PCC Jottings – November 2018

Thank you for all your prayers for PCC . Here are some brief highlights of our discussions and decisions.

Values

Since the summer the PCC has been working on discerning a set of values that express how we aim to live out our vision as a parish.  We agreed the final version of this on Monday.  The five core values are:

Loving God – Loving Our Neighbours – Loving Each Other – Celebrating – Exploring

We will be exploring these in various ways in the New Year.

Budget for 2019

With an increase in giving in 2018 the deficit for this year was not as big as we had budgeted for.  However, we are due to pay out about £11,000 more than we have received in.  Looking ahead to 2019, the deficit is likely to be of a similar level, unless giving increases further or we make significant cost savings.  The PCC agreed to meet the projected deficit for 2019 from our financial reserves and also to make provision for likely building repair work.

In the long term we are going to have to increase our income to sustain the ministry that we believe God has given us to do.

Orbit Project

We received a proposal from the Mission and Discipleship Action Group to invest in the Orbit project.  This detailed the strong relationships that have been built with the Orbit team through the Wellington Arts Festival and the inspiration of projects like The Hideaway in Manchester. (www.thehideawaymanchester.com)

It described the potential of partnering with the Orbit to develop a cafe with an interactive play space for children, aimed at providing a safe and welcoming place for families with young children.  This space would be available to run activities such as Alpha, Parenting Courses, CAP job clubs etc.   The PCC decided to earmark £50,000 towards the Orbit, subject to due diligence and appropriate partnership agreements.

Organ Project

The PCC received a report from the Organ Working Party sharing stories of the way in which organ restorations have strengthened the worshipping lives of churches like ours, and have been used as  springboards for outreach.  We were encouraged not just to restore the organ, but to celebrate it.  We therefore decided to earmark £50,000 towards the work required on the organ.

What can you do?

  • Pray that we would increasingly live out our values.
  • Get involved in the projects we are investing in – talk to Nick Brooke about Orbit and Jonathan Lloyd about the Organ.
  • Pray about our finances, that God would release us into greater generousity.

Please do feedback or ask any questions of the PCC members (a list of members is on the notice board at the back of church)

Every blessing,

 

Tim Carter

 

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Church Finance Presentation – October 2018

Our mission statement is “Called to be closer to Christ and sent to be closer to others.”

In order to try and put this into practice, as a church family, we aim to do several things:

  • To come to church faithfully week by week to worship
  • To develop our prayer life both corporate and personal
  • To develop our knowledge through bible study
  • To have adequate church facilities and effective leadership
  • To care for each other as a family
  • To look outwards and take part in mission opportunities

All of these things have a financial cost and in order to meet this cost we need to be good and generous stewards of God’s gifts.

Generosity is a life skill and a lifestyle, for us as Christians it is an outworking of our faith in an honest, sacrificial and prayerful response to God’s incredible generosity to us.

We try to be good stewards of the monies given to this church. Each year we set a budget and aim to keep to that.

The famous quote from Mr Micawber of Pickwick Papers is very apt for us.

“Annual income £20, annual expenditure £19 – result: happiness. Annual income £20, annual expenditure £21 – result: misery.”

Last year we set a budget for the year 2018 that showed the expenditure was nearly £20,000 higher than the income.  We had not found ourselves in this situation before and we were very unhappy about this. We agreed to the budget as we could cover the deficit from reserves and we hoped the situation could be improved.  However it is not a situation that can continue.

The actual figure for this year is projected to show  expenditure at around £11,500 higher than income.  So the situation has improved but is still not sustainable going forward.

Let’s have a look at the expenditure in more detail:

As you can see the main areas are Parish share and salaries.

The parish share covers the cost of our Vicar and Curate and Mission Enabler. This is not just salary but also pensions, national insurance, housing and training. There is also a contribution to the diocese to help with resources and specialist areas that are centrally funded and available to all churches in the diocese. We have always paid our parish share in full and will continue to do so.

Our salaried staff include our children’s and families worker, youth worker, office staff and cleaners.

And here is how we are funding that expenditure:

There are 4 areas that are under your control:

  • Standing order (gift aid)
  • Gift Aid recovered
  • Standing order (not gift aid)
  • All other giving

Let’s have a look at the current profile of regular planned givers:

As you can see the total number of people who give regularly by standing order has reduced over the years.

Also we have been blessed in 2015 and 2016 with a few very generous people but these numbers have now declined.

Some of you may be relatively new here and not realise that the easiest way to support our church is by setting up a regular standing order.  If that is the case then please do come and see Liz and she can give you the relevant forms. If you pay tax then please make sure you gift aid your donation. This does not cost you anything but the government will give us 25p for every £1 that you give.

As you can see from this chart, our overall giving has gone down since 2011.

In fact it has reduced by over £20,000.

I know that making ends meet is not easy for many people. Costs keep rising and income does not rise in line with the costs.

However I am asking you to review your giving to All Saints.  Many people have kept their giving at the same level for several years despite incomes generally rising with at least the cost of inflation.

