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.


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


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.

48 hours prayer

If you haven’t already done so, please sign up for a one hour slot in the 48 hours of prayer, starting this Friday at 9am. There are spaces for 250 adults and children to be part of the chain of prayer, and well over half this number have already signed up. The chain of prayer will take place in the Parish Hall (not the church). If you can’t be there in person but want to pray at home, please sign the chart and put ‘at home’ by your name – those in church will pray for you at that time, as you pray with them.