Welcome: Rev Canon Dr Alison Peden welcomed those present and opened the meeting with prayer.
Present: Mr & Mrs Maybank, Dr & Mrs Gaskell, Mrs Watson, Mr & Mrs Scott, Lord & Lady Nickson, Prof Smith, Mr & Mrs Scott-Elliot, Mrs Routledge, Mr Reed, Mr Coulson, Mrs Reynolds, Mr Cordwell-Smith, Mrs Bellers, Mrs Drury
Apologies: Mr and Mrs Gore, Mrs McCracken, Mr & Mrs McGregor, Mrs Drewery, Mr & Mrs Stroyan, Mrs Sherriff
Minutes of AGM 2016: the minutes were read, accepted and signed
Matters arising: None
Notices, correspondence: none
Trustees Report: (attached) was circulated. It was explained that such a report was required by OSCR
Let us begin with a moment of silence to remember those from our congregation who have died since the last AGM: Clare Mackenzie and John McCracken. May they rest in peace and rise in glory.
Many people find a peaceful and warm space in which to encounter God when they join in worship at St Modoc’s. Our liturgies are rich and meaningful and the sacred space that we are blessed with speaks without words to the congregation. We are getting used to the new hymnbook, Hymns of Glory, and I for one appreciate being able to sing psalms each week. Services at the great festivals continue to enrich us and those from the community and beyond who share in them – Christmas, Easter, All Souls and so on.
We enjoyed a magnificent Choral Evensong with the choir of St Saviour’s Bridge of Allan, and it showed how congregations can help each other to uphold the great traditions. We celebrated a rather different form of worship in the ecumenical service held on the morning of the Stirling Marathon, which wove reformed and Episcopalian approaches into an act of real praise.
There are some good singers at St Modoc’s and after a successful anthem sung at the Harvest Festival by a small group, I hope to develop the leadership of singing in this way.
(3) Ecumenical Relationships
We now have well-established ecumenical relationships, and members of all three congregations shared in an Advent study group, a Lent Group on King David, and a course on Local Saints. Time pressures have prevented me from arranging an Advent course, but I hope to collaborate on a Lent Course in 2018. The same goes for Messy Church, which I hope to revive in the spring.
One of the highlights of the year ecumenically was the pilgrimage to Iona in September, when 9 of us shared some time at Bishops’ House. We worshipped, ate and walked together, discovering the spiritual riches of that extraordinary place.
We will want to be supportive of Kilmadock when Rev Andy Campbell retires next year, and of St Fillan’s as Father Jim McCruden undergoes medical treatment.
(4) Community relationships
St Modoc’s is indeed beginning to be what I hoped it might be – a place and a group that people can turn to as a resource at the heart of the community. The school feels at home in the church and come each year for their carols and for their Easter service. They are also planning to make class visits to the church. Our second Harvest Supper in the Hall was another great success, thanks to all the very hard work of the team and the generosity of the congregation. The money raised went to restoring Old Kilmadock Graveyard and the Youth project. This has encouraged contact with both groups, and the Yotuh project came along to use St Modoc’s as a film venue a couple of weeks ago for one of their projects – the film will be shown in the New Year at the Rural Hall. I also have hopes that we can find a way to make the garden at St Modoc’s a resource for the community without damaging it!
All these relationships take time and care – and are the responsibility of all of us. People tend to begin to connect with the Church because they have met someone already connected with it. Every conversation we have is significant and important – and can make Christ present for someone, or indeed the reverse.
(5) Looking forward
The statistical returns show a growth in our average attendance to about 30, though our actual membership is fairly stable. It is really important to be welcoming to all who enter the church. I spoke to one man who had come, had sat on a pew alongside some other people, but who had not been greeted or asked his name. It’s difficult when you don’t always know whether the person is a newcomer or just someone who has been coming for ages but you’ve never really met. It’s always safe to mention the weather … We are all only human, and we need to feel valued and noticed and appreciated. So please pay attention to the quality of our welcome at St Modoc’s.
We are in the process of discerning whom God wants to be our next bishop, so inevitably the overall direction of our life and mission in the diocese is a bit on hold at the moment. I sense that we have laid good foundations for our future growth as a people of God at St Modoc’s, but that we are not quite clear as to how to move forward and use our resources effectively. I know I’ve been saying this for a while, but I think it’s true. There are lots of things we could do as a congregation, or as small groups, or as individuals, but the shape of what we are called to be is still emerging.
One thing that I would like us to do is to participate in Stirling Doors Open in 2018. This will involve some work on the heritage of St Modoc’s – history, art work and so on. It may be that we have a new piece of artwork to show off – but I’ll leave that for Malcolm’s Fabric Report.
(6) My other time
As you know, 2/3 of my time is devoted to recruitment and selection for the Scottish Episcopal Church, and care for its ordinands, as their chaplain. This work is quite demanding and very rewarding – we have a thriving group of young ordinands, many of them theology graduates or students. Two of them bring their babies to the training weekends, along with their husbands as nannies! I continue to work on SEC policy on selection of clergy and on ministry and am doing some writing on this, and also on Scottish Episcopal theology.
