The Parish of Edington and Imber

Annual Report


Financial Statements

of the

Parochial Church Council

for the year ended 31st December 2009

Edington and  Imber is one of four parishes  comprising a 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. He is supported by Rev’d Malcolm Wieck ,Assistant Curate, who was ordained in Salisbury Cathedral on the 28th June 2009. 


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. During the year the Churchwardens from the Benefice parishes met twice with the Incumbent to discuss matters that have an effect on all parishes. The three LPAs in the Benefice attend the monthly  Ministry meeting with the Incumbent and Assistant Curate  to discuss matters of pastoral concern and prayer needs, and to plan study courses,


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 Graham Southgate            Incumbent         Chairman

                         The Rev’d Malcolm Wieck               Assistant Curate                                                                                                  

                         Mr Robin Wilson                               Churchwarden    Lay Vice –Chairman

                         Mrs Clare Brown                               Churchwarden from 27. 4. 09.

                         Dr  Annabel Brooks                           Gift Aid Officer

                         Mrs Veronica Brown

                         Mr John d’Arcy                                PCC Secretary

                         Mrs Pat Didcock

                         Mr Allan Edwards                              PCC Treasurer until 27. 4. 09.

                         Mrs Joy Hornsey                                Deanery Synod

                         Mr Michael Jones                              Fabic Fund Treasurer

                         Mrs Annabell Mackintosh

                         Mrs Sheila Pinson

                         Mrs Joanna Robertson                      Churchwarden  until 27. 4. 09

                         Mrs Chloe Watts                               Deanery Synod

                         Mrs Frances Webb                            Lay Pastoral Assistant. Electoral Officer

                         Mrs Elizabeth Webbe                        PCC Treasurer from 27. 4. 09

                         Mrs Jane Wilson

In addition to the listed duties above

                         Mr Nicholas Buckman serves as Health and Safety Officer 

                         Mr Michael Jones co-ordinates the main Literature Fund

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

                         The Incumbent and Church Wardens serve as Trustees of the Tayler Trust


1. Standing Committee   Comprises the Incumbent, Churchwardens, PCC Secretary and Treasurer, Fabric Fund Treasurer and one other member of the PCC (Mrs Veronica Brown from 27.4.09). Has power to transact the business of the PCC between its meetings, subject to specific directions given by the PCC. It 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 Incumbent, Churchwardens, PCC Treasurer and Fabric Treasurer, Meets on demand, Authorised to adjust the deployment of investment, 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 Davies, Mrs S Pinson, Mrs J Robertson, Mrs C Watts, and Mr R Wilson. Meets as necessary to plan Church social and fund  raising events.

4. Charity of the Month Sub-Committee   Comprises the Vicar, Mrs A Macintosh and Mrs K Sykes. Meets annually to nominate charities for the monthly pot collections at services.

5.Church Expenditure Sub-Committee    Comprises Mr  R Wilson (Chairman), Mrs C Brown, Mrs E Webbe( PCC  Treasurer), Mr P Norfolk Brown. Meets annually. Reports to PCC on matters relating to saving expenditure.

6. Parish Hall Management Committee   Comprises Mrs S Callaway(Chairman), Mrs V Tyler(Secretary), Mrs P Didcock(Treasurer), Mrs J Clark, Mrs P Dorgen, Mrs H Gillingham Mr E Mitchell and Mrs C Watts. Reports to the PCC particularly on matters concerning finance and fabric, but has delegated authority for day-to-day management.

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

8. The 650th Anniversary Working Group  Comprises Mrs J Robertson( Chairman), Mr M Jones( Secretary), Dr A Brooks, Mrs J Hornsey, Mrs S Pinson and Mrs C Watts. Reports to the PCC on  proposed plans for the celebrations for the Church’s  650th Anniversary  in July 2011.

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


The Church Electoral Roll records 104 members – an increase of 7 from the previous year. Of these members 84 are resident in the parish and 20 are non-resident. Congregations at Parish Communion on normal Sundays averaged 52, exactly the same as last year.  This number was higher at festivals with Easter Morning 112 and Christmas Morning 61, but attendance at Christmas Midnight was, inexplicably, significantly lower at 60. During the year there were six weddings, three funerals and no baptisms. 


The need continues for the Church to be more active within the community. Particular efforts continue to be made where young people are concerned, both in services and through the many activities which have taken place. We continue to encourage the use of the Church for local events and visiting organisations. Our Mission Plan carries forward plans focused on Climate Change issues, Support the Homeless, Youth Social Action Project and installing a Bell Ringing Centre. The plan is 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 14 members of very committed choir, and by John Swain as organist. The Choir was supplemented, by three children and several adult singers, for the Advent and Christmas services. It was much to everyone’s regret that Ron Foxwell, who had worked so ably and enthusiastically as our Choirmaster, retired in the Spring. It is very pleasing that he continues to sing as a bass in the choir. Peter  Norfolk Brown  was appointed as his successor. Piano music is provided for Morning Praise and the Family Communion Services. Sunday School, led by Chloe Watts and Veronica Brown, continue to meet in either the Lower  Parvise or the Crypt. The number of children 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.

Our Verger and Sacristan, Peter Norfolk Brown, has completed another year of service  carried out with commitment and absolute reliability. Our thanks go to him, as well as to his Assistant , Julia Taylor, who ably provides holiday cover as well as support at busy times. We are fortunate to have a faithful number of Servers which include a number of young people when they are at home from university or work. A slowly growing number of Bell Ringers continue to achieve under the direction of Tower Captain Dusty Millier. The Hand Bells led by Roger Pinson rang at Christmas time in the Church and around the village. For yet another year an industrious number of ‘heavenly dusters’ led by Jane Wilson and an expert team of Flower Arrangers encouraged by Joy Byatt  have all contributed in their various ways to the beauty of our Church and our worship. A very successful Spring Clean in the Churchyard, assisted by the village EVES group on the steps up to Ralph’s Seat, started the year the well. Our faithful church grass cutters maintained the grass through out the year and  Eric and Jill Mitchell maintained the gravel paths.

