Last Thursday, we held our Annual Election of Churchwardens and Annual Parochial Church Meeting.
Because our church building could only accommodate 30 following government Covid-19 guidelines, the decision had been taken to hold the meeting remotely using Zoom. There are 130 people on our Electoral Roll, and although we never have all of them present for the APCM, the vicar took the view that any votes taken at the meeting could not be regarded as fair if a maximum of 30 people had been able to attend.
First, we held the Annual Election of Churchwardens. This is a short meeting, at which we simply approve last year's minutes and elect the two churchwardens for the coming year. Both Trevor Mallinson and Ray Parton were willing and had been nominated to serve again. James thanked them both for their varied support in the previous year.
The APCM followed, and mostly this involved working through the Annual Report and Financial Statements for 2019, with people free to ask any questions.
We then elected Jill Berry and Mary Quenby as our representatives on the Shoreham Deanery Synod for the next 3 years, and elected our Welcome Team (formally, "Sidesmen") for the coming year.
The meeting was then shown the video that explains the rationale and progress for the new church hall. The summary is that we've raised and spent about £500,000 so far, but a further £350,000 is needed. Shortly before the meeting, a generous one-off donation of £20,000 (plus Gift Aid) had been received. Monthly pledges enable us to borrow money now to keep the builders on site, knowing we can repay the loan over 5 years; we were waiting to hear from the Diocese if they would approve just such a bridging loan.
After appointing our independent financial examiner for 2020, and spending time in prayer, the meeting drew to a close.
It's always good to meet, to review that year that is past, and to look ahead, seeking God's hand in both the past and in our plans. Hopefully next year we'll be able to do so in our church building, praying and praising God together.
To God be all the glory!