St Mary’s Church Cleobury Mortimer

Minutes of the PCC Meeting held at 1900 on Thursday 24 March 2022


Present: Rev Ashley Buck (Chairman), Rev Joe Simons, Liz Smith, Nigel Hodgson, Barbara Martin, Chris Kippin, Carol Turner, Elizabeth Burton, Hannah Coleman and Ina Hodgson.

1          Opening prayer: WAB opened the meeting with a prayer.

2          Apologies for absence: Linda Lambert, Peter Sniadowski and Sarah Wilde.

3          Minutes: the minutes of the PCC meeting of 18 November were approved, proposed ES, seconded NH. The information bulletin, in lieu of the 27 January meeting, was also approved, proposed ES, seconded CT.

4          Matters arising not covered elsewhere on the agenda:

The purchase of lightweight chairs, mentioned under AOB on 18 November, would not be proceeded with for the time being.

5          Finance:

CT’s report, previously circulated, was noted. A deposit had been paid out of the Projects fund for the restoration of the tower clock (see item 14). In view of the imposition of charges by HSBC, negotiations were in hand to transfer our banking from to Lloyds

6          Pastoral matters

Covered under items 9 and 12.

7          Pastoral Care Group

The Thursday drop-in sessions were being developed to include support for Ukrainian refugees and those hosting them. Our involvement had been noted by Shropshire Council and the Diocese.

8          Youth and family work

SMYP’s work at the Hub continued to grow, especially the drop-in café at the Hub, outreach at CMPS by Naomi, climbing activities and the Active Education Programme, Rock Tots, Naomi’s developing work with the disabled, and the Sunday Session at the Hub, in partnership with Life Central Church. This had recently included six baptisms and more were planned. EB commented that it would have been much better had the baptisms taken place in St Mary’s, and in the ensuing discussion it became clear that there was some disquiet about the relationship between the activities at the Hub and St Mary’s church. There was an expectation by some that the Christian activities at the Hub would be a feeder to the congregation at St Mary’s, but WAB reported that experience elsewhere in the Church of England showed that our experience was not unique. JS suggested that both St Mary’s and the Hub were performing valuable functions, and should be allowed time to see whether cross-fertilisation developed. NH noted a lack of communication between the Hub and St Mary’s, and Mark’s almost complete absence from the latter.


9          Deanery Synod

WAB and JS had attended the recent meeting. The Bishop had reported on where we were, both in the Church of England and in the Diocese. A lot of money and effort had been spent on developing new forms of outreach based on the Holy Trinity Brompton model, but these had largely failed. The pandemic had led to a drop in Sunday congregations, especially young people. There was a crisis of confidence and low morale, but we had to hold our nerve. Some dioceses were reorganising churches into groups, rather on the Methodist Circuit model, but Hereford Diocese continued to work in the traditional model, and was still making clergy appointments to parishes.

10        Safeguarding

Nothing to report.

11        Benefice Administrator

WAB outlined the history of the position, and the current funding model. Grace was paid out of the account held for clergy expenses which was in turn funded by regular payments from the Benefice churches according to a formula based originally on parish share. It was now felt that regarding Grace as a self-employed person was untenable and we were therefore planning for St Mary’s, on behalf of the Benefice, to employ her. JS, in conjunction with Crystal Payroll (payroll providers for SMYP) would draw up a contract and arrange for her salary to be paid.

12        Feedback from MAP group

Stations of the Cross and Compline had been introduced for Lent. The main service on the first Sunday of the month would be a Family Eucharist, using the same order of service as at present, but with some simplification. There were also plans to improve the Sung Eucharist service. There were no plans to increase the number of services across the Benefice, despite requests from some of the churches. Three All Souls’ services were planned where the bereaved could remember their departed loved ones. Special services for the whole community were planned to celebrate work in the community. These would include services for our funeral directors, our food bank, our schools, our emergency services and our Town Council.

13        Miscellaneous CCLA funds

WAB reported that we hold three charity accounts totalling some £4-5000 in CCLA shares. In was intended to consolidate all three funds and lodge them in the PCC’s favour. It was suggested that the money should go into the Rector’s and Church wardens’ Discretionary Fund.

14        Tower Project

CK thanked the PCC for supporting the project, and outlined the current situation. Restoration of the clock and conversion to electric winding would cost about £10000. An order had been placed with Cumbria Clocks and a deposit paid. Painting of the bell frame is likely to cost about the same, but further quotes were being sought. The installation of a spiral staircase to the ringing room in place of the ladder was likely to cost rather more, but the design of the staircase was still being developed. Several of our ringers had been to the night before to Clunbury, where a similar staircase had recently been installed, and were pleased with what they saw. We had been promised a grant of £2000 by the Friends of St Mary’s, and there was about £7000 in the Projects Fund, out of which the clock deposit had been paid. CK wished to reconvene the Church Development Committee to oversee the project and would attempt to convene a meeting.

15        Church annual report

CK reported that much of the information had been received and the report was well advanced. Reminders would be sent to those whose contributions were still outstanding.

16        Any other business

CK reminded members that churchwardens would need to be re-elected at the AGM, and that IH, EB, CT, PS and SW would need to be re-elected to the PCC. There was one vacancy.

17        Next meetings

Thursday 28 April: church annual meetings at 1930, preceded by Holy Communion at 1900, both in church.

Thursday 19 May: first PCC of new church year at 1930 in the Market Hall.

The meeting closed with the Grace at 2100.




Chairman………………………………………….           Date…………………………


Treasurers Report March 24th 2022

I have paid £6000 as a first instalment of Parish Share, I have also paid Lesley Lloyd £1210 owed to her.

We have been able to pay the oil invoices but expect to pay higher prices in view of the current situation, this also applies to electricity.

Hannah and I are continuing to liaise with handover. We are hopeful of transferring to Lloyds Bank and we should have more news at our meeting.

HSBC are now charging us monthly and I was abruptly told that this is not negotiable.

I again must thank our congregation for their continued support financially especially with the calls on our purses at this time.


Current Account:    £22747.00

Restricted Funds:   £15000.00

Unrestricted:           £ 7747.00

Best Wishes Carol