The Church of England ask people to prayerfully consider giving a proportion of their income.

This chart shows proportions of monthly income. The biblical model of tithing is 10% and we are asked to aspire to that level. I have highlighted on the chart what 5% would look like as if you have not considered tithing before then jumping to 10% in one go might be a little difficult.

So to sum up:

  • Please prayerfully review what you are able to give.
  • If you normally give by putting money on the collection plate, then please consider whether you could give by standing order.
  • It will only be possible to meet the present and future challenge of being the church here in Wellington if each of you is prepared to take on board the Gospel principle of sacrificial giving.
  • Sacrificial giving is not a response to need but a joyful and wholehearted response to God’s incredible generosity to us all.

As it says in 2 Corinthians 9 6-7:

“The one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. “

 

 

New Wine

 

Over the last couple of weeks a few of us from All Saints went along to the New Wine summer festival. New Wine is an organisation that equips local churches to serve their communities and share the gospel of Jesus Christ, and every summer they host a ‘United’ gathering which brings together around 25,000 people over two weeks to worship, listen to teaching, relax and hang out in community with one another. A massive ‘city’ of tents and caravans takes shape and people settle into their home for the week, camped with their church.

New Wine has a massive variety of events and activities for every age, from the tiniest babies upwards. This year, some of our church worship leaders led the worship in Club One (12-13s) – ask Lucy, Dan and Nathan all about it! Apparently they had an amazing time.

At United 0-18s receive top-quality worship, teaching and ministry – and huge amounts of fun – through dedicated, age-appropriate groups led by some of the best kids’ and youth work practitioners on the planet! In addition to the kids’ groups, there is an under 5s family venue, other fun family activities as well as a stream of seminars for parents/carers on family life.

There is also support for adults and children with additional support through Access and Our Place. Our Place supports children to join in the main activities but also to provide a safe place when they need it.

For adults there is a varied and exciting programme of worship and seminars. Every morning and evening three main venues – all with slightly different ‘vibes’ – offer bible study, worship and teaching. In addition to that, there are loads of seminars to choose from on a range of subjects – from singleness to mission, apologetics to wholeness.

There are art and music workshops, and many different mission agencies are involved in the week. There is much to do and think on – but equally, there is never any pressure to ‘do’ anything. You are welcome to go to every single seminar and exhaust yourself and blow up your brain, and also welcome to lie on a sun-lounger with a cold drink and the best doughnuts in the world, letting it all go by. And if you’re not sure about all this Christian malarkey, there’s a session called ‘Just Looking’ every day where you can go and chat through some of your questions in a laid back no-pressure group with nice coffee.

A typical day at United looks something like this:

07.15-08.00 Early morning worship and Bible teaching
09.15-10.30 Morning celebrations and Bible teaching
11.15-12.15 Morning seminars
14.30-15.30 Early afternoon seminars
16.00-17.00 Late afternoon seminars
19.00-20.30 Evening celebrations with guest speakers
21.00 After hours entertainment including live music and comedy

The week does include a day off in the middle to have a bit of a breather and get off site for a bit!

In 2019, New Wine United will take place at the East of England Showground, in Peterborough. This is only just over 2 hours away from Wellington!

For those who really can’t imagine wanting to be stuck in a tent for a week, there are a few options. Around the showground there are plenty of hotels and B&Bs, or there are companies which rent caravans and camper vans – they’ll even set it up for you on site. This is obviously a more expensive option but can take the stress off it all!

Finally, it’s worth booking super soon! Before the end of August, adult places are only £145 – after that they will go up to £165 so get in now! Week 1 can also fill up quickly so it’s worth getting in there. If you’re not able to afford it in one fell swoop, you are able to reserve your place with a small deposit then pay bits of it as and when you like.

IN 2019 ALL SAINTS WILL BE GOING TO WEEK ONE – 27th JULY – 2nd AUGUST. You can book here on the New Wine site – make sure you book under All Saints, Telford! If you need a bit of help with booking or would like to be included on our group booking please talk to Tim or Liz Carter. (liz@carterclan.me.uk)

Have a look at this video for a taster – and if you’re careful, you might spot someone you know towards the end…

 

 

 

All about our new curate…

Hello!  My name is David- and my family and I have recently arrived in Wellington, in order for me to join the team here at All Saints and St Catherine’s.

There’s four of us- Kimberley my wife, and Arthur and Emily our children.  After spending 3 years in Bristol training whilst Kimberley worked as a Neurological Specialist Occupational Therapist, we are excited to see what God has in store for us to get involved in here in Wellington.

The last month or so has been fairly tough- with new toddler groups for the littlies to get used to, new areas to navigate round, and new routines to start living with, but throughout it we’ve felt God’s peace and joy as we get to know our new church family, and his Spirit has kept us laughing along the way!   For me, it’s been great to spend time in Wellington, walking around chatting to people, and trying to discern where the Spirit is at work already in order that I can join in-  and it’s encouraging that there seems to be quite a bit of stuff quietly going on under the surface outside of the church.  Happy days!

