ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING, SUNDAY 3 MARCH 2019
Welcome: Rev Canon Alison Peden welcomed all and opened the meeting with prayer.
Present: Mrs Bellers, Mr Cordwell-Smith, Mr Coulson, Mr Cooke, Drs Gaskell, Mrs Gore, Mrs McCracken, Mr and Mrs Maybank, Mr Morrison, Mr Reed, Mr and Mrs Reynolds, Mr and Mrs Scott, Mrs Watson.
Apologies: Mrs Drury, Mr and Mrs Graham, Mr and Mrs McGregor, Lord and Lady Nickson, Mr and Mrs Scott Elliot, Mrs Sherriff, Mrs Smith, Mr and Mrs Stroyan, Mrs Wilkinson.
Minutes of 2017 AGM: were read, accepted and signed.
Matters arising: none
Trustees report: as required by OSCR. Was circulated.
Chairman/Rector’s report: - see attached.
· Mrs Bellers expressed her thanks to the rector for her year of ministry and care
· The return of a local farmers market was suggested as a selling point for Malawi Rice in future
· In relation to developing the garden, Mr Cooke recommended synergy with the Eco-congregation movement.
· Mrs Maybank commended the opportunity for the church to be part of Open Doors Day this year.
Treasurers report: - see attached.
Mrs Reynolds highlighted:
o Higher Gift Aid income of £8190
o Payments were similar to last year but with less for property costs
o Because Barclays were ceasing to provide individual investment management, the decision was made to transfer reserves investments of around £184K to the management of CCLA after much discussion at vestry. There would be a saving on commission. CCLA provide this service to churches and similar organisations.
o £4036 was raised for charities other than the church – and the Kiev accordionists concert receipts were in addition to that. The rector pointed out that this was close to 10%, a tithe.
Dr K Gaskell asked if the church had a policy for spending reserves. She had asked about mission in this connection a year previously, citing rector and congregation development. It was agreed that the vestry should take that strategy issue forward. Developing the garden for wider use may form part of mission.
Mr Cooke agreed that setting a reserves sum aside for future building contingencies was sensible from his experience elsewhere.
Mr Coulson was thanked and his sound and willing advice about investment management was acknowledged.
Fabric report: see attached.
Mr Cordwell-Smith highlighted that he looked forward to installation soon of the internal porch and door in memory of Rita Barth. The bishop could dedicate that when visiting and an invitation to attend to Rita’s family and friends should be extended.
Mr Reed commended the opportunity to budget 10-20 years ahead for property and fabric matters if possible.
PVG: - Report attached.
If individuals were to visit lonely people in their homes, they would require PVG check. Mrs Bellers indicated that there seemed to be few in need of this at present, though the very limited survey had suggested this as a priority community need.
The rector suggested widening the net and involving the medical centre staff in that.
Dr P Gaskell described the Dunblane Cathedral Pastoral Care Group “Good Together “ project which he had read of.
Life and witness – approach the rector
Lay Rep: Mr Cooke was proposed by Dr P Gaskell and seconded by Mr Maybank and Mr Graham was proposed by Mrs Bellers and seconded by Mr Reed. Mr Cooke was duly elected.
Alt Lay Rep: Dr P Gaskell, prop by the Rector, sec Mrs Bellers.
Indep examiner: T Burton, prop Mrs Bellers, sec Dr K Gaskell.
PCVA Officer: Mrs Bellers , prop Mrs McCracken, sec Mrs Gore.
Charity for 2019:
The following suggestions were made
§ Embrace the Middle East www.embraceme.org Mr Cooke
§ 2050 – Scottish climate change charity www.2050.scot Mrs Reynolds
§ Local charities such as Start-up Stirling and the Doune Youth Group Mr Cordwell-Smith/Mrs McCracken
ü the need for focused work with Christian refugees in the Middle east
ü the need for young people to learn of the need for leadership and action on climate change now
ü local charities need and the need to check the governance of a charity if doubts expressed
The Vestry were asked to take forward ideas for supporting Embrace the Middle East and Start-up Stirling and the Doune Youth Group.
AOCB: There was no further business.
The Rector and members present closed the AGM with prayer.
AGM 3rd February 2019: RECTOR’S REPORT
St Modoc’s continues to be a healthy worshipping community, with a wide range of people engaged in the Sunday services – sacristans, flower arrangers, readers, cross and chalice bearers, intercessors and all who pray and sing. Our worship expresses not only the love we have for God but the love and unity we have for each other as a gathered family of God. Visitors sense that and remark that there is something special about St Modoc’s.
We were glad to share in the joy of Diana and Nigel Bishop at the baptism of their grandson Euan, and it was wonderful to have several generations worshipping together in a full church. As yet, we rarely have young families with us on a Sunday, so when they do come, the welcome we can offer is very important. Large numbers come to share the Advent Carol Service, Christmas and Easter services, and we pray that they are touched by God in those experiences.
