THE PARISH OF HOLLINGBOURNE
(ALL SAINTS’ CHURCH)
PAROCHIAL CHURCH COUNCIL
FOR THE YEAR ENDED
31 DECEMBER 2012
Reference and Administrative Information
All Saints’ Church is situated in Upper Street, Hollingbourne. It is part of a single benefice with the parishes of Leeds and Broomfield and Hucking. It is part of the Diocese of Canterbury within the Church of England.
The correspondence address is The Vicarage, Upper Street, Hollingbourne. ME17 1UJ
The Parochial Church Council is a charity excepted from registration with the Charity Commission. There is one associated restricted fund, the Culpeper Chapel Fund, which exists to provide financial assistance with essential maintenance of the Culpeper Chapel.
Priest-in-Charge: The Revd Nigel Fry
Assistant Priest: The Revd Canon Robin Gill
Authorised Lay Minister Mr Derek Bilbrough
Churchwardens Mr Jim Findlay
Mr William Perry
Representatives on the Deanery Synod:
Mr Jim Findlay
Mrs Mary Rabbett
Mrs Paula Bilbrough (elected April 2012)
Mr John Cobbett
Mrs Frances Crossley
Mr Jim Johnson Treasurer
Mrs Sue King
Miss Marion Pring
Mrs Pauline Stubbs (elected April 2012)
Mrs Jean Talboys Secretary & Electoral Roll Officer
National Westminster Bank plc
3 High Street
Maidstone ME14 1HJ
Elizabeth M Jordan F.C.A.
UHY Hacker Young
Sittingbourne ME10 4BJ
Structure, Governance and Management
The method of appointment of PCC members is set out in the Church Representation Rules. All Church attendees are encouraged to register on the Electoral Roll and stand for election to the PCC.
The PCC has the following four committees:
This committee is required by law. It has the power to transact the business of the PCC between its meetings, subject to any directions given by the Council. The members of the Standing Committee are the Priest-in-Charge and the Churchwardens.
The committee meets as required to review income and expenditure and to suggest which charities and organisations should be the subject of the year’s outward giving and advises the PCC accordingly.
This committee meets as required to review the requirements of the Quinquennial inspection, undertake everyday maintenance of the church building and fabric and advise the PCC accordingly.
The social committee was chaired by Mrs Jan Fry. Its membership is not confined to members of the PCC. This committee has relieved the PCC of the time required to arrange the various social and fund raising activities.
Objectives and Activities
All Saints’ is a parish church in a small village – the PCC makes sure that everyone is welcome to all of our services. Our church remains open for most of the day and provides a spiritual place of rest and refreshment for visitors and pilgrims travelling along the Pilgrims/North Downs Way.
When planning our activities for the year, the PCC has given consideration to the Charity Commission’s guidance on charities, and in particular the specific guidance on charities for the advancement of religion.
The Priest-in-Charge and the PCC try to enable ordinary people to live out their faith as part of our parish community through:-
Worship and prayer; learning about the Gospel; and developing their knowledge and trust in Jesus.
Provision of pastoral care for people living in the parish.
Missionary and outreach work.
As well as our regular services, which are advertised on the Notice Board and Porch Board, we enable the community to celebrate and thank God at the milestones of the journey through life with Baptisms, Marriages and Funerals.
Hollingbourne PCC has the responsibility of co-operating with the Ministry Team in promoting in the Parish of Hollingbourne the whole mission of the church, pastoral, evangelistic, social and ecumenical. It has the responsibility for the maintenance of the fabric of the church, All Saints’, Upper Street, Hollingbourne and the furniture, furnishings etc. within it.
The Electoral Roll for 2012, has 53 persons, 40 are resident and 13 non-resident.
Children and Vulnerable Adults Protection
Hollingbourne Church continues to follow the guidelines laid down by Canterbury Diocese regarding the “Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults.” The coordinators have received training and CRB checks are authorized for those working with young people. This year this has meant checks for those people working at the new “Messy Church” days of activities for children. 2013 will see new regulations on Safeguarding coming into force and Canterbury Diocese has instigated a series of training days so that everyone will understand the new legal requirements. Hollingbourne is committed to ensure that children and vulnerable adults are welcome into our community and their safeguarding is paramount to us all.