It’s been challenging too- mostly in working out the different styles of worship, especially for someone from a very informal church background.  But it’s been exciting to see the Lord working through all styles, from the freedom of our Ignite meetings through to the quieter format of our evening prayer services.

I’m looking forward to getting to know the All Saints and St Catherine’s family more, as well as seeing where I can serve the church, particularly in the areas of prophetic ministry.  And I’m looking forward to seeing what more I can do outside of the church, to reach more people with the good news of Jesus.

PCC Jottings – July 18

Thank you for all your prayers for PCC which was mainly focussed on significant financial and fabric conversations.  Here are some brief highlights.

 Organ Restoration

We received a report from the Organ Restoration Project team, which was very helpful in detailing three quotes that we have received from different restoration companies, possible sources of grant funding, and making recommendations for the next steps.

The team, on the basis of advice received from a specialist in the area, made a recommendation of which tender to accept.  This would have a total cost of the order of £160,000.   The assessment of grants available was that £50,000 was a realistic amount to aim for.   This leaves a probable funding gap of about £110,000.

After a long discussion the PCC was unable to come to a consensus about the amount of money from church funds that should be allocated to the project.  We have requested the project team to inform two of the tendering companies that they have not been successful, and to begin work on developing a plan for how the organ might be used, especially with regard to drawing people into church, if it were to be restored.   When this work has been carried out we will make a decision as to whether or not to go ahead with the restoration, and if so, how much finance to allocate to the project.

New Chairs

Having made the decision some time ago to purchase four rows of chairs to replace the front pews in the nave, the PCC considered the details of which chairs to purchase and made a decision about this.  It is hoped that these will be in place for Christmas services.

Reordering of back of Church

The PCC considered the plans for the introduction of a coffee servery at the back of church, and the associated increase in toilet facilities that have been on display at the back of church.  These outline plans were approved, and selection of an architect to draw up the detailed plans was delegated to the Fabric, Finance, and HR Action Group.

Finance Update

The financial situation of the church, six months into the year, was reported.   Giving for the first six months of the year, and total income, was higher than budgeted for, and expenditure was below budget.  We were planning to have a half year deficit of around £10,000, but actually it is closer to £5,000.   This is good news, but there is still a gap to close.  We are still not covering our running costs, and so our giving does need to increase further.

What can you do?

  • Pray for the project teams as they continue work on the various initiatives we have going on.
  • Pray for a clarity and unity in the PCC with regards to the decisions about the Organ Refurbishment
  • Pray about our finances, that God would release us into greater generousity.

Please do feedback or ask any questions of the PCC members.

Every blessing,

Tim Carter

APCM and PCC Jottings – April 2018

Thank you for all your prayers for APCM and PCC.  Here are some brief highlights.

Annual Meeting

This was an encouraging and hope filled evening, in which we reflected on what God has been doing with us over the last 12 months, and looked forward to what God has for us in the future.  If you would like to read the reflections that I shared, then do have a look for them on the parish website.

Our gratitude was expressed to those stepping down from various roles, and elections were held to fill vacancies:

Wardens: Ian Lawson and Paul Thompson

Deputy Wardens: Rachel Rouse, Fiona Wright, Tony Hulme, Barry Church

New PCC Members:  Richard Long and Mike Dixon (also Deanery Synod), Rose Kershaw, Lesley Stone, Pam Hill, Jon Powell, Nigel Meeson, Malcolm Wilson (St Catherine’s rep)

 PCC

The PCC met on Monday night in order to begin the process of getting the new Action Groups up and running.  We discussed and agreed the terms of reference for these groups.  Their priority will be to work with the teams that they support to answer four questions:

  1. How is the vision of the church reflected in the workings of this area of church life?
  2. How can we celebrate what God is doing in this area of church life?
  3. What is the pathway for people to become involved in this area of church life?
  4. How are people trained to be part of this area of church life?

We also selected the Chairs of the Action Groups:

Mission and Discipleship: Liz Lawson

Prayer and Worship: Nigel Meeson

Pastoral Care and Hospitality: Rose Kershaw

Fabric, Finance, and HR: Ian Lawson

We are excited about the development of this opportunity for people to get actively involved in mission and ministry.  Our vision is that the Action Groups will be the engine room that will support the flourishing of all our congregations and teams.

Over the next month we are inviting people who feel a call to serve on one of the Action Groups to talk to me or one of the Chairs.  If you feel someone else would be good then please prompt them or suggest their name to one of us.  We are aiming to get the groups up and running by July.

What can you do?

  • Pray for the new Action Group Chairs as they get their heads round what they’ve signed up for.
  • Think and pray about who (include looking in the mirror) God is calling to be a member of an Action Group.

Please do feedback or ask any questions of the PCC members.

Every blessing,

 

Tim Carter

PCC Jottings – March 2018

 

Thank you for all your prayers for PCC this week.  Here are some brief highlights of our conversations.

Leadership Structure

We had an encouraging and helpful discussion about the proposed new leadership structure for the parish, and the feedback that had been received from various people.

