Reports

Note: Vicars Reports are issued for the previous year at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) This took place on Sunday 22nd April 2018.

Vicar’s Report on 2017

Parish Prayer 

Lord, help us to take our eyes off ourselves and turn them to the community around us, so we are less concerned with what we have done than what remains to be done.  Save us from being a parish that is too inward looking. May our vision be enlarged, our strength renewed and our love for you and your children inspire us to do great things for your glory. We ask this in the name of Christ our Lord. 

Parish vision statement 

The people of St Pauls love God, St Paul’s church and love the local community and seek to serve all three. We will accept and welcome in all who want to be part of Gods kingdom, all who want to learn more.  We will seek to be an inclusive God centred church which takes seriously Jesus command to ‘go out and make disciples of all people’ 

Our attitude will be one of prayerfulness and service, and we will do what we can to share the treasure of the Gospel message with all who we have contact with.  

We will seek to be an active presence in the community and serve it through local initiatives both in and outside the church.  We will take seriously our duty to care for the world and its resources seeking to maintain our presence in the community by careful use of our resources. 

Report for APCM 2018 on the year 2017  

In 2017 we continued to consolidate rather than start new initiatives, but there was also some growth, with several new and very welcome members among the congregation. We continued to work on the outside garden area which is still a work in progress but is looking so much better – our thank go to Brian and the Saturday garden team who work so hard to keep the garden looking good. The other work we have had done this year was the Choir vestry, thanks to David Allan and those who helped him it is looking great and we can now hold small meetings in there.   

The only place in the hall not refurbished is the office but at the moment that is OK. 

The hall is well used though one tenant the Monday evening Balagokulum group left during the year as they needed to find bigger premises, they were sad to go and very complimentary about the hall and about the people they met here. It does mean there is a time slot free on Monday evenings 6.30 – 7.30, The only other free night is Friday, which it was decided should be kept free for church use only rather than outside rentals.  

The extra rents we have managed to secure over the last 2 years are beginning to pay dividends and have helped toward making us much more financially stable. This is the first year for many years we have ended the year with surplus. But that doesn’t mean we can become complacent as the finances are still precarious, the parish  can’t afford a full time minister, and we do still owe 92K to the diocese in unpaid parish share. 

 The church building has not had a lot of work done in the last few years and one of our ongoing concerns is the high level gutters. Sadly we were again turned down for a Lottery heritage grant towards the cost  although the work really needs doing and our application was very good, thanks to Brian Kerridge and those who helped with the application Our church building is not in a poor enough condition to win grant help at this time. We will need to continue to try to find funding for this job as year on year the problem will get worse and there is also a growing problem with the high level clerestory windows. The inside of the church is also starting to look as if it would benefit from redecorating but there is little point in doing inside work until the gutters and windows are fixed. 

There has been some minor work this year in the church, there has been a new notice board at the back, a new case for the Old M.U. banner which will be fixed into the church and we are in the process of buying new cushions for the pews which will make them much more comfortable to sit on! 

The other work in the church this year was to install the WW1 Memorial tablet from the Sale Evangelical church which was demolished. The tablet was cleaned, some old paint removed and installation completed in time for a planned Churches Together service in July which was then used as a service of formally handing over the tablet and of remembering those who were named on it. Many thanks go to Michael Riley and Lisa Clarke for all the hard work and research they did to make sure that was a very special occasion. 

We have in 2017 continued to work on our 5 year plan. 

Next year will be the last year of the plan which has resulted in 6 teams to oversee various areas of the churches work. The areas are Administration, Finance, Social and fellowship, Mission and outreach, Buildings and Worship and Liturgy. 

The teams aim to meet three times a year to organise their area then they oversee the work being done in their area, encouraging as many members of the congregation as possible to get involved in ensuring the success of the projects they undertake. 

Some areas of the plan have been more successful than others.

The Building team have really got to grips with what we need to do to keep our buildings fit for purpose producing work and maintenance schedules which, as long as we keep to them, will ensure the building stays fit for purpose for the foreseeable future. Thanks again to Brian and the building team. And thanks to all those who clean and polish the church to keep it looking cared about and welcoming.  

