St. Mary’s  Buriton

Annual Parochial
Church Meeting

Report and Accounts
(Year ending 31st December 2019)

“We are here to worship God, welcome all and grow together in faith and love.”

  Annual Vestry Meeting

1. Apologies for absence
2. Minutes of the last meeting
3. Matters arising
4. Election of Churchwardens

Annual Parish Meeting
1. Minutes of the last meeting
2. Matters arising
3. Electoral Roll report
4. Election of PCC
5. Appointment of Sidespeople
6. Presentation of Annual Accounts
7. Appointment of an Independent Examiner for the
Annual Accounts
8. Report of the proceedings of the PCC contained
in APCM booklet
9. Open forum (when any item can be raised
and suggestions made to the PCC)
10. Closing prayer

 Report Numbers Index

Rector’s Report  3
Parish Priest’s Report 4
Churchwardens’ Report 7
Safeguarding of Children and Vulnerable Adults 8
Treasurer’s Report 9
Fabric Report 11
Music and Worship group 12
Health & Safety 13
Outward Giving 13
Resources group 14
Communications group 15

Inter-Diocesan West Africa Link (IDWAL) 15
Bell Ringers’ Report 16
Church Flowers 17
Knit & Natter 17
Deanery Synod 18
Petersfield Area Churches Together (PACT) 19
Parish Magazine 20
Post Office 21

Report of the Independent Examiner 22
Accounts for 2018 23-29
Minutes of 2018 APCM 30-34

 

3  RECTOR’S REPORT 
During the year 2019 the following served on the PCC:

Rev’d Will Hughes
Rev’d Judith Bee
Rev’d Sam Cullen
Richard Marks Churchwarden
Win Normington Churchwarden
Moya Cozens Safeguarding Officer
Vanessa Dowse
Greg Ford
Ian Johnston Treasurer, Deanery Synod
Mary Owens Deanery Synod
Alison Stevens
David Symmonds
James Dryden – co-opted (from September 2019)

Statistics (2018 in brackets)
ASA* adults 41 (41.6)
children 3.7 (3.1)
Baptisms 9 (8)
Funerals 8 (7)
Weddings 5 (10)
*Average Sunday attendance: normal 10am Sunday services averaged over the whole year

Electoral Roll at 2020 APCM not presently known (2019: 90)
Electoral Roll Officer: Eileen Taylor
Our website is www.stmarysburiton.church

Will Hughes, Rector

4 PARISH PRIEST REPORT

2019 proved to be another good year of mission and ministry for us all at St Mary’s.
Our regular Sunday and daily worship continued. The presence of a number of young children at our Sunday Eucharist is a delight; a priority for us as a congregation is to find ways in which these children can be nurtured in the faith, experience good quality worship and contribute their own very special gifts within the context of this main act of worship. There were nine Family Teatime services during the year (excluding August, we do one in every month where there is not another special event like Easter.) The service is appreciated by families with young children and is a means of outreach to families in the village who would otherwise find church difficult. As it was going to clash, our June FTS took place at the village Farm day at Bolinge Hill Farm, where crafts, singing and worship took place in a tent. We have been asked to do this every year now!
The international initiative Thy Kingdom Come in Ascensiontide took the form in Petersfield (Petersfield Area Churches Together) area of a Pop-Up prayer space which St Mary’s ran for a day. A few of us joined in the diocesan event at Portchester.
Three people were trained and joined our band of those who read the lesson on Sundays. A speaker from TearFund preached for us in July (Tearfund being one of the charities supported by St Mary’s.) Thank you to all who “service” our worship, sacristans, flower arrangers, duty and sidespeople, readers, intercessors, welcomers, musicians, chalice assistants, bell ringers, those who serve coffee, and prepare the building for worship each week.
We continue to think of ourselves as a welcoming church, welcoming everyone, whoever comes, as God welcomes us all. This is a whole church effort and depends on every person being welcoming, not just a few.

In terms of our growing in faith, in January Naomi Gordon-Smith led a series of studies on eleven books of the Bible, “200 verses”, helping us to get to know the bible a little better.
In Lent, a new initiative was Speaking Faith, where a different member of the congregation each week spoke about their own faith and the impact it had on their lives; speakers were Ian Johnston, Lynne Ashcroft, Jenni Lister and Verity Steele – David Normington’s had to be postponed till the following Lent.
Four adults from our congregation were confirmed by the Bishop at the Cathedral in June. We were delighted to be part of Nick and Toni’s emerging faith journey for much of this year; they have now moved away and are worshipping at Liphook.
In November some opportunities were made to come to read and think about the readings for the following Sunday on a Friday morning. This is to be rolled out weekly in 2020.

David Normington was installed as a Lay Canon of our Cathedral in June; congratulations to him.
Our white altar frontal was inadvertently shrunk when cleaned. We are so grateful to Ros Attwood from Weston, who has restored it for us. Ros has also made us some baptism cloths and other linen; thank you Ros.

