Annual Church Meeting 2021

Annual Church Meeting 2021



Minutes of the Annual Church Meeting held on Tuesday 27th April 2021 on Zoom


1.        Prayers: the meeting opened with prayer led by Rev Gareth Jones.

2.        Apologies for absence were received from Josie Smith, Alison Gregg , Pat & Chris Rogers, Rachel and Michael Wildgust, Jane and David Chapman, Judith Loveman, Janet & Bob Ash. There were 46 attendees.

3.        Approval of Minutes: the Minutes of the previous Annual Meeting held on 29th October 2020 were agreed to be an accurate record of the meeting and would be signed by the Chair after the following correction:

Item 5 c  “The report reflected changed in worship” to read “The report reflected changes in worship”

4.       Matters arising from the Minutes: none.

5.       Reports: reports had been sent in advance by email to members and friends of SAPLC and printed copies offered to those who requested them. Reports were tabled except those that needed comment or clarification.  

  1. General Report on the Life of the Church: Gareth Jones said he was conscious that so many people had played a part in the life of the church in the last year and was unable to name them all.
  2. Church Membership report including Electoral Roll: report tabled. Judith Roberts reported the revised figures:

Electoral Roll                             76  (Joint members 55, Anglican only members 21)

Methodist only members           46

Friends                                       26

  1. Worship Planning Committee: report tabled. John Cripps asked about live-streaming services – Clare Loughridge said it was hoped to stream the afternoon service on 16th May.  
  2. Property and Finance Committee: Interim Accounts and Budget tabled.

Property: report tabled. John Cripps said the caretaker had been signed off work for another 3 weeks; we were grateful to her husband for opening and closing SH every day. A cleaner had been employed so cleaning was being done, but not as often as by the caretaker. The meeting sent best wishes to Debbie.

Finance: Treasurer’s report tabled. The Treasurer said income had been £91,000, expenditure £69,000 in the 6 months covered by the report. If the planned repairs were done, he hoped to break even. He thanked the Church Administrator for doing a very good supportive job. 

In response to a question about the recent Giving Renewal appeal, the Giving Secretary said there had been a good response, with some very generous donations. 

David Body (Chair) said we depended on the work done by the Treasurer and Administrator in producing figures and forecasts, and he acknowledged the Treasurer’s contribution to the development of a strategy for dealing with the situation caused by the pandemic. SAPLC was maintaining Circuit and Diocesan contributions and charitable donations, and support to the Fir Vale Food Bank and Baby Basics, and had had generous donations from the congregation.

  1. Pastoral Work (including Church Links): report tabled. Judith Roberts thanked the Links leaders for keeping in touch with people.
  2. Music: report tabled. David Body acknowledged Simon Dumpleton’s involvement and contribution to the online services and said we should acknowledge how high the standards have been. He thanked Simon on behalf of the meeting.
  3. Interfaith Centre: report tabled. Caroline Cripps said the year had gone well, with meetings on Zoom, which she encouraged people to attend.   
  4. Family & Children: report tabled. Gareth Jones thanked Imogen Clout, and added that he had taken an assembly at Clifford All Saints School in Black History Month with Anesia Cook (Diocesan Advisor on Black and Ethnic Minorities), so both he and Imogen had taken assemblies.  
  5. Safeguarding: report and revised Safeguarding Policy tabled. Janet Loughridge apologised for a mistake in the report – the approval date was December 2020, not September 2019.
  6. Peace and Justice: report tabled. Anne Hollows said Justice would be a big focus over the next couple of years, and would be the theme of the next edition of Nexus. She thanked Simon Dumpleton and the choir for “singing” at her mother’s funeral. John Cripps asked for an update on the All We Can campaign – Janet Loveman was keeping in touch; the usual activities had been suspended during lockdown but would resume when lockdown eased enough.
  7. Eco-Congregation: report tabled. David Body said it was good to see the gardens taking shape, and that solar panels and heat pumps were to be reconsidered.
  8. Ecclesall Deanery Synod: report tabled. Imogen Clout said that the map included was inadequate and did not show churches’ strengths and lay involvement.

