At a formal AGM on 13th December 2020, the following business was conducted:
(1) Minutes of 2019 AGM agreed as accurate and signed
Proposer: Karen Gaskell Seconder: Judy Shaw Stewart
(2) Accounts ‘received’
Proposer: David Nickson Seconder: Bob Mitchell
Proposer: Juliet McCracken Seconder: Helen Scott
(4) Independent Examiner (Tom Burton) elected for the coming year
Proposer: David Nickson Seconder: Jean Gore
The members of the Vestry had all consented prior to the meeting to continuing their term of office for another year.
The meeting concluded with a vote of thanks to the Rector, who then offered a prayer for the congregation.
TRUSTEES’ ANNUAL REPORT YEAR ENDED 30th September 2020
The trustees have pleasure in presenting their report, together with the financial statements and the independent examiner’s report for the year ended 30th September 2020.
REFERENCE AND ADMINISTRATIVE INFORMATION
Charity Name: St Modoc’s Episcopal Church, Doune.
Charity Number: SC011617
Address: Rev Canon Dr Alison Peden, Ardvurich, Leny Feus, Callander, FK17 8AS
Rev Canon Dr Alison Peden - Chair
Mrs Heather Reynolds - Treasurer
Mr Malcolm Cordwell-Smith – Fabric Convener
Mrs Gillian Drury – Minutes Secretary
Mrs Veronica Bellers - PVG Co-ordinator
Nick Cooke - Lay Representative (first appointed February 2019)
Dr Philip Gaskell - Alternate Lay Representative (appointed December 2016)
Paul Reed (appointed December 2017)
Mrs Janet Maybank (appointed 2017; resigned July 2019)
Professor Angela Smith (appointed December 2015; resigned 2019)
Mrs Tina Wilkinson (appointed 2015; resigned 2019)
The position of Chair was taken by Rev. Canon Dr Alison Peden in December 2015. As the position of Secretary has not been filled, Mrs Drury has undertaken the necessary secretarial duties.
STRUCTURE AND GOVERNANCE
The Charity is an unincorporated association. It is governed by its constitution which was adopted on 6th March 1994 and signed by the Bishop of St Andrews, Dunkeld and Dunblane on 19th July 2007. The church was given charitable status by OSCR on 22nd October 2007. It is a member of the Diocese of St Andrews, Dunkeld and Dunblane of the Scottish Episcopal Church and is in full communion with the Anglican Church.
The Vestry normally meets every two months. Its members are the trustees. Trustees are elected at the Annual General Meeting which is normally held in December. Under the constitution there must be not more than ten or fewer than six constituent members. The superior authority is the Bishop of St Andrews, Dunkeld and Dunblane.
The Trustees are responsible for the strategic direction and fabric of the church. The trustees are particularly aware of their responsibilities for Health and Safety, and for the care of children and vulnerable adults. In addition to comprehensive insurance, those involved in Regulated Work have disclosures under the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme.
OBJECTIVES AND ACTIVITIES
The principal activities of the church are public worship in sacrament and prayer. Alongside this the church is involved in pastoral, educational and fund-raising work in response to local, national and international needs as they arise. This year the church has donated to the charities listed in the accounts.
Achievements and Performance
During the Covid-19 pandemic, the church was closed to public worship from March 22nd to July 26th, and re-opened in accordance with protocols established by the Government and the Scottish Episcopal Church, and approved by the Bishop of the diocese. Numbers are restricted but worship is available online, and resources are sent to all the congregation. The congregation continues to engage with others in the community, and is developing our plans to offer the grounds as a community amenity. Work has continued to bring the fabric up to standard and to repair where necessary.
The Vestry is grateful for the time freely given by a large number of volunteers, without whom many of the activities would be unable to operate.
Closure, and subsequent restrictions on numbers attending, resulted in a 9% reduction in giving. Less gift aid was claimed. Investment income increased. The decrease in total receipts was 3%. Donations include £1,000 from the Dinning Trust. Total running costs were down slightly. Overall deficit was £5,277(£4,723 surplus less £10,000 added to investments) compared to a surplus of £7,026 in the financial year ending 30th Sept 2019. Covid restrictions limited the money raised separately for other charities to £1,000.
The Vestry has adopted a policy of trying to maintain a level of unrestricted reserves such that, in the event of a significant drop in income, the Church would be able to maintain its current level of activities for a reasonable period until replacement funding is obtained.
Rector of St Modoc’s
The Rector continues to offer two days of ministry a week. In her authorized absence for retreat and holidays, a Lay Reader, Kate Sainsbury, has offered ministry as locum tenens.