We continue to work with our local schools. Will is chaplain at Ditcham Park School, I take regular assemblies in Buriton School and am a governor. Tom Cooper is chair of governors. The new Dottie Tots nursery came to church at Harvest and Christmas and we are developing a relationship with them.
One exciting initiative was Tots and Toast, the idea of Jade Styles, offering a regular meeting place for children aged three and under and their parents/carers, run by Jade and Charlotte Dryden; a full Seward Room is testament to the need for this in the village. Plans were made for a monthly Drop-In particularly for people on their own, to begin in 2020. Our Knit and Natter group continues to attract both congregation members and others.
Our Marriage Preparation day was held at Buriton once again and thanks are due to Lynne Ashcroft for masterminding the catering for the day, as well as the works she undertakes as our wedding verger. Charmian Reeves puts a lot of time and work into being our baptism and funeral verger; thank you to her for that and also for organising Carols Round the Pond each year and the making of Mothering Sunday posies Thanks are due to Eileen Taylor who has cleaned our brass beautifully for several years and who stood down from this during the year; Gill Smith has taken up the mantle. Eileen continues to keep our electoral roll up to date too.

We were sad to record the deaths of, among others, Monica Ditmas (a person of huge presence and influence in Buriton church for nearly 30 years) the Rev’d Doug Banyard (one time parish priest here) and of Gill Smith’s husband Martin.
I’m so grateful to our PCC for its expertise, work and support, particularly in some of the drier aspects of parish governance! Our PCC secretary Jessica von Kaenel stood down following our APCM in April, and I’m grateful to Katy Schwarz for taking this on.
Our new website was launched during the year, spearheaded by David Symmonds to whom I am particularly grateful www.stmarysburiton.church. Thank you too to Ian Johnston for so valiantly keeping the old website going for so many years.

Thank you to those who keep the churchyard looking so good, to Bob who continues to be an essential person in the practical running of St Mary’s, to Peter Nixon and Lynne Ashcroft for taking the lead on the new kitchen in the Seward Room (it looks so smart and we have a dishwasher!) to JM Nixon for keeping the church diary and Seward Room bookings, to Jenni Lister for delivering the Rock, and to Elaine Bray for putting together the epew sheet so efficiently each month.
Thank you to all of you who have helped in so many quiet ways; collecting the books, sharpening pencils, mending kneelers, cleaning the church, greeting visitors and in just noticing what needs doing and doing it. Reading through all the reports, it’s amazing to see how many people are actively involved in our ministry and mission here. Our fellowship has been enhanced by the many events that have taken place in the church. My thanks to you all.

We have enjoyed The Rev’d Dr Sam Cullen’s ministry with us (Sam moves to a new post in 2020). I wish to express huge thanks to Win Normington and Richard Marks for their work and support for me as churchwardens and to Ian Johnston who manages our financial affairs so expertly. Thank you to Tom Cooper, our Reader, for his quiet and gentle support and for his contributions to our worship. We are so fortunate to have the Rev’d Canon Will Hughes as our Rector; he has worked hard for St Mary’s especially on some of the planning issues we have had to contend with. I thank him hugely on a personal level for his generosity, patience and loving support.

Judith Bee, Parish Priest

7 CHURCHWARDENS REPORT
This year has seen continuing concern about further development on the Manor House estate. Despite objections from the PCC and other local organisations, the South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA) gave planning permission for the proposed development of both Monks Walk and the stable/cartshed buildings, which have recently been used to provide garage and storage space. The conversion of Monks Walk has been completed and two of the three residential dwellings have been sold. The cartshed buildings have been sold to a new owner, who wishes to convert them into a four-bedroom house to be called Haven Barn. While we wish as a Church family to welcome new residents to the village, we have a duty to protect our ancient Church and the graves, both marked and unmarked, of the many generations of parishioners whose final resting place is in the peaceful, consecrated ground of the churchyard. Our very real concerns about this proposed conversion remain because of the buildings’ proximity to the Church and its altar, the graveyard and its monuments and the ancient yew trees. We registered strong objections to the initial plans submitted to SDNPA, which provided for an upper storey, which would have adversely affected the heritage setting of the Church. We will scrutinise all future plans and comment as appropriate. We have established links with the new owner and his architects so that we can explain our concerns and the particular issues facing the Church. Along with many other churches, we applied to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission for a sign to show that we do have such graves in the churchyard. As you may have noticed, the sign was duly installed on the railings to the right of the church gate during the year. We continue to be enormously grateful to all those who help look after and support St Mary’s in so many ways, many of which are often not seen, including: the bellringers; the sacristans; the flower arrangers; and those who clean the church, look after the heating, manage the upkeep the churchyard and organise the Seward Room bookings. Without their fantastic help, our lovely church would not look so beautiful and the many events that take place would not run so smoothly. Our thanks go to each and every one of you.

