Note: The Vicars Report below was published in the Annual Report and Accounts 2020 and presented at the Annual Parochial Church Meetings on 18th April 2021
The individual reports for 2020 appear at the end of the Vicar’s Report
Vicar’s Report on 2019
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. Paul’s 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 God’s 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 that we can share the treasure of the Gospel message with all who we have contact.
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.
First I will give you some basics from the year 2019.
Those funeral services included :-
- Joyce Littlewood 21st January 2019
- Jennifer Meade Deans 11th February 2019
- Bernard Kelly 14th February 2019
- David Cannon 18th February 2019
- Graham Liddle 12th March 2019
- Carole Cook 18th June 2019
- Eunice Grubert 20 August 2019
- Sheila Hope 15th October 2019
- Jose Rogerson 3rd December 2019
- Susan Buchannan 11th December 2019
- Pauline Holden 16th December 2019
- Edward Tullock 19th Dcemeber 2019
- Olive Roberts 23rd December 2019
Of these two were led by Michal and one by Yvonne and the rest by myself.
Amongst the funerals in 2020 which will more rightly be part of the 2020 report at the APCM in 2021 there were services for 4 of people with particular connections to St Paul’s Kenneth Eagles, Margaret Hooper, Yvonne Thompson and Paul Rothwell.
We pause for a moment to remember all those who have died
‘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’
There were six Baptisms in 2019, and five people confirmed on Pentecost Sunday (9th June) at the service held at St Martin’s at 5pm. Jean, Liz, Jenny, Neil and Ruby.
There were 3 weddings in 2019. These were Craig and Bianca 6th June, David and Alex 30th August and Paul and Emily on 14th September.
Our regular weekly services were attended by an average of 9 at the Midweek BCP Communion Service, on Sunday 8 at the 8.30am BCP Communion Service and 9 at Evensong.
Overall there is a slight decrease in the 8 30am and the Midweek Services with a slight increase at Evensong.
The main10am Sunday Service has an average of 50, pleasingly, as in 2018 Festival Services are mostly showing small increases.
Sadly, there was no formal Sunday School work and this is an area of concern.
We do have children join us at various services in the year such as Harvest, Mothering Sunday and Christingle. This is an area of ministry to be addressed.
(Please note there were plans for this to happen and Tilly and I were starting to gather information and see what was wanted e.g. midweek or weekend meetings for both children, young adults and families but the events of 2020 overtook us).
We joined as usual with Churches Together for the fifth Sunday in the month Evening Services and for Pentecost on 9th June and Christian Unity Week Services including the joint service St Joseph’s on 20th January. We had a very successful joint Day out to North Wales on 19th June.
As in 2018 Fr Shaun from St Martin’s and I went out into the community offering Ashing and prayers on Ash Wednesday and polishing shoes on Maundy Thursday. We worked with St Joseph’s for the Christmas Crib Blessing which was a great success with refreshments and craft activities after the service which in 2019 had to be held indoors due to inclement weather.
We held the Mayor’s Civic Service on 30th June organised by Rob Chilton, who was appointed Mayor of Trafford for 2019- 2020, and Michael Riley. Sadly, I missed this event but have heard a lot of complementary comments. On 22nd September we held a Pets’ Service which was also very well received and brought into our church buildings quite a few who had never visited before, making this a successful outreach event which will hopefully be repeated. The money raised was presented to the Mayor’s Charity Fund. We once again led the annual Remembrance Day Service in November at Sale Town Hall and Cenotaph.
We also joined in the national now, international initiative ‘Thy kingdom come’ in May.
I want to thank all those who work hard to make sure our worship is the best it can be those who read, lead, pray, sing or play the organ for us, those who ensure the building is fit for worship by cleaning and adding flower arrangements to enhance the beauty of the building, and those who welcome people in to the services.
In 2019 we had our usual round of social and festivals, Christmas grotto, Pancake Party and Harvest Gift collection. Carole’s report goes into more detail on this area.
Part of our outreach and mission is to work with the community and is served well by several different groups, Babes and Tots, Community Choir, Men’s Society, Tuesday Group and with the space and support we offer to music groups such as Oriental Breeze, Sale Chamber Orchestra and The Artful Voices Choir.
There is also the support we give to local schools including both Rob Chilton and myself being school governors. Plus we have support from many local people who attend our social events.
We have continued to support the community through our charitable works such as Mustard Tree, the Food-Bank, Christian Aid and Francis House Children’s
Hospice. We allowed Extinction Rebellion to hold two meetings at the church to raise the issue of climate change. The new joint initiative between 7 local churches and Christians Against Poverty (CAP) was launched on 16th May and though there were some teething problems it has worked well and helped a number of people. There was a problem at one stage in 2019 with CAP having to stop taking any more referrals and to re-group but was a problem that manifested in several debt related charities following an upsurge in requests for help this was dealt with and things got back on track.
A lot of hard work and effort goes in to all those groups and initiatives. I and the Churchwardens do thank those who put the hard work in week by week.
