Summary of the PCC Standing Committee Meeting held on 12th May 2020

St Michael and All Angels, Headingley

Summary of the PCC Standing Committee Meeting held on 12th May 2020


Present: Revd Tony Whatmough (Chair); Revd Angela Birkin; Rebecca Crowson; Ann Dudzinski; Malcolm Heath; Tom Herbert; Janet Lewis; Alan Parker. (David Walls in attendance for the first item)

Organist: Four expressions of interest have been received. Two promising candidates were noted. No appointment can be made while lockdown remains in force; distancing issues will need to be considered when the lockdown is lifted. DW will keep in contact with candidates.

Rector’s retirement: Work on TW’s house has been delayed, possibly until July/August. His retirement has been postponed until the end of July. AB remains in shielding.

Closure of the church and church buildings:

(a) Works in church: Water is running brown in church: JL will contact Yorkshire Water. Richard Crooks has reported that builders intend to return to church in w/c 11 May. A check was needed to confirm that this was consistent with the church’s insurance. The Council has cut the grass and tidied the grounds. Paths needed cleaning. The Parish Hall is in good condition, and there have been ongoing refurbishments.

(b) Parish Hall/Youth Centre: Ben Ellis has returned to work, having recently been on paid leave (not furloughed). There are jobs to be done in the hall and youth centre, and the most recent government advice was consistent with a return to work. However, the work that needs to be done is limited while the Hall is not in use. Some users may wish to resume use of the premises, but that would not be possible until there is a change in government advice.

(c) Finance: Parish Hall income has dried up, but expenses continue. Half of the Parish Share has been paid. Financial circumstances have led to some alterations in giving to the church. There was a need to reach donors who gave through the envelope scheme. 

(d) Keeping in contact: TW and AB and others have been using e-mail and phone to maintain contact. Care homes have adequate PPE and there is no evidence of an abnormally high death rate. Diverse contact channels were needed. In the longer term, sorting the electoral roll by postcode could provide a way to establish local contact networks. It was agreed that a letter should be sent to everyone on the electoral roll to maintain contact.

(e) Virtual services: Services have been recorded and published on Youtube. Feedback is limited: there is some evidence of reach at a distance, but the length of time viewers stays with the service cannot be monitored. All Hallows uses Facebook livestreams; St Chads has used Zoom to record multiple contributions which are then edited together.

(f) Christian Aid Week: Since a collection is impossible under current conditions, people should be encouraged to donate through the Christian Aid website.

(g) Funerals and wedding: One planned wedding has been postponed to 2021. Prayers have, in line with maintaining social distance, been offered outside the crematorium and at other venues. Small weddings and funerals with limited participants are under consideration by the government.

(h) Long-term planning: The bishop has suggested that the return to normality will may be very long (2-5 years), and churches should be prepared to remain close for an indeterminate, and probably long, period. Social distancing will need to be maintained when churches reopen. We should prepare for celebration, but also remembrance and memorialisation, when churches re-open.

PCC meetings are not currently feasible, but SC has the authority to make decisions. It will be important to keep PCC members informed, and to ensure that members should not be excluded by a lack of access to technology. 


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