All Saints Church Annual Reports
PAROCHIAL CHURCH COUNCIL
ALL SAINTS CHURCH,
Aim and purposes
East Garston Parochial Church Council (PCC) has the responsibility of cooperating with the Vicar of the Lambourn Valley Benefice, Revd Martin Cawte, in promoting in the ecclesiastical parish, the whole mission of the Church, pastoral, evangelistic, social and ecumenical. The PCC is also specifically responsible for the maintenance of the church buildings and churchyard.
Objectives and activities
The PCC is committed to enabling as many people as possible to worship at our church and to become part of our parish community. Our services and worship put faith into practice through prayer and scripture, music and sacrament.
When planning our activities for the year, we 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.
To facilitate this work it is important that we maintain the fabric of All Saints Church and its churchyard.
Achievements and performance
Worship and prayer
The PCC is keen to offer a range of services over the course of the year that our community find both beneficial and spiritually fulfilling. All are welcome to attend our regular services of Holy Communion on the second and fourth Sundays of the month which cater mainly for regular churchgoers while at Festivals such as Mothering Sunday, Easter, Harvest, Remembrance and Christmas, the services cater not only for the regulars but also for those who attend church on just a few occasions during the year. The children are encouraged to take part in special family services on most of these occasions and the West Berkshire Strings perform on Mothering Sunday and at Harvest Festival.
The parish is also an active participant in the Lambourn Valley Benefice. When there is a fifth Sunday, a Benefice Holy Communion service is held in one of the three parishes. A Benefice Choral Evensong was also held on two occasions at All Saints.
There were 60 parishioners on the Church Electoral Roll in 2017. The average weekly attendance at services was 15, but this number increased substantially at festivals when on several occasions the church was almost full. At the Easter service there were 37 attendees and of these 28 received communion while on Christmas morning the attendance was 80 and there were 55 communicants.
During Lent a house group met to follow a Pilgrim course “The Beatitudes”, two of the authors of which are familiar faces to us – Bishop Stephen Cottrell (former Bishop of Reading and now Bishop of Chelmsford) and Bishop Steven Croft (now Bishop of Oxford but written when he was Bishop of Sheffield). The course explored how the Beatitudes summed up the teaching of Jesus about what it means to live as citizens of God’s kingdom following a set of standards, vocations and attitudes that go beyond the observation of rules or the keeping of the law.
As well as our regular services, we enable our community to celebrate and thank God at the milestones of the journey through life. Through baptism we thank God for the gift of life, in marriage public vows are exchanged with God's blessing and through funeral services friends and family express their grief and give thanks for the life which is now complete in this world and to commend the person into God's keeping. We have celebrated one baptism in our church this year but there have been no marriages or funerals.
There is one person elected to sit on the Deanery Synod. This provides the PCC with an important link between the parish and the wider structures of the church.
The Church Building and Churchyard
Ideally we would like our church to be open to our community for private prayer. Unfortunately, the location of the church on the edge of the parish leads to a potential for theft and vandalism which has happened in the past. Therefore, we have felt unable to leave the church open at all times for private worship but this year we have decided to open the church on Saturdays. In addition, the churchwardens are very happy to arrange for the church to be unlocked on request.
For some time a small committee had been attempting to find a solution to the inefficient heating system. At the same time it was hoped that it could be combined with a program of work to cover the repairs to the church building which were identified by our architect in the latest Quinquennial Inspection Report and to investigate improvements which would make the building more user-friendly. The cost of this proved to be astronomical and after two unsuccessful applications for grants, it was decided to progress a more affordable phased approach making use of our existing funds which have been set aside for this purpose over many years. The installation of under pew heating for the front seven rows of pews was the first phase and was completed in November. Unfortunately, this has used all of the capacity of the single phase electrical supply and currently there are no funds available to increase the supply to three phase.
The PCC is grateful to East Garston Parish Council for its annual grant towards the maintenance of the churchyard. In addition, an application was successful this year for a Parish Council grant under the “Grants for the Community” programme towards the cost of replacing the lych gates. An application was made to the Diocesan Advisory Committee for a faculty to carry out the work but the project is currently on hold because the advisor is not content with the specifications for the timber or its construction by a local retired cabinet maker. The case will be need to be argued or it will not be possible to proceed.
Some members of our parish are unable to attend church due to sickness or age. Revd Martin Cawte has visited all who have requested it, to celebrate communion with them either at their homes or in hospital. He has also visited families in advance of baptisms and the next of kin following a death to assist in the preparation of funerals and to provide pastoral care to those who are grieving.
Mission and evangelism
Helping those in need is a demonstration of our faith. The church is actively engaged in fund raising. This year we made £100 donations to the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution, the Children’s Society and Christian Aid. Sponsorship for Ride & Stride raised £227 for the Berkshire Churches Trust and half of this was returned to our church funds.