The basic structure of the Action Groups and their areas of work were approved, with some minor changes based on feedback received.   We discussed the best way for people to be appointed to these Action Groups, and what level of PCC representation is appropriate on the Action Groups.   We decided that:

a) Chairs of the Action Groups would be chosen from the new PCC after the Annual Church Meeting

b) The Vicar and Action Group Chairs would work together to run a call out process to identify people from across the life of the church who could be part of the Action Groups

c) Each Action Group would include at least two people from the PCC who are not on the Action Group by virtue of their role (eg Treasurer)

d) We are aiming to get the Action Groups formed by the end of July

We are excited about the development of this opportunity for people to get actively involved in mission and ministry.  Our vision is that the Action Groups will be the engine room that will support the flourishing of all our congregations and teams.

Parish Mission Enabler

We received a report detailing the progress made in the first six months of Nick Brooke’s time with us.   It was encouraging to read about the contacts that have been made, the number of people that Nick has been working with, and the plans for outreach including the Alpha course after Easter and the reinvigoration of Open Church.

Policies and Reports

We reviewed and approved appropriate Occasional Ministry, Safeguarding, Health and Safety, Data Protection reports and policies, and the Annual Accounts and Report that will come to the Annual Church Meeting

What can you do?

  • Think and pray about who you know that would make a good Chair of an Action Group (include looking in the mirror)
  • Invite them to stand for PCC
  • Think and pray about who (include looking in the mirror) God is calling to be a member of an Action Group.

Please do feedback or ask any questions of the PCC members.

Every blessing,

Tim

 

A Proposed New Leadership Model for the Parish

At the 2017 APCM I said that one of the tasks we faced over the coming year was to:

Develop and call out a new leadership team that can discern and share a clear vision and direction of travel whilst providing leadership and coordination to different areas of parish life.

Through the year we have been discussing this at PCC, especially on a PCC Away Day in the summer.  We aim to bring a proposal to the 2018 APCM for a new leadership model that will enable the parish to be fruitful.

Read  –  Pray  –  Consider

  •  Read the proposal and feedback your thoughts and questions to PCC members
  • Pray about it. Just as there was a season of prayer in the vacancy praying for a new leader for the church, there will be a season of prayer from January to April praying for the new leadership team that God is calling out.
  • Consider what role God is calling you to take on

Proposal

This proposed model is like that which is adopted by many organisations, including school governing bodies.

The PCC would retain its current size and membership, and would meet four times a year.  The three key tasks of the PCC would be to:

  • Maintain oversight of the parish
  • Connect together the work of the various ministries of the church
  • Hold the Vision
  • Safeguarding will also remain within the direct remit of the PCC.

In addition to the PCC and Standing Committee, there would be Action Groups with responsibility for oversight and delivery of different aspects of parish life.  They would operate with significant levels of delegated authority but would be accountable to the PCC.  Members of the Action Groups would be responsible for delivering the actions agreed at their meetings in partnership with other members of the congregations.

The Action Groups would be chaired by members of the PCC, and would include at least one other member of the PCC.  Other members would be invited to join the Action Group by the Chair, in consultation with the vicar.  People would be invited to join the Action Group for 3 years, with a possible extension of another 3 years before taking at least 1 year break.  Apart from the vicar, who would be ex-officio on all Action Groups, no one will be a member of more than two Action Groups.

Where there are paid staff in post whose roles have significant overlap with the scope of an Action Group, that member of staff will be ex officio (by reason of their position) active members of the Action Group.  The Action Group will work with and support the member of staff.  Responsibility for staff line management will remain with the vicar.

Mission and Discipleship Action Group

Responsible for evangelism, outreach and social action, structure and leadership of small groups (including youth and childrens groups), sermon series recommendations, enquirer courses, Christian initiation, vocations.

Ex officio: Parish Mission Enabler, Families Outreach worker, Youth and Children’s Worker

Linked Teams: House Group Leaders, Open Church Team, Midsummer Fayre Team, Tyndale, Sunday School Team, Preaching Team, Causeway Team

 Worship and Prayer Action Group

Responsible for the worshipping and prayer life of the parish across its different congregations, including oversight of worship music, forms of worship used at different services, prayer events, and prayer room.

Ex officio:  Music Director, Youth and Children’s Worker, Families Outreach Worker

Linked Teams: Sunday morning band, Explore Team, Service Leading Team,  All-in Team, Ignite Team, Intercessors Team, Toddler Praise Team, Prayer Ministry Team, Bell Ringers

Pastoral Care and Hospitality Action Group

Responsible for the pastoral ministry of the church, ensuring it covers all congregations, including wedding and funeral ministries, home communions and other home visit ministries.  Also responsible for the hospitality ministries of the church at the various services and events that we offer.

Linked Teams: Pastoral Care Team, Welcome Team, Sides Persons Team, Home Communion Team, Refreshments Teams, Oasis Team, Luncheon Sunday Team, Sunday Lifts Team, Revive Team, Hospital Visiting Team

Finance, Fabric, and Human Resources Action Group

Responsible for monitoring income and expenditure, recommending annual budgets to PCC, planning and delivering stewardship campaigns, recruitment and retention of staff, HR policies.  Also responsible for the oversight of the upkeep of the buildings and fabric of the parish, including the AV systems.  Monitoring and implementation of the Health and Safety policy would be in the remit of this committee.

