The Parish of Edington and Imber

Annual Report

and

Financial Statements

of the

Parochial Church Council

for the year ended 31st December 2008


Edington and Imber is one of four parishes comprising a United Benefice with Bratton, Coulston and Erlestoke. It is part of the Deanery of Devizes in the Diocese of Salisbury.

The incumbent, the Rev’d Dr Graham Southgate, has completed another full and busy year in the Benefice.

Malcolm Wieck completed his training and was ordained Deacon in Salisbury Cathedral on September 27. Many parishioners supported him by attending the inspiring ordination service.

PAROCHIAL CHURCH COUNCIL

The PCC has the responsibility of co-operating with the incumbent in promoting in the ecclesiastical parish the whole mission of the Church, pastoral, evangelistic, educational, social and ecumenical. The PCC met four times during the year and in addition held three special meetings to discuss the Vicar’s Annual Report and our Mission Plan. During the year the churchwardens from the Benefice parishes met twice with the Vicar to discuss matters that have an effect on all parishes. The three LPAs in the Benefice attend the monthly Ministry meeting with the Vicar and the Deacon to discuss matters of pastoral concern and prayer needs, and to plan study courses. The PCC submitted comments on the Deanery Synod Plan

PCC MEMBERSHIP

Members of the PCC are either ex-officio (i.e. beneficed or licensed clergy, churchwardens, and lay representatives of the Deanery Synod), elected by the Annual Parochial Church Meeting, or co-opted during the year in accordance with the Church Representation Rules.

During the year the following served as members of the PCC:

                        The Rev'd. Dr Graham Southgate                        Incumbent / Chairman

                        The Rev’d Malcolm Wieck                        Deacon from 27.9.08

                        Mrs Joanna Robertson                        Churchwarden.  Lay Vice-Chairman

                        Mr Robin Wilson                        Churchwarden

                        Dr Annabel Brooks                        Gift Aid Officer

                        Mrs Veronica Brown                        from 23.4.08

                        Mr Nicholas Buckman                        Health and Safety Officer

                        Mr John d'Arcy                        PCC Secretary

                            Mrs Pat Didcock                 Deanery Synod until 23.4.08

                        Mr Allan Edwards                        PCC Treasurer

                        Mrs Joy Hornsey                        Deanery Synod

                        Mr Chris Johns                        until 23.4.08

                        Mr Michael Jones                        Fabric Fund Treasurer

                        Captain Graham Laslett Cash Officer. Deanery Synod until 23.4.08                                              Deanery Synod from 19.4.05

                        Mrs Annabel Mackintosh

                        Mrs Clare Norfolk-Brown                        from 23.4.08

                        Mr Peter Norfolk-Brown                        until 23.4.08

                        Mrs Sheila Pinson             

                        Miss Amy Watts                         until 23.4.08

                        Mrs Chloe Watts                        Deanery Synod from 23.4.08

                        Mrs Frances Webb                        Lay Pastoral Assistant. Electoral Roll Officer

                        Mrs Frances Webb                        Electoral Roll Officer

                        Mrs Jane Wilson

In addition to the duties listed above

                        Mr. Michael Jones co-ordinates the main Literature Fund.

                        Mr. Nicol Smith serves as Clerk to the Tayler Charity.

                        Mrs Frances Webb co-ordinates the Christian Education and Book Stall Fund.


COMMITTEES

1.         Standing Committee   Comprises the Vicar, Churchwardens, PCC Secretary and Treasurer, Fabric Fund Treasurer and one other member of the PCC.(Mrs Annabel Mackintosh from 23.4.08) Has power to transact the business of the PCC between its meetings, subject to specific directions given by the PCC. Is authorised to sanction expenditure up to £500, which must subsequently be reported to the PCC. Normally sets the Agenda for PCC meetings.

2.         Finance Sub-Committee   Comprises the Vicar, Churchwardens, PCC Treasurer and Fabric Fund Treasurer. Meets on demand. Authorised to adjust the deployment of investments, reporting to the PCC in due course.

3.         Events. Social and Fund-raising Sub-Committee   Comprises Mrs P Didcock(Chairman) Dr A. Brooks,  Mrs S. Pinson, Mrs J. Robertson, Mrs C Watts. Meets as necessary to plan Church social and fund raising events.

4.         Charity of the Month Sub-Committee   Comprises the Vicar, Lay Pastoral Assistant, Mrs G. Carr and Mrs P. Didcock. Meets annually to nominate charities for the monthly pot collections at services.