Richard Marks, Win Normington, Churchwardens

8 SAFEGUARDING REPORT

The profile of Safeguarding has increased over the last year and has been the focus of attention across the diocese. The Diocese Safeguarding Handbook is clearly displayed in the porch of St Mary’s along with my contact details.
In addition, we have ensured that a Safeguarding link is prominently displayed on the banner heading on our new website. In order to ensure that Safeguarding is addressed it is on the agenda of every PCC meeting.
Over this last year thirtyone:eight have taken over the administration and checking of DBS checks. This has been a major change with the Diocese no longer processing DBS checks in a paper form, the process is now completed online. As the Safeguarding representative for St Mary’s it is my responsibility to forward the necessary links to an applicant, to check their application and the documentation needed. This checking can be problematic as I need to take photos of the documents in order to complete the application, either via an email or in person. However, thirtyone:eight staff have been very supportive and accessible both on the phone and via email.
The Diocese still has a role to play both in providing training and support. The Diocese is also vital in dealing with any DBS applications which are not straightforward. They continue to provide valuable support for the parish on safeguarding.
Safeguarding information cards have now been purchased for use by a spread of members of the parish including PCC members as well as other groups who have contact with parishioners. It is very important that safeguarding is seen as the responsibility of the parish as a whole and not simply the responsibility of a few individuals.

Moya Cozens Safeguarding Representative

9. TREASURER’S REPORT
Accounting principles: The accounts are prepared on a receipts and payments basis. Transactions are recognised in the accounts when cheques are written or deposits are made. Both transactions being processed by the bank at the reporting date and unrealized gains or losses on investments are identified as uncleared. Provisions are used only for Diocesan Fees relating to future weddings. The figures in this report are assets.
Reserves Policies: Unrestricted Funds are for the day-to-day management of the church. Restricted Funds are ring fenced for defined activities. Designated funds are used for major projects agreed by the PCC but which are not appropriate for the Restricted or Unrestricted Funds. The Endowment Fund generates Unrestricted income.
The PCC’s reserves policies were reviewed on a tri-annual basis in 2018. Adherence to them is as follows.
 Unrestricted Funds: to have reserves of at least six months’ payments. £46,862 (2018: £43,073); payments in the year were £51,783 so this reserve policy continues to be met.
 Restricted Funds generally: to have sufficient resources available to meet the perceived need.
o Restoration Fund: £76,052 (2018: £63,327).
o Tower Fund: £12,775 (2018: £12,437).
 Designated Funds generally: to have sufficient resources available to meet the perceived need. £53,414 (2018: £60,702).
 Endowment Fund: £24,908 (2018: £25,580)
 CCLA Investment Funds and CBF deposit accounts are used for funds surplus to the day-to-day management of the church.
General comments: The new ‘fairer shares’ allocation of parish share has resulted in an increase of 56% for St. Mary’s in the last 5 years while our country was at an economic standstill. Portsmouth Diocesan Board of Finance (“PDBF”) has asked for this voluntary donation to be increased by a further 6.7% in 2020. While we have managed well in the past, this trend is unsustainable. PDBF has been unresponsive to requests to explain how the process works so it is proposed to hold the requested increase in reserve pending further discussions.
On a brighter note, 2019 was a generally good year: the PCC and St. Mary’s volunteers, donors and congregation are all to be thanked and congratulated on these achievements. I would like to add my personal thanks also to Bob Wright for his continuing support. The PCC’s investments performed well in what has been a parson’s nose of a year, showing a total return (capital and dividends) of £17,677 or 12.4%, which exceeds the total surplus in the year of £8,892.
Unrestricted funds: The surplus in the year was £156 before unrealised capital gains (2018: £7,443) but after transferring £1,500 to the chancel repair project. This was, as expected, worse than last year but was better than budget nonetheless. In achieving this, the PCC also donated £3,375 in tithe giving (and holds a further £1,525 against future needs) and £3,958 to other charities.
Both receipts and payments were generally in line with budgets. Of note: as expected, donations at occasional services were lower in 2019 due to fewer weddings but donations from all other sources were stable. Fund raising was generally on budget. PCC and Diocesan fees, however, were both substantially above budget due to the large number of funerals. Fund raising, including the teas, Ride & Stride, the recitals and the 100 Club, all continued to make good contributions. Well done and thank you to all involved.
Restricted: The surplus in the year was £13,062 (2018: loss £(5,406)). Investments performed well. The project to repair the chancel window is gathering pace with grants being awarded from The All Churches Trust (£1,500), East Hampshire DC (£507) and ChurchCare (£3,000), and £1,500 has been transferred from the Unrestricted surplus. All grant applications have been assessed. The total budget of the work is £29,644. The Lady Chapel work was completed.
Designated: The loss in the year was £(7,288) (2018: surplus £3,362) The main cost was the £8,500 down payment for the kitchen refurbishment (total cost: £11,144). £1,000 was given to St. Andrews in Dominase to complete the security fittings to the Mission House. The Parish Magazine is underwritten by the PCC; it had another very successful year and the PCC thanks all involved in its editorial, layout, advertising and delivery teams. On receipts, the investment income exceeded the capital loss.
Endowment: This fund provided an income of £1,382 to the Unrestricted Fund in 2019.
Budget comments: The proposed 2020 budget assumes a very similar year to 2019 with the exception of the increased parish share. This implies a reduction in tithe giving, which is used by the PCC as a buffer to enable its parish share to be donated.
Ian Johnston (262293)

