St Ladoca Parochial Church Council Annual Report 2020

THE PARISH CHURCH OF ST LADOCA IN THE PARISH OF LADOCK

 

The Annual Report and Financial Statement of the Parochial Church Council for

THE PARISH CHURCH OF ST LADOCA IN THE PARISH OF LADOCK 2020

 

                                                                    

 

The Annual Report and Financial Statement of the Parochial Church Council for 2020 for presentation at the Annual Parish Church Council Meeting on Ladock Church.

 

The report has been prepared to comply with the requirements of The Charities Act 2011.

 

Incumbent:    Reverend Joachim Foot

The Sanctuary Probus

 

Associate Priest: Reverend Linda Whetter

Curate: Reverend Paul Salaman

 

Banks:          Lloyds Bank St Austell, CAF Bank

 

Independent Examiner: Mr Geoffrey Warring

 

The Parochial Church Council is a corporate body established by the Church of England. The PCC operates under the Parochial Church Council Measure. The Parochial Church Council is expected by order to register with the charity commissioners.

 

Members of the Parochial Church Council of Ladock Parish Church are either ex-officio or elected by the Annual Church Council meeting in accordance with the Church Representation Rules.

 

The Parochial Church Council met four times during 2020, mainly via video conferencing. Shirley Soper is our designated Safeguarding Officer.

The Standing Committee, which consists of the incumbent, one church warden, treasurer and secretary, is the only committee required by law and has the power to transact the business of the PCC between its meetings, subject to any directions given by the council.

 

Members of the Parochial Church Council for 2020:

 

Incumbent: The Reverend Joachim Foot, Rector of the Probus Benefice.

Non Stipendary Associate Priest: Reverend Linda Whetter

Curate: Reverend Paul Salaman

 

Treasurer: David James

 

Ex officio

Church Warden: Jeremy Sharp

Bell Tower Captain: Jonathan Young

 

Head Teacher of Grampound Road School,  Head Teacher Ladock School (Chris Stoyles)

 

Elected members

Chair: Reverend Joachim Foot

Lay Vice Chair: Shirley Soper

Associate Priest: Reverend Linda Whetter Curate: Reverend Paul Salaman Secretary: Jennifer Thomas Safeguarding Officer: Shirley Soper Fabric Officer: Simon Holborow

Administration and Electoral Roll Officer: Barbara Holt

Deanery Synod Representatives: Vanessa Morcom and Suzanne Smith

 

At the beginning of 2020 the Electoral Roll number stood at 35. Sadly, three members of the congregation died during 2020 so the number on the Electoral Roll is now 32.

 

Churchwarden’s Report

Dealing with pandemics is not usually included in the list of churchwarden’s duties, but when they happen one learns fast. Not surprisingly, Covid 19 overshadowed everything and everyone from March onwards: very quickly it became clear that there was no point in making any plans for the future; the only option was to seek to respond to developments on a day to day basis, trying to remain positive in the face of the order to close all churches for the first time since 1208. But thanks to the commitment of our clergy and our very resilient church community, we were able to reopen immediately after the first lockdown and gradually to return to something resembling normality. By Christmas, our traditional pattern of Sunday and weekday services had resumed, the choir had returned and attendances had recovered. The lockdown in January 2021 brought all this good progress to a halt. At the time of writing we are still open for services but it remains to be seen whether the impact of the lockdown this time will be more serious. Knowing the dedication and enthusiasm of those with whom I am fortunate to work, I am very optimistic that we will rise to this challenge as we have done in the past.

 

2020 Overview Objectives and Activities

The objective of the Parochial Church Council of Ladock Parish Church is to exercise the responsibility of co-operating with the incumbent in promoting the Ecclesiastical Parish, the whole mission of the Church: pastoral, evangelistic, social and ecumenical.

 

Clergy: Our Rector Joachim Foot and our Associate Priest Linda Whetter were joined during the year by our Stipendiary Curate Paul Salaman. Almost immediately he was able to use his considerable technical skills in helping to establish online and recorded services for us all. He has spent much of his time seeking to get to know the Benefice; a difficult task in these socially distanced times. All three of clergy have worked hard to ensure that services have been maintained. We are very grateful to all them for the work they do on our behalf.

 

Services: The Church has been open whenever permitted by the Covid guidelines. Services were suspended in March but resumed as soon as the restrictions were relaxed. We were able to hold a VJ Day service, attended by the High Sheriff; we also managed to organise a socially distanced Harvest service. The Remembrance Sunday service had to be abandoned but there was a commemoration at the War Memorial. There was also a rededication of the War Memorial on 20 December, to mark the centenary of its unveiling by Silvanus Stephens, the vice-chairman of the Parish Council at the time. A wreath was laid by Renfree Stephens, his grandson.

The Church and churchyard were used for several recorded services during the first lockdown but the lack of an internet connection restricted the scope for online activities. Most of the online services have come from Probus.

