Report on Church Council Meeting, 21 March 2012
The Mint Church Councilmeeting on March 21st
centred mainly but not exclusively
on finance and property issues.
Key points included:
Andrew Green highlighted to the meeting that on 1 September 2011 the Mint had a debt of £170,000 and by 29th February 2012 this had fallen 25% to £122,000 with the help of a one-off donation of £10,000. There had also been significant rental income which had risen to well above initial expectations.
This was excellent news, but it should be remembered that we were facing unexpected repair and maintenance bills this year, as well as increased Circuit assessment, and so there was still a significant task ahead.
The amount payable to the Circuit (covering the costs of the Mint minister and also support for other Churches in the circuit as well as Circuit and District levies) was to increase from £62,000 in 2011-12 to £67,000 in 2012-13.
Discussion on potential formulae for assessing individual Churches for 2013 onwards was taking place at Circuit level. Members hoped that the Circuit might move away from a fixed formula system to a more flexible model which could allow for the particular demands and opportunities in each Church.
It was agreed that as special fund raising events were held, the results should be reflected immediately on the “Debt Reduction Thermometer” in reception.
The Anniversary Gift Day would again be critical for the debt repayment programme, but at this stage it was likely that some of the Anniversary funds might be needed for unscheduled and unexpected repairs and maintenance. It was vital that this was clearly explained ahead of the Anniversary appeal, so that everyone understood the needs of the Church, and exactly how their gifts might be used.
Although we still have outstanding debts of £122,000, these can to some extent be balanced against a reserve of £60,000, which has to be maintained to cover cash flow variations and as a sum available in emergency. It is Methodist policy to retain reserves of this order. There was considerable debate about the appropriate nature and size of our reserves, and the finance group were asked to bring detailed recommendations to the next meeting.
It was agreed that we should purchase
- A stock of new glass communion glasses to replace the current plastic ones
- An annual service contract for the foyer doors
- A three volume organist’s copy of Singing the Faith, when published
- New sound and musical equipment for use by the Korean congregation
The budget for 2012-13, including provision for continued debt repayment, was approved. If this budget was to be achieved, there was a need for increased giving as well as effective and efficient use of our resources.
A comprehensive report from the property group was endorsed.
The two major expenses on repair and maintenance this year relate to electrical work and remedial work on the dry rot in the Wesley Room. Work continues on determining the best and most cost effective way of dealing with the dry rot.
New Appointments The meeting warmly endorsed several new appointments.
- Tae-Hyeong Kim (김태형)was confirmed as new Assistant Korean pastor.
- Sue Cordery had agreed to take on the role of Pastoral Secretary supported by Helen Beardsall and Elizabeth Webb.
- John Draisey had agreed to take the role of Church Council secretary.
- Thelma Bratt had agreed to take over as Lead Communion Steward.
Those standing down were all warmly thanked for all they had done over many years in these roles: Barbara Pillidge (Pastoral Secretary), Martin Myhill (Church Council secretary) and Janice Bore Heath (Communion Steward).
Minister’s Sabbatical Study Leave A group chaired by Irene Jarvis and with Peter Coleman as Secretary is making arrangements for cover during Andrew’s sabbatical (June-Sept 2012). Although Andrew and Liz will be in Exeter for a significant part of the summer, they are not expected to be involved in any way in the life of the Mint during this time. Plans are in hand to cover phone calls; chaplaincy, Circuit and sectional responsibilities; advertising and website; Korean links, Sunday services; special events such as the Anniversary; and weddings, baptisms and funerals and other pastoral concerns.
Future dates were noted including the May Market (19 May),
Safari Supper (16 June) and the Church Anniversary (23 June)
Plans for our bi-centenary in April/May 2013 continued, with plans for
a concert, a flower festival, visiting preachers and a concluding Pentecost Covenant Service. The planning group was working on an overall theme for celebrations.
We are in discussion with the Performing Rights Society and are seeking clarification regarding increased requirements, given the increased use of the Mint as a venue for live music.
Circuit Ministerial Cover:
It was reported that Rev Ann Varker would be taking pastoral charge of Silverton Methodist Church from September 2012.
The meeting unanimously supported Abigail Hardiman’s request for a Note to Preach, and forwarded this to the next Circuit Preachers’ Meeting.
Sunday 20 May 2012 at 12.30pm for Annual Church Meeting (preceded by a ‘Bring and Share’ lunch). Monday 16th July 2012 (Pastoral, Church Life, Mission and Outreach and Worship) and Wednesday 10th October 2012 (Finance and Property)