I’ve been encouraged and inspired by the input of Janet Maybank into our worship. She has experience of delivering creative worship from previous congregations, and has refreshed out worship at St Modoc’s by committing us to 100 days of prayer for peace before Armistice Day, and a reflective Harvest Festival service. While it’s important to maintain a steady rhythm of services, it’s also good to be stirred by something different from time to time. It’s also been good to have some singers helping to lead us in learning new hymns.
You will remember that the General Synod voted last year to remove the definition of marriage from our Canon Law, making it possible for same-sex marriages to be conducted by SEC clergy who have been nominated by their bishop and approved by the National Records of Scotland government department. The Rector obtained the Vestry’s consent to approach Bishop Ian for nomination, and this has been approved by the Recorder. The Rector is aware that there are differences of view about this matter in the congregation, and we all need to respect one another’s views. Any marriage at St Modoc’s is only conducted after careful assessment of the serious intent of the couple, and the Rector is permitted rather than obliged to conduct weddings. No-one in the congregation will be obliged to take part in a same-sex wedding, whether by preparing the church or playing the organ or any other duties. The Rector hopes that the welcome, affirmation and Christian grace that is offered to all couples in a church wedding will be extended to all who seek such a blessing at St Modoc’s.
(2) Ecumenical Relationships
We had a lively Lent discussion in the Doune Faith Forum on issues raised by Karen Armstrong’s book, 12 Steps to the Compassionate Life. Working with the Kilmadock and St Fillan’s has been more difficult in the second half of the year, partly because the Rector has been particularly busy and unable to make commitments because of impending surgery , and partly because of the problems of liaising with clergy at Kilmadock and St Fillan’s in their vacancies. The Doune Faith Forum should revive in 2019.
St Modoc’s shared in the Remembrance Sunday service in the Muir Hall, and also offered an ecumenical service again on the Sunday of the Stirling Marathon in April.
(3) Community relationships
St Modoc’s continues to make connections with the community in Doune. Each Primary School child got an Easter story comic at their Spring end of term service, at which the Rector spoke. The Toddler Group came for a picnic and games in the church grounds in June. The Harvest Supper sold out – it is clearly becoming a fixed item in the local social calendar! More recently, the Rector was involved in a P7 debate on the First World War at Doune Primary School, and spoke about some of St Modoc’s members’ memories about it.
(4) Outreach and mission
This year, we launched a year-long project to support farmers in Malawi, in memory of John McCracken, the foremost historian of Malawi. We contracted to sell 90 kg of rice, which would return enough to the rice farmers for them to send a child to secondary school. Our Harvest Supper showcased the rice, and we had a Fairtrade stall which sold it and also some preserves from Swaziland. Members of the congregation also bought many bags of rice, and we indeed did meet the Rice Challenge. The Rector is still haunted by something one of the Malawian farmers who came to lunch with Juliet McCracken said, when reflecting on his impressions of UK: “I think God has favoured your country …” We have so much, whereas everything is a struggle for them – energy, water, transport.
The two virtuoso accordionists from Ukraine returned again in August to give another concert, and amazed us by their fusion of classical and traditional Scottish music – alongside the favourites such as Widor’s Toccata and the Flight of the Bumblebee. We raised quite a bit of money for young people still living with the effects of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster 22 years ago.
Closer to home, in 2018 we decided to support the Salvation Army in Stirling with our Christmas collections. The Advent Carol Service in 2018, Doune Christmas Street Fair and Midnight Mass raised £1150 for the Salvation Army, who provide meals, medical services, help with addictions and much more to the marginalised in the city. Our Advent and Christmas collections in 2019 went towards our Malawi project.
(5) Looking forward
We now have a new bishop, Rt. Revd. Ian Paton, and we hope that he will come to St Modoc’s before long to get to know us and vice versa. I am confident that he will be a good, wise and holy pastor to the Diocese. It would be good to invite him to consecrate our new doors into the church (of which more in the Fabric Convener’s Report).
Plans for reaching out to the elderly and lonely by inviting them to regular tea parties are shaping up under the initiative of Vee Bellers. This could offer a practical way to show the love of God, and it has already proved popular in a similar scheme in Gargunnock.
The Rector will retire as Provincial Director of Ordinands at the end of July 2019, but will continue as Rector of St Modoc’s for two days a week. The past year has been exciting on the Provincial scene. The Rector gave two papers on the ministry of the deacon at a conference in Canada, and is shaping and training personnel for a new discernment process for ordinands in the SEC (which her successor will implement!). She hopes to spend more time after retirement on research and writing.
The Rector has some hopes and possible plans for our congregation and its life in this community. It would be good to develop the garden at St Modoc’s as a place for people to come in, rest, ponder and pray. Secondly, having found quite a market for Malawi Fairtrade products, it would be worth trying a periodic Fairtrade stall or market in the church or even in the Rural Hall. Finally, we have space in front of the church to make more of a display at Christmas, with a tree and crib scene – and perhaps an Easter garden? It’s a way to draw people in to the church grounds and to remind them of the Christian significance of the seasons.
Finally, the Rector would 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. Charles Sherlock for presiding when I am away
· 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., especially during the election of a new bishop
· Margaret and Bob Mitchell for offering delicious refreshments so faithfully
· Those who decorate the church with flowers so beautifully
· The Sacristans team
· 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.