Dawn Perry and Mary Rabbett
Achievements and Performance
The average weekly attendance, counted during October, was 38, this figure includes the Harvest Family Service. The average attendance throughout the year was 32. Attendance at services for festivals, Carol service and the various Christmas services was significantly higher than this. Attendance at the Easter Eucharist was 70 including 50 communicants.
Review of the Year
During 2012, Hollingbourne Church has adjusted to the new pattern of services started in the previous year. The new pattern of worship in Hollingbourne now offers a traditional Common Worship Eucharist on the 2nd and 3rd Sundays of the month, a fairly informal Family All-Age service on the 1st Sunday of the month and a Common Worship (sung) Morning Prayer on the 4th Sunday (formal but without Holy Communion). The response to this new pattern of services has been good and an attendance at services has been encouraging. Service patterns elsewhere in our Benefice of 5 churches have also been adjusted and it is now possible for all services to be covered by either myself and/or Robin Gill. I have been, again, deeply appreciative of Robin’s help, particularly during my holidays. The service pattern is such that only one member of clergy can manage it, which is the case for quite a high proportion of the year.
As usual, our church has seen good attendances at Easter, Harvest and Christmas (especially the Christingle on Christmas Eve). Whilst we always like to see more on regular Sundays, attendance has been good and is slowly building year by year.
Derek Bilbrough has now completed two years of training as an Authorised Lay Minister and has completed modules covering pastoral care and leading worship. He was officially authorized for ministry in the Benefice during a special service in Broomfield Church on 30th September. Derek is now helping with non-sacramental services at Hollingbourne and Leeds (Family Services and Morning Worship). We are encouraged with his enthusiasm and progress and look forward to him taking a more active part in services in 2013.
A Home Group started after Easter and we initially did the Diocesan Lent Course on a weekly basis – and about 8 people attended. The Home Group now meets on the first Tuesday of the month, at the Vicarage; this group meets for fellowship, Bible study and prayer.
As an outreach initiative, a team of people from Hollingbourne Church have started a Messy Church group which has met 3 times at the Cardwell Pavilion and once at the Village Hall. Messy Church offers Bible based Christian teaching and worship, combined with some craftwork and refreshments. The team has helped start a similar project in Leeds Church and it is hoped that this work will all continue in 2013.
A special ‘Back to Church Sunday’ was held at the Harvest Service on October 7th and it was good to see the church well attended by some new and returning visitors.
As always I am indebted to my wife Jan for the enormous help she gives me. I don’t have a secretary or administrator and she provides valuable assistance to me in my ministry. Her health is sadly still not good and I am continually amazed at her determination and ability to provide open hospitality here in the Vicarage. I have had some ill health over the year too and I am grateful for the help that many people gave me during my time in hospital and during recovery.
Hollingbourne PCC met on six occasions in 2012, four meetings were held at the Vicarage and two at
10, Athelstan Green. Members of the PCC also attended 3 Benefice Councils held at the Vicarage. Paula Bilbrough and Pauline Stubbs were elected to the PCC at Annual Meeting on April 1st. Paula Bilbrough accepted the invitation to become Secretary of the Benefice Council.
The PCC Ministry and Mission discussions included, the Commissioning of Derek Bilbrough as Authorised Lay Minister in the Benefice, The Novena of Prayer, Messy Church, House Groups, The Jubilee Celebration service, Back to Church Sunday and the reprinting of the Church Guide.
Other discussions covered the Quinquennial Inspection and consequent fabric repairs, Smartwater treatment of external and internal metal structures, refurbishment of the Incumbents Board, Churchyard maintenance and the possibility of the provision of two additional bells.
Events and Activities
§ The ‘Hollingbourne Helpers’ initiative, which was developed by the church, continues to provide a valuable service in organising lifts, collecting prescriptions and generally providing neighbourly support through the village. There is a list of helpers and coordinators in the parish magazine.