If anyone can help with that they are invited to join one of the 4 cleaning teams which are on duty one month in 4. Or to have a chat with myself or Michael in his capacity as verger to see what jobs need doing.    

The Social and fellowship team have also been very successful ensuring that we have a balance of events for all ages and interests, from the Pancake party and children’s events such as the Santa’s grotto, which Kids Rock also help with, to afternoon teas and supporting events such as the Community choir concerts, to organising the Harvest supper and the Heritage day and grateful thanks to go Carol and Michael and those who help in that area for their work.

The Worship and liturgy team is also working well, meeting to organise and then reflect on particular seasons such as Christmas and Easter and to plan the yearly calendar of both festival and ordinary services. Thanks in this area go to Anne Allen, and the ministry team. 

The areas that still need quite a bit of attention are Finance, Administration and  Mission and outreach. 

With Finance all is in order but a small team to support the treasurer by looking at such things as budgeting and best value suppliers would be most helpful. If you could help with this please let me know.   

With Administration we have not yet been able to find anyone who would be willing to take on some to the regular routine work for about 4 hours each week and the Admin ‘bible’ I am producing still has a few missing documents but is nearly there!  And hopefully will then provide an overview of all that needs to be done in the parish for anyone who needed to take over ‘running’ the parish for any reason such as an interregnum, and to ensure that the scheduled jobs including legal obligations, Church of England and Diocesan church requirements and local work such as policies and procedures get done on time and as well as possible.  If any of you have the name of someone who could help in this area please ask them to make contact with me.    

In the area of Mission and outreach there has been little progress and I do think this is at the moment both the weakest area, and the one that needs most work, if the church is to flourish. 

We have started to address this with the SHAPE course, which will hopefully soon start to bear fruit and with the coming Setting Gods People Free initiative,. There has also been the joint outreach work between ourselves and St Martin’s at Christmas and in Lent and Holy week. 

If you can help or want to get involved in any of the 6 areas please let me know. They are not closed groups and the more people involved the better.  

Each team has at least 2 PCC members on it who report back to the PCC who are the decision making body. The work of the teams is to support the work of the PCC and the vicar and to help ensure the future well being of the church community.  

Next I will give you some basics from the year 2017

There were 11 funerals, 6 at St Pauls and 5 at the Crematorium one of those a former Community choir member Jean Idowu, and with the other 4, two of the families had  connections to St Paul’s and 2 were living in the parish at the time of their deaths. 

Of the 6 in church 1 was a family who have traditionally held family funerals here, 1 was a member of the now demolished evangelical church and the other 4 were members of the congregation Olwyn Sanger, Jane Armstrong, Cynthia Banks and Doris Campbell. The funeral of another member of the congregation also took place in 2017 that of Muriel Becket.    

We pause for a moment to remember them…..and also Olive Oultram and Jeff Cook 

 ‘Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace and Rise in Glory’ Amen 

There were 8 Baptisms in 2017, less than half the previous year but that had been an unusually high number. And 2017 reflects the more usual numbers from previous years   

As there were no Confirmation candidates in 2017 Bishop Peter instead came to preach and lead a Eucharist which was well received and which he later wrote to me to say he had enjoyed very much.  

There were no weddings in the year. 

Our regular weekly services were attended by an average of 10 at the Midweek communion service, 9 at the 8.30, BCP Sunday service, 10 at Evensong in the early part of the year with an improvement in the later part of the year when we started to hold joint evensongs on the 4th Sunday of the month with people from St Martins, those services have averaged 18 people. These  numbers have been stable for the last 4 years and hopefully will remain so or even increase.

 The main 10 am main Sunday service is down a little with an average of 52, but festival services are showing small increases year on year which is pleasing, we now need to work out how to get folk to come back on ordinary Sundays.   

Our junior church has been depleted and there is currently little formal Sunday school work and this is an area of concern but I am grateful to those who continue to prepare work and who are always ready to step up and work with the children who do attend. So thank you David, Rachel, Ann and Tilly for all the work put in. 