Ex Officio: Treasurer, PCC Health and Safety Representative, Church Warden

Linked Teams: Cleaning Team, Maintenance Team, Warden Team, AV Team, Mission Giving Team, Flower Team

St Catherine’s DCC

St Catherine’s DCC would continue to operate independently, chaired by the vicar, drawing on the experience and resources of the other Action Groups as the life of the church requires it.

 Standing Committee

This will exist as a legal requirement, but will only meet in emergencies.  The PCC agenda will consist of consideration of recommendations made by the Action Groups and in setting the framework of vision and budget for the Action Groups to work within.

PCC Jottings – November 2017

PCC Jottings – November 2017

Thank you for all your prayers for PCC this week.

We received the latest projections for the financial situation for this year, and projected budget for next year.  Giving continues to be generous – church members currently give over £140k (including Gift Aid) per year.  However, we will have a deficit of £20k this year (excluding extraordinary items) and are budgeting for a deficit of £20k next year.  This is largely due to a reduction in planned giving over the last four years.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6

We considered what made us feel anxious about the financial situation, what we could be thankful for, and what we would like to request of God.

We considered various options for bridging the deficit:  Increasing planned giving, reallocating bequest money, seeking grant funding, running fund raising events, and reducing costs by reducing staffing (The Parish Mission Enabler and Curate direct employment costs are funded by the Diocese so this would affect the Admin, and Youth, Children, and Families worker posts).

We believe that the only long term solution is to increase planned giving. Other options would be short term fixes, divert energy and resources from mission, or undo the good work of previous investment. We aim to achieve this by communicating the issue to the congregations, calling a day of prayer and fasting, and continuing to teach clearly, across all our congregations, on the spiritual discipline of tithing. We will monitor this approach carefully through 2018, and will have to revisit other options if it does not bear fruit.

We received reports from the teams that are implementing the major projects we had decided to allocate bequest money towards.

 

  • The first stage of the Sound System upgrade has been implemented. It is on pause now for the Christmas period, and will be completed in the New Year
  • Three quotes have been received for the Organ Refurbishment. These are between £145k and £170k +VAT. The project team is pursuing expert advice on the quotes and possible sources of grant funding.
  • The reordering team reported back on a helpful meeting with a Diocesan Officer for advice. It was decided that the team would prioritise investigating the option of a servery at the back of church with an additional toilet facility where the kitchen is currently.  Paperwork required for the proposal to replace some pews with chairs will be drawn up by the staff.
  • The Mission Hub team reported back on a positive first meeting of church members. Nick Brooke will be finding out what other churches are doing in mission in Wellington to see what we might be able to support.  Whilst there is a desire to reach out in mission to the Town Centre, there is also a sense that we are at too early a stage to propose any commitment to purchasing / renting a property in the town centre.

What can you do?

  • Thank God for the generosity and rich resources that the parish enjoys.
  • Review your own giving and act on any decision promptly.
  • Commit to regular giving via Gift aid (as this means we can claim an additional 20% on your giving).
  • Continue to pray for the project teams.

Please do feedback or ask any questions of the PCC members.

Introducing Charlotte, our new interim curate!

Revd. Charlotte Cheshire – Interim Curate

Charlotte says…

Hello, and thank you to welcoming me to All Saints & St Catherine’s.  I will be with you as interim curate for around 12 months, having served the first three years of my curacy with St Andrew’s, Shifnal; St Mary’s, Sheriffhales & St Bartholomew’s, Tong.  I’m married to Chris who is a Systems Engineer working for Capula in Stone, Staffordshire.  My stepson, George, is 15 and taking his GCSE’s at Madeley Academy this year, and my son, Adam, is 6 and at The Bridge Special Needs School.  As you not only see, but hear, me around the parish, you will soon learn that I don’t have a local accent.  In fact, I am the only Canadian in a British family and, having dual nationality, I moved to England in 2002, moving first to Newport and later to Telford.  I very much look forward to meeting all of you but please be patient with me as I slowly learn your names, there are rather a lot more of you than there is of me!

PCC Jottings – September 2017

Thank you for all your prayers for PCC this week, and for the contributions you have made towards the discernment of the best way to invest the money left to the church by Betty Shakeshaft in the Kingdom work here in Wellington.

We weighed up the input from the church members, the likely cost of the various suggestions, and the positive impact they might have on our being called to be closer to Christ and sent to be closer to others.

We decided that there are three possible major projects that we will investigate before committing to one or more of them.

  • Reordering of the back of church to improve the toilet facilities, open up the space (perhaps with new doors), and provide more adequate facilities for serving refreshments in church.
  • Developing a base for outreach in the town centre.
  • Repair and refurbishment of the organ.

Project teams were assigned to research each of these initiatives to come back to PCC.