The Parish magazine (produced by the church) continues to be a valuable resource for the village community and provides useful information on church services, activities and social events. In addition, the magazine provides useful information and reports of local village clubs and societies.
In addition to our special Lenten Worship Services this year we held a Benefice Away Day at Leeds Castle on 11th February when writer and broadcaster Ted Harrison came to give us some inspirational addresses on how religion works in the modern world. About thirty people attended the day from our Benefice churches.
The church values the close links with Hollingbourne Primary School and representatives from the church and local community serve as Governors and also provide voluntary help. Nigel Fry takes an assembly at the school once a week and the whole school visits the church for a seasonal Service of Worship once a term. The links with the school helps towards encouraging local families and children to attend Family Services and Seasonal Services at Christmas, Easter and Harvest. Making children and their families welcome into our church community is a priority of the clergy and PCC.
The church continued to be called upon for a growing number of baptisms, weddings and funerals. Confirmation Preparation classes were held earlier in the year and one person was confirmed by Bishop Trevor at Ulcombe Church on 19th February.
Our seasonal services (Easter, Harvest and Christmas) were very well attended by the local community. The Christingle Service on Christmas Eve continues to draw people from the local community and beyond.
The church provided hospitality for many groups of pilgrims who walk through the village via the Pilgrims /North Downs Way to or from Canterbury, including a group from St Martin’s in the Fields and the L’Arche Community. Many other groups visit the Church and enjoy a peaceful rest. Bell ringers, too, come to the tower with groups of supporting visitors
The Family Service on the first Sunday of each month continues to be well attended by children and young families. Baptisms are held in these services.
The Morning Worship service on the 4th Sunday of each month allows an opportunity for those who are not confirmed to attend a church service that is not quite as informal as the Family Service.
Midweek Eucharistic services continued to be held monthly in the chapel in the Village Hall.
Our ‘Open Church’ policy is welcomed by our many visitors. The current enthusiasm to trace ancestors brings requests to view the Burial Register and also the record of gravestones and monuments which was compiled by Helen Allison and a team of helpers.
The report of the Independent Examiner and the Accounts for the year will be found later in this report
Results for the year show a deficit of £2,748 which is due largely to unexpected fabric expenditure.
Ignoring the cost of some survey work and tree surgery in the churchyard, which was generously covered by the Friends of Hollingbourne’s Historic Church, receipts fell 3% and payments rose 12% from last year’s levels.
The main elements of the changes were:
· a fall in Gift Aid recovery, as two claims were made compared with three in 2011. This is purely a timing effect and will correct itself in 2013
· a 30% fall in Donations ( ignoring the Friends’ contribution to tree work in the churchyard )
· a 9.5% increase in Diocesan Parish Share, to be followed by a further 9.4% rise in 2013
· a near trebling of fabric expenditure, excluding the churchyard tree work but including £1500 for works arising from the Quinquennial Review and £750 for installing the Smartwater security system to the church metalwork
· a 62% rise in cost of services, associated with the Messy Church initiative
Overall reserves stand at £38,477. The provisional budget for 2013 indicates a deficit of about £5,000, due mainly to the £1900 rise in Parish Share and increased fabric spending in order to fulfil further requirements arising from the Quinquennial Review. The fabric element of the deficit will be drawn from the Fabric Fund, which will then need to be replenished in the next few years.
The PCC seeks to maintain a level of reserves which is considered prudent with regards to the mission of the Church and its responsibility for the fabric of its historic building.
Gift Aid Secretary’s Report
As a result of the timing of receipts of gift aid it appears that our income from this source was lower than last year. In fact the underlying figure is essentially the same.
Many thanks to all who have helped achieve this satisfactory outcome.
From the start of the next tax year, a new scheme is being introduced by the Government which will enable Churches and other charitable bodies to claim a gift aid style payment on small cash donations up to £20. This is a welcome move, but it is a complementary arrangement to our main gift aid scheme where the continuing commitment by donors is essential to the financial well being of the Church.
Friends of Hollingbourne’s Historic Church
The Friends exists as an independent body raising funds from the wider community to help with the maintenance and improvement of the main fabric of the Church building and it’s environs.