At that service there are several people who have recently agreed to lead prayers and read lessons so thank you them. It is always good to have a variety of voices leading a service and I do thank those who help lead or occasionally preach. And I thank Yvonne Stevenson for producing the rotas.  

Our services are also very much enhanced by our music and thanks go to Anne and her team for the hard work they put in each year. And I ask that they would pass on my thanks to those who come and sing with them on special occasions, their support is much appreciated. 

Our family service used to be on 3rd Sunday then last year we tried moving it to the 2nd as that was when we had more children in church, however this has not had the effect we hoped and this is an area where we need to think again. We do have children join us at various services in the year such as Harvest, Mothering Sunday and Christingle.  But we need to look more closely at what we can do to attract them and young families more often. Though we do have some very loyal young families who worship regularly with us.  

Our evening services have continued with a Tazie style service on the first Sunday and evensong on the others, This year as I said we have been joined on the 4th Sunday by Fr Shaun people from St Maritn’s which has been very enjoyable. Fr Shaun also provided material for a special Palm Sunday evening service. 

We joined as usual with churches together for 5th Sunday in the month evening services and for Pentecost and Christian unity week services.   

There were two sets of Bible study in the year, a Pilgrim course then the SHAPE course which I am hoping will soon start to affect our outreach work.   

We have had the usual round of social events, concerts, discos, afternoon teas and of course heritage day with continues to go from strength to strength and is a popular day in the Sale calendar not just in the church. My thanks go to Carol, Michael and all who help make the social life of the church so successful.   

I want to name and thank a few particular people for the work they do. There is Clive who does all sorts of work often work that does not get noticed unless it is not done such as moving chairs about and making sure notice boards are up to date. 

I also want to thank Clive, Brian Walker, Brenda Remond and Anne Morris for the work they did for Babes and Tots keeping that group working well and thanks to others have helped with refreshments over the year. 

I want to thank Paula and John for the work they do for the Community Choir and the others who help with accompanying the Choir and with refreshments 

I want to thank Eileen for her role as church hall booking officer for the sterling work she does to ensure the smooth running of the hall. 

I also want to thank Eileen and Joyce and the refreshment team, those who step up sometimes with little notice and organise food and drink for our various events. 

 I want to thank Joyce and Carol for the flowers which do enhance the church and services and for willingly going along with any ideas from me such as Christmas trees on the window ledges. 

A lot of Pastoral work happens in this parish. As you will see from their reports in the booklet Karen Salisbury and Yvonne Kerridge both do a lot of behind the scenes work, and while it is not seen in church it does give us a very good local profile.  Each has a different focus for their ministry, Yvonne on working with individuals and Karen with groups, both give a lot of time and energy to the church and I am grateful for all the work they do.

I want to thank Michael for all he does as Reader, leading services covering for me when I am away and for his support to myself and St Pauls and the wider community. 

And thanks to Ann Morris for her work as Reader Emeritus, sadly her health has now restricted her work and some jobs such as reading lessons, intercession and  Babes and Tots she is to step down from at least for while. 

 The regular church groups, the Men’s society, the Tuesday group and the Badminton groups have met during the year and thanks to those who keep them going.  

I want to thank those who oversee our charitable works including Anita with Christian Aid and Diana looking after the Saturday coffee mornings which fundraise for the children’s hospice. 

Eileen and Joyce for the work with the Mustard tree and thanks to those who volunteer with the foodbank.  

I want to thank my churchwardens Harry and Rob for they work they do and the PCC, and church officers and sidespeople for their work. 

Rob did start reader training in 2017 but due to health reasons had to defer it, but will carry on with it as soon as possible.

Tilly who also did the Foundations course is to start work soon at the Christian centre in Partington and I thank her for her work raising our Social media profile  and wish her success in her new Job. 