Finally, I’d like to thank all those who contribute their time and energy to the life of St Modoc’s – which is everyone really, but let me name some particular individuals:
· The members of the Vestry for their hard work.
· Rev. Jeanette Allan and Rev Peter Potter for presiding when I take a Sunday off
· Heather Reynolds as Treasurer
· Jilly Drury for being secretary to the Vestry and for PVG responsibility
· Malcolm Cordwell-Smith for a huge amount of work looking after the fabric of the church
· Archie Shaw-Stewart for playing the organ
· Colin Graham for serving as Lay Rep
· Those who decorate the church with flowers so beautifully
· The Sacristans team – and for Janet Maybank who has agreed to serve in this way after Maggie Sherriff retired after many years’ work
· The Readers, welcomers, Intercessors and chalice bearers, and all who help with the community and charity events we organise
· 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.
Mrs Gaskell felt a record should be reported of this year’s baptisms and blessings; she thanked AP for her openness in discussing attitudes on sexuality in the congregational meeting held about the revising of Canon 31 on marriage. HR agreed saying this could have been a divisive issue but had proved not to be. AP felt this should now be left to see where it would go in the future.
Mrs Bellers was not keen on the new hymn book introduced this year; she felt the congregation needed more rousing hymns.
Accounts were distributed to those present
Income: pledged giving had increased by £5,000 amounting to a rise of 35% on last year. This was due mainly to new standing orders. Other income decreased slightly but the voluntary income, before the addition of a bequest, was up 20%.
A bequest of £5000 had been received from Rita Barth’s estate.
It had taken some time to authorise HR as treasurer.
Money transferred from Barclays Investment account was to ease cash flow. Charities Aid Foundation had closed St Modoc’s account due to lack of activity and the money was eventually transferred to the Bank of Scotland Account. A large amount remains in the Bank of Scotland account for future projects.
The payments column was self-explanatory.
Investment management costs were normally deducted from the Barclays account but, due to lack of funds, they had been paid out of BoS account. Investments continued to grow at present and generated a good level of income. Changes at Barclays Investments were taking place and had proposed a change to the portfolio which would have meant a new investment profile. This proposal had been resisted for the present. Any changes would be carefully considered.
All monies raised for other charities went through the church’s bank account but were not included in the income or expenditure.
HR invited questions: Mrs Gaskell thanked HR and asked why expenditure on mission was less than that spent on gardening and felt a budget was necessary. HR admitted that this had been mooted last year but, as yet, had not been implemented. Mrs Bellers expressed the difficulty of budgeting with a building such as St Modoc’s. Mr Maybank said a budget was normally set at approximately 10% which appeared to have been achieved.
AP thanked HR for her clear presentation and hard work over the year and thanked those who had taken out or increased standing orders.
Acceptance of the accounts was proposed by Prof Smith and seconded by Mrs Bellers
During the last year , we have continued to carry out routine maintenance, servicing and improvements to the fabric of St Modoc’s Church .
The re-pointing of the boundary wall along George Street has been completed . The mutual boundary wall along the south side of the Church has been re-roughcast and new coping stones added to prevent water and frost damage happening again . This work was carried out by John McLeod’s Building Company and was paid for by the neighbour , Peter Innes .
The improvements and repairs to the stain glass window behind the Organ have been completed by Jimmy Innes of Doune and Christian Shaw of Edinburgh . Jimmy Innes also carried out moss and fungi treatment work to the roof and sides of the entrance porch , re pointed and sealed the stonework to prevent further water ingress . The combined cost of the work to the window and surround along with the entrance porch amounted to £7,340 inclusive of VAT , which was funded by the dormant deposit account . Several of the stained glass windows around the Church are not protected with a weld mesh , including the Organ window . Installation of the weld mesh to the unprotected windows and repairs to the mesh on the protected windows has been completed this week by Adamson Fabrications of Dundee , at a cost of £1,662 inclusive of VAT .
The damaged Scottish Episcopal Church sign beside the entrance gates has been replaced with the new design of sign . A nappy changing station has been installed in the Loo and it has been used . Twelve additional stacking chairs have been purchased for use at the back of the Church to accommodate increased numbers for some of the Services .
Servicing of the Organ , gas boiler and heater , fire extinguishers have all been carried out during the year with the appropriate certificates issued . The electrical fuse board had an earthing problem last Sunday , which has been investigated this week and it is thought was caused by a power surge .
Accidental damage to the boundary fence along Muir Crescent is proving a challenge to repair the broken and bent metal posts , but it is hoped that the repairs to the posts and the wires will shortly be carried out , using a local mobile welding company .
It was hoped that during the year , removal and treatment of the moss on the north side of the roof would be carried out using a locally hired cherry picker . Unfortunately this machine has been out of action for sometime and we need a dry weekend to treat the moss . It is therefore hoped that this work will be carried out in the spring .
