgh and Peter Thompson.
Some will be known to many, and others are less well known. It is hoped that we now have a team of people with a range of experiences and backgrounds to help EMC move forward to fulfil God's Mission for church. This is a very exciting time for our church, please pray for guidance for our leadership/stewards.
From January 2015, the former title of 'Leadership Team' is become the 'Stewards Team'.