11 FABRIC REPORT

Churchyard Wall damage
We were asked by Portsmouth diocese to complete a retrospective faculty for the rebuilding of the south wall damaged by Mr. Camping’s contractors. We also had to complete a retrospective faculty for the south east wall which was rebuilt in 2017.
Nave Lighting
We have to replace the existing halogen bulbs quite regularly so it is proposed to change to LED bulbs which have an estimated life of 25,000 hours or more. They are also significantly more energy efficient thereby lowering our carbon footprint.
Chancel Windows south
The church architect was instructed to prepare a specification for the replacement of the damaged stonework surrounding the two large windows. HMDW went to tender and the lowest reputable contractor was Shepherd & Grantham. The work is proposed to start in April 2020.
Seward Room Kitchen
Planning and preparation work was carried out by Peter Nixon and Lynne Ashcroft. Quotes were sought with 3 companies and it was decided to proceed with Wickes.
Tower mobile phone mast
Avison Young agents for EE contacted us to enquire if we would consider a mobile mast on the tower roof. The PCC agreed that EE and their contractors could carry out a preliminary survey. EE have submitted a pre application to the SDNPA. We are awaiting further details before commenting on any formal application.
Churchyard and South Lane cemetery
Peter Nixon and Bob Wright along with his mowing team have maintained the churchyard in excellent condition for which many thanks are due. The South Lane cemetery continues to be maintained by the community payback team managed by Bob Wright.

Richard Marks

12 MUSIC and WORSHIP GROUP

The Worship group consisted of Alison Stevens, Tom Cooper, Verity Steele, Win Normington, Moya Cozens and Judith Bee, and met only once during the year.
The Advent service of light was dropped in 2019 owing to insufficient numbers attending. Discussion was had around the purpose of the intercessions at the Eucharist. A discussion was had about any music played during the distribution of Communion; some people like to join in and sing at that point, others prefer to be quiet. Obviously not everyone could be pleased all the time. It was agreed that the music at this part of the service should always be prayerfully reflective to aid our devotions. Calamus, the licence company with whom we were able to reproduce Taize chants has ceased. Rather than join a different scheme, it was recommended that a set of the actual songbooks be purchased. The money for these came from a bequest. A beautiful Taize cross was mounted and finished for us by David Symmonds and is now used for worship at our Taize services. Many thanks to David for this. It was agreed to lower the pitch of the Thorne Gloria when being sung unaccompanied.
My thanks to Alison Stevens, our Director of Music, Verity Steele, Simon Nicholls, Charlie Dryden and Tom Cooper, all of whom lead our musical worship so beautifully and competently. Thanks are also due to Liz Cleaver, Richard Barnes, David Wiseman and Angus Robinson who have gallantly helped out when we are stuck!

Judith Bee

13 HEALTH & SAFETY

We continue to monitor health and safety in the Church and churchyard in accordance with our Health and Safety policy. The major items of work identified in our health and safety review have been completed, including the completion of key safety features in the tower. Plans for the new kitchen have incorporated some important health and safety improvements, including a better layout and childproof locks on the entry door and on cupboards containing cleaning materials. Improved lighting in the Church is another important contribution to safety. A new electrical consumer unit will be installed to comply with the latest electrical safety regulations.

Win Normington, Health and Safety Officer

13 OUTWARD GIVING

The Onward Giving Committee is comprised of Mary Owens, Pat Cuzner, Margaret Davis, Moira Cozens and Jilly Firkins.
Their role was to advise St Mary’s PCC of appropriate recipients for donations from the Tithe Giving Fund for 2019.

The Committee met and recommended that donations from the £4,000 allocated by the Treasurer be made to the following organisations:

1. Salvation Army £400
2. Hampshire and island Historical Churches £300
3. Vision Overseas £300
4. Tear Fund £300
5. Air Ambulance £300
6. Kings Arms £400
7. Rowans Hospice £400
8. Canine Partners £300
9. Petersfield Food bank £300
10. Outward Giving £1,000
Total £4,000

These recommendations were agreed by the PCC.
The Outward Giving allocation was to enable funds to be donated throughout the year when we hear of organisations requiring urgent financial help at home or abroad.

Mary Owens

14 RESOURCES GROUP

The aim of the Resource Group is
‘to encourage and facilitate our congregation and other users of our church to give generously of their time, talents and money, in order to enable the function and mission of the church’.

The Resource Group Committee members are:
Chair: Vanessa Dowse, Mary Owens, Greg Ford, Andy Hall, Jenni Lister, Sarah Marks, Lynne Ashcroft and Judith Bee.