Sadly the School has been unable to use the Church since March.

 

Choir: The choir ceased singing in March, but our new organist Margaret Edwards and Jo Nicolle were able to rally the choristers and they were able to sing for VJ Day, the congregation remaining silent of course. Social distancing rules made it impossible to have a carol service in the traditional format, but the choir carols in the service on the Sunday before Christmas. Our thanks to Margaret and all the choir for helping to remind us of how things used to be and hopefully will be again in the not too distant future.

 

Pastoral: Here too, social distancing and shielding regulations have made it almost impossible to maintain pastoral activities. We have sought to make sure that as many people as possible are made aware of the contact details of the clergy. In particular Reverend Linda Whetter has sought to speak with as many people in the community as possible who are known to be shielding or vulnerable.

Shirley Soper has been sending cards containing our good wishes to the elderly and isolated, churchgoers and non-churchgoers alike, on a regular basis. There have been many expressions of gratitude and we feel that we may have brought the Church closer to the community as a whole.

 

Reverend Joachim and Mrs Roxana Foot started a Sunday Club for children on one Sunday a month during the year, using the refurbished children’s area in the Church. Attendances were encouraging, rising on each occasion, albeit from a modest base. Unfortunately the Club had to be suspended at the end of the year as the third lockdown loomed.

 

Fund Raising: Most fund-raising activities, including the fete, a flower festival and two concerts, were cancelled. Maureen and Michael Cole kindly opened their garden at Nansawsan in February for Snowdrop Sunday, a wet afternoon when visitors gathered in the cosy kitchen for refreshments and chat. We were able to hold a very successful Christmas Draw, raising over £600.

 

Bell Ringing: Jonathan Young has taken over as Captain of the Tower. Covid restrictions have made ringing almost impossible but a bell was tolled for VE Day and on VJ Day; four bells were rung on Christmas Day by a Young family ‘bubble’.

 

Service: Renfree Stephens retired from the PCC after thirty years and as many as a ringer. He was presented with a gift from the PCC at the War Memorial rededication service in December. In December, we learned that Shirley Soper was to receive a High Sheriff’s Unsung Heroes’ award in recognition all that she has done so quietly, sensitively and effectively over many years.

 

Ecumenical: During the year we learned that Grampound Road Chapel was to close in December. Thus the Covenant came to an end amidst great sadness. We have been looking at ways of maintaining a Church presence in the village, by holding services in the School. We are also seeking to see whether it might be possible to offer to hold occasional Methodist services at Ladock.

 

Health and Safety

The year had been dominated by ensuring that the Church is compliant with Covid and social distancing restrictions. We believe we have been able to achieve safe environment without causing too much disruption. The electrical equipment was PAT tested during the year.

 

Churchyard Report

Colin Haines has continued to maintain the churchyard. Once again, we are grateful to him for all his hard work.

The paths to the main burial area were resurfaced during the early summer. This has improved the overall look and safety of the churchyard and has received several favourable comments. We are grateful to the Parish Council for their assistance with the cost of the work.

 

Churchyard Extension

Further investigation of the Extension site has revealed several additional water mains under the surface of which we were unaware at the time purchase. Their presence has reduced considerably the area suitable for burials and moving them is both impractical and expensive. As a result we have been considering using the site for the interment of ashes only, and using part of an adjacent field for burials. We were in negotiation with the Glebe in this respect at the end of the year. Assuming a successful outcome to the discussions, it will be possible to sow wildflower seed on the site during the Spring of 2021.

Jeremy Sharp

 

 

Safeguarding Report

Any Safeguarding issues that may have arisen in the past 12 months have been dealt with the strictest confidence in mind. Sarah Acraman has been contacted when necessary.

Any documentation is kept and stored under lock and key in a secure place.

Ladock church has a Safeguarding policy which is reviewed annually and a Parish Safeguarding Handbook which is available for any Parochial Church Council member to view.

Details of safeguarding are displayed within the church porch, permanently on our church website and published monthly within the local parish magazine with any information sent in for publication.

Safeguarding is on every agenda of the Parochial Church Council meeting.

All members who need to have DBS checks at Ladock church have had them performed. All members of the Parochial church council have been informed of the changes when DBS checks are undertaken, ie:-

  • Warnings, reprimands and youth cautions will no longer be automatically disclosed on DBS certificate (they will be filtered); and
  • The “Multiple Conviction Rule” has been removed. This means that if the individual has more than one conviction, regardless of offence type or time passed, each conviction will be considered against the remaining rules individually, rather than all being disclosed.

All members of Ladock Parochial Church Council have undertaken some form of training appropriate to their need and are up to date.

During the Covid ‘Lockdown’ some members have undertaken training via Zoom for level 2. Comments received for the ‘Homework’ were not favourable.

