NEWS

APCM report 2017

Vicar’s Report
 
Review of the Year
The flow of the year was dominated by my Sabbatical leave between June and August 2016. As you know I spent some of my time with clergy friends around Europe observing the dynamics of parish life in the widely differing contexts of the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches in 3 different countries; I was enormously privileged to meet a wide range of clergy and renewed lasting friendships. I was also able to spend time with family and friends in ways that parish life can sometimes squeeze out. A consequence of my sabbatical has been an increased energy and clarity about the next phase of our life together. 
 
Building
Finishing the two lower roofs and then being able to initiate work to repair the Main roof is vital but often overlooked in the life of a church. I’m hugely indebted to Joshua Berry, Wilson Haagens, Andy Stocker, Greg Philip and Richard Johns for steering this process. Making repeated applications to funding bodies or chasing revenue streams is not exciting work which only goes to deepen my gratitude. Finishing the work on the Weekday Chapel has meant that congregations during the week have increased by more than 400%. Buildings however are not simple things and refurbishing them is not always straightforward either! Cathy Williams Baker and Zanni Stead were persistent, imaginative and determined not to be beaten by delays in the refurbishment of the kitchen. We are hugely grateful to Peques Nursery for supporting the work of the Nightshelter this year whilst we waited for faculty from the Diocese.
 
Deanery Synod
Philip Austin and Andrew Harley continue to represent the parish to the wider community of parishes in Hammersmith and Fulham. Philip has been appointed to the group working to develop new forms of ministry from St John’s. I am increasingly excited by the opportunities Philip’s work is making possible for us – watch this space!
 
People
Ben Woodward’s Sabbatical Leave in Germany last year reminded us how much we have come to be nourished by his music making and the lead he gives us in our worship. It’s good to have him and Cat, our Cantor, back and Bach’s St Matthew Passion this Holy Week was a splendid and moving offering. Every year I reiterate how much we owe Richard Johns for his able and thorough stewardship of our finances. His ‘can-do’ attitude means the whole PCC knows exactly where we are in our planning. During my sabbatical you enjoyed the contrasting style of Fr Bruce Bridgewood who has been delighted to continue as a visiting preacher. I am also hugely encouraged by the ministry of Dr Tina Beardsley, formerly Head of Chaplaincy at Chelsea and Westminster and an experienced priest, who has enjoyed becoming part of our community.  I was delighted when, for Lent 3, our Administrator Margaret Kardacz, was able to be at Mass. You got to meet the immensely able, unflappable and caring person whose presence in the Parish Office is a blessing to us all.
 
Pastoral Care
Whilst old age continues to take its toll it is always a privilege to minister to members of the congregation who are now less physically able. It’s a great thing that we now have a team of people prepared to take Holy Communion to the Sick and Housebound. I am grateful to them all. Working with the West London Family Church’s Bridget Steenkamp to provide monthly Eucharists in Farm Lane Residential Home with the London Oratory School and volunteers from our own congregation has been a great joy this year. 
 
Communications 
Ably guided by Claudine Church the PCC has been thinking about how as well as what we communicate. Charlie Campbell continues to provide our regular newsletter which is now backed up by Andrew Harley’s work on the website ensuring both workability and readability. As we approach our 185th birthday (in 2018) we are looking again at how we look to the outside world in order that we can commend Christ more effectively and I’m excited by plans laid with Denise Simon and Olga Temnik to make our communication clearer and more consistent.
 
50th Birthday
I’m still reeling from the big birthday I celebrated last month – not so much the chronology but the time, effort and energy that so many people put into the day. I realise how very lucky I am to be here in Fulham, working as your parish priest. Thank you.
 
Thanks too go to all those whose tireless care and attention goes often unremarked and unacknowledged: Alston Howard, who will turn his hand to whatever needs doing, Dot Dawes for her good humoured shouldering of a pile of ironing, Nicky Brisley for her work in the Sacristy, Penny Comerford for continuing her lonely role as the sole flower arranger at St John’s, Hagar Richardson for leading the volunteers of the Lunch Club with unfailing good humour and unflagging energy; and to the others, who I’ve not forgotten, who make our community the hospitable parish we want it to be.
 
May God continue to bless and keep us.
 
Fr Mark
 
Churchwardens' Report
 
We have been without an Electoral Roll Officer now for almost 2 years and are very grateful to Rosie Heys for stepping up to ensure that new faces in the congregation are included in this part of our life. We currently have 113 people on roll, 3 have moved away since last year and there are 28 new names since last year. 69 people live in the parish of St John’s and 44 live outside the parish. Rosie is unable to deal with the paperwork part of the job so, if you’re regular at Mass, like meeting new faces and can operate a simple Excel format perhaps you’d like to take on the role of Electoral Roll Officer?
 
The PCC met three times over the year. It discharged its duty to review our Safeguarding Policy that is fully compliant with national guidelines. 
 
