Vicar’s Report to the PCC

First of all, I’d like to take you back to just before Christmas. On the fourth Sunday of Advent our Gospel reading was the Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth. I was really inspired by this passage and how it gives us a vision for engaging with our community. In the sermon I preached on that Sunday, I invited us to imagine Elizabeth as the parish of Bulkington and St James Church as Mary. In this passage, Mary travels many miles on foot to meet Elizabeth among what is familiar and important to her. In this passage, Elizabeth blesses Mary, there is treasure that the Holy Spirit longs to give to the Church from relationship with those in our communities. In this passage, Elizabeth and Mary bring their own experiences of God that they don’t quite understand and their meeting changes everything. That is a picture of Church and community being good neighbours together. This begins in getting to know one another without presumption or agenda, simply aware that God blesses us through those with whom we spend time. I pray that this could be grafted more into our DNA as a Church this year.

As Elizabeth and Mary, we journeyed on to our celebration of Christmas. We were able to celebrate in a slightly more familiar fashion and I was encouraged by the gathering of our parish to celebrate together. One gift that was stirred during the pandemic was creativity and we carried on something greatly enjoyed last year – Carols in the Churchyard.

Other highlights from Advent and Christmas include the continuation of Seashells, which in February will now increase to twice a month. As well as more stand out celebrations, as ever it’s been a privilege to walk alongside those coming for baptisms, weddings and funerals. This Sunday we will mark Candlemas together, where we turn from the crib behind me to the cross. During Lent we will be reviving our Lent group that we hope will become more regular after Lent. 

Tuesday 14 09 2021


Rev Charles (Chair), Chris Catlin: Rachel Cooper: Ian Corden: May Davis: John May: Graham Nuttall: Sybil Randle: Rachel Partridge: Ken Sleeman Sue Turner

1.Opening prayers

2.No apologies

3 Declarations of interest:
There were no declarations of interest

4.Minutes of meetings held on 6 7 2021
The minutes of the above meeting were unanimously accepted as a true record.

5.Matters arising:
(a) Sound System
The contract has been awarded to MGD and it is anticipated that work will be undertaken in October, taking 2 to 3 days. A second hand i pad can be purchased at reduced cost if needed.

The final brief will be delivered to the graphic designer who is undertaking this work free of charge and it is anticipated that we should have the proposed design by October.

(c) Pastoral Group:
A meeting is being held on 26 09 2021

(d) Toddler Group:
A meeting is being held on 16 09 2021 to take the plans forward.

(e) Restoration of Bells:
A successful meeting was held between Church and Bell Ringers’ representatives
to advance the situation. Since then and after informing the insurance company of the
movement of the tower, an inspection has taken place by the Architect who undertook the last Quinquennial inspection. The outcome is there is deflection of the tower, not movement. No cracks of concern were detected and an investigation by a specialist structural engineer is recommended. The insurers have insisted that ringing ceases until the matter has been investigated. The Bell Ringers are being kept informed.

6. Vicar’s Report:
Please find this attached.

7. Reports from Sub-Committees:
(a) Buildings Sub-Committee
The Minutes from the meeting held on 31 08 2021 had been previously circulated.

Faculties are being submitted for the additional cremation plots, remembrance bench and memorial plaque and Graham will organize the printing of the plaque.

Disposal of soil from graves:
This will be addressed with the Undertakers. In the meantime Sue will arrange for the
residual soil to be removed.

Crumbling stone work:
It is noted that there are areas on the external church stonework which is crumbling It was agreed that the Quinquennial inspection, which is due in 12 months’ time, will identify the areas affected and recommendations will be made at that time.

Chris detailed some past history related to the maintenance of the hedges which had been carried out by Keith Farndon. However, Chris will speak to Keith to see if he
would be willing to undertake this work again. The Remembrance Garden was discussed and it has been agreed that this area needs to be cleared . t Michael Whitehead will be approached to ask if he knows the history of this area.

Church Wall:
It was unanimously approved that this would be repaired/restored to its original

Sandra Jones, Margaret Wilkins and Mr Hardy have carried out a significant amount of work in the churchyard and a letter of thanks will be sent to show the appreciation of the PCC.

(b) Worship Sub-Committee:
It is anticipated that this Committee will be meeting shortly to discuss
Christmas/New Year worship.