5.         Church Expenditure Sub-Committee.   Comprises Mrs J Robertson (Chairman), Mr A. Edwards, Mr P. Norfolk-Brown, Mr R. Wilson. Meets annually. Reports to the PCC on matters relating to saving expenditure.

6.         Parish Hall Management Sub-Committee   Comprises Mr N. Buckman (Chairman) Mrs V. Tyler (Secretary) Mrs P. Didcock (Treasurer) Mr A. Brown, Mrs S. Callaway, Mrs J. Clark, Mrs P. Dorgan. Reports to the PCC particularly on matters concerning finance and fabric, but has delegated authority for day-to-day management.

7.         Organ Works Working Group   Comprises Mr R Wilson (Chairman) Mr J d’Arcy, Mr N Buckman, Mrs C Norfolk-Brown, Mrs S Pinson, Mr J Swain, representatives from the Music Festival and Festival Association. To report to the PCC on a feasibility study for a new Organ.

The PCC from time to time appoints additional sub-committees and working groups to perform specific tasks.

CHURCH  MEMBERSHIP AND ATTENDANCE

The Church Electoral Roll records 97 members – an increase of 2 from the previous year. Of these members 80 are resident in the parish and 17 are non-resident. Congregations at services on normal Sundays ranged between 35 – 84, average attendance at Parish Communion services (including some special services) was 52.  This number was greatly increased at festivals with Easter Morning 111, Christmas Midnight 90 and Christmas Morning 61.  During the year there were 3 baptisms, 2 weddings, 3 funerals, and 1 memorial service.

REVIEW OF THE YEAR

The need continues for the Church to be more active within the community. Particular efforts have been made where young people are concerned, both in services and through the many activities which have taken place. We encourage the use of the Church for local events and visiting organisations. Our Mission plan will carry forward plans focused on Climate Change issues, Support for the Homeless, a Thank You Party, a Youth Social Action Project and promotion of the Handbell Ringing Group. The plan will be reviewed annually.

1. Worship  The pattern of our worship remains unchanged with Common Worship liturgy used at all our services except the monthly 8am BCP Holy Communion and at Evensong. Our Sunday worship is further enhanced by the thirteen members of our very committed choir, and by John Swain as organist. Christopher Kent continued as choir master until Easter following which Ron Foxwell took up the position. The Choir has responded particularly well to his leadership, and has gained two new members. Piano music is provided for the Morning Praise Service and the all age Communion Service. Sunday School, led by Chloe Watts and Veronica Brown, continues to meet during the Parish Communion Service on the other three Sundays of each month in either the Lower Parvise or the Crypt. The numbers attending have increased considerably. During the week the Office of Morning Prayer is said daily, except on Wednesday, when there is a Holy Communion Service.  The Tiddlers Group meet in the Church fortnightly during term-time.

We continue to welcome members of the Tinhead Methodist Church to the Priory Church where they worship in St George’s Chapel on two Sundays in every month, and join with us for special services.

In 2008 four United Benefice Communion Services were held in the churches of the Benefice. A Benefice Quiet Day, held in November at St Denys’ Retreat Centre in Warminster, was well attended and much appreciated. A Benefice Julian Contemplative Prayer Group and an Evening of Prayer for Healing are held monthly. The Taizé-style Evening Service has continued to be held monthly across our Benefice and the Lavington Benefice.

2. Special services  Special services were held, and supported by our local farming community, on Plough Sunday in January, at Lammastide in August, and at our Harvest Thanksgiving Service in September. A Christingle Service for the Benefice was held at the end of January, and the Family Communion Service on Mothering Sunday was followed by the distribution of flower posies to families. The Women’s World Day of Prayer brought many to the church in March to hear about Guyana. Early on a May spring morning a number of us started the Ascension Day service on top of the Church tower and finished with breakfast in the Church. The Palm Sunday Pilgrimage linked the four parish churches in the Benefice and the church in Great Cheverell through services in each and good support from pilgrim walkers. Special services took place in Holy Week culminating in the Sung Eucharist on Easter Day. A Solemn Eucharist Service celebrated both our Dedication Service in July and All Saints Day in November. We welcomed the involvement and support of our local Royal British Legion Branch in the Remembrance Sunday Service. Advent Sunday was marked by a Parish Communion service when banners, representing Advent themes, were presented, and an Evening Service of Light. Later in December Bratton School held their Christmas Carol Service in the Church. The Crib Service on Christmas Eve was attended by 154 people.

In July parishioners travelled to Wakefield Cathedral to attend a Requiem Mass for Maurice Bird, Vicar of this Parish from 1982 – 1988. Parishioners, together with many Bishops, also joined the Pilgrimage to celebrate the 750th Anniversary of Salisbury Cathedral, ending with a service outside the Cathedral.