“The fabric of All Saints is generally in very sound condition. There are a number of minor repairs requiring early attention but hardly amounting to a significant investment.” ROBERT GEORGE. Surveying Architect , Report on Quinquennial Inspection. 1st. May 2012.
In April 2012 the Church was inspected as detailed in The Inspection of Churches Measure 1955. The above quote is taken from the introduction of the final report. A copy of this report can be read on the Village web site. Those repairs listed as requiring early attention have been completed with longer-term repairs and improvements built into a 3-year action plan.
The PCC recognizes the need to exercise a rolling programme of maintenance and improvements to ensure that the fabric of this fine building is properly cared for.
In the second week of January 2012 the water main into the Church was replaced. The work required a new stopcock to be installed in Upper Street and a new supply main was then trenched across the Churchyard. This action had to be undertaken, as the original main had sprung at least 2 significant leaks. Auger Technical Services undertook the work. All paperwork relating to the routing of the new main has been filed with the Church records.
Work in the Churchyard
During the year a group of volunteers cleared away the great amounts of undergrowth and weeds covering many of the tombstones. The perimeter wall was also cleared of vegetation and a survey under taken to determine the remedial works required to keep the wall in good order.
A tree surgeon was employed by The Friends of Hollingbourne Church to remove a large dead section of a conifer tree. The tree surgeon will be employed again in 2013 to undertake further maintenance work needed to keep the tree stock in a healthy state. Maidstone borough council has giver permission for this work to be undertaken.
Maidstone Borough Council maintained the closed Churchyard and cut the yew hedge. This work was regularly attended to and the grass kept tidy. Mary Rabbett and Pauline Stubbs worked on the garden borders at the entrance to the main door to the Church and the results of their efforts led to many congratulatory comments from those attending the Church. The attractive entrance to the Church is further enhanced by the floral arrangements inside the Church, which are managed by the team led by Sue King.
The volunteers who clean the building worked hard to ensure the interior of the Church was always smart and well presented. The efforts of this team are greatly valued and appreciated.
Sacristan and Verger.
The seamless and smooth functioning of these two offices indicates once more the strength of the team who support the work of our Clergy. Marjorie Noar and Marion Pring can always be relied upon to ensure that all is in place and ready for the range of services offered at Hollingbourne Church .
The Prayer Corner (established nearly three years ago) has continued to be in regular use. It is used by visitors, local people and members of the congregation. Prayers, including requests for healing, comfort and grace are written in a specially designated book and are offered up at the altar week by week.
As so often happens, little change has been achieved with the normal duties of the choir. It continues its work faithfully week by week as is its custom. The number of members remains much the same although we are delighted to have the additional help of Rosemarie and Natalie. Every voice is an essential support in our choir. Each year I am aware that there are extra voices in the congregation who could make an enormous difference to our choir, but they still remain in the congregation!
We have continued to support weddings and funerals as required whenever possible. The Christmas Carol Services at both Leeds and Hollingbourne saw a full turn out of the choir. We again thank our regular organists – Sue King in particular for her constant help and Judith Sweatman for her monthly contribution. Markham Chesterfield is a dependable ‘stand by’ when the occasion arises. We are very much indebted to these three people, for without them our Services would be considerably different! Our thanks and appreciation go to all who occupy the Choir in our Church.
We now have ten ladies on the flower rota who, apart from Lent and Advent, provide fresh flower arrangements in the church each week. We also arrange flowers for weddings when required, and this year made a profit of £135 in order to buy flowers for Easter and Christmas. Extra help is always appreciated, especially for festival decorating.
The completion of the Hollingbourne Record is still in the final stages for submission to the NADFAS scrutineers and subsequent presentation to Hollingbourne
The Committee met 4 times and there was always a good attendance. The usual events took place during the year and all proved highly successful. We picked the hottest day of the summer for the BBQ which was miraculous considering the bad summer.