David Body said that the Diocese had asked for a response to its Mission Action Plan 4; a small group was drafting this, and would say that after a year of lockdown, this is a good time for reconsidering and planning. Gareth Jones said there was not yet a similar Circuit exercise.

  1. Circuit Meeting: no report available.
  2. Clifford School: report tabled. It was good to see an acknowledgement of support from the 2 churches involved with the school.


David Body said it was noticeable how much had been going on despite the lockdown. He thanked all who prepared reports.

6.         Elections.

  1. Church Stewards and Wardens: there were no nominees for the second Steward or Churchwarden posts. Various people commented on this worrying lack of volunteers:
  • Gareth Jones expressed worry that we would struggle to have services in church without a full team;
  • David Body invited anyone who felt they could fill one of these roles to step forward;
  • Simon Dumpleton offered to help with some duties in church;
  • Janet Loughridge said there was much more to these roles than running services;
  • Kweku Ackom-Mensah said it was important for everyone to take part in the life of the church – he had enjoyed finding out how the church functions;
  • Anna Calvert did not know what was involved and asked that a basic job description be circulated – Clare Loughridge offered to do this;
  • Caroline Cripps said the Diocese produces a very clear description of the legal responsibilities of Churchwardens;
  • John Harding said the roles were not identical but there was some overlap; both needed to be defined;
  • Imogen Clout said online training was available;
  • Mary Kenward asked whether the membership list had been checked for people under 70 years of age who could start to take over roles;
  • David Body said we should not think of how many years people had been in in church, or of a certain age – we need younger people to take responsibility.

Kweku Ackom-Mensah and Clare Loughridge were declared re-elected.

(Each Steward and Warden serves for 4 years from the date of first election)

[Caroline Cripps later volunteered to serve as Churchwarden]


  1. Ecumenical Church Council

Clergy, Churchwardens, Stewards, a Circuit representative (Katrin Hackett), 4 Circuit Co-Superintendents are ex-officio members; Methodist members can serve 6 years (but do not have to); all members are elected annually.

Nominations had been received for: Bill Atherton, David Body (Chair), John Booler, Anna Calvert, Jenny Carpenter, Imogen Clout, Caroline Cripps, John Cripps, Joseph Dey, Alison Gregg, John Harding, Anne Hollows, Janet Loughridge, Peter Mitchell, Rachel Morris, Judith Roberts.

          All nominees were declared elected.

7.       Joint Church Council: The Joint Church Council is responsible for the Sharing Agreement on the church property.

The council consists of:

Methodist: the Minister (or a Circuit Superintendent if the minister is Anglican), 2 Stewards and 3 members - currently Mary Kenward, Judith Roberts, Janet Evans; Anglican: the Incumbent (or Area Dean if the minister is Methodist), 2 Churchwardens and 3 members - currently David Body, Imogen Clout and Rodney Godber.


8.       Renewal of licence for Quakers’ use of Shirley House for Worship. The Chairman explained that it had been agreed at the Annual Church Meeting in 2013 that the Quaker licence should be renewed every year, and this was proposed and seconded. Carried Nem Con. 

Gareth Jones said he had been to a Quaker Meeting (in Room 1 to allow social distancing) in Summer 2020. We would normally be having a joint service at about this time. He suggested the letter to the Quakers could also say that we have missed these joint services and look forward to reinstating them.

Janet Loughridge to contact the Quakers to tell them they would be very welcome to come to the Sunday2 service on 9th May.

Caroline Cripps said there was to be an Interfaith Centre meeting on “Quaker concepts of God” in October.


9,       Any Other Business: none

David Body thanked members for attending the meeting, and report-writers for their reports. A lot had been achieved despite the lockdown, and SAPLC was in good condition for the return to normal.

10.      Concluding prayers: the meeting closed with the Grace.


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