© Finance Sub-Committee:

The financial situation is ahead of where we expect to be but our forecast wedding fee income during the next quarter of £6000 is likely to be considerably less. Four weddings are booked and it is unlikely to have any more at this stage of the year.

£22,000 has been paid towards the reduced Parish Share of £40,000 that was applied for earlier this year. (Full amount £52,642). That application will be considered by the Diocesan Board of Finance this month. Even if agreed, it may be difficult to pay the remaining £18,000.
In order to generate more income it was suggested that fund raising events be organised



Tuesday 22 04 2021


Rev Charles  (Chair),Vicki Buckley:  Chris Catlin: Rachel Cooper: Ian Corden: May  Davis:   John May:  Graham Nuttall: Sybil Randle: Rachel Partridge: Sue Turner

  1. Opening prayers
  2. Apologies  Ken Sleeman, Iris Duggan
  3. Declarations of interest: There were no declarations of interest
  4. Minutes of meeting held on  2 03 2021 The minutes of the meeting held on 2 3 2021 were unanimously accepted as a true record.
  5. Matters arising

Extension to Remembrance Garden:

Graham reported that the quote from Hacketts was £400.00 which he thought was expensive.

Graham will make further enquiries about costings and will approach W S Gardens.He will also find out if a faculty is required.

Commemorative plaque :

Graham will make further enquiries regarding a faculty.

Neighbourhood Group:

Ian had submitted a comprehensive report which had been circulated, the content of which

was a valuable basis for discussion. The key issues which came out of the discussion were:

Activities to encourage children and young people in to Church

The establishment of a midweek toddler group and  regular Sunday school were discussed and Rev Charles will seek key people who would  be interested in involvement with these activities.

Develop a Church logo

In an attempt to  avoid costs suggestions  were to invite village folks to submit designs within specificparameters.The other suggestion was to find out how much it might cost to have this designed  professionally – Ian agreed to do this and declared that he had a family member who may be able to assist.

Utilise Social Media

It is recognised  that this is an area where many people look for information, and this has been especially evident since the start of the  pandemic -   it  is an essential tool for St James to reach the local community and beyond.

Rev Charles thanked  Ian for the work he had undertaken on this.

The Pastoral Care Group is to meet on Sunday 25 04 2021 following morning service.

  1. Vicar’s report:

Please see attached – to follolw

  1. Reports from Sub-Committees:

(a) Buildings Sub-committee:

There had been no meeting since the PCC last  met.

Graham gave an update  on the state of the kitchen window – in summary, it is not

dangerous and if this were to occur,  steps can be taken to make it safe.  The cost is likely

to be significant and it would take about  18 months to obtain the services of  a stonemason.

It was unanimously agreed to leave this matter for the time being.

(b) Worship Committee:

There had been no meeting during lockdown.

It was agreed that the evening services should  remain at 6.30 p.m. during the summer months.

(c) Finance Sub-Committee:

The report from Chris had been circulated.  Sue confirmed that she would arrange for the funds from the Flower Account to be transferred.  Chris confirmed that  the application for the reduction in the Parish Share is in the process of completion. 

Future expenditure was discussed  in relation to the sound system and internet access.

It was unanimously agreed that both items were priorities and further detailed costings were

required before proceeding.

  1. Safeguarding update:

Sue discussed the documents which had been circulated previously and answered  some

questions  which were raised.  Further safeguarding training is to be arranged when it is

safe to do so.

  1. APCM 23 05 2021

The term of office for John and Graham expires this year and Rev Charles has asked if they

would both consider standing again. Rev Charles thanked John and Graham for their significant contribution during their period of office.  Nominations will be sought for Church Wardens and a Synod Representative.

  1. Date of Next meeting:  6 July 2021 at 7.00 p.m.
  1. Closing prayers.

MD/22 04 2021


On Sunday 23 05 2021



Rev Charles Higgins (chair) Rachel Cooper   Chris Catlin: Ian Corden: :John May :  Graham Nuttall: Sybil Randle: Rachel Partridge:    Sue Turner:

In attendance:

May Davis

1 Appointment of Treasurer:

Chris Catlin agreed to stand for office for a further year and this was unanimously approved.

2 Appointment of Secretary:

May Davis agreed to stand for office for a further year and this was unanimously approved.

Date of next meeting:

6 07 2021



The meeting closed with the saying of the Grace.