3. Courses  In the Benefice two courses were arranged - in Lent open meetings were held for a series of five talks entitled ‘Care and Compassion for the Vulnerable’ which included one on Alabaré’s Christian Care Centres; and in the summer a four week Emmaus study course ‘Being Church’.

Two members of the congregation continue in the Diocesan ‘Learning for Discipleship’ Course.

4. Children and the Church  A number of parishioners from across the Benefice have met on two occasions to discuss the development of work with young people. The Family Worship Group continues to meet monthly to plan the Service held on the fourth Sunday of each month. One child was admitted to Holy Communion before Confirmation. The PCC continued to support the young people's sponsorship, through the Biblelands Charity, of the education of Maram Assi Ahmad, a ten year old Arab Muslim girl who goes to Rawdat School (a Christian-led school) in Jerusalem. Money collected raised £200 – sufficient for the annual sponsorship of Maram’s education. There is regular contact between Maram and young people here on festival and birthday occasions.

Children from across the Benefice have greatly enjoyed workshops held at Easter and at Harvest time and monthly Children’s Movie Nights with Supper.

The annual audit of our Child Protection policy was completed to ensure all necessary actions had been carried out during the year.

5. Events and fund-raising.  As a Fairtrade Church products have been used and promoted whenever possible. The Charity of the Month is well supported and includes local, national and international projects. A sponsored sleep-in in the Church at the end of February raised £4400 for the homeless in Trowbridge and Devizes, and further support has been given through the collection of food and other goods. In April a coffee morning was held to welcome newcomers to the village, and in May a successful Barbecue, open to all, was held at Ralph’s Seat. The Church contributed to Edington Fair in June by running a successful cake stall. The Church supported a fund raising lunch for a young parishioner’s charity visit to Jordan

Throughout the year we have welcomed a number of other organisations and schools to the Church. Concerts included Handel’s ‘Messiah’ performed by Bath Philharmonia and Chorus Angelorum, and a very special visit from five local choirs ‘Singing in the Round’ with an audience of over 300. In June All Saints Church, Wokingham sang Choral Evensong and in September St John’s Care Trust held their Harvest Service in the Church. The South West Early Music Forum, St Augustine’s School, Dauntsey’s School and the Paxcroft Music Centre have again used the Church for their events. A number of organised tours were arranged.

There was much enjoyment from so many wonderful events. Total moneys raised for Church Funds was £8556. Over £5500 was raised for various Charities.

The Annual Festival of Music within the Liturgy took place from the 17th - 24th August. The theme of the Festival was ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ and, under the direction of Julian Thomas and the directors of the three choirs the musicians achieved their usual very high standard. An average of 349 people attended the main services. The Musical Evening and Supper, at Millside by courtesy of Mr. & Mrs. E. Tyler, was again a great success. The generous hospitality of villagers who provided accommodation for the musicians was much appreciated

6. Fabric of Buildings  The fabric of the Church is well maintained and in good order, and all remaining works arising from the October 2006 Quinquennial Survey were completed in April. The lower Parvise was refurnished with carpet, tables and chairs for its use by the Sunday School. The 2008 Lidbury donation has been used to fund a new arrangement of the Vestry with refurbishment and repositioning of the vestment chest and provision of a purpose designed storage cupboard. This has improved both access and appearance in this utility area.

With high expenditure from the PCC Fabric Fund, grants from the Friends of the Priory Church have been particularly welcome. They have funded new curtains at the Chancel altar and an intruder alarm system for the aisle roofs, fitted because of high incidence elsewhere of lead theft.

The Parish Hall, as the only meeting place in the village, continues to be a valuable facility, and has been well supported by Parishioners during the year. The completed Car Park is a great asset and work has been done to improve the main access, to replace floors in the kitchen and toilets, and to clean tables and chairs.

The Verger’s House is being let at a commercial rate but there has been considerable expenditure on fencing to the garden, the treatment of damp, and the installation of a new wood burning stove, chimney lining and cowl.

An annual audit of our Health and Safety policy was completed together with any action required.

7. Imber  The responsibility for the maintenance of the Church of St. Giles has transferred from the Diocese of Salisbury to the Churches Conservation Trust. It was not possible to have access for the Annual Imber Services in September and a service was held in Edington Church. An Act of Remembrance was held at Imber’s War Memorial in December. The responsibility for the upkeep of the churchyard still remains with Edington PCC and will be regularly reviewed.

With regard to the financial affairs of the Parish, please refer to the Annexe and Accounts that accompany this report.