Last year I changed to part time hours and though it does mean I have some more free time I am currently averaging 45 hours a week. And there are some jobs which keep getting pushed to the bottom of the list. It had been hoped to find an admin worker to help with routine stuff but after several months of trying no one came forward either as a volunteer or paid worker and this does mean in effect that my workload is really the same as before and that some work will simply take much longer to get around to.  Long term it is not a sustainable situation and unless the parish can either find help or find the finances to support a full time vicar I fear it may become a very difficult post to fill when I eventually retire. 

There is already a shortage of clergy and in some places talk of readers being put in charge of parishes and buying in clergy for sacramental services, and also talk of Readers being invited to retrain as permanent Deacons and then leading churches again buying in for the sacramental work.  In the short term I will be here and am ok with working the hours I do, but the parish and PCC need to be aware that will not always be so and so need to be thinking hard about possible solutions. 

This year has been as I said one of consolidation with a little growth a ‘steadying of the ship’ as it were and hopefully preparing for a concerted  effort for growth over the next few years. The highlights of the year for me have been the Art exhibition in late September a new and hopefully to be repeated venture, maybe tri-annually, Churches together outing to Liverpool in June and The Service in July when we accepted the memorial tablet.    

I want to end by saying 

Thank you to all who work hard and pray hard to make St Paul’s the welcoming church it is and for the support and friendship I have been shown here. 

The other reports appear below

Pastoral Worker Report – Karen,  Pastoral Worker Report – Yvonne,  Deanery SynodParish Music,  Babes & Tots,  Children’s Society,  Men’s Society, Tuesday Group, Trustees

PASTORAL WORKER REPORT – Karen

I continue to be Chaplain to our local Air Training Corp – 318 Squadron. As I reported last year I took on the role of Wing Chaplain with the different challenges that brings. 

Once again I have been on trips to the RAF Cosford Air Show and am particularly looking forward to this year’s trip with it being the 100th Anniversary of the formation of the Royal Air Force. We also went to the Somme on a Battlefields Tour – watching the young people grow and develop during those few days is always an honour to see. In 2018 I will be travelling to join the Cadets in Gdansk in Poland for the Commemoration of the start of WWII. This is the first time my diary has allowed me to be able to go with them so I will update you next year. Luckily I don’t leave as early as they do – their flight is 06.30am on Bank Holiday Monday whereas mine is 18.50 on the Wednesday as I will be with Manchester Cathedral Voluntary Choir who will be on tour singing at Bury St. Edmunds that weekend. 

Again, I led the Service for Battle of Britain Sunday at the Cenotaph here in Sale but without George’s assistance in 2017 but he is hoping that he will be able to attend in 2018. George then invited me as Wing Chaplain to attend the Manchester Airport Remembrance Service held under Concorde – what an amazing service that was. The Cadets from all around the Greater Manchester Wing took part with their Squadron Banners and 145 (Altrincham) Squadron carried out a Continuity Drill which was breath-taking as they had no commands being given it was simply impressive and all in time to music. The event concluded with a Drum Head Service and I doubt there was anyone in the Hangar who was not moved by the event. 

During 2018 Greater Manchester Wing is working on closing a few Squadrons and merging a few others so there is quite a lot of supporting work being carried out on this task to make the transitions as smooth as possible. However, I am assured that 318 will continue and as I have recently just enrolled over 20 new Cadets I am sure that it will. 

One new thing I have is that I am now mentoring a Pastoral Worker trainee and that is a very humbling experience and I am looking forward to seeing how his Parish Project develops. 

I continue with the background work (in the Office etc) and utilise the skills that I have been given in the service of this Parish and I feel lucky and privileged in being able to serve God in this way. 

Karen Salisbury 

PASTORAL WORKER REPORT  – Yvonne

I remember someone once asking the person I was with what a Lay Minister was and the reply was “like a Vicar but without a collar”. A pretty good reply I thought and something I wouldn’t have thought of saying! 

So yes there are similarities with ordained ministry, especially when it comes to pastoral ministry much of which goes on quietly in the back ground. I’m kept busy on the pastoral front and I value the many relationships that have been developed over the years. There have been lots of surprises along the way but pastoral ministry has always been a joy and a great privilege. 

