This has been a busy month with lots going on in the background and at meetings. We are very blessed at St. James with the number of people who support and help the Church and it’s a good time this month to recognise as many of them as possible.
We held our Vestry and Annual Parishioners Meeting on Sunday 18th and it was good to see a few more people in attendance. Due to Covid many of the reports had been circulated ahead and can still be found via our Web Page or from our Secretary. We have had only one Church Warden for a number of years so it was encouraging to see Duncan Robb step forward to join Brian Brown who has carried out this role for some time. We look forward to seeing the work they will continue to do for our Parish. They were sworn in at Church by our Rural Dean Lynda Klimas.
Our existing PCC members all agreed to stand again and Léonie Austin has now joined them so we continue with a full contingent of lay members. Our PCC consists of the lay members, our Church Wardens, Readers, and our new Priest In Charge when he arrives in November. We all look forward to working towards an updated Mission Action Plan and ways forward to help our Church to grow.
It was encouraging to read and receive the various reports - so much work goes on. We really do appreciate the work that has been put in by our Ministry Team in the Vacancy and with Covid causing things to be different. We value the work Greg and Sue Smy have done in keeping the churchyard pristine. A big thanks too to Liz Shortland and her team of cleaners who prepared the Church for us to come back and who keep it clean. Our recent Quinquennial Inspection took place arranged by Brian Brown and it was a pleasure to receive such a good report - the Architect carrying out the inspection saying it was the best kept Church he had been to this year. We need to thank Brian for leading and arranging much of the work to be done over the year. Thank you too to Anne Stiles who represents us on the Deanery Synod and to Gillian Kern who is our Safeguarding Officer. Whilst we have been compliant there are many things to review and put in place for safeguarding following the national report and we will be looking to do this through PCC meetings with guidance from Gillian. A big thanks too was expressed to our Treasurer Linda Brown for the work she does with our finances.
Our Services have continued throughout the month and have been well attended. We do follow Covid steps to keep people as safe as possible and we appreciate the way people have accepted and worked with this. Basically all are welcome to come to Services but we ask you to wear a mask, disinfect your hands at the door and keep the 2 metres social distance from others. It’s not the way we would want Church to be but is a necessity at this time. We are not able to sing so we have recorded music - I have found this different but it’s actually made me follow and listen to the words more! We also now have an NHS QR code at the door if you would like to scan in. We do keep a record of all in attendance for 21 days to be Covid regulation complaint.
We look forward to November and the arrival of Rev David Payne and his wife Jo. We are thrilled to be coming out of Vacancy and look forward to meeting him and seeing his plans for us. Our annual act of Remembrance will take place in the Churchyard on November 8th (subject to any change in Government Regulations). Please do come along to join in - God is a very present help in these difficult times and a loving Father to us - and we will continue to meet in our lovely old church to praise and worship Him.