I want to thank our Churchwardens Harry and Yvonne and Church Officers and Sidespeople for their work.
Now instead of talking about the past I want to think a little about the future
Last year was the end of our Five Year Plan and we decided to divide our work in to four areas each would be responsible only for the for day to day running of their area in accordance with the wishes of the PCC which remains the decision making body.
The four areas are;-
Worship and Liturgy led my myself,
Buildings and grounds led by Brian Kerridge,
Social and mission led by Carole Shakeshaft,
Administration and Finance which was to have been led by Lisa Clarke.
1 Buildings and grounds
The Building Team have been working amazingly well under Brian’s leadership supported by those he calls on to help with the work. It has really flourished and our buildings are very well looked after and I and the Churchwardens are most grateful for all the work that has been done.
2 Social and Mission
Carole has overseen the usual round of Pancake Party, Santa’s Grotto, Afternoon Teas, Harvest Supper, Heritage Day along with other events.
Again this is a strong area of church life and we are very grateful to Carole and the team and all who help at the events.
3 Administration and Finance
This has proved to be the most problematic area as finding someone to be PCC secretary and to hold an overall view of admin ensuring that jobs get done as they should has been impossible difficult. Karen does a lot of admin the work including the magazine the Pew Sheets and the paperwork for the APCM and work on GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations). Carole does the Safeguarding admin and Brian ensures that financial records are up to date and accurate. Yvonne Stevenson does the rotas and Churchwarden admin duties. I do thank them for that work, but it would be helpful to have one person appointed to oversee and hold a list of scheduled work that needs doing and making sure that annual, monthly and weekly tasks do get completed, and that we comply with modern regulations regarding for example Health and Safety in the kitchen and have the policies and procedures we are required to hold and that they we are kept up to date with any new legislation. And there is also ensuring we meet Parish, Deanery, Diocesan and Church of England regulations.
It is very much a growing area as there are a lot more legal regulations and boundaries that we have to adhere to these days.
4 Liturgy and Worship
This is led by myself and I utilise the skills of the Readers, Pastoral Workers and musicians to make our worship the best it can be. However, we do need to consider the future of the church and it may mean we need to make changes in our worship to encourage newcomers to the church.
The highlights of the year in this area were, I think, the Civic Service, Blessing Service for Jean and David Law, and the Pets’ Service. The Easter and Christmas services were as always a joy to lead and as I said numbers at most of the services at those times have increased.
I want to thank Michael, Rob, Yvonne and Karen for the support they give to worship and for the other work they undertake and to thank Anne, Kevin, John, Don and the Choir for the support they give to both worship and the Community Choir.
Now a few general comments, in no particular order of importance.
This year I was asked to be the Mayor’s Chaplain, which I consider to be an honour and I have very much enjoyed leading prayers before Council Meetings and accompanying Rob on several of his official engagements.
The rents we have from the Church Hall make an enormous difference to our finances, indeed, without them we would be unable to continue in our present form and so we need to be very aware of that and of the need to look at our own levels of giving so that the work here a St Paul’s can continue for the sake of future generations.
I am very aware that there is a lot of informal pastoral work going on in the parish as people help and support each other and that there is a lot of pastoral work done by the Licensed Pastoral Workers Yvonne (Kerridge) and Karen and am grateful for all that work, indeed for all the work done both Readers and Pastoral Workers and by individuals who help others often seemingly unnoticed and done discretely and without any fuss.
I want to thank all the PCC members and office holders, to Brian and John for finances, Carole for her Minute taking. And I want to thank Harry and Yvonne for the work they do and for the support and friendship they have given me.
Thanks also to the Parish’s Deanery Synod Representatives , Sheila Clarke, Anne Ibbotson and Rob Chilton but especially to Sheila who provided reports for the PCC. And to Rob for being our Diocesan Synod Representative.
I want to thank those who run church groups the Men’s Society,(Michael); Tuesday Group (Hilary); Babes and Tots (Clive and Brenda); Badminton (Don); Community Choir (Anne, Kevin, John, Don and Paula), and those who help at Saturday and Sunday Coffee under Diana’s direction. I want to thank Eileen for her work as Church Hall Booking Officer and also to her and Joyce for the work they do with the Mustard Tree.
I will end by saying THANK YOU to all who serve the church in any capacity for those unsung heroes who clean and move furniture and ensure the church is fit for purpose, to those who help make it welcoming with flowers such as Jean or with words such as the Sidespersons, those who pray for our church each day ensuring that all we do is held to God in prayer and inviting him to be our constant guide and companion as we journey together in Faith.
I also want to say thank you for the support I and care shown to me after my son David had a stroke on 17th January 2019 and since then.
The other reports for 2020 appear below and include
Pastoral Worker – Karen, Pastoral Worker – Yvonne, Parish Music, Trustees, Tuesday Group, Men’s Society, Safeguarding, Social and Mission