I particularly enjoy chatting with people at church and elsewhere, visiting people in their own homes and care/nursing homes, as well as administering Communion to parishioners who are no longer able to worship on a regular basis at church. 

Licensed pastoral ministry isn’t easily quantifiable as it has a fluidity and is more about the mutuality of relationship within a spiritual context as well as the more practical aspects. 

God is love and that love is at the very heart of pastoral ministry as indeed it is at the heart of all ministry. In our calling we try and reflect God’s love to those we share our lives with, in the community, in our church and in our homes. 

“Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me” Matt.25.40. 

Yours in Christ. Yvonne Kerridge 

BOWDON DEANERY SYNOD 

Bowdon Deanery meets 3 times a year at various Churches throughout the Deanery. The meeting commences with a Eucharist led by the incumbent followed by refreshments. The meeting is then led by the Rural Dean. There is usually a speaker followed by an Agenda of events taking place within the Deanery and any other business. 

Speakers in 2017 were from the Boaz Trust who support refugees and homeless people. Some refugees are in the country for as long as a year before even being granted refugee status. Boaz have support from lawyers. local councils and support workers. 

Another big discussion and talk was the YBible initiative by the Bishop of Chester which led to discussions in PCC’s and services throughout the Diocese. 

At the October meeting we said goodbye, with a presentation, to the Rural Dean, Rev. Julian Heaton and welcomed Rev. Clare Jaquiss in his place. The speaker spoke on the Mission Strategy for the Diocese by looking for more opportunities to serve God. We should have a mission to children who wanted a safe haven and asking for joy in life. There were four challenges- Prayer, Discipleship, Younger Generation and Urban Priority Areas. We also had a talk on ‘Setting God’s People Free’ and a need for Clergy and Lay people to work together with renewed purpose and vision. There are 9 pilot Dioceses (including Chester) looking to set this up. 

Sheila Clarke 

PARISH MUSIC 

The choir have had another busy year leading services, singing in concerts and going out into the community. We have used 3 Communion settings over the year according to the season and sung weekly anthems during communion. It was also great to join friends from St Joseph’s to form the Remembrance Sunday choir at the Cenotaph. As always we have been blessed with help from extra friends for special occasions and a highlight was to sing with a small Baroque ensemble at the Autumn concert. 

The Music and Tea afternoons have been very well attended this year and have raised welcome funds to help with organ tuning. The tea on the lawn was particularly lovely. Many singers and instrumentalists have willingly given their time and talents – I think Barbara noted we had nearly 30 performers in the last one! They have also been testament to the delight of music shared across generations (with musicians aged from 9 to over 90), across continents (as we have again welcomed our Chinese friends) and bringing together friends old and new. 

As usual we went carol singing. We entertained appreciative audiences at The Cedars in Bowdon and for the residents in the bungalows where Paula lives who joined in enthusiastically with both carols and songs. Many of our members have also helped week by week at Community Choir. I am also hugely indebted to John, Kevin and Donald for their continued assistance in playing for services and ensuring things run smoothly. 

We are at last able to rehearse in a clean, tidy and refurbished choir room which is marvellous. Thanks to the help and generosity of many Church members we were able to complete this very economically and it has transformed the way we can work and store things. 

Anne Allen Director of Music 

ST. PAULS BABES AND TOTS GROUP 

It’s been another great year for the group which provides a valuable and much appreciated time and space for parents, grandparents, carers and children to meet together, chat and play. The sessions continue to run on Tuesdays and Thursdays with in term time. 

The refreshments team have continued to provide welcome tea, toast and juice at snack time. The parents and carers attending often express their appreciation. We would like to take this opportunity to thank theteam for their continued support. 

Due to the nature of the group there is a regular turn-around of attendees as children move on to school. We regularly need new committee members and volunteers. From the very positive feedback we receive from the parents, grandparents and carers attending, this group continues to be beneficial and appreciated by the community. 