We also decided that there were a number of projects that we would implement once the required permissions are in place.

  • Replacement of the sound system.
  • Purchase of forty chairs for use in church, replacing some pews.
  • Investment in additional resources for the youth and children’s groups, over and above our normal budget spend.
  • Investment in new music for the Festival Chorus.

The Mission team had developed proposals about the distribution of the 10% of the bequest which we are giving away, and these were accepted.  We are going to support:

  • Young people in the area through Engage, a new cross-Telford Secondary schools outreach initiative, and a YMCA project.
  • Local mission through the NGM Luv Esther production and a CAP emergency fund.
  • Global mission through a Clean Water Provision project run by Africa Inland Church Health Ministries and “Rooted in Jesus” discipleship conferences in Mityana diocese, Uganda.

Leadership Pattern

We also discussed a proposed new pattern for the leadership of the parish.  There has been good progress made in the development of this, but there is still some work to do.  These conversations will continue, with the aim of implementing the new pattern at the Annual Parochial Church Meeting next year.

What can you do?

  • Pray for the project teams researching the possible large scale investments of the bequest money.
  • Pray for the effective implementation of the projects agreed.
  • Pray for the ongoing development of the pattern of leadership of the parish, and for good foundations to be laid for it.

Please do feedback or ask any questions of the PCC members.

 

Welcome to the Brookes!

We welcome Nick, Sydni, Delia and Elwyn to the community of All Saints and St Catherine’s as Nick takes up the post of Parish Mission Enabler. We’re delighted they’re joining us and looking forward to getting to know them! Here is a short bio from Nick:

 

Hello All Saints and Saint Catherine’s

Let me start by saying that my family and I are looking forward to getting to know you and being a part of the community. Our plan is to be with you by early September. Until then, here is a little bit of our background.

I grew up in the Ozark Mountains in Missouri, U.S.A., the land of country and bluegrass music, hillbillies and where all food is fried. My wife Sydni grew up in the state of Iowa where there is nothing but fields of corn for miles and miles. It’s a great place if you really like corn, but other than that I can’t think of a good reason to go there. In 2010 we moved to England to serve as missionaries. Since then we have lived in Colchester, Essex and have been involved in a wide range of ministries which have sought to reveal the love of Jesus to those who do not know him. While living here we have had two kids. We have a daughter, Delia, who is 4 and our son, Elwyn, is nearly 1 and 1/2. I hope that you will find us as being a warm and welcoming family with a good sense of humour. More importantly, I think you will see that we are people who are passionate about serving in God’s mission and helping others to recognise and live out their missional calling.

We are eager to journey alongside you, and we are already praying with you that all of Wellington and the surrounding area will soon see and know the love of Jesus and be transformed by the gospel of Jesus Christ.

See you all very soon,
The Brookes

PCC Jottings – July 2017

PCC Jottings – July 2017

As promised at the Annual Parish meeting, we have revived PCC Jottings to keep people informed about the main items discussed at PCC meetings.

1) We had an update on the recruitment process for the Parish Mission Enabler.  We had eight applicants in total and are pleased to have three strong candidates to interview on Thursday 20th July.

2)  PCC reviewed the half-year financial position against the budget.  The income for the first half of the year is 0.7%  lower than budgeted, and the expenditure 2.4% higher than forecast.  If this pattern continues into the second half of the year we will have a deficit of about £10,000 rather than the budget deficit of £5,500.

In parallel with the “Time and Talents” sermon series in the Autumn it is planned to have opportunities for us to think about our stewardship and giving.

3) There was discussion of the process of deciding how the generous bequest made to the parish by Betty Shakeshaft should be spent.  This was to include consultation about how the 10% of this that we will give to mission initiatives outside the parish should be allocated.

The following process was agreed:

A notice is placed in the notices on July 16th and for the following two weeks,  encouraging prayerful consideration and inviting ideas for the use of the legacy to be submitted to the Wardens or chair of the mission committee by August 6th.

The suggestions made are collated and communicated to the congregations for comment by Sept 10th.

A summary of the feedback from the congregation is included in the PCC packs distributed on September 17th.  Decisions regarding the use of the legacy are made at the PCC meeting on September 25th

Feedback on the decision is included in the PCC Jottings from that meeting.

4) The proposals for a new audio system were fully considered.  Three options were brought to the PCC and the requirements that had been identified from the various user groups, the sound mapping exercise that had been carried out, and the visual appearance of the different speakers were all explored.  The PCC decided that its preference was for a system using speakers manufactured by NAN/Zsound.  The cost of this system will be approximately £22,000.   The next steps are to secure any required Faculty permissions and to decide on the best way of funding the purchase of the required equipment.

What can you do?

  • Continue to pray for the applicants and interview panel for the Parish Mission Enabler role, that we might be led by the Holy Spirit in our discernment.
  • Think and pray about your own giving to All Saints and St Catherine’s.
  • Think and pray about how we might use the bequest monies, and feedback your thoughts to the Wardens.

Please do feedback or ask any questions of the PCC members.