Fundraising
Much appreciation to all who have contributed to the fundraising for St Mary’s , by giving of their time , their talents and money whether through the wonderfully successful Summer Teas , through Tom’s amazing concert, through the generosity of the donations, support and the teamwork that enables the Christmas Market to be such a successful event. The contribution of the annual Ride and Stride event, so seemingly, effortlessly organised by Jenni Lister, was as ever the great event it always is. Many riders, some striders and greeters, giving of their time and talents for this event.
Thank you to Ian for his work with grant applications.
The total amount of monies raised through all these events (not including grants) is comprised of:
Teas: £926
Tom’s Concert with teas, (including gift aid) £700
BBQ: £130
Ride and Stride: £1240 (half to St Mary’s. £620)
Christmas Market: £450
In total: £2826
A great achievement by all involved, in whatever way , whether as one of the amazing bakers in St Mary’s, those serving teas, Tom , the BBQ organisers, Jenni and all involved with Ride and Stride and all involved and supporting the Christmas Market.
Many forthcoming fundraising ideas are being discussed and considered (some tried and tested, others revisited and with a few new ideas thrown in the mix for this coming year.)

Vanessa Dowse

15 COMMUNICATIONS GROUP

The main project for the committee, comprising Judith Bee, Greg Ford, Ian Johnstone and David Symmonds, was the creation of the new website – www.stmarysburiton.church which went ‘live’ during the year. After exploring several options, it was decided to use the website facility hosted by the diocese, where there is ongoing help if needed.
Any material to be uploaded should be sent to Judith who will pass it on to the updaters.

Printed versions of the ePew sheet are available monthly for nine people who do not have email access.

The service details/diary are printed and available at the back of the church each month.

David Symmonds.

15 INTER-DIOCESAN WEST AFRICA LINK (IDWAL)

St Marys Buriton is linked with St Andrews, the parish church of Dominase which is in the Ghanaian Diocese of Dunkwa.
St Andrews is in the process of rebuilding and expanding their church and St Marys PCC donated £1.000 towards the project. This donation was used to provide ornamental metal frames for the new windows and doors, making them secure.
Dunkwa now has a new Bishop, Canon Joseph Kingsley Ayerakwa, who has now taken up his position. Prior to coming to Dunkwa, the Bishop was a University Lecturer. We have already established a good relationship with the Bishop through various emails. He will be coming to the UK in July 2020 for the Lambeth Convention and has planned a visit to Buriton during his time in the UK.
We have established a good email link with Jonathan Opong, the St Andrews Church Secretary. This enables a regular exchange of information between the churches.

Mary Owens, IDWAL Rep

16 BELLRINGERS

Our band currently numbers 11 ringers. Matt Marriott and Jon Moss are now well-established members becoming more competent as the weeks go by. During the year we have unfortunately lost the services of Nick Baker on account of difficult family circumstances. Abigail McKern has learnt to ring but not yet managed to settle into a regular routine.
We have maintained ringing for all Sunday services until very recently when we experienced the storms Ciara and Dennis on two successive Sundays when we considered it wiser to remain indoors rather than risk the journey over the hill from Clanfield in gale conditions. We have at times been short of numbers on our Wednesday practice nights but have survived with help from Petersfield. We have not missed a practice apart from Ash Wednesday and Holy Week. We rang for four weddings during the year.
Our annual Ringers’ Lunch was held at the Great Oak in Petersfield in March when we were joined by spouses, partners and ringing friends.

We had another Mini-Outing in July when we rang at three other Hampshire towers: Preston Candover, Brown Candover and Northington. We lunched at the Yew Tree in Lower Wield.
Quarter peals rung during the year included one in July after the funeral of Monica Ditmas, who had been a bellringer of note in her younger days, although not during her time in Buriton. Another was rung in September as a get-well compliment to Melanie Moore of Petersfield who was to have taken part in a quarter peal with us that very day but had suffered a debilitating stroke a few days previously. In November no fewer than three quarter peals were rung as 80th birthday compliments to me.

We took part in two striking competitions. We included Jon Moss in our first entry at Blackmoor and Matt Marriott in the second entry at Holybourne. This was the first competition for both and they each did very well
At our recent AGM all our officers were re-elected: Captain: David Hughes. Secretary: Helene Tipper. Treasurer: Richard Haydon. Steeplekeeper: Ron Vears, who also keeps the Church clock in good order.

David Hughes, Tower Captain

17 CHURCH FLOWERS

This year we have enjoyed a wonderful variety of weekly and festival displays of superb standard. This is testament to the hard work and enthusiasm of the team of talented and generous volunteers.
We have tried to use sustainable materials where possible with varying degrees of success! We are however committed to a greener approach to floristry and continue to learn new techniques and equipment.
We are always looking for new members of the team and do contact me if you’d like to join our merry band.

Sarah Figgis

17 KNIT & NATTER

A highlight of 2019 was the group’s participation in the Buriton Art Trail, which we hope to repeat in June 2020. We knit, crochet, quilt, sew….any craft at all really….and of course, natter. We share ideas and advice on a range of subjects and play with any young children who come along. We have plenty of room for new members and visitors,
and would love to see you between 2.30pm and 4.30pm on Friday afternoons in the Seward Room.