Members of the Men’s Society continue to provide assistance with the setting up and clearing away of equipment and this is very much appreciated. Particular thanks to Clive Bancroft and Brian Walker for the time commitment they both regularly give. 

Financially, whist the group has not formally paid ‘rent’ to the church for the use of the hall throughout the year, it has contributed £2,300 towards the artificial grass which as been laid at the rear of church. Since year end an additional £1,500 has been given to the church to be used in the garden area as well, for rubber mulch surfacing and to complete a remaining strip of garden surfacing. 

The Children’s Society

Due to the recall of the old £1 coins in October 2017 it was decided to bring forward the box opening. The boxes were opened at the end of September 2017 and £684.18 was pro-rata this amount was an increase on last year which is good. As this was successful it was has been decided to open the boxes in September in future years as it avoids the busy time in December / January. 

The Christingle Service was held on Christmas Eve as usual and there was a congregation of over 400 children and adults. There was a wonderful atmosphere and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. The nativity tableau was especially moving. The collection raised £550.53 which was also an increase on last year. Tesco donated the Satsumas from their Community Fund and we are very grateful for this donation which was reflected in the overall total raised. 

All in all we have had a very successful year for the Children’s Society and I would like to thank all those who helped in any way. We are always hoping to send out more House Collection Boxes. so if you feel able to help by taking a box please contact me. 

Sheila Clarke 

MENS SOCIETY 

The membership for 2017 was 19 and the committee (Rodney Hadwen, Michael Riley, Brian Walker, Clive Bancroft and Edward Tullock) were elected at the AGM in January this year. 

The Men’s Society have again provided and erected the Christmas tree in Church and continue to man the Saturday charity coffee mornings on the first Saturday of each month. 

9 meetings were held during the year including the annual bowls match. 

The season included talks with illustrations on Underground Manchester, the history of Carrington Moss, a pilgrimage to Walsingham in Norfolk and Anne Allen’s time at a school in Malawi founded by it’s President, Dr Hastings Banda. 

On three occasions we have enjoyed excellent food – A Farmhouse Supper, a Hot Pot Supper and at the annual Bowls match which this year was again at the Linden Club on Barkers Lane. 

Any new members will be most welcome at our meetings which are on the last Thursday of the month, September to May (except December), at 8.00 pm in the Hall. Occasional outside visits and open evenings are advertised in the ‘Parish News’. 

Rodney Hadwen – Chairman 

TUESDAY GROUP 

The Tuesday Group is a ladies group, who meet on the second Tuesday in the month at 1pm in the Upper C h o i r V estry. We hold our Annual General Meeting in February when we elect a committee of 4 members who run the group. The annual subscription is £10 and a £1per meeting to offset the cost of speakers. We have 14 Members to date. 

We have had a variety of speakers this year, in March Carole Shakeshaft gave a demonstration on the beautiful Banners she makes that are on display in the Church. In April John Penny gave us some useful hints on photography. In May we all had lunch together at Fiona Gardens. We did not have a June outing this year. 

We welcomed everyone back in September at our new time of 1pm when Sheila Rydz gave a presentation of the work and history of the RSPB. In October Barbara Sharp our Vicar gave us an interesting insight into the work of a Prison Chaplain, and in November Mrs Margaret Shepherd spoke of her experience of living in Saudi Arabia for 2 years. 

Our Christmas Coffee Evening was held at the home of Joyce Littlewood, where we all enjoyed a bring and share supper. We held our annual lunch in January at the Boathouse Restaurant, nine members enjoyed a very good meal and chat. 

On the third Saturday in the Month we staff the charity coffee morning 

We hope the new time and venue will attract more ladies to join our friendly meetings. 

Vera Barlow Leader 

CHURCH TRUSTEES NOTE 

During 2017 the Trustees made the following payments to the Church from the Mission Hall Fund:- 

Armstrong Organ Bursary 
Ben Newlove  65.00 
Web Hosting Contribution  82.66 
Visual Liturgy Live Subscription  52.00 
 
£199.66 

The Trustees remain committed to continue funding the Armstrong Organ Bursary in 2018 if required.