Dear friends at All Saints
Wednesday 28th April marked quite a historic day in the history of All Saints Church. For the first time our Annual Vestry Meeting and Annual Parochial Church Meeting were held remotely via Zoom. Last year, our meetings were hybrid, both in person and on Zoom in October, because the Bishop had allowed an extension to the deadline by which our parochial meetings must be held. Due to Covid regulations and no extension of the deadline this year we were forced to use technology to meet.
Over 50 people were present ‘online’ at the meeting, about an average figure for attendance under normal circumstances, but that still means that quite a lot of the church family did not, or were not able to attend. One of the most important things to be completed at the meetings is the appointment of our Wardens for 12 months, the election of 4 members to the PCC and the election of Deanery Synod representatives. Sadly, the PCC also lost Ron Glenn. Being a member of the PCC was just another of the many things that Ron did for All Saints. This meant that there were vacancies for 5 PCC members this year. Andy Creeth and John Chester were re-elected to serve for another twelve months as Wardens and we give thanks for their leadership and willingness to serve.
It seems a great opportunity to make everyone aware of exactly how our PCC is made up and who is on it this year. Normally the vicar is the chair of the PCC, but in the temporary absence of anyone in that position, Jeff Turnbull has stepped up to lead the PCC as Vice-chair. He is looking forward to relinquishing leadership when the new vicar is appointed. Sam D-H is a member of the PCC as our curate, as are all our Readers, Vicki Bulgin, Tina Trevett and Bill Holt. We have two members on the PCC who represent All Saints at Deanery Synod, Charles Simkiss and Steve Tynegate. We are able to send 4 representatives to Deanery Synod but as there were no nominations again this year, we continue to have 2 vacancies. If you would be interested in this, please have a chat with me or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our lay representatives on the PCC elected this year for a term of 3 years are Paul Barnfather, Martin Smith, Jules Tynegate, Garnett Carr and myself. We join Jim Ellis, Christine Davies, Ken Wood, Stephen Willetts, Princy Johnson and Stephen Batchelor. At the first meeting of the PCC in May the officers have to be appointed. These are the Vice-chair, PCC Treasurer and PCC Secretary and the Assistant Wardens. The eagle-eyed amongst you may have noticed a regular agenda item missing from the APCM agenda. The ‘Appointment of Welcomers’ is no longer decided at the meeting but they must now be appointed at the May PCC meeting. I can’t miss this opportunity to slip in that we are desperate for new welcomers, so please offer your help if you feel that it is a way in which you could serve in All Saints.
The AVM and APCM are opportunities to thank the many people who make such an invaluable contribution to the life of our church family and it is my privilege to pass thanks on. The staff have worked on tirelessly and loyally despite the difficulties of furloughing to ensure that the needs of all were met and the work of the church moved forward, so thank you Christina, Helen Dymond, Hannah, Andy, Sarah, Rhiannon and Rachel. Helen Ellis and Emma have faced challenges along the way but worked so hard to support and lead our children, young people and families. Thank you, both. We said a massive thank you to Roy Greenwood and Bill Morgan as they retired from their countless years of service managing the church finances and thank you to Garnett Carr as he has taken on the role of Treasurer. Jeff thanked both Andy Creeth and John Chester for their hard work as Wardens in such a challenging year on so many fronts. The Worship and technical teams and musicians have brought innovation to the way we have been able to worship over the last year and will continue to worship, and Jeff thanked everyone who has made any contribution to services on line and in person. Our church and Church Centre are kept in excellent condition so thanks must go to Christina and Building Committee, led by Ken Wood. However, both Jeff and John Chester, speaking on behalf of the Wardens, spoke about the contribution that everyone had made in what has been a difficult year in so many different ways. John pointed out that in a recent sermon from 2 Peter we are likened to ‘living stones being built into a spiritual house’. He said that even the smallest of stones are very important in maintaining the stability of a building. Everyone has made great sacrifices recently, but shown obedience in serving God and God will honour faithful acts of sacrifice. Thank you, everyone.
Thanks must also go to Jeff Turnbull for guiding both the PCC and the church since the beginning of the year in what John Chester described as his calm and willing way. Thanks, Jeff.
Finally, our thanks and praise must go to our great and wonderful God whose love for each one of us is so much greater than we can ever comprehend.
Alex Lewis (PCC Secretary)
Dear friends at All Saints,
We want to bring you the latest news about our worship services at All Saints.
As you may know, we re-opened the 9:00am worship service in All Saints on March 28th and this has seen a regular attendance of 30-40 people. Alongside this we have provided a broadcast service at 10:45am, followed by the opportunity to join “Coffee and Chat” on Zoom. The Sunday Club Groups and the Youth Groups have been meeting on Zoom.
The combination of lockdown restrictions and rapid progress of the vaccination programme has reduced the incidence of Covid in the UK. The government is expected to confirm a further easing of lockdown restrictions in the coming weeks. We recognise that some members of All Saints will still be cautious about a return to worship services, but we think it is appropriate to re-open the 10:45 worship service on May 16th.
The 10:45am service will not be the same every week. Some weeks it will be Morning Praise in church. Other weeks it could be All Age Worship or Songs of Praise in the orchard – don’t forget to pray for dry weather on these days!
We do not expect the Sunday Club to return to the normal pattern before the autumn. The Sunday Club Groups will continue to meet on Zoom with Explorers (age 8-11’s) from 9:30 – 10:00am and Scramblers and Climbers (3-8’s) from 10:00 – 10:30am. During the 10:45am worship service there will be a seating area for families with material provided by Sunday Club Leaders available at the back of the church and additionally a creche room with the service streamed to a television in the room for up to 8 adults with children.
Youth Groups will continue to meet as currently for the moment, which is partly in-person outdoors and partly on-line, not on a Sunday morning. Provision for Sunday mornings will be made to suit individuals.
There will continue to be a broadcast service available on-line at 10:45am. We are upgrading our equipment so that the 10:45am service in All Saints can be live-streamed more effectively. On the Sundays that 10:45 am worship is moved to the orchard we will live-stream the 9:00am service and the broadcast will still be available for anyone who looks for a broadcast at 10:45am.
We will have our first Holy Communion at the 9:00am service on June 13th. Under the present guidelines, we will only distribute the bread, and this will be brought to you in the pews. We hope to have Holy Communion at 9:00am on the second Sunday of the month. We hope to introduce a monthly 10:45am Holy Communion some time after that.
We will end the “Coffee and Chat” on Zoom when the 10:45am worship service resumes on May 16th.
These changes give many opportunities for you to get involved and help us to build a strong and vibrant church with every member actively involved in serving the Lord:
- Would you be willing to be trained as part of the team doing the live-streaming, the vision and/or the sound of our worship services? – please see Paul Barnfather, or contact him via the church office and he will get back to you.
- Would you be willing to volunteer as a Welcomer?. This is an important role to greet everyone as they arrive at the church, and also to help with the seating arrangements. Please contact the Wardens via the church office if you would like to serve in this way.
- Would you be willing to volunteer with the Sunday Club Groups – another important area of service, this time to the next generation. You will need to have a DBS check. Please contact the office and we will connect you with Charli Perkins, who is overseeing the activities.
- Would you like to introduce a favourite hymn or worship song in Songs of Praise in the orchard?
These are challenging times for planning ahead. We will need to remain alert to government requirements and Church of England recommendations. We may need to make more changes as the situation unfolds.
We do believe that the Lord who has carried us through the past year will continue to strengthen us to serve Him in the year ahead.
May God bless you.
John Chester and Andy Creeth, Church Wardens Rev John Benson