PLANS FOR FUTURE PERIODS
The Vestry will continue its range of present activities in the foreseeable future.
On behalf of the Trustees
Signed Alison Peden (Chair) Revd Canon Dr Alison Peden Date 4 December 2020
This has been an unprecedented church year for us, with the Covid-19 pandemic forcing the closure of St Modoc’s to public worship for 17 weeks. But it has also revealed the depth of spiritual community and fellowship in the congregation, who have continued to pray, worship and provide support to one another and beyond. As we approach Christmas, we can truly give thanks for Emmanuel, God with us through troubles as well as joys.
(1) Worship and discipleship
Christmas worship in 2019 drew good numbers, and over 50 people enjoyed the Carols round the tree (which was kindly organised and set up by Malcolm Cordwell-Smith). A beautiful wedding was held when Elspeth Coates and Ben Wright married between Christmas and New Year, with outstanding music from organ and choir. We were able to begin Lenten worship and also host the World Day of Prayer on March 6th, before the church had to be closed on March 15th. Weddings were cancelled or postponed, and funerals took place at the Crematorium. Our planned Easter trail and egg hunt in the garden of St Modoc’s had to be abandoned.
The church opened again on July 26th, with numbers limited to 25 (and then 20 in November as Stirling Council moved into Level 4 restrictions). The Rector provided an emailed service to use for those unable to come to church, and there was also livestreamed online worship on Sundays led by the bishops in turn. Strict protocols have been followed in church, concerned with cleaning and sanitising, the removal of objects which could be contaminated (such as service books) and the administration of Holy Communion. We are grateful that public worship is allowed, and have come to realise what a privilege it is.
We held a Remembrance Sunday service which incorporated some of the elements from the customary community event, and the Rector led the Act of Remembrance at the War Memorial.
Our devotional and reflective life continued albeit in a reduced way. The Lent Course on Gardens in the Bible had to be stopped midway, although the materials were posted on the St Modoc’s website. Several members of the congregation contributed to a set of reflections on the Lord’s Prayer which was also placed on the St Modoc’s website (together with reflections from the Rector’s weekly services). As more people become familiar with using Zoom for online discussion, it should be easier to share in study and reflection. A course on St Benedict (under the auspices of the Doune Faith Forum) is planned for 2021.
Outreach and mission
The cancelling of the initiatives mentioned above meant that our efforts to engage with community have been restricted. We have not been able to progress with the development of the garden as a community resource as we would have liked, although we do now have some detailed plans for an exciting scheme which would take us forward in due course.
But St Modoc’s is still able to connect with the community in other ways, especially online. The online Advent Calendar put together by the Doune Faith Forum, including many contributions from St Modoc’s, has reached a wide audience, as have the photos of the outdoor Christmas Tree lit up. The Rector has contributed to the Bridge magazine as well, and the emailed Sunday orders of service have been shared outwith the congregation.
Our thanks go to all who join us in maintaining the congregational life that we value so much at St Modoc’s. Please see the list below of all those whose service we gratefully acknowledge. But in these special times, I would particularly like to thank Malcolm Cordwell-Smith for keeping an eye on the church when we were in lockdown; the readers who have become Covid-19 stewards at services, and everyone who has encouraged and supported me personally as we all grappled with how to manage this difficult time.
We are very grateful also to:
· The members of the Vestry for their hard work.
· Kate Sainsbury for taking services when I have been away
· Heather Reynolds as Hon. Treasurer
· Jilly Drury for being secretary to the Vestry
· Vee Bellers as PVG Coordinator
· Malcolm Cordwell-Smith for looking after the fabric of the church
· Archie Shaw-Stewart for playing the organ
· Nick Cooke for serving as Lay Rep and Philip Gaskell as Alt. Lay Rep.
· Margaret and Bob Mitchell for refreshments – we are looking forward to them again!
· Those who decorate the church with flowers so beautifully
· The Sacristans team
· The Readers, welcomers, Intercessors and chalice bearers
· Angela Smith for readers’ rota
· Gardener – Brian Carter and his wife, and Ella McEwan who cleans so carefully
· Our Independent Examiner
· All the congregation who uphold the life of St Modoc’s faithfully in their prayers, worship, encourage, give generously, care for others and follow Christ as disciples each day in their lives.
