PCC minutes


Parochial Church Council Meeting Minutes

Minutes of the meeting held Wednesday 15th November 2023

Present: David Roderick (Rod) (Chair), Revd Chris Davies, Rector (Revd CD), Suhail Baithun

(SB), Linda Cook (LC), Jo Duffett (Churchwarden) (JD), Sally Fairweather (SF), Steve Hart (SH), James Hill (JH), Sam Murdoch (SM), David Read (DR), Vicky Shankland (VS), Geoffrey Wolfson (Churchwarden) (GMW)

  1. Opening prayer

Revd CD opened the meeting in prayer.

  1. Conflicts of interest and confidentiality No conflicts of interest were declared.
  2. Apologies for absence, Tony Dawson (T D), Jamie Favell (JF), Josie Hart (JH), Phillip Northcott (PN), Virgil Parenzee (VP)
  3. Minutes of the PCC meeting held on 13th September 2023 (DRAFT)

The PCC approved and the Chair signed the minutes of the PCC meeting held on 1 3rd September 2023.

  1. Matters arising from the minutes.
    1. PCC Secretary

Rector reported that Shen Smith was unable to continue in this role. PCC recorded its thanks to her for her work, and wished her well. Rector and Churchwarden will bring a substantive proposal for filling this role to the January meeting of the PCC (Revd CD & GMW)

  1. Clergy resources going forward.
    1. Oversight arrangements in the Barking episcopal area and the Epping Forest Deanery

The Rector reported that there would be a diocesan consultation on the proposed reconfiguration of Archdeaconries in the diocese, and that the Parish would have an opportunity to submit its views. The consultation would also encompass proposals to reconfigure Episcopal Area responsibilities, which might affect this parish. PCC was unanimous in its view that it would preserve to maintain the status quo, both regarding the Archdeaconry and remaining in the Episcopal Area of Barking. Agreed to reconsider in January, when the diocesan proposals will be out for consultation. (Revd CD)

    1. Churches Together in Loughton (CT L)

The Rector reported that Father Adrian Lowe had replaced Father John Harvey as Priest in Charge of the Roman Catholic parish at St Edmund of Canterbury and St Thomas More,

Loughton. Father John had been appointed Dean of Brentwood. The Rector reported that Churches Together in Loughton is now more active, and has Joint Chairs — Rich Seaman of Epping Forest Community Church and Revd Sue Creighton of Loughton Methodist Church. Noted     



  1. Future of St Nicholas, Rectory Lane

The Rector reported that he was in discussions with Father Sergei of the Romanian Orthodox Church about the future of St Nicholas Church. In the meantime, PCC is asked to note that the annual rental charged to the Romanian Orthodox Church for the use of St Nicholas has been increased from £8,400 pa to £9,360 pa, with effect from 1 St January 2024. Noted.

  1. Finance
    1. Operating accounts up to 30th September 2023

In PN's absence, the accounts for the nine months to 30th September 2023 were received. Noted that receipts from planned to give and gift aid were down, reflecting changes in the demography of the church community. Noted that GoodBox receipts are not shown separately in the I&E Statement; agreed that PN be asked to show this separately in future financial reports. (PN)

    1. Proposed merger of the Charities of which PCC members are de facto Trustees PCC received (again) the PCC paper of 16th September 2020, the Charity Commission decision tree, Diocesan guidance re. Trusts and the 2020 financial statements. PCC, as Trustees of the respective charities, unanimously agreed to ratify its previous mandate to seek the Charity Commission's agreement to the merger of the two charities of which the PCC members are, by reason of their office, the Trustees: (1) The Parochial Church Council of The Ecclesiastical Parish of St John the Baptist, Loughton Charity # 1 134775 and (2) Anne Whitaker's Sunday School Foundation Charity # 310803. (GMW)
  1. Fabric, Buildings and Churchyard Report
    1. Report on progress with the Quinquennial Inspection 2023
    1. The Rector and VS reported on their interview of Sophie Douglas BA(Hons) DipArch RIAS RIBA AABC, of Donald Insall Associates for the role of architectural adviser to the Parish. Noted that Sophie is also architect to the parish church of St Mary the Virgin, Theydon Bois. PCC agreed to ratify and confirm the appointment of Sophie Douglas of Donald Insall Associates as Church Architect, with immediate effect (Rector & VS).
    2. Agreed to accept the estimate from Sean Davis to implement the first stage of the recommendations of the electrical survey, at estimated costs of £3,220 (stage 1) and £2,350 (stage 2), subject to a review of the need to carry out work on or cease the provision of floodlighting (DR). The total estimated cost of implementing the recommendations of the Electrical Installation Condition Report on the church, would, therefore, be £5,570. (DR, GMW
    1. Church boilers and heating system

The Rector reported verbally on the boiler system failure and consequences. Of the two boilers serving the Church building, one had failed totally, and the second (linked) boiler had been temporarily repaired. In addition, the boiler house is not fit for purpose, the roof having been damaged over the years. Noted that the initial estimated cost of repairs to the boiler house roof and one boiler is £47,500. After discussion, PCC agreed:

