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HELD TUESDAY 21st JUNE, 7.30p.m

1.      Matters Arising from previous minutes

The Treasurer reported that an Independent Examiner had been appointed on a pro-bono basis.  Further to the appeal for additional help with Outreach work, two volunteers had come forward.  A donation of £160 had been received towards a seat in St Nicholas’ churchyard and two tea urns and four thermal flasks had been purchased, paid for by Lunch House.

2.      Fabric Committee – parameters and election of Chair.

A proposal to create a Fabric Committee with specific responsibility to monitor and oversee the fabric of the buildings at the two Lavant churches was considered by the PCC.  A document outlining the purpose, membership, responsibility and authority of the proposed Fabric Committee was presented in a paper prepared by the Rector. It was agreed that the Committee would consist of a Warden, the PCC Treasurer, a Chairperson (a member of the PCC) and five other members of the church congregation with relevant experience.  It was RESOLVED that the Fabric Committee should be set up as outlined in the document and also RESOLVED that Kevin Chapman, an architect for 27 years and serving member of the PCC would Chair the newly formed Committee.

3.      Request for talents

Seven new people had volunteered their time, thanks to Andrew Dicker’s recent appeal in church.

4.      ‘Grave Concern’ Report – St Mary’s Churchyard team

A small group of dedicated people continue to give their time freely on a Monday evening to keep St Mary’s churchyard neat and tidy.  Richard Boyce had submitted a request for a new lawnmower.  Whilst the PCC accepted the need for a new machine, questions were raised regarding cost, alternative quotes, warranties and insurance.  These were to be answered before proceeding to make a purchase.

5.      Deanery Synod Report

The main item discussed at the June Deanery Synod was ‘The Ordination of Women to the Episcopate’.  Elizabeth Woodford reported that this well attended meeting was the forum for a well balanced presentation of the arguments to enable further discussion and preliminary voting.

Attention was drawn to the special and important Joint Synod to be held with Arundel and Bognor and Westbourne Deanery Synods to discuss the question of Academy Status for Bishop Luffa School.  This will be held at the school on September 22nd at 7.30pm.

It was notified that the November Synod is to be held at St Pancras’, when the main speaker will be Angela Sibson the new Diocesan Secretary.

6.      Treasurer’s Report

The first quarter financial statement showed a surplus, compared to a budgeted deficit. However, this was due, in part, to a substantial donation from a parishioner, which is to be set aside for a specific project, not yet defined.  Gift Aid for the remainder of the year will fall from 28.2% to 25%.  Expenditure on the Churchyard and Church buildings has been low, but a budget has been set aside for the Quinquennial inspection.  The Treasurer warned that the PCC would have to be mindful of the rising cost of utilities.


Forthcoming Meetings

PCC Meeting    Tuesday 19th July        Lavant Room   7.30 p.m.


HELD TUESDAY 10TH MAY at 10.00am

1.      Church Hire Charges

It was agreed that only a nominal charge would be made for the Toy Library’s use of St Nicholas church.  This initiative is funded by WSCC.

2.      St Mary’s Handrail

The Church Wardens are still investigating land registry.

3.      Stained Glass restoration at St Mary’s

A quotation has been agreed and the Wardens are submitting the faculty application to the June meeting of the Diocesan Advisory Committee.

4.      Seat in St Nicholas’ churchyard

Further discussion on this will be held at the next full PCC meeting in June.  A donation towards a seat has been made by a parishioner.

5.      Replacement Locks at St Mary’s

It was agreed that that the faulty locks on the West Door and the Rector’s vestry would be replaced and new keys issued to key holders.

6.      New items to be purchased

Two new tea urns will be purchased to improve speed and safety of serving hot drinks, especially when catering for large numbers.  A new, heavy duty, lawn mower is to be purchased to assist those who regularly maintain the churchyard at St Mary’s.

7.      Graveyard planting

It was agreed that every effort should be made to enforce the current rules regarding planting in the graveyard, in order for it to remain in keeping with the surrounding countryside.


Forthcoming Meetings

PCC                             Tuesday 21st June        Lavant Room     7.30 p.m.




1.      The Rector welcomed all to this special meeting regarding the Mission Action Plan for Lavant. It is important to bring together all who help in the running of both Churches and listen to the contributions made to Outreach in our Parish.

2.      Church Choir

Clive Stroud (organist and choirmaster) reported on the good fortune of the Lavant churches in having a church choir.  Its survival depends on a core of adult members and the support of parents who commit their time on behalf of junior members.  New members welcome.