1. Mulled Wine and Mince Pies Party at the Vicarage
2. Easter Day Egg Hunt
3. Hospitality for L’Arche Community Pilgrimage
4. 7 stalls at the Village Fete
5. A fundraising Coffee Morning at the Vicarage for the Heart of Kent Hospice
6. A BBQ in the Vicarage garden
7. Monthly Open House Coffee Mornings in the Vicarage
8. Harvest Supper in the Village Hall
9. Christmas Market in the Village Hall
The Mothering Sunday posies were provided by Sue King and Alison Finch. Pauline Stubbs, Shula Lee, Paula Bilbrough and Julia Davies prepared the Christingles. We are grateful to all of them and others who helped.
The Committee has worked hard to provide social events for the year. We especially thank the partners and other people who joined up for the preparation and clearing up of events. We welcomed Barney and Deborah on to the Committee and are grateful for their help and catering skills.
We are glad that the Social Committee has helped raise funds for the church, sometimes a record, but our main objective is to meet and greet old friends and new. I hope that this is what we achieved.
You will have read in the magazine that I am retiring as Social Committee Chairman and I am so grateful that Pauline Stubbs is taking over from me. I know that she will be a wonderful person to hold the reins of our social activities. The meetings will still be held in the Vicarage and I shall remain as a committee member. Thank you for all your support over the last 9 years.
Katrine, our new editor, has produced a lively, informative and very readable magazine throughout the year. We are grateful for the time she devotes to its production.
The number of magazines that are sold has been in gentle decline for a few years and it is important that we seek to stem this.
Thanks are due to the Distributors in the Village and also to Jim Johnson for his work with the Advertisers
We met in January and July to share some refreshments and discuss experiences. As far as I know, we continue to meet most requests and needs but it is helpful to discuss our role.
In December, I had a call from a Helper, to say that a lady was in hospital and her husband would need transport to Medway Hospital to see her as he is blind. The Helper had already put this in hand and I can only thank you so much for arranging this sort of thing and keeping Nigel and I informed – it is such a help.
May I again say thank you to all the Hollingbourne Helpers and Drivers for their support for a very worthwhile scheme.
We had two Saturday morning breakfasts this year on 23rd June and 27th October and our speakers were Markham Chesterfield and Joe Webber who both provided interesting talks to about 20 who attended on each occasion. Thank you to our cooks – Jan, Mary and Barbara, who provided the kind of breakfasts we are not allowed to eat the rest of the year! A good time for fellowship and food.
I was able to cover every street in the Parish as usual, but I can always do with more collectors.
Our total was £991-75 which was up £93-75 on last year – which was excellent. We hope to top the £1000 mark next year! Average donation per envelope was £4-99 which was an increase of 65p from last year, which I was so pleased with in this time of recession. The cake stall at the school did exceedingly well and raised £147-69 which is easily the most that they have ever raised. Eight collectors raised their totals from 2011.
As usual my thanks to Linda who does all the paper work and to Jean who helps with the counting. I could not manage this job without them.
Christmas Trees for the Homeless
‘Giving Trees’ have been set up for the benefit of the Homeless during the past two years. Gifts of tinned food, long life milk and clothing are brought to the tree so that baubles may be put on it to signify a donation. The more highly decorated the tree, the more gifts have been given. This scheme has been very well supported.
The Synod met in February, July and October.
The main subject discussed was the implementation of the Mission Action Plan in the North Downs Deanery.
Revd. Kerry Thorp and Revd. Peter Ingrams are supporting the Deanery with this task.
The importance of shared initiatives within the synod and the recruitment of ALM’s was stressed.
The Rev. Susan Hollins, Area Dean, had reported on the 13th National Conference which had discussed
‘The National Picture and the shape of things to come’
Molly Poulter, the lay Chairman of the Deanery Synod, will be standing down in April and a vacancy also exists for a Deanery Secretary.
Plans for Future Periods
To continue as a welcoming church that seeks to bring more people to join the worshipping community of the church in addition to continuing to provide regular traditional worship.
To continue working with the local school, young children and their families.
To increase our pastoral care and support for the parish and the wider community.
To continue to care for and improve the fabric of All Saints’ Church.