Naomi Gordon-Smith

18 PETERSFIELD DEANERY SYNOD

The Synod meets four times a year in parishes around the Deanery. Its role is to promote the work of the church in our area, to deal with issues raised by the PCCs to respond to consultations from Diocesan Synod and to confer with the Diocese regarding the parish share and the Diocesan budgeting process. The Area Dean is Revd Jane Ball of All Saints, East Meon, the Lay Chair is Vanda Leary of St Peter’s Petersfield and the Deanery Treasurer is Mark Turner of St Mary’s Liss. Elections to Deanery Synod are for three-year terms, and the next elections are due to take place at APCMs this April.
Deanery Synod also forms the electorate for Deanery representatives to the Diocesan Synod; these are currently Revd. Jane Ball, Revd Judith Bee (Buriton), Revd Chris Williams (Liss), Revd. Canon Will Hughes (Petersfield), Revd Helen M Mitchell (Petersfield), Neil Chrimes (Froxfield & Privett), Mary Crittenden (Hawkley & Empshott with Prior’s Dean), Keith Doyle (Sheet), Jenny Hogg (Liss) and Vanda Leary.

Over the last year, the Deanery has continued to respond to the Diocesan Live Pray Serve strategy. The Deanery Prayer Diary, which encourages parishes to hold in prayer one church in the Deanery each week, is circulated to parishes quarterly. The first Deanery Prayer Day was held on Saturday 6th July 2019 at Hawkley Village Hall. Thirty people came to the day, attending various workshops, for example Praying and Listening with Colour, Walking in Prayer, What are Intercessions? and Ignatian Prayer. Feedback from the day was positive, although numbers were lower than hoped for. Discussion and reflection on the Schools Chaplain initiative continues through the Deanery Pastoral Committee.
Speakers at Deanery Synod meetings over the past year have included Revd Andrew Goy on Schools Chaplaincy and Revd Canon Peter Hall, Diocesan Director of Ordinands, on Vocations. We also heard from Helen Jackson on The Ark Pre-School at the Church Centre, Liphook.

This summer we look forward to a visit in June from Victoria James, Diocesan Secretary, for a workshop on the Live|Pray|Serve and Depth, Impact & Number strategies. And through IDWAL (Inter-Diocesan West Africa Link) we’ll also be hosting two Ghanaian bishops and their wives for a few days in July before they go to Canterbury for the Lambeth Conference.

Synod Secretary

19 PACT (Petersfield Area Churches Together)

PACT is the association of Christian Churches in the Petersfield area.
Its objectives are ‘to seek every opportunity to worship and work together in united witness and service to the community and to work towards deeper commitment and fellowship between Christians’.
Many groups and organisations are ‘Partnered or Linked’ with PACT, examples being:
The Christmas Lunch, the PACT Food Bank, Petersfield Counselling Service, The Holiday Club, The King’s Arms, Home Start Butser, Petersfield Voluntary Care Group, PACT Prayer, Chaplaincy, Women’s Brunch and Petersfield Christian Men’s Group, to name but a few.
There is a committee comprised of persons from the churches involved in the PACT community.

Examples of areas that St Mary’s supports are:
The Christmas Lunch, the Food Bank, the King’s Arms, Pact Prayer Days, (Prayer Space), the PACT Easter Card and PACT Christmas Card, Women’s Brunch, and Fairtrade Fortnight.
Examples of Groups linked with PACT: Christian aid, Homestart Butser and Christian Aid.
Many thanks to Vikki Mason for organising the collection of gifts from St Mary’s and for representing St Mary’s with the PACT Christmas Lunch. St Mary’s provided fruit juice for the Christmas Lunch.
The Food Bank is run by a group of volunteers. Terry Doubleday is the Chair of the Petersfield FoodBank. Members of St Mary’s volunteer with the Foodbank. Food donations from St Mary’s have been organised and transported to the Food Bank by Sue and Dave Grant. Many thanks, to Sue and Dave for undertaking this valuable task. The Food Bank has been supported this year through St Mary’s Outward Giving Group.
Many thanks to Sue Williams for representing St Mary’s with World Day of Prayer.

St Mary’s supports the St Mary’s, Sheet Women’s Brunch with speakers. (several members of the congregation attend the events)
Judith and I, represent St Mary’s on the PACT committee.
An excellent source of information is the PACT website which details all the activities and organisations that are PACT centred. (www.pact.org.uk)

Vanessa Dowse.

20 PARISH MAGAZINE

Our parish magazine, underwritten by the PCC, is issued every quarter and keeps the whole parish up-to-date with news, views and events. Thanks go to Sian Griffiths, Cris Black, Fay Lambert, Amanda & Andrew Harmel-Law, Catherine Ford, Barbara Muir and the distributing team for all their good work.
Barbara organised a thank you tea at St Mary’s house for all involved in this process; my thanks to her.