Covid 19 has and continues to affect the active life of the church greatly. During this time the Churchwarden, Mr Sharp, and the Reverend Joachim Foot have been vigilant at all times in keeping abreast with the House of Bishops advice on Covid 19 and swiftly putting plans into action for Health and Safety and safeguarding for all who enter our church.

Details of what is happening within the church are distributed weekly if not more often to all church members via regular emails to which they have all subscribed.

Any concerns with regards to safeguarding are dealt with immediately, documented and advice sought as may be necessary.

My colleagues at Ladock church who are all voluntary take safeguarding very seriously.

My grateful thanks to them all for the time and effort that they all take to fulfil their roles always keeping safeguarding in mind.

My grateful thanks also to the Reverend J Foot and the Diocese Safeguarding Team for all their help and support which is always available.

Shirley Soper 17.2.2021 Parish Safeguarding Officer

 

Fabric Report

The church remains in sound condition and the requirements of the latest Quinquennial Inspection (July 2019) are being put in place in time with the identification of the major and minor works timelines.

In 2020 a programme for on-going and regular maintenance inspections and remedial work on the exterior was put in place with WestAccess http://www.westaccess.co.uk ), a specialist conservation company whose offering is repair and conservation of historic and ecclesiastical buildings using rope access, in order to address issues in a timely and cost effect long term strategy for roofing and pipe work integrity. This process is thorough and has begun to address the identified defects and repairs. The company is of a standard to potentially qualify Ladock Church for Cornwall Historic Church Trust(CHCT) grant funding and this will be pursued.

Additionally small internal defects needing immediate attention ( falling plaster) are being addressed by A1Builders - https://www.completebuilders.org) Their experience includes conserving and preserving heritage buildings and they have included themselves on the roster of builders aligned to CHCT again potentially helping a grant fund claim. The work will take place in February 2021. The satisfactory completion of this work will determine the planned ongoing arrangement with A1 or not.

The newly delivered electrically heated seating system has proved popular and has been put in place to a high standard and its infrastructure is unobtrusive.

Simon Holborow 

 

Financial Report

It will come as a surprise to no-one that the church’s gross income declined by 27.4% this year, though this was offset to some degree by a 24.5%reduction in outgoings. However, these summative figures disguise some interesting details. For example, whilst overall ‘voluntary giving’ declined by 11.5%, mainly because of a reduction in congregation numbers and service frequency, there was an overall increase of 4% in tax efficient planned giving and an associated increase in gift aid recovery. Our generous annual grant of £2000 from our patrons, The Worshipful Company of Grocers, has again been much appreciated, helping towards our MMF offer of £18,736.

Nevertheless, it was necessary to transfer funds from the Canon Wise investment account to meet our gross expenditure.

Income from fund raising activities has been seriously curtailed, but we are most grateful to Michael and Maureen Cole whose spring garden Open Day raised £162 before lockdown. Ticket sales for the proposed Jonny Cowling concert raised £1000, £240 of which had to be returned when the concert had to be postponed. It should be remembered that the balance of £760 is being held in anticipation that the concert can be organised later in 2021. The annual Christmas raffle, kindly organised by PCC members Shirley Soper and Jennifer Thomas, raised £670. As always, we are grateful for the generosity of the many individuals who provide prizes for this draw.

 

Despite restrictions we have continued to collect funds for a variety of causes and charities, albeit in smaller numbers. We were pleased to donate to the following:

 

  • The Transform Europe Network £68.57
  • Cornwall Historic Churches £15.00
  • Truro Foodbank £90.00
  • St Petroc’s £297.00
  • Air Ambulance (via Kovoschmidt) £244.65

 

During the year the decision was taken to install pew heating in the Chancel and main Nave in an attempt to target heating more efficiently for the congregation. This should also reduce electricity costs thereby contributing to lowering our carbon footprint. Installation was completed on 10th

 

December, and is now fully effective. The overall cost of £7386 is spread, interest free, over four years. It is hoped that an application to Low Carbon Ladock to cover the first instalment will be successful. Kovoschmidt made a donation of £244.65 to Cornwall Air Ambulance as part of their policy of making a charitable donation when installing in church buildings. The system has been well received by members of the congregation, but it is too early to assess how successful it is in reducing electricity costs. The overall cost of electricity during the year fell, by 30%, but this was largely associated with reduced church services.

 

The churchyard path, from the east end of the church through to the eastern wall of the churchyard, has been re-laid with tarmac, funded in part by a grant from the Parish Council, together with funds drawn down from the E.A. Hotten bequest.

 

The investment strategy adopted during the year, relating to the historic funds coming from the E.A. Hotten bequest and the Canon Wise Trust, is beginning to pay dividends into the cash account thereby making a significant contribution to overall finances.

 

I have continued to benefit from the advice and expertise of Jeremy Sharp, to whom I am particularly grateful.

 

In summary, we have emerged from a particularly difficult year in remarkably good shape and with the hope that more predictable times will return by the end of 2021.

David James


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