September 2019 PCC Meeting Report

The outcomes of this PCC Meeting are as follows:

  1. Installation of broadband – We are seeking permission to install a new telephone line into church which will mean that we can then install a router for broadband. This will enable us to communicate online directly from church and we will be able to use online resources for worship.
  2. Heating System Update – Work is due to commence on 6th January 2020 but before then 3 things need to be in place: a faculty, planning permission and money.  The faculty is provisionally written.  The planning permission has been submitted to South Bucks District Council, but has an 8 week lead time. The initial deposit is £50,000.  To raise the majority of these funds we need to sell share certificates from the Percy Golding Trust Fund totalling £39,000. This trust fund can only be used for a capital project so all agreed it was a good time to liquidise these funds.  £14,000 of the fund is already in our bank account but we need a broker to sell the rest.  It will take time to find a suitable broker. One share certificate is currently lost and in order to sell the others we need signatures from the Diocese of Oxford.  Tony Bridge provided an update on how the church would be heated until work commenced in January (when Heating Gobal will provide heaters).  Two propane fuelled heaters have been purchased which have a visible flame.  These will need to be added to the risk assessment and cannot be left unattended when on.  The heaters are similar to what Heating Global will be loaning us and cost £60 each.  We will need to purchase gas canisters for our own heaters and those on loan.  
  3. Sub Committee formation and membership – The Mission/Outreach/Charity committee membership was confirmed completing our sub-committees which also include: Worship, Finance, Fund-raising and Social.
  4. Follow Up to PCC Away Day – We reflected on progress so far. Everyone was given a copy of The Five Marks of Mission and Seven Marks of a Healthy Church and were asked to read it over the course of the next 2 months and consider the message of being positive and to be a church that “enjoys what it does and is relaxed about what is not being done.”
  5. Communications – The notes of a meeting about Communications were circulated highlighting 3 main points: use more than one medium to communicate; improve planning for events etc so there is time to communicate; never forget the value of talking to people in person.  The main church Facebook page has seen increased interest since we began focussing on using this medium more to communicate. The old Facebook page that relates to the All Age Worship service will be closed down as it is no longer being used.  Delivering a quarterly leaflet to the parish was discussed and the PCC felt this would be worth trying, particularly if the first one were to include details of the Christmas services.  Rev Suzanne Johnson suggested a Christmas card style leaflet that could be given out at Remembrance Sunday.  A form for new people who join the congregation to complete was suggested at the communications meeting and this needs to be developed.  Other items for further consideration were: a greeting role; moving where the sides people stand and an annual open day.  To aid communication it was agreed that the PCC roles and which committee’s people are part of, would be added under each member’s photo in the entrance.
  6. Forthcoming Events – Quiz Night and a talk about Saxon musical instruments in October.  In November there will be a film and talk with light refreshments (more details to come) and Remembrance Sunday.
  7. Bee keeping in the churchyard – Phil Taylor reported that he will be taking up bee keeping upon his retirement from his role as Church Warden.  He will be keeping bees at Burnham Grammar School with the caretaker.  He asked the PCC for permission to house bees in the old churchyard by the war memorial.   This was agreed unanimously.
  8. Treasurers’/Finance Report – James Snoxell presented the current financial situation of St Nicolas.  The church income is lower than at the point last year (£50,000 last year, £47,000 this year).  Expenditure is up, with amongst other things the boiler issues and the removal of the dead tree.  The prediction for year end is a £12,000 deficit.  Once the investments have been used there will only be £62,000 left.  There is cash flow as money has been moved around and we have the funds to pay the parish share. Currently the income from the Parish Giving Scheme is £22,000 per annum.  The Goodbox has raised £376 since its installation in July.  Rev Jane Cresswell suggested we increase the suggested donation on the Goodbox to £10 on Christmas Eve.  Cash into the collection is down.  To increase income there is an article written by Hilary Monaghan, which will be published in the Hitcham and Taplow Society magazine, that will hopefully engage the community and encourage donations.  Phil Taylor will be speaking to individuals within the congregation, explaining the current financial situation and asking if they can do more.  Flyers/order forms for the church Christmas cards will be delivered around the parish to increase sales and therefore income.