Judith Bee

20 POST OFFICE IN THE SEWARD ROOM

The Post Office has continued to operate successfully over the past year, under the cheerful care of Satha and Lorraine, and with a welcome of tea and coffee provided by a devoted team of helpers. To them all we are very grateful. The average “footfall” of customers has been around 10 – 12 each Friday morning, with a large spike of 50 during the Christmas Fair. An intermittent connectivity fault which plagued the electronic equipment during January and February has now been resolved

Tim Mitford

  22  REPORT OF THE INDEPENDENT EXAMINER

To the members of the Parochial Church Council, Parish of St. Mary the Virgin, Buriton.
This report on the financial statements of the PCC for the year ended 31December 2019, which are set out in the attached pages, is in respect of an examination carried out in accordance with the Church Accounting Regulations 2006 (“the Regulations”) and s.43 of the Charities Act 1993 (“the Act”).
As members of the PCC you are responsible for the preparation of the financial statements; you consider that the audit requirement of the Regulations and s.43 (2) of the Act does not apply. It is my responsibility to issue this report on those financial statements in accordance with the terms of the regulations.
My examination was carried out in accordance with the general directions given by the Charity Commission under s.43 (7) (b) of the Act, and to be found in the Church guidance, 2006 edition. That examination includes a review of the accounting records kept by the PCC and a comparison of the accounts with these records. It also includes considering any unusual items or disclosures in the financial statements and seeking explanations from you as trustees concerning any such matters. The procedures undertaken do not provide all the evidence that would be required in an audit, and consequently I do not express an audit opinion on the view given by the accounts.
In connection with my examination, no matter has come to my attention:

1) which gives me reasonable cause to believe that in any material respect the requirements
a. to keep accounting records in accordance with section 41 of the Act; and
b. to prepare financial statements, which accord with the accounting records and comply with the requirements of the Act and the regulations have not been met; or

2) to which, in my opinion, attention should be drawn in order to obtain a proper understanding of the accounts to be reached.

David Bradley
Independent Examiner
59, Lower Mead,
Petersfield,
Hampshire.
GU31 4NR

St Mary’s Buriton APCM, Sunday 28th April 2019, 11.30 a.m.
23 – 29  Minutes of the Annual Vestry Meeting
Present: Revd Canon Will Hughes, (WH) Revd Judith Bee, (JB) and 25 members of the laity
1) Apologies: Nick Tolliday, Pat Tolliday, Alison Stevens, Mike Stevens, Julia Stevens, Mary Owens, Revd Dr Sam Cullen, Maggie Johnston and Eileen Taylor
2.) Minutes of the last meeting: approved.
3.) Matters Arising: none
4.) Election of churchwardens
Richard Marks and Win Normington were returned unanimously

30-34  Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting
Present: Revd Canon Will Hughes, (WH) Revd Judith Bee, (JB) and 25 members of the laity
Apologies: Nick Tolliday, Pat Tolliday, Alison Stevens, Mike Stevens, Julia Stevens, Mary Owens, Revd Dr Sam Cullen, Maggie Johnston and Eileen Taylor
1.) Minutes of the last meeting: approved.
2.) Matters Arising: none.
3.) Electoral Roll report: p. 3 Eileen Taylor was thanked for preparing this completely new roll which was a major piece of work. WH said that the drop in enrolment of only 5% is commendable; a larger drop might have been expected due to deaths, moves etc.
4.) Election of PCC. Mary Owens, Alison Stevens, Vanessa Dowse, Moya Cozens and Greg Ford (who have to be elected each year – old system) were re-elected to the PCC . David Symmonds proposed; Charmian Reeves seconded; unanimously accepted. David Symmonds did not require re-election as he continues to serve a three-year term.
Currently there are nine elected places on our PCC. This number does not include Deanery Synod representatives, clergy and churchwardens. In the event of the electoral roll numbers exceeding 100, this meeting proposed that the number of elected members should remain at nine.
5.) Appointment of sidespeople: Jenni Lister, Isabel Chambers, Bob Wright, David and Win Normington, David and Janet Symmonds, Dave and Sue Williams, Andy Hall, Carol Stein and Pat Boreniok were appointed.
6.) Presentation of Annual Accounts Ian Johnston
All three accounts are satisfactory, it has been an unexceptional year. The Unrestricted fund is now in surplus by over £7000, which is substantially ahead of expectations.
There is currently planning for the quinquennial work on the windows, likely to be funded by grant making bodies and local fundraising, and the kitchen refurbishment, which is to be paid for from the designated reserves with no fundraising involved.
There were fewer occasional offices (baptisms weddings and funerals) at St Mary’s, so PCC fees from these are also less. Total income from donations in the past few years has remained pretty static. The Parish Share is to be increased substantially. The church is budgeting around £2000 on tithed giving in 2019. There is a 2% reduction in the number of people donating to the church.
David Normington asked for confirmation that part of the Parish Share goes to pay clergy salaries and pensions as well as to fund administrative work; Ian Johnston responded that about 75% of it does.
That the accounts were adopted was proposed by Ian Johnston, seconded by Richard Robinson. All were in favour. Accounts accepted.
Ian was thanked for his outstanding work as Treasurer
7.) Appointment of an Independent Assessor for the Annual Accounts
David Bradley was proposed by Ian Johnston as the Independent Assessor. All in favour
8.) Report of the proceedings of the PCC contained in APCM booklet
Rector’s Report (WH)
The Rev’d Will Hughes described Judith as an outstanding parish priest.
Parish Priest’s Report (JB)
Judith reported that the year had been a normal one. The church aimed to offer a generous hospitality, reflecting God’s generosity, which she felt encouraged visitors to give generously too. The congregation’s numbers are rising, which makes for a definite feeling of excitement.
Bob Wright would be stepping back from some of the many tasks he has been responsible for. WH thanked him as an outstanding person looking after so many things; the meeting applauded him. A small token of appreciation was given to Bob after the meeting.
Churchwarden’s Report (Richard Marks)
The churchwardens reported that a major effort had been mounted to oppose the overdevelopment of the Manor site. However, approval has been given to develop the garage buildings on the east side of the churchyard subject to over 25 restrictions. The church remains deeply concerned, particularly in respect of wastewater and sewage, as the developer wishes to use the pipe currently serving the Manor House and Church (already considered to be at capacity.)
It was clarified that a separate group within the parish opposing the plans was not in any way speaking for the church.
WH agreed that the church was keeping a close watch on this serious situation. David Normington pointed out that the development of the garages could have a serious impact on the church. Any attempt to use the churchyard for access would require a faculty. WH said that this difficult situation required the wisdom of serpents, but we must not lose the gentleness of doves. We cannot let this issue take too much energy or we would cease to be a church. The priorities of a church should be primarily gospel and joy.
Fabric Report
Lady Chapel WH noted that the evolution of the space at the top right-hand area of the church was a joy and was developing into a chapel in its own right.
Organ: Richard Robinson asked if the PCC would financially support any work required on the organ as it was increasingly difficult to play. JB responded that a proper assessment has been done on the organ; the organ builders have inspected it. The written report recommended a complete refit (approx. £20,000). The instrument would still have its limitations, however. The meeting decided to keep the matter under review and keep all options open. The organ will continue to be tuned every six months. Alison was thanked for the work she had done on this.