Log Book, Terrier and Inventory The inventory is up to date. The Log Book relates the repairs required in the building and is up to date. Repairs this year have included the conclusion of new lighting in the Weekday Chapel, repainting the Lower Hall and Chapel and the replacement of the cooker and dishwasher in the Kitchen. The PCC began repairs to the Main Roof.
 
Fabric, fixtures and fittings A decision was made to restore the brass work in church in memory of Marianne Johns. Following the breakage of the statue of the Sacred Heart the PCC will be able to replace the Sacred Heart and introduce a statue of St John, which will go into the Weekday Chapel.
 
Financial Review – Trustees' Report 
 
Unrestricted Funds
 
1. The total income on general unrestricted funds amounted to £131,730 and is detailed in the Financial Statements. This represented an increase of 6% compared to 2015.
 
2. The overall level of income from donors increased by 3% to £34,980. The decline in planned giving through banker’s orders was halted thanks to a concerted effort but at £13,792 is still below the 2014 peak. Sunday cash collections were slightly down but additional ad hoc donations more than compensated. 
 
3. The PCC received no grants in 2016. Of the grant of £13,104 from the Dr Edwards and Bishop of Fulham Fund in 2015 an amount of £8,646 remains unspent, as the PCC did not succeed in recruiting a replacement halls worker, and is shown as a creditor on the Balance Sheet. The Grantor has agreed that the PCC should retain the moneys for the time being in the expectation that a community worker will be recruited in the coming year. 
 
4. Income from the letting of the church premises increased by 16% to £68,002 in 2016. Our new tenant, Holiness Unto the Lord International Church, has proven to be a success and we have a number of tenants active in both social and cultural fields which contribute to our goal of “St Johns at the heart of Fulham” as well as to our coffers. Two practical exercises in democracy brought a further contribution through the use of the church as a polling station.
 
5. Table-top sales held three days a week in the churchyard, initiated by Jenny Locke-Tozer, have developed beyond expectations in 2016 with an increase of 37% to £17,053 and this activity is clearly greatly valued by the wider community. A successful Bistro Night and Saturday Café organised by Cathy Williams-Baker to raise funds for the purchase and installation of a new cooker, sorely needed for our Lunch Club and Nightshelter activities, raised some £2,200. Unfortunately purchase and installation has not yet taken place as we have been waiting for more than three months for approval from the diocese. A provision of £3,000 to cover the cost has been set aside and is included in creditors on the Balance Sheet.
 
6. The total cost met from general unrestricted funds was £117,803 compared to £123,335 in 2015 and is detailed in the Financial Statements. Expenditure of a capital nature amounted to £3,000, being the aforementioned new cooker, compared to £5,268 in 2015.
 
7. The amount paid by the PCC to the Diocese increased by 4% to £39,973. This covers the housing and stipend and pension costs of the clergy and also a standard sum for diocesan central costs, clergy training and a contribution to national church funds. It represents only 52% of the costs allocated to this church compared with 51% in 2015. The PCC has agreed with the Deanery to increase our contribution by 1% each year until 2021. Further increases will be made should future financial resources so permit.
 
8. Costs incurred for the remaining normal activities of the church showed a decrease of 1% to £71,067 in 2015.  An increase of £3,290 in the cost of our principle activity, namely the provision of church services accompanied by beautiful music, was more than offset by the saving of the £4,458 cost of a halls worker spent in 2015. In line with our policy an amount of £9,280 was spent on building maintenance with improvements to the heating, water, electricity and fire-alarm systems. 
 
9. The accounts showed an unrestricted funds surplus on normal activities of £13,927 in 2016 compared to a surplus of £479 in 2015. This surplus has been sufficient to achieve the required level of reserves and thus for the immediate future the goal of the PCC will be to maintain a break-even position on its normal activities.
 
Building Fund
 
1. The Building Fund was established to receive grants and other income to be expended solely on the renovation of the church building of St. John’s Fulham. The Stage 1 works, comprising strengthening the tower and replacing the side-aisle roofs, were substantially completed in 2015. 
 
2. Stage 1 consultants’ fees accrued at the end of 2015 proved to be £1,359 lower than anticipated leading to a final cost from 2015 onwards of £230,706. To this can be added £52,074 spent on consultants’ fees between 2010 and 2014 giving a total cost of £282,780.. VAT paid on costs, amounting to £46,107, was reclaimable under the Listed Places of Worship scheme. All costs have now been paid with the exception of the 2.5% retention on the PAYE contract amount, amounting to £5,100 plus VAT which will be paid in 2017. The full amount is included in creditors and the reclaimable VAT is included in debtors.
 
3. We have not yet received confirmation that the final 5% of our grant for Stage 1 from English Heritage amounting to £6,700 has been approved and consequently it is not included in these accounts.
 
4. Stage 2 of the renovation project, comprising the comprehensive repair and replacement where necessary of the slate roof over the nave, will take place in 2017. These works have been put out to tender and based thereon the total cost, including consultants’ fees, is forecast to be £118,032 of which £6,840 has been spent in 2015. VAT amounting to £23,426 will be reclaimable under the Listed Places of Worship Scheme. 
 
