Go back to normal view
From the Wardens Window
So the time comes round again to welcome a new year and whatever it might bring and to reflect back over the old, now retired into history. Within our church there have been notable events and various changes but overall it probably has to go down mainly for two newcomers, our Associate Priest and our New Toilet at All Saints’. These are neither in order of importance or associated but both have been very welcome indeed.
It is also an opportunity to look back over Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany and the worship shared during this important part of the year. All would agree how fortunate we are in Charles, our Rector, and can appreciate all the hard work he puts in throughout the year and especially at the this busy time and soon again at Easter. It is good that he now has Sheila at his side and our thanks are due to both of them for all they do.
Extra thanks are always due within the church over Christmastide for so many tasks carried out by so many people, quietly and without fuss: those who distribute all the Christmas programmes throughout all the parish, those who clean the church, those who decorate it both with flower displays and with the Christmas decorations and then clear them away, those who take on the extra sidesperson and serving duties, and those who help on the social occasions that follow some of the services. On the more visible front we owe a great deal to our choir and particularly Ralph Hebditch for all they bring, borne of many hours of practice and hard work.
On the subject of service to our church I must take this opportunity to pay my tribute to Mavis Brookes who contributed so much in so many roles over the years including churchwarden which badge of office she handed on to me in 2001. There are many who can and will speak better than I of her but from a personal point I would just like to record the debt I owe her for all the support I could seek and unfailingly receive, and the friendship we enjoyed over all those years.
Looking to the future, plans for the coming year include a refurbishment and updating of the toilets and entry porch in the hall, in many eyes long overdue. It is also hoped to look into changes to the small hall to make it more comfortable, attractive, and therefore usable for those smaller groups for whom the main hall is too large. Sadly however as in many areas budget constraints control programmes.
Budget constraints are indeed a well known factor for many these days both personal and corporate. The PCC will be considering next year’s budget at their next meeting and will no doubt again be faced with a deficit and the problem of how to deal with it. Most of the figure required for outgoings is due to “share”, our contribution to the diocese for clergy costs. Twelve years ago this was £44,044. This year the figure will be £63,416.
Many of the costs are inescapable, mostly paying for the various checks and inspections of electrics, gas, fire extinguishers, boilers, and the like required by law and covering both churches, so the chances to save expenditure are very restricted. A great debt is due to our Resources Group, another unseen body, who carry out tremendous amounts of repair and renewal work without our having to employ outside labour. Another area where we can save by “do it yourself” is the cleaning of the church and here I would ask anyone who would help with this 2 hours a week, once a month, job for two to let the churchwardens know. Remember:
“A servant(?) with this clause
Not a money saving task, but one that we are required to fulfil under the Health and Safety law is a list of known members qualified in first aid. Therefore would anyone who is qualified or is prepared to undertake a course please again let the churchwardens know.
Just to get away from one of a churchwarden’s main tasks which is it seems that of looking for volunteers or, as the army would see it “volunteers”, I would draw everyone’s attention to the changed uses of the boards at the back of the church at St Mark’s. The board nearest the chapel will remain the home for lists of duties, and in time this will include officers and other responsible persons within the church such as safeguarding officers. Now next to it is the display for events and entertainments. This will include the monthly parish lunch and will be where the list for names for that will be posted. On the other side will remain our link with Sudan and next to that general correspondence, mostly thank-you letters, and on the far end ancillary items.
This is an attempt to keep the board and easel out of the porch where it is deemed something of an eyesore although a smaller notice board that could be hung temporarily on the outside of the lounge door is being considered.
Finally, although it may seem a little way off at this time, the APCM is only just over two months away and therefore the time to consider taking on such contributive posts as churchwarden, PCC member, server, and sidesperson. Do not be shy, all is possible and all can be revealed to you!