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

In 2009 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 Contemplative Prayer Group and an Evening of Prayer for Healing are held monthly.  The Taize–style Evening Service  has continued to be held bi-monthly across the  Benefice.   

2.  Special Services   Special services were held , and supported by our local farming community , on Plough Sunday in January, at Lammastide  and at our Harvest Thanksgiving Service in September. A Morning Praise on Mothering Sunday was followed by the distribution of flower posies to families. Early on a May spring morning a number of us started  the Ascension Day service at the top of the Church tower and finished with breakfast in the Church. The Palm Sunday Pilgrimage linked the four parish churches in the Benefice through services in each with Benefice of Lavington, Cheverell and Easterton joining in at Erlestoke, and good support from pilgrim walkers. Special services in Holy Week culminating in the Solemn 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 was marked by 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 140 people.

3.Courses   In the Benefice the following course was arranged  - in Lent open meetings were held for a series of five talks entitled  ‘ Witness’ based on St Luke’s Gospel. BECIE’s Group(Bratton, Edington  Coulston, Imber and Erlstoke) meets every fortnight. The Advent Course was based on the book ‘Shock and Awe’.                                                                                                          

4.Children in 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 Services held on the fourth Sunday of each month. The PCC continue to support the young people’s sponsorship, through the Biblelands Charity, of the education of Natal, an Arab Muslim girl who is 6 years old and a pupil at Rawdat School (a Christian led school) in Jerusalem. Money collected so far to help with the cost of her education totals £265. There is regular contact with Natal 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 a monthly Children’s Movie Nights with Supper. Child Protection Policy has been handed over from Mrs J Swain who has given it many years of dedication, to Mrs C Watts.

5. Events and Fund Raising   As a Fairtrade Church products have been used and promoted when ever possible. The Charity of the month is well supported and includes local, national and international projects. In April a coffee morning was held to raise money to pay for a new St George’s Flag and in May a Barbecue, open to the all, was held at Ralph’s Seat. The Church contributed to Edington Fair in June by running a successful cake stall. A busy year of fund raising events for the Church  included a very successful Annual Jazz Evening followed the next day by a Teddies Day. In September local families, some  120 adults and children, enjoyed a Harvest Supper and Barn Dance at Ivy Mill Farm. In November we enjoyed  another Stir Up Coffee morning at Dairy House Farm, selling delicious Christmas pudding mixture raising over £700.

Throughout the year we have hosted a number of other organisations and schools to the Church. Concerts included a robust performance by the Band of The Rifles, and a welcome visit of the Anselm singers conducted by John Barnard and the Philomel Choir. St Augustine’s School, South West Music Forum, Dauntsey’s School and the Paxcroft Music Centre have again used our Church including a number of organised tours. £ 4958  was raised for Church Funds.

Tha Annual Festival of Music within the Liturgy took place from the 22nd – 29th August under the Directorship of Julian Thomas for his final year. The whole festival was very successful and appreciated by a very similar number of visitors to the previous year. The Musical Evening and Supper, at Millside by courtesy of Mr and Mrs E Tyler, was its usual enjoyable event. The generous hospitality and support  by all the villagers who provide accommodation and manual labour is much appreciated.         

6.. Fabric of Buildings  The fabric of the Church  is well maintained and in good order. Two major tasks were under taken in the year, Firstly, the Church Memorial Cross, standing just inside the South gate to the Churchyard entrance,

needed extensive repair due to corrosion of its iron core causing cracks in the stone work. This was rectified with a replacement stainless steel core of  the old iron and  the stone work repaired. All work was approved by both English Heritage and the DAC, completed and paid for by  the Friends of the Priory Church.

The second major project was to the Flood Lighting of the Church . This was to meet the electrical standard certificate required for Insurance. The whole flood light system was brought up to date with new modern lamps and fittings. This should reduce our electricity  consumption in line with our policy to reduce our global footprint

The Parish Hall, as the only village meeting place, continues to be a valuable facility. The Parish Hall Committee have had the ground around the back of the building removed to reduce damp and  earth removed from the West bank  by the Hall entrance to extend the access and space to the  entrance of the building. A considerable self help has been undertaken to reduce cost and the whole operation has produced a most useful and attractive area.

The Verger’s House has been let for the full year. The Tenants have kept the property in a good state and have  improved the garden area. Two emergencies have occurred in the latter part of this year that have required heavy expenditure. The plumbing repair of the cellar cost £ 724 and an electrical overhaul to bring the house up to modern requirements entails a bill of over £1000 due shortly..

7.Imber   St Giles Church at Imber, now responsibility of the Churches Conservation  Trust who have finished its restoration, which has been beautifully executed and returned it to its former grace. Consequently for the fist time in five years the parish was able to hold the Imber Service on the 19th of September in St Giles.  Rev’d Dr G Southgate, the Choir led by our Choirmaster with some 110 Congregation held a very moving service. Whilst the Church is not Edington’s responsibility the Churchyard remains under our guardianship. A group of volunteers from Warminster and local villages under the Chairmanship of Lt Col Jelf  from Warminster have kindly taken on its maintenance.

A further two events occurred at St Giles on the 19th December namely The Act of Remembrance and in the afternoon A Concert of Commemorative music

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

Signed……Graham Southgate                   Dated 26th Mar  2010