Outward Giving
Mary Owens and the group were thanked for their prayerful consideration of where our outward giving should go
Resources Group
Nick Tolliday has had to step aside due to ill health; Vanessa Dowse has taken over; we are very grateful to her for this.
Worship Group
JB said that one of the most important issues is how to integrate children into our worship in response to the influx of young families to Buriton. And she thanked everyone for being welcoming to children. The nature and placement of toys in church is under constant review.
Deanery Synod
Following some proposed reorganisation in other parts of the diocese, the Deanery Synod is preparing a plan of action for this deanery through its Pastoral Committee.
David Normington was nominated for the role of Deanery Representative on the Pastoral Committee; this was unanimously accepted.
WH said that the Area Dean, is now back in post, following an illness.
Church Flowers
Richard Robinson proposed a vote of thanks to all the flower arrangers for their work over Easter.
Knit and Natter Group
Naomi Gordon-Smith said that there are about eight attendees, plus children; more could be done. JB commended her excellent work with this group as part of mission and hospitality.
Health and Safety
These policies are under constant review. The church is an old building and the churchyard presents its own issues, so it is important to review things regularly and ensure any requirements are acted upon. risks and new requirements to be kept up with.

PACT
Richard Saunders from Sheet Church is the PACT Chair this year.
Safeguarding
WH reminded the meeting that safeguarding is the responsibility of everyone. The safeguarding policies and procedures will be reviewed again at the first PCC meeting of the new year.
Communications Group
The new website domain has been applied for and granted; the diocesan website creator will come and help with the site’s design. The site will need someone to maintain it. JB thanked IJ for his excellent maintenance of the previous website. WH suggested that it might be possible for St Peter’s office to take this on, subject to discussion with the parish administrators.

9.) Open Forum
WH: The PCC will elect a Treasurer at the next meeting.
Vanessa Dowse presented the church with the restored Methodist Church Bible. (This had been given to St Marys’ for safekeeping when the Methodist church was closed.) Jeff Dowse took the Bible apart, cleaned it, repaired it and made a box for it. He restored it as an act of love, in memory of his family’s long association with Buriton. JB extended thanks and gratitude on behalf of everyone. Ian Johnston suggested that it would be nice to read the lessons from this Bible; WH suggested that this could be done at the 8am service.

10.) The meeting closed with Grace at 12.38pm.

 

Annual Vestry Meeting

1. Apologies for absence
2. Minutes of the last meeting
3. Matters arising
4. Election of Churchwardens

Annual Parish Meeting
1. Minutes of the last meeting
2. Matters arising
3. Electoral Roll report
4. Election of PCC
5. Appointment of Sidespeople
6. Presentation of Annual Accounts
7. Appointment of an Independent Examiner for the
Annual Accounts
8. Report of the proceedings of the PCC contained
in APCM booklet
9. Open forum (when any item can be raised
and suggestions made to the PCC)
10. Closing prayer