Every blessing,

Tim Carter

PCC Jottings

As promised at the Annual Parish meeting, we are reviving PCC Jottings to keep people informed about what has been discussed at PCC meetings.  The three major subjects discussed at the latest PCC meeting make this a particularly appropriate time to do this.

1)  We began the conversations about what shape a new leadership / ministry team might take, and what it might do.  We plan to have an away day on July 15th to explore this further, with the aim that the new structure will be in place by early 2018.

2) We have been discussing staffing for some months.  With the recent departures of the Grices and Kirbys, the team of licensed ministers is becoming increasingly stretched.  Diocesan policy is that parishes have a year’s break between curates.  The parish is being actively considered for a curate, however the earliest that a curate might join us is mid-2018.

Through our Parish Share payments to the diocese we are currently paying for a half time ordained minister that is not in post.  It is possible to have a grant from the Diocese, the equivalent of what it would cost to support a half time ordained post, top it up with some funding from the parish, and employ a full-time lay worker.

Having considered these things, and our desire to be “Sent to be Closer to Others” the PCC are planning to advertise for a Parish Mission Enabler.  This purpose of this role would be:

  • To build the capacity for evangelism and disciple making within the congregations of All Saints and St Catherine’s
  • To share the gospel and make disciples in the communities of Wellington and Eyton
  • To reach out to those on the edges of society

It is our belief that having someone in this role will enable us to reach out more effectively to our communities with the good news of Jesus and to see the churches continue to grow in numbers and depth of discipleship.

If all goes well it is possible that we may be able to recruit to this post by September this year, but it is more likely to be early in 2018.

3) A project team has been working hard on a proposal for renewing the Audio-Visual system within All Saints.  They have consulted with various users of the system to get feedback.  Some improvements have already been made, and designs for a new system have been suggested.  These will be considered more fully at the next meeting of the PCC.

What can you do?

There is a 24-hour prayer event in All Saints from 9 am on June 3rd to 9 am on June 4th.   We have spent the last term in the sermon series thinking about and exploring prayer.   Now it is time to join together in prayer.

  • To listen to what God is saying to us about the vision and leadership of the parish.
  • To pray for the right person to join the team to take the lead in equipping us for mission.
  • To pray for the provision of the resources needed to support these initiatives.

Please do feedback or ask any questions of the PCC members.

Small Groups Summary

Last Monday the leaders of the Small Groups met at the Vicarage.  It was encouraging to share the stories of the mutual support and answered prayers that have been seen in the groups.

Lent Course

Generally people had found it helpful and engaging.  Some had appreciated the opportunity to experiment with different approaches to reading the Bible and others focussed on the joy of seeing different expressions of worship from around the world on the suggested online videos.  It was also fed back that it would be useful if in future material could be provided that was easier to trim for groups that don’t meet for as long.

Vision

We had opportunity to explore how members of the groups had felt about the different images that were shared at the Annual Parish Meeting.

https://allsaintswellington.wordpress.com/about-us/vision/

The image of the church with the gold being poured into it seemed to be the one that people had found most engaging.  There was some lively debate around the strawberry plants, including someone pointing out that a wise gardener is proactive in deciding which runners to allow to grow and which ones to prune.  The abstract image of the meal at Bethany appears to have been more confusing than helpful, although it was agreed that the underlying ideas of service, worship and friendship with God are important.

Sermon Series suggestions included:

  • Series expanding on worship / service / friendship with God
  • The importance of including aspects that can be applied in our lives was emphasised
  • More teaching on the Holy Spirit
  • Thinking about Revival – some in the past have been “wine” – is the coming one to do with “bread” that is possibly come through the word and preaching, through social action – feeding the hungry, in unity – the bread unites.
  • 500th anniversary of the Reformation around November
  • A couple of years ago did something on other religions and what they believe which was helpful
  • Perhaps a focus on the persecuted church and the growth that often accompanies this.

Small Groups provide a great place for learning to follow Jesus together, for caring for each other, and for making friends.  If you would like to join a small group, please contact us.

Annual Parish Meeting Statement

In our Annual Parish Meeting of March 2017, Revd Tim Carter delivered this vision.

Here are some highlights:

I’ve shared this image with you before. It formed the heart of my sermon when I came to interview here, and I showed it at the service at the beginning of the year when I was talking about the vision for the parish. It represents a meal at Bethany, with Jesus in the centre, and Mary, Martha and Lazarus relating to Jesus in worship, service and friendship. This remains as something I see as important, that we are a church thatworships, that serves and that lives in friendship with Jesus at the centre.

This was drawn by Hope Gwilliam some time ago. I saw the original in Susie’s office a little while ago and it just struck me. I love the sense of God pouring treasure into All Saints. It reminds me of the verse in Malachi in which God says,

“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,’ says the Lord Almighty, ‘and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.”

For me it also links in to a picture that was given at a Sunday morning service a couple of months ago, of people at All Saints going out of church with gold dust on them, scattering gold as they go out into the community. You see the gold and jewels that God is pouring into the church are spilling out of the windows to the community.