31 January 2019
During 2018 we have continued to carry out routine maintenance, servicing and improvements to the fabric of St Modoc’s Church . This work was particularly important to complete ahead of the Quenquennial Survey Report that was carried out on the 18th of December 2018 . I will refer to that report later on .
In my Fabric Report at the AGM in 2017, I stated that we were trying to tidy up the storage of various items of importance in the Vestry and that we were looking for a cupboard . This was achieved in January last year with the acquisition of a large storage cupboard purchased at auction in Kinbuck at the bargain price of £18. Two coats of paint and the cupboard was installed in the Vestry for the exclusive use of our Rector .
As reported at the last AGM , efforts were trying to be made to remove the moss that had accumulated on the north side of the Church roof . The main problem was that the hired cherry picker was out of action and then it was a matter of coordinating the availability of the cherry picker , the operator and the weather. This was eventually achieved last autumn , when the roof was also treated to prevent re growth of the moss, the rhones and down pipes were clean out. There is an area at the eastern end of the roof that will be treated off ladders this summer.
The Quinquennial Survey Report was carried out by Kevin Webster, Chartered Surveyor of Hardies on the 18th December 2018 and his findings arrived this week, there are copies of his report available here if anyone would like to read it.
I quote from the surveyor’s conclusions of the report :-
Generally, the property is in good order throughout with no major defects noted. It is clear that the property is well looked after and maintained and repaired to a high standard should it be deemed necessary.
All the repairs that were highlighted in the previous report have been undertaken .
As reported previously, I would recommend that the items such as the roof continue to receive maintenance if and when required to eliminate any water ingress entering the fabric of the building .
Internally, the Church is in good overall condition . The staining to the ceiling remains , although historic with the roof having received attention to eliminate the source. There are no other defects of note that require any immediate attention.
The services are all in good condition and like the structure of the building are well maintained and tested if and when required .
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, they also planted a large quantity of daffodil bulbs along the north boundary wall , which were donated through Kilmadock Community Council. Our thanks to Ella McEwen for cleaning the Church and for raking the gravel each week. 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 the decorations for the Harvest Festival and Christmas .
The Proposed Project in memory of Rita Barth reported at the last AGM, is about to come to fruition. It has taken more time than anticipated to obtain the necessary permissions required for Listed Building, Planning Permission, Building Warrant and approval from the Diocese under Canon Law 35 for this improvement to the Church to take place .
This week I inspected the European Oak Frame and door in John McLeod’s workshop, it is now near completion and Alison has chosen the colour of the stain finish today to match with the oak pews . In addition, a matching board with shelf above for coat hooks will be installed with the frame and door to replace the curtains during the week beginning the 11th of February . The Legacy left to St Modoc’s Church by Rita , will provide a welcoming entrance to the Church for the benefit of the Congregation .
The report consists of 3 pages. The first page shows receipts and payments.
First section – Giving is fairly similar to last year. However, we were able to claim a significantly higher amount of gift aid from HMRC. You will see the amount of £8,190 under tax reclaimed. This is claimed on money gifted in the previous financial year, which had shown a large increase.
About a third of the way down the page – fund-raising is shown under other charitable giving. This is fund-raising actually for St Modoc’s, which for this year is negligible. The fund-raising we have done for other charities is shown on Page 3.
After the sub totals is an amount of £104.55. This is the balance left of the money raised in the Easter collection and is used by the Rector for her professional development, for example on seminars and Diocesan meetings.
The other amount of £356.91 is the balance of the money raised for Malawi in the year to September 18 after paying for the rice purchased. This has been added to significantly since the year end.
Payments are mainly consistent with last year, except less was spent on property this year. Last year’s spending was mainly on stained glass windows.
The figure at the bottom of the page shows a surplus for the year of £10,345.
2nd page – To explain the situation with the investments. During the last financial year, the Vestry decided, after much discussion, to transfer all our investments from Barclays to CCLA. The £1000 with CCLA shown under bank balances was the initial deposit in order to open the account. Since the year end the whole balance at Barclays, which was valued at £184,542 at year end, has been transferred across. It was explained that Barclays had wanted to change the fund in which our investments were held, in a way that the Vestry were not happy with. Eventually the Vestry had decided to split the investments in half between Barclays and CCLA but Barclays said this wasn’t possible. Details on CCLA were given, who were chosen after much research into other Investment companies.
3rd page – Regarding the money raised for other charities, at the bottom of the page, this does not have to actually be shown as part of the income and expenditure in the annual accounts, so is here for reference only. During the year we have raised over £4,000 for other charities, although, that figure is inflated a bit as it does include the Harvest Supper from October 2017 and part of the ticket sales for the Harvest Supper of October 2018. Although it does not include additional money raised at the Ukrainian Duo Concert. Its important to emphasise that all money given to St Modoc’s by way of weekly envelopes or standing orders is not given to other charities. All the amounts shown here have been raised separately.
With regard to the point raised regarding budgeting and reserves, the Vestry will look at setting a budget for Outreach.