We contribute articles to the monthly editions of Village Views magazine which is edited and distributed by volunteers in all three parishes at an annual cost of £4. The Benefice also has a weekly information sheet, Valley Welcome, which contains notices of importance to the life of the church and includes the collects and readings set for each Sunday. A Diocesan newspaper “The Door” is also made available to those attending services.
The Safari Supper in June was again a great success and thoroughly enjoyed by all who took part. Thanks to all those who helped with the organisation, those who hosted and those who provided desserts. The total raised for church funds was £1,114.
We provided a refreshment marquee at East Garston’s Village Fete in July and we are extremely grateful to the East Garston Amenities committee for a very substantial contribution to church funds from the fete’s proceeds.
The international cellist Philip Daish-Handy and his accompanist Martin Penrose gave an “Autumnal Classics Concert” on a Sunday afternoon in September. In addition to the pieces played by Phil and Martin, there were some excellently performed solos by Phil’s students who are members of the West Berkshire Cello Academy.
The church organises East Garston’s annual Remembrance Service. A service in church was followed by the Act of Remembrance at the village war memorial. The Wantage Silver Band played for the service and then led the Vicar and the congregation from the church to the war memorial. After the Last Post, the Silence and Reveille, wreaths were laid on behalf of the Royal British Legion, All Saints Church and East Garston Parish Council.
Just before Christmas, after a display by the Garston Gallopers in the car park, our “choir” led the singing of carols in a packed Queens Arms. Thanks to Sue and Freddie Tulloch for publicising and hosting the evening and to Stephen Holmes and some of the Lambourn choir for helping to enhance the singing. A collection raised almost £300 for church funds.
Our team of bellringers very ably support our presence in the village by ringing in advance of our regular services, for weddings and occasionally for funerals. They have also rung a muffled peal on several occasions during the year on the 100th anniversary of the death of parishioners who lost their lives during the First World War. These men were also remembered during the service closest to the anniversary.
The church supports the Food Bank by providing a collection point in the porch for contributions from those attending our regular Sunday services.
The church has a very good working relationship with the Society of Friends in East Garston and often makes use of its admirable facilities for meetings. This year, there was a Quaker Exhibition which was visited by many members of our church.
Total receipts on unrestricted funds were £18,243 of which £1,540 was collections at services, £6,672 was unrestricted planned voluntary donations, and £3,823 was from ad hoc donations. Various fund raising activities contributed £6,009. Restricted grants of £900 were received from East Garston Parish Council. Total income for the year was £18,243.
The sum that the churches in the Deanery have to find is shared between the churches according to a formula that is based mainly on a usual Sunday attendance. In 2017, our parish share was £9,905. Other expenditure from the unrestricted funds for items such as insurance, electricity, fees to the Diocese, organist and cleaner, organ tuning, and general maintenance was £8,191. Expenditure from the restricted funds for the church restoration, with the installation of the under pew heating, was £5,004. Total expenditure for the year was £18,096 resulting in a total net surplus of £147.
The formal accounts will be presented at the Annual Parochial Church Meeting and should be regarded as being annexed to this report.
We would like to thank all the volunteers who work so hard to make our church and churchyard a welcoming place for the community and ensure that the village is provided with an accurate record of the passing of time.
Structure, governance and management
The Parochial Church Council is a corporate body established by the Church of England. The PCC operates under the Parochial Church Council Powers Measure. The PCC is regarded as a charity but under the Charities (Exception from Registration) Regulations 1996 it is not required to register with the Charity Commission.
The method of appointment of PCC members is set out in the Church Representation Rules. In East Garston, the membership of the PCC consists of the incumbent (our Vicar), churchwardens, and members elected by those members of the congregation who are on the electoral roll of the church. All those who attend our services/members of the congregation are encouraged to register on the Electoral Roll and stand for election to the PCC.
The PCC members are responsible for making decisions on all matters of general concern and importance to the parish including deciding on how the funds of the PCC are to be spent.
The PCC met six times during the year with an average level of attendance of 80%. Small sub-groups met to plan specific activities such as the Harvest Lunch and the Safari Supper. Workshops were also held to involve the children in preparations for Mothering Sunday, Easter and Harvest Festival.
All Saints Church is situated off Station Road, East Garston. It is part of the Benefice of the Lambourn Valley in the Newbury Deanery of the Diocese of Oxford within the Church of England. The correspondence address is Lambsdown, Front Street, East Garston, Hungerford, RG17 7EU or Church Cottage, Front Street, East Garston, Hungerford, RG17 7HJ.
PCC members who have served from the 2017 APCM until the date this report was approved are:
Ex Officio members:
Incumbent: Revd Martin Cawte
Churchwardens: Dr Robert Briant (also representative on Deanery Synod)
Mrs Dawn Tonge
Hon Rowland Cobbold
Mr Thomas Coleman (Treasurer)
Mrs Annette Furneaux
Mrs Ann Phillips
Mrs Karen Sperrey (Secretary)
Approved by the PCC on 23 April 2018 and signed on their behalf by the Revd Martin Cawte