For me there is also something of the city on a hill that cannot be hidden about this, the glow from tower a kind of lighthouse to the world.

As I’ve been thinking and praying about this parish since I got here, the idea of a Strawberry plant has kept coming to me. Strawberry plants don’t get very big, but they are very good at reproducing. They do this by sending out runners on which grow new strawberry plants. The new plants share the same DNA as the original plant, and as long as they stay attached they draw resources from the original plant. When they are mature and ready to be fruitful they can be detached.

It seems to me that the parish, with its different congregations looks a bit like a strawberry plant. The congregations share the same DNA, the same core values of being called to be closer to Christ and sent to be closer to others. The younger congregations still draw resources from the more established congregations. Some of the newer ones are beginning to bear fruit.
I am left wondering whether this is going to be a model for how the church in this parish is going to grow in the future. Maybe the central plant will never grow beyond a certain size, but the church can continue to grow by developing new off shoots – not perhaps as prolifically as a strawberry plant, but over a period of years.

For the remainder of the statement, please see the link above.

Farewell to the Grices

This Sunday at All Saints we were sorry to say goodbye to John, Gemma, Joshua, Evie and Leo Grice, but excited for them as they embark on the next stage of their journey, where John will become a team vicar near Tamworth. We pray for blessings for the family as they move on, and we will all miss them very much.

 

Ephesians 3

14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family[a] in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

What does God think of leaders?

Have you ever wondered what God thinks about leaders? Are you a leader yourself, either at church or elsewhere? Are you interested in becoming a leader? Growing Leaders is a very highly respected course, which is designed as much for people who have been leaders for many years, as for people who have not (yet!) led anything. The Growing Leaders course has a mix of teaching, mentoring, and practical tasks. It is designed to help you explore what God does think of leaders, and how you can be the leader he is calling you to be. The course is designed to help develop ‘firm foundations for Christian leadership’, the ‘key skills of Christian leadership’ and help us to ‘keep faithful in Christian leadership’. Alongside the monthly meetings there will be opportunities to meet one-to-one with a mentor, to reflect on the meetings and work.

The course will run monthly on Wednesdays, starting at 7:30pm on 5th October, for 10 months and will cost £15 (help is available with this if necessary). If you are interested and want some more information or register please get in touch with the Parish Office or by picking up a leaflet from All Saints.

 

What is the meaning of life?

Could you spare eight Thursday evenings to explore what Christians believe, and to think about whether you are ready to commit yourself to follow Christ as a member of the Church of England? Our vicar Mark will be leading a shortened Emmaus course, starting on Thursday 29 September for eight weeks. Those on the course who wish to do so will have the possibility of being confirmed into adult membership of the Church of England by the Bishop of Shrewsbury on Sunday 6 November at All Saints.
Mark comments, ‘One of the things I most look forward to in the week is the chance to sit and talk with those who are exploring what it means to be a Christian. Over the past five years we have seen a steady trickle of people becoming committed disciples of Christ through the Emmaus course. I can’t wait for the next course!’
Emmaus sessions are on Thursdays from at 7.45pm. If you would like to find out more, please pick up a leaflet from All Saints or contact the Office.

Beach mission with a difference!

Our Youth and Children’s Evangelist, Kate Hatton, was one of many people from All Saints who was involved in either leading or attending the very popular Admaston Summer Mission. The theme this year was ‘On the Beach’, while over 100 children (aged 5-11) attended every day to have fun, play games, do craft activities and learn about God. One of the other helpers, Sharon Johnson, said “This has been my third year of helping and I love it. The atmosphere is fab and there is a real sense of unity as local churches work together to reach out to the community.”

Surviving Soul Survivor

Caroline Knowles writes: Not really knowing why we volunteered to go, Martin and I arrived at Soul Survivor terrified of the whole situation. Camping, cooking, Tyndalers and the whole event!

Our fears were totally unfounded and we had an amazing time. The meetings were relevant and inspiring. The cooking went smoothly the sun shone and the Tyndalers were a fantastic group of young people who looked out and cared for each other, responded to all requests of help with a smile and were always ready for breakfast and back for curfew times. Tom and Cath were awesome leaders and it was great to see Lucie and Rich and Charlie again. Debbie Reck was our village leader and a real rock to lean on for everything from hot chocolate to what was happening next!

But most of all it was the Tyndalers who blew our socks off. We were proud to be a part of them for a week, a real credit to our church. Tyndale, we have a lot to learn from you…

Blessed by Go2Bless

Emily Pickering writes: Being on mission, showing people a glimmer of light from God, just completely transforms you as a person. Even in the training in the running up to mission totally restores you and makes you whole again. Thanks to Go2Bless summer mission in France I have made some amazing friends, gained some beautiful memories, rebuilt my relationship with Jesus and started to believe in myself. I no longer feel like I have no use, I no longer feel worthless. Connecting with God again, finally feeling like someone is listening, someone cares, someone wants me to live, someone loves me. Someone thinks my life is worth living and that my life has a purpose.