We continue to look at ways of improving the storage space in the Vestry and if anyone knows of a redundant storage cupboard , like a side board needing to go to a good home for not a lot of money , then please let me know .
Over the next 12 months , we will continue to carry out a programme of repairs and improvements to ensure that the fabric of the building is in good order ahead of the Quinquennial Survey Report that is due to be carried out in November 2018 .
The maintenance of the garden grounds and the cleaning of the Church have been kept to a high standard throughout the year . . Our thanks to Brian and Kennina Carter for looking after the garden and thanks to Ella McEwen for cleaning the Church and for raking the gravel driveway . Also , thanks are due to Caroline Stroyan and her team of ladies for providing and decorating the Church with beautiful flowers during the year and decorations for the Harvest Festival and Christmas .
The Church funds have recently received a very generous donation from Rita Barth’s Estate , which amounted to £5,000 . Members of the Vestry consider that this Legacy should be put to a permanent improvement for the Church in memory of Rita . A Proposed Project for an improvement to the fabric of the building and for the benefit to members of the Congregation is being considered , which I would like to propose on behalf of the Vestry , to this meeting .
One area of major heat loss is at the entrance to the Church , with the original double entrance doors . Currently the pair of thick curtains try to keep out the elements , but they do not provide an attractive welcome to the inside of the building . It is therefore proposed that an oak framed glazed screen and inner entrance door should be made and attached to the inside of the stone archway , which would allow the existing double doors to be open against the thickness of the wall . The new one metre wide glazed door would provide a draught proof entrance and provide more natural light to the back of the Church . The glass panels would be doubled glazed with toughened glass . Above the entrance door, the glass panel would be curved to follow the line of the stone archway and it is thought that this panel could be engraved with an inscription in memory of Rita .
We are at an early stage of considering this project , which will require Listed Building Consent and approval from the Diocese . A sketch drawing is available and an estimate has been provided by John McLeod amounting to £3,720 inclusive of VAT . This estimate does not include the cost of an Architect’s drawing , application fees or the engraving of the glass panel . We are in the process of obtaining another estimate , but with the current estimate and the extra costs , it is expected that the overall cost will be fully covered by Rita’s Legacy .
Following the presentation of the report some discussion took place with regard to the proposed project for the use of Rita Barth’s legacy. A drawing of the proposed inner door was circulated and described (attached). It was felt that this was an excellent memorial to Rita and approval was voiced. MC-S explained that this project would take some time as it would need to go through a process of approval which might take 6 months.
Lord Nickson wondered if coat hooks could be installed at the back of the church. Due to the condition of the stone wall, hooks could not be fitted directly as white powder deposit from the wall would fall on the coats. It might be possible to put a shelf up.
AP thanked MC-S for his tireless work.
Representative for the protection of Children & Vulnerable Groups Report: Mrs Drury said there was little to report. She hoped we had a safe environment at church where we could honour and respect each other. The church building was safe (thanks mainly to the tireless efforts of Malcolm) and over the past year or two hand rails had been installed making it easier for people to get to the altar for communion, the loop system worked well for those hard of hearing and we were now the proud owners of a lavatory WITH baby changing facilities!
Mrs Drury stressed that it was everyone’s responsibility to be mindful of anyone who might be at risk. However, if a serious situation arose which needed further support, either the Rector or herself should be contacted and the matter would be referred to the Provincial PVG Officer. Contact names were displayed on the Notice Board at the back of the church.
AP underlined that any postings on Facebook or other media were carefully monitored and there were no photographs of children’s faces etc. It was noted that Billy Don, who used to be brought to church on Sundays, was now terminally ill in hospital.
Chairman of Trustees: Rev Canon Dr Alison Peden - proposed by MC-S, seconded by JD
Honorary Treasurer: Heather Reynolds – proposed by Mrs Scott, seconded by Mr Coulson
Lay Representative: Mr Graham had agreed to continue for the time being
Alternative Lay Representative: Dr Philip Gaskell agreed to continue
Independent Examiner: Mr Tom Burton (had agreed to continue having served 10years): proposed by PG, seconded by AS
Thanks were expressed to those retiring from the Vestry: Mrs Juliet McCracken
Paul Reed had agreed to join - proposed by AS, seconded by PG
Janet Maybank had agreed to join - proposed by MC-S, seconded by JD
Charity for 2018:
It was felt that monies raised over the year should be put towards one local charity and one overseas charity. Mrs Scott wondered if it would be appropriate to support a Malawian charity in memory of John McCracken. Mrs Gaskell thought it would be helpful to join an existing group; there was a Malawian Killearn group. Caution was expressed and advice should be sought in order to support a reputable charity; John McCracken had informed knowledge of suitable Malawian good causes.
Mrs Bellers was pleased that St Modoc’s was supporting the Salvation Army
Mrs Gaskell informed the meeting that the Ukrainian Duo had connections to a charity in England and that contributions to them were well used.
Lord Nickson expressed the deep gratitude of the congregation for AP’s enormous contribution to St Modoc’s.
Close: Rev Canon Dr Alison Peden closed the meeting with prayer.