MSD/12 10 2020

This year's Annual Parochial church meeting was held on Sunday 23rd May in Church.

Vicar’s Welcome 

A very warm welcome to the Annual Parochial Church Meeting(APCM) for this year. During this meeting we will look back on 2020,look forward to 2022, as well as fulfilling our legal duties to this parishthat has been entrusted to our care. 
Our meeting this year will focus on the question “How do we tellthe story of 2020?” What follows is a number of answers to thatquestion from many parts of the Church community and wider parish. 
As I read through these reports, there is undoubtedly evidence of thepain that the pandemic has caused – 2020 has been a year totallyunexpected and wide-reaching in its impact on our lives. At the sametime, I am also profoundly moved by the creativity and determinationon show here from everyone at St James who have found new andinnovative ways to be a valued part of the Bulkington community andto keep on meeting together. Whether it is the Café Church teamputting together video services to the Bell ringers continuing to meet,and everything in between. I shall present a fuller spoken report to theAnnual Meeting on 23rd May 2021, which will explore 2020 using threekey words: lament, celebrate, hope.
For all the twists and turns of this past year, we have journeyedtogether, for which I am so grateful. I would like to thank Sue andRachel, Ken, the PCC, and each and every member of St James who serve God, noticed and unnoticed. As ever, I am especially grateful to Vicky Buckley and May Davis for preparing the electoral roll, and toMay for her tireless efforts drawing up the paperwork for the APCMand preparing this report. 
With every blessing, Charles

Churchwardens’ Report 

Being very new to the role of Churchwarden, I am finding everything alearning curve at the moment. Thankfully Sue is always on hand and stillshouldering the majority of the responsibility. 
Having my contact details on the website and access to thechurchwardens’ email were some of the first steps and this began toopen up some of the queries to be dealt with which range fromfunerals, baptisms, graves, replacement certificates, bins, churchservices and food parcels to name but a few.
This last year has been a learning curve for us all and we have had toadapt the in–person worship to satisfy the Covid 19 guidelines whichinvolved reviewing risk assessments and cleaning rotas etc. At timesthe only services we could hold have been online services and thesafety of all the Church family has been paramount when making thesedecisions. 
We have enjoyed trying out different types of worship, such as theCarol Service in the church grounds and involving the church in thecommunity with The Wreath Festival, prayer walk and Easter Trail.We have opened the church for Bulkington Volunteers to pack anddistribute their food parcels to help families in need across the village.We have delivered daffodils to some of the Church family for Mother’sday and an Easter Message too.
Supporting Charles to enable his paternity leave to spend precious timewelcoming baby Rowan and supporting Emma was important, and wewere able to continue with the day to day running of the churchwithout too many hiccups. The support of other clergy was welcomedin taking the services for us.As someone who likes an instruction book, I find this role doesn’treally come with one but I see the job of Churchwarden as supportingCharles and the church congregation, and sometimes liaising between the two.    5 The biggest benefit to this role is the massive amount of support wereceive from everyone at St James and we would like to thank you all.It really is a team effort and everyone is willing to take a part. There isa small army of volunteers who work behind the scenes to keep thechurch going on both a day-to-day basis and long term. I am not goingto list everyone for fear of missing someone out but please be awarethat your support is very much appreciated. One thing is very clear:that without these people the church would struggle to function. So‘Go team St James!!!!’ you are awesome!!As we now begin to take the first tentative steps out of the pandemicrestrictions it gives us an opportunity to not only welcome morepeople back into the church building but also to build on the onlinelinks we have made within Bulkington Community as a whole.Last but not least, we thank Charles for his tireless support and guidance. 
Rachel Partridge (on behalf of wardens Rachel Partridge and SueTurner

The full booklet that was issued at the meeting is available for you to download and read at your leisure

Download this file (APCM Annual Report 202021.pdf)APCM Booklet 



Tuesday 2nd March 2021


 Rev Charles  (Chair),Vicki Buckley:  Chris Catlin: Rachel Cooper: Ian Corden: May  Davis:   John May:  Graham Nuttall: Sybil Randle: Rachel Partridge: Sue Turner

1. Opening prayers

2, Apologies

 Ken Sleeman,

3, Declarations of interest

Graham Nuttall declared his interest in the item commemorative bench

4.Minutes of meeting held on  19 01  2021

The minutes of