3.      Lavant News

Margaret Rhodes has taken over editorship of the magazine, with Rachel Burgess taking responsibility for advertising sales.  Revenue from advertising is down and this remains a priority.  Editorial contributions and advertising welcomed.

4.      Junior Church

With 58 junior members on the register, Elizabeth Woodford reported that Junior Church continues to thrive and offer a range of activities to the groups of children who attend each week.  Help setting out tables and chairs in the Lavant Room would be appreciated.

5.      Toddler Group at St Nicholas

Gloria Rix reported that this group is much enjoyed by the families who attend and is well resourced with toys and volunteers.

6.      ‘Grave concern’ – Churchyard maintenance

Margaret Rhodes reported that this group meets on Monday evenings to mow and tidy the churchyard.  They are a jolly band, rewarding themselves with a glass of wine after their efforts!  Numbers of helpers are down due to some moving away and new volunteers would be warmly welcomed. 

7.      Church Flowers

Elizabeth Woodford leads the St Mary’s team and Gloria Rix is responsible for flowers at St Nicholas.

8.      Brass Cleaning

Jenny Wiseman leads a group of six volunteers.

9.      Open all hours – Church watch scheme

Margaret Johnson reported that thanks to a band of 30 volunteers, it is possible to open St Mary’s for 2 hours each day and welcome visitors between 12 noon and 2pm.  New volunteers will need to be found to fill Mary Ninness’ Saturday slot when she moves.

10.  Home groups

Tina Saunders and Mary Ninness have successfully run home groups, some on an ad hoc basis and some regular groups.  Phil Raby is transferring VHS recordings to DVD as many topics deserve revisiting.  Mary Ninness has played a great part in leading home groups and her impending move will leave a big hole.  It will require others to come forward to ensure that this initiative does not lose momentum.

11.  Alpha

It is hoped that the parish may be able to offer an Alpha Course in 2012.  Rosie Hoare reported that the last course, run three year ago, was very successful, but required a great deal of organisation.

12.  Mission and Outreach

Led by Cynthia Blades and Hilary Caffyn, this group organises fund raising activities throughout the year.  An appeal was made for new members with fresh fundraising ideas as Hilary would like to step down as Chairman and secretary after 20 years service!

13.  Luncheon Club

Jenny Wiseman reported that the club caters for up to 28 members, serving them a two course lunch, once a month.  For the future, more cooks are always needed and more reliable heating at St Nicholas’ would be appreciated.

14.  Web site

Richard Ryder reported up to 30 ‘hits’ each week and welcomed material from all groups giving  information about their various activities in order to keep the website informative and interesting. An online giving facility may be investigated.

15.  Healing Ministry

Karen Eggleston reported that this new initiative will be offered during one service per month starting in July.  More information would be given in Lavant News and in the pew sheets.  Those involved in this ministry have been receiving training and more volunteers would be welcomed. New resources giving information about healing will be available to parishioners at the back of St Mary’s.

16.  Social Committee

The aim of the Committee is to provide regular fellowship and outreach to all the parish and help to break down barriers. A highlight was the Royal Wedding tea with 80 attendees.  It is hoped that the ‘Alternative Christmas’ party (original cancelled due to snow) will be just as successful in July!

17.  Good Neighbours scheme

This has now been in operation for 2 years. Help is offered with shopping, simple household chores, collecting prescriptions or just for a chat.  A leaflet, containing useful contact numbers, was produced by Mary Ninness, who also deals with the admin relating to the scheme.  Cynthia Blades encouraged those who know of neighbours in need,  to contact her and appealed for someone to take over the admin aspect.



1. St Nicholas' Coffee House

Still only two people regularly attend this group, despite its having moved to Monday when the Post Office is open in St Nicholas.
At the November PCC meeting, a decision will be taken on its closure after Christmas.

2. Treasurer's Report

  • The quarter ended 30 September showed a surplus, but this was due to the timing of certain annual donations, and low expenditure on maintenance items during the summer.
  • £3,633 has been spent on the Rector's Vestry refurbishment and the altar carpet. Most of this money will come from the Jane Cooper Legacy; the balance from the Memorial and Altar Furnishing Reserves.
  • The Harvest Appeal raised £840, to be sent to the New Growth Ministries in Zimbabwe.
Next full PCC Meeting Tues. 23 November 7.30 pm The Lavant Room


1. Replacement Treasurer and Secretary from 2011

There has been interest in both these posts.