    1. to seek advice from the newly appointed Architect (see minute 9(a)(i) above) and a heating engineer about whether to repair one boiler, or to replace one or both boilers, or to explore a more radical, ecological solution to heating the Church building (VS, JD & JH);
    2. to develop for 2024, and going forward, a standard approach to fabric and estate & facilities management, with an annual budget for a planned preventive maintenance programme, in order to mitigate the risk of unexpected plant, equipment and fabric breakdowns and failures.       (Revd CD, DR & PN)

(iii) To canvas dates for a special meeting of the PCC in February 2024, to carry out a comprehensive review of the Parish finances (income, expenditure and reserves) to inform the development of the above proposed realistic programme for fabric, estate & facilities management. (GMW & PN)

  1. Update on the application for a Bar Licence for the Parish

The Rector reported that EFDC had approved the granting of a Bar Licence, permitting the playing of music until 10.00 pm. Agreed that a copy of the licence should be displayed on the Parish Hall noticeboard (Parish Administrator).

  1. Progress with researching the costs and feasibility of erecting a Car Park barrier JD reported that she had concluded that the optimum style of barrier for our location would be that in use at Loughton Baptist Church. JD will send full details to PCC members (JD).
  2. Surveyor's inspection of the boundary fence with 17 Marjorams Avenue, and on the water seepage problems reported by the householders.

The Rector reported that he was still awaiting an informal (but informed) legal opinion on this matter. Deferred (Revd CD)

  1. Safeguarding Policy
      1. Draft Parish Safeguarding Policy

SF presented the draft, updated Parish Safeguarding Policy. This was agreed (SF).

      1. Draft "Activities in the Parish to which the Safeguarding Policy applies" SF presented a draft of the required document "Activities in the Parish to which the Safeguarding Policy applies". This was agreed (SF).
      2. Appointments of new Parish Safeguarding Officer, and of Safeguarding Administrator

SF indicated that she would be retiring as Parish Safeguarding Officer at the end of February.

2024. The Rector reported the appointment of Rachel Cartwright as the new Parish

Safeguarding Officer, and of Samantha Alder as Safeguarding Administrator (a new support role as part of the responsibilities of the Parish Administrator), both with effect from 1 St March 2024. Noted (Revd CD, SF & Parish Administrator).

  1. St John's on the Broadway

The Rector reported that, since the Parish had given notice to EFDC of its intention to terminate the lease with effect from 2nd March 2024, EFDC had demanded retrospective payment of 3% years' Business Rates, for which the Parish is not liable as (a) SJOB is a place of worship, and, therefore exempt, and (b) SJOB is, arguably, not a business. In addition to challenging the retrospective application of business rates, the Parish is contesting the attempt to require it as tenant to contribute to backlog structural and fabric The Rector noted that the Parish might hope to continue the strong relationships that it had built and fostered with local community groups on the Broadway, with Epping Forest College and Epping Forest Foodbank, both from St John's and by relocating our work in Debden to Trinity (where the Saturday Food Bank session would be located from 24th February).

  1. Health & Safety Update

The annual Health & Safety Review would be presented at the January 2024 PCC meeting (Revd CD & SM)

  1. Community and Church — festivals and social events (a) Recent events

Noted that the following events had been highly successful, and, after expenses and costs were deducted, had made financial contributions:

7th October — Harvest Festival Barn Dance / Party: surplus +£500.

4th November — Fireworks Party: Takings £10,250, headline surplus +£5,403, expected surplus after outstanding costs and payments +£4,500

(b) Upcoming events

1 7th December — Nativity Play

21 St December — Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols (at 7.30 pm)

24th December - Services at 08.00 (BCP), 09.30 (Eucharist), 14.00 (Crib), 16.00 (Crib) and

11.30 (Midnight Eucharist)

Christmas Day — Service at 10.00 (Eucharist) 31 St December — Service at 10.00 (Eucharist)

  1. Pastoral and Church Community matters
      1. John Wickens RIP

Noted that the Requiem Mass for John Wickens would take place at 2.00 pm on Wednesday 30th November, followed by cremation at Parndon Wood. Crematorium. John would be brought into Church at 5.30 pm on Tuesday 29th November.

      1. Jeff Herman RIP

GMW reported that Jeff Herman, a previous member of the Parish, who, with his wife, had contributed greatly to the effective running of the Parish Hall, had died this day in Norfolk. PCC asked GMW to convey condolences to his widow Maria and family. (GMW)

      1. Blessing of same sex relationships

The Rector reported that Synod had permitted Clergy to bless same sex relationships, at their discretion and according to their conscience. Noted.

  1. Dates of next two meetings

Noted: Wednesday 15th November 2023 maintenance costs going back to a period before the Parish became a Council tenant; the Parish had already paid for the urgent electrical safety works that were required

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