5. The Listed Places of Worship Roof Repairs Fund has awarded a grant of £90,900 and permission to start has been given. St Johns is therefore required to find £20,292 in 2017, which is more than covered by the balance on the Building Fund of £25,890 at the end of 2016. A further £11,000 of advertising income is booked for Q1 and it is also to be hoped that the final tranche of the English Heritage grant will materialise.
 
Other restricted Funds
There are two other Restricted Funds: 
a. The St James Mission Hall Trust exists to improve the physical condition of the interior of the church; interest of £48 was received in 2016 and there was no further activity. The Fund stood at £10,329 at the end of 2016. 
b. The Music Association has the purpose of organising public concerts in St. John’s Church. There was no activity in 2016 and the balance of the Fund remains at £274. 
 
Reserves Policy 
1. It is PCC policy to maintain a balance on the general Unrestricted Fund which equates to approximately two months worth of unrestricted normal operating costs as contingency against unforeseen situations. PCC unrestricted funds at the year-end amounted to £23,229 which is some 25% above the required level. 
 
2. It is PCC policy to invest significant Fund balances, which are not needed in the immediate future, with the CBF Church of England deposit fund. At the end of 2016 the funds of the St. James Mission Hall Trust amounting to £10,329 were so deposited.
 

Pilgrimage to Walsingham: 9th–11th June ‘17

Walsingham

Pilgrimage is an essential part of life and living. Christians see life itself in terms of a journey, coming from God and returning to God. This is true of other world religions where pilgrimage is also important.

A pilgrimage is a symbol in action. It represents the journey of the Christian life from earth to heaven. The Church is sometimes described as a pilgrim people – sometimes we’ll go for a day (to St Alban’s Abbey) and in 2015 we went to Walsingham for a weekend which proved hugely popular! Why don’t you give it a go?

 

Weekend Programme

Friday 9th June 2017

We’ll leave Fulham at an agreed time – 6.00pm or 6.30pm. This means we miss the worst of the traffic but it means that we’ll get to Walsingham late – 10.30pm or 11.00pm.

Saturday 10th June 2017

0800 – 0900    Breakfast is served from in the Refectory

1000                Mass in the Holy House for our Parish

Free time – to enjoy the beauty and peace of Walsingham

1830 – 1915    Supper in the Refectory

2015                Address, Procession of Our Lady of Walsingham and Healing Ministry (Laying-on of Hands, Anointing and Confession)

Sunday 11th June 2017

0800 – 0900    Breakfast is served from in the Refectory

1100                Parish Mass in St Mary’s, Walsingham

1230                Lunch in the Refectory

1430                Sprinkling at the Well

1600                Procession and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament and Last Visit

2000                Approximate arrival time in London

Accommodation

Most of the accommodation is in the Shrine Grounds just a short walk to the Shrine itself and the Refectory. Bedrooms are many and varied and come in all shapes and sizes depending on where they are and how old the building is! Pilgrims usually chose to share accommodation though there are a limited number of single rooms. There are a limited number of ground floor and disabled rooms, so priority is always given to those in most need. If you’re nervous a torch can be very useful on dark nights.

·         Please note: pilgrims are no longer asked to bring towels and soap. These are provided in all rooms.

·         Pilgrims will need a copy of the Pilgrim Manual which will last for several pilgrimages! These can be purchased in Reception or the Shrine Shop and cost £2.00.

Cost of pilgrimage

We’re going half board (which means bed, breakfast and evening meal)

Friday/Saturday/Sunday. The cost is £108.10 for an adult and £64.86 for a child. Transport costs are difficult to predict because they change depending on numbers going but we think it’ll be approximately £30. We hope to cut this cost!

Want to go? Then St John’s will need a £10 non-refundable deposit by Sunday 5thFebruary 2017 to secure your booking. Please speak to Fr Mark who will take your name and details.

 

WEEKLY AT ST JOHN'S

Sunday
8.30am Holy Communion (BCP)
10.30am Parish Mass (CW) with choir, Crèche and Sunday School
 
Monday
6.00pm Mass in the Weekday Chapel
6.30pm Parish Surgery for enquiries about banns of marriage, baptisms, house blessings, etc.
 
Tuesday
9.00am Holy Hour and Morning Prayer
9.30am Mass in the Weekday Chapel
11.00am Lunch Club activities
12.30pm Lunch Club dinner is served!
 
Wednesday
9.00am Holy Hour and Morning Prayer
9.30am Mass with Anointing of the Sick in the Weekday Chapel
   
Thursday  
11.00am Mass in Farm Lane Residential Centre monthly; see calendar for details
11.30am Latin Line Dance with Open Age H&F
2.30pm Mass in St John's CE School
   
Friday  
The church is open from 8am till late for prayer in the Weekday Chapel - come in and light a candle.
   
Saturday  
The church is open from 8am till late for prayer in the Weekday Chapel - come in and light a candle.
 
 
   

 

Father Mark
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