Alison Peden Rector 4th December 2020
LAY REPRESENTATIVE’S REPORT TO AGM
With the Covid pandemic dominating our lives for the past seven months, it is salutary to remember the Diocesan Synod took place at St Ninian’s Cathedral in Perth on 7th March, just before the start of the first lockdown. The Synod is the AGM of the Diocese and an important occasion for Clergy and Lay Representatives from all charges to meet and share our common interest in what has been achieved. This year, in addition to approving reports from various Boards and Committees and the 2018-19 Report & Accounts, we noted the progress made in planning for the Season of Pilgrimage and the Lambeth Conference in 2021, as well as Bishop Ian’s Lent Appeal. However, for all of us the most important topic was the updated SEC guidelines for holding church services in line with Covid precautions. Let us hope and pray the 2021 Synod next spring will have something to celebrate on that front.
Nick Cooke Lay Representative
The accounts for the financial year ending 30th September 2020, have been circulated by email, post and in church. The accounts will also be displayed on St Modoc‘s website.
Despite the closure of the Church for part of the financial year, and then numbers attending being restricted, incredibly, overall income is only showing a slight decrease.
Total pledged giving (weekly envelopes) of £17,353 is an almost identical figure to last year. This is thanks to members of the congregation who saved up their weekly contributions or have given one-off donations online in lieu. Other Gift Aid income is from Gift Aid ‘orange’ envelopes. This is reduced because of a lack of visitors to the Church. Open Plate is only down slightly to £2,584 thanks to the generosity of the congregation once the Church reopened. Tax reclaimed is down because again this year there is slightly less giving on which gift aid can be claimed. Finally, in the first section, donations are also down. They include an annual donation from the Dinning Trust which reduced to £1,000 this year from £1,500 in previous years. Total giving of £26,072 (£31,356 excluding tax reclaimed of £5,284) is only down by 9% compared to last year.
The next section of income is that from Investments. £10,000 was added from the current account this year and income from Investments is up by £2,000 to £6,956.
Therefore, overall income is only down by 3% to £38,804.
The next section is payments which shows running costs down slightly to £32,045. Last year’s figures included in the property expenses a large amount spent on the new door. Shown below running costs, the purchase cost of £1,587 for new vestments was from the remainder of the Rita Barth legacy. Details of the Garden Development Fund will be covered in other reports - £449 has been spent on this so far. Total costs come to £34,081. When taking into account total receipts of £38,804, although not specifically indicated in the accounts, there is a resulting surplus of £4,723. However, when adding the £10,000 cost of purchase of new investments, the accounts show an overall deficit figure of £5,277.
The balance sheet at the top of the second page after adjustments shows a current account balance of £32,886.
Looking at Investments, with the £10,000 added in Oct 2019, the value at 30th Sept 2020 was £227,299. The value increase for the financial year in the underlying units in the fund itself was 4%.
At the bottom of this page are restricted funds. The Rectors Development Fund is mainly made up of Easter Collections, which would normally be used for the Rector to attend conferences etc. All funds raised for other charities have been allocated. Unfortunately, there have not been many opportunities this year for fund raising activities.
I would like to thank everyone who has helped to keep St Modoc’s on a sound financial footing in these difficult times.
We have continued to carry out improvements and repairs during the last year with the constraints and challenges that Covid-19 has provided.
The Garden Project inspired us to start on the basic requirements of installing an outside water tap at the back of the Cloakroom extension, not only for watering the new plants, but also during the constructions phase. In that connection, the tap has been put to good use for the installation and security of the 3 new outside benches that have been generously donated.
The annual testing of the appliances within the church building has continued to meet the requirements of the Regulations and the Terms of the Building Insurance Policy.
The maintenance of the garden grounds and the cleaning of the Church have been kept to a high standard particularly to comply with the Covid-19 regulations. Our thanks to Ella McEwen for cleaning the Church including raking the drive, and to Bran Carter and his wife for looking after the garden. Also, thanks to Caroline Stroyan and her team for decorating the church when the regulations permitted church services to take place.
Over the next 12 months, we will continue to carry out maintenance and repairs to the Church building as required. The Garden Project will be the main programme of improvements for this coming year.
COORDINATOR FOR PROTECTION OF VULNERABLE GROUPS
This year we have had to concentrate on keeping everyone safe from infection. Before the lock down in March we were already making sure that sanitizer was available in the church. Those who are shielding were assured that their decision not to come to church was respected.
Now that we are open, we are strictly conforming with the rules, and I am so grateful that members of the congregation have all been accommodating and helpful.
Alison and the Vestry members have gone to great trouble to ensure that, despite the use of masks, sanitizer and having to maintain a safe distance, we can still have a reflective and friendly service and I thank them so much for that.