2. Ornamental Tap with roof - St Mary's Churchyard (The correct title should be Margaret Hills Memorial)

A member of the congregation will meet the cost of restoring the water supply and the new tap.  The family of Margaret Hills will make a donation towards replacing the wooden canopy.
AGREED the PCC to meet any shortfall.

3. Transfer of VHS Video tapes to DVD

Phil Raby offered to transfer the video library tapes used by the Home Groups. The work will take some time; the tapes are to be prioritised by the Home Groups.

4. F3 ‘Helping our young people’

Fiona Page reported on this item, explaining the difficulties facing the youth group at present. There has been lack of interest in social events arranged. Sunday @ Six will continue with emphasis on the nurture of young and teenage Christians.  Discussion followed on the best way to encourage new young people aged 11- 18 to come forward. A letter will be written to all our children who have recently joined Bishop Luffa School to keep in touch. It was suggested that a Parish Day might help encourage young people.

5. Consideration of opening the Episcopate to Women

The Bishop's letter had been circulated to all PCC Members to urge consideration of the above issue. He invited our response, although the debate would continue at Deanery and Diocesan level, with the final decision made at the General Synod.
PCC voted in favour of women being admitted to the Episcopate 12 in favour, 2 abstentions and 2 against.
PCC further voted in favour of Special Provision for those against the measure on theological grounds 9 in favour, 2 abstentions and 5 against.
These decisions to be notified to the Bishop and the Rural Dean.

6. Ecclesiastical Offices (Terms of Service) Measure 2009

The Bishop's letter concerning this had been circulated. The Common Tenure coming into force in February 2011 will start a move away from priests having Freehold Tenure.  New Incumbents will be employed under Common Tenure, and thus be subject to Common Employment Legislation.  Workshops are being held throughout the Diocese and the Rector and Churchwardens will attend, after which a resumé will be given to the PCC.

7. Social Committee - Update

The first meeting was held on 31 August. The aim is to provide social activities for the Parish to join together.  As a start, the catering for the Harvest Supper will be undertaken by the committee.  Future events planned are a Christmas Party (along the lines of an American Supper), and a possible event during Lent.

8. Family Support Worker- Chichester Deanery

The initial 3-year funding commitment of £1000 p.a. by Lavant ended in 2009 , though £1,000 had been budgeted for 2010.  The financial support from two Trusts had ceased, but they are willing to review once support from parishes within the Deanery is known.
AGREED to fund £1,000 for this year and the next two, provided support is forthcoming from other parishes and the donors.

9. New Frontiers ‘Menu’

As Churches Together in Chichester had ceased, the project involving disadvantaged young people and the Chichester Festival Theatre was continuing under "New Frontiers". A ‘Menu’ of events has been devised. It was suggested that our parish contribute £50 which was the sum previously given annually to Churches Together.

10. St Nicholas' Coffee House

The weekly Coffee House is struggling.  It was moved to Mondays, to correspond with the Post Office opening in St Nicholas'. It is not well supported - usually only two people, and the number of helpers is dwindling.  Alternatives were discussed and the Coffee House closure will be reviewed in one month.

11. Home Groups

The five groups that met during June and July read and discussed Philippians. It is clear people are busier in the summer months, so future sessions will be confined to Autumn, Winter, and Spring.

12. Toddler Group

As usual, numbers for the start of this year were fairly low.  Gina Bill was not able to return as a helper due to work commitments. There are three regular helpers, and the vacancy is being filled on a casual basis.

13. Treasurer's Report

The Outward Giving donations totalling £3,700 have been distributed.  The Draft Diocesan and Deanery Budgets have been prepared, and our parish contribution for 2011 appears to be £61,000 - an increase of 1% on 2010.

14. Churchwardens' Report

The refurbishment of the Rector's Vestry is complete, and the carpet is being laid.  The carpet cleaning in the Lavant Room and the Choir Vestry will cost £60 and £30 respectively.
AGREED to the work being carried out.

15. Any Other Business

Booklet re St Nicholas

A booklet will be prepared giving information about St Nicholas', similar to the one available about St Mary's

Lavant Christmas Fayre

is to be held on 27 November; Lavant Church will have a stall.

Forthcoming Meetings

  • Standing Committee Tuesday 19 October 10 am Lavant Room
  • Full PCC Tuesday 23 November 7.30 pm Lavant Room

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