St Mary’s Church Cleobury Mortimer

Minutes of the PCC Meeting held at 1930 on Thursday 15 September 2022


Present: Rev Ashley Buck (Chairman), Liz Smith, Nigel Hodgson, Barbara Martin, Chris Kippin, Hannah Coleman, Ina Hodgson, Linda Lambert. Peter Sniadowski and Sarah Wilde.

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

2          Apologies for absence: Rev Joe Simons, Francesca Kinross, Carol Turner.

3          Minutes: those of the meeting of 21 July were approved, subject to the addition of Nigel and Ina Hodgson to the list of those present, proposed PS, seconded NH.

4          Matters arising not covered elsewhere on the agenda:

The SHCT Ride & Stride had been postponed to 24 September because of the period of national mourning.

5          Finance:

·         HC’s report, previously circulated, was noted. There were no questions.

·         It was agreed that, because the publicity for the beer festival had said that the proceeds were to be for ‘improvements to our church’ and the beer had been sponsored by individuals for that purpose, profit from the beer would go into a restricted fund. Profit from the food, however, was not subject to that restriction and would therefore go into unrestricted funds.

6          Pastoral matters

It has now been more officially confirmed that Sarah Lupton would be undergoing her curacy in the benefice.

7          Pastoral Care Group

The Group continues to provide much-needed support in the community in several ways. ES would provide a fuller report in November. It was still planned to offer training in bereavement counselling skills.

8          Youth and family work

There would be a meeting next week between Mark and Bev Greaves, JS and WAB to discuss current and future plans. A strategic review of the Project, which would include trustees and stakeholders was scheduled for 29 September. This would be professionally curated.

9          Deanery Synod

·           WAB outlined some of the financial challenges facing the Diocese, and their implications on clergy numbers. The Diocese was finding it hard to recruit clergy to the area, and the age profile of existing clergy implied more retirements.

·           BM said that she was not receiving communications about Deanery Synod meetings. CK would take this up with the Diocese.

10        Safeguarding

No issues to report.

11        Church Architect

Representatives of several of the churches in the Benefice had had a meeting with Libby Watts, of Liberty Rose Architects, with a view to her being appointed our architect. The meeting had been beneficial, with those present feeling that she would be a good choice. CK had subsequently asked her if she would be likely to accept if offered the post, and she confirmed that she would. Proposed CK, seconded ES, that Libby be offered the post and carried.

12        Tower Project

The project was moving forward steadily. A report is attached to these minutes. Since the report had been written the following developments had taken place:

·         We had had formal notification from the Hereford Diocesan Guild of Bellringers Bell Restoration Fund that we had been awarded a grant of £800.

·         We had received our first VAT refund of £1117.79 from the Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme.

·         We had had a quote of £500 plus VAT from Shire Consulting to do the floor strength survey. This had been accepted.

·         Due to a cancellation the survey would be done on the day after this meeting.

·         Once we had the result of the survey, Recclesia should be able to draw up a specification and firm price for the staircase work.

·         Approval to go ahead with the list of additional desirable items attached to the report was given, subject to firm costings and funds being available.

13        Further projects

NH proposed that we should now reconvene the Church Development Group (WAB, ES, CK, HC and PS) to agree our next improvement project while we still had momentum. A meeting was agreed for Thursday 1 December at 1130.

14        Funding applications

PS said that he needed a project plan to support funding applications. Agreed that this should follow from the CDG meeting on 1 December.

15        Any other business

·         The arrangements for the beer festival were discussed and confirmed. As the beer had been sponsored, our overall costs were expected to be under £500, we were expecting a good margin on both beer and food.

·         Winter Warmth Initiative. This was a town initiative which both St Mary’s and SMYP were supporting. Food would be available on different days in the various locations, but the church would be open every day as a warm space.

·         Christmas Draw: this would be arranged again by ES and CT.

·         We needed to appoint a new representative on the Market Hall Committee in place of Roger Skelhorn. The person appointed need not be a member of the PCC.

·         There was a need to erect more signage around the church and the Market Hall regarding parking.

·         Replacement of fencing around the boiler house. NH requested that we consider replacing the wooden fence, which had been damaged by young people, with a more substantial steel palisade fence. He had obtained a quote of £1520 plus VAT and was awaiting a second quote. It was agreed to proceed with this on the basis of that quote, or a lower one if one could be obtained and was otherwise satisfactory.

·         Organ tuning: Trevor Tipple had decided to retire from tuning and had recommended Richard Young of Rugby. CK was arranging for Richard to come to tune the organ as soon as possible.

16        Next meetings

Thursdays, 17 November, 19 January 2023, 16 March, all at 1930 in the Market Hall.

The meeting closed with the Grace at 2122.




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


Treasurers Report

15th September 2022



As at 01.09.22


Bank Account


Restricted funds (BDF, projects, R&CWDF, Messy Church, choir, funerals)


Unrestricted (includes £800 beer festival sponsorship)



Parish Share

From August 2022, a monthly standing order of £2,000 has been in place.  From January, it will be amended to meet our 2023 promise (currently a minimum of £20,000).


The Impact Report 2021-22 has been received, and is available to look at here or there is a hard copy if any one wishes to borrow it.


PayAz sum up machine

The new machine continues to be used by visitors and the congregation.  It should prove invaluable during the XII Holy Ales Festival.


Tower Project

The Lottery grant of £10,000 was safely received in August.  Over £8,000 has been collected so far following CK’s sponsored walk.



Farmers Market refreshments (August) - £91



Thanks should be extended to Mr Price for repairing the external pipe free of charge.


H. Coleman



St Mary’s, Cleobury Mortimer


Tower project progress report 8 September



The planned progress update in the August Clarion didn’t turn out as I expected. The Editor wanted to run a story about my walk, so that’s what was printed. I didn’t feel that this was relevant to our website, so I haven’t posted it. However, I will post this update and will try to arrange a further update in the October Clarion. I have also written an account of my walk which I will post on the website for those interested.

Funding – money in

Rather to my surprise, my application to Awards for All (National Lottery), was successful, and we were awarded the full amount of £10,000. I have heard nothing from the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers, but I am not expecting to hear either way until the end of this month. I was expecting that the application to the Hereford Diocesan Guild of Bellringers Bell Restoration Fund for the frame painting would not be considered until next year, but I have just heard that it has been approved in the sum of £800. We have heard nothing yet about our application to Allchurches Trust.

My sponsored walk was successfully completed on 3 August. With a few amounts still to come in I have received over £8400, with an additional £1800 estimated to come through Gift Aid.

I applied on 15 July to the Listed Places of Worship grant scheme to reclaim VAT on our first two invoices for the deposits, amounting to £1117.79 and this has now been received

Funding – money out

We have paid deposits for the clock work and the frame painting, and this had virtually exhausted the c£7000 we had in hand. However, with the £10,000 from Awards for All, we will be in a position to pay for the floor survey, though at the moment we don’t have either a quote or a timescale. The next payments after that will probably be presumably a deposit to Recclesia once we have an agreed plan for the staircase, and a further payment to Nicholson’s once they start work in October. I am keeping touch with the Friends who are willing to pay their grant in instalments as required. My sponsorship money should all be in by the end of September and can then be paid into the church bank account. The Gift Aid will be applied for after that, once I have all the details I need.


The clock was removed by Cumbria Clock Company on 3 August. I have not yet had any news about when it will be reinstalled.

Bell frame

The bell frame painting is scheduled for 26/9 to 28/10 and the bells will be out of action during that time.


We have now got permission from the Diocese to drill pilot holes in the tower floor. We have had a quote of £500 plus VAT; this was accepted and the work was done on Friday 16 September. We await the official report, but the indication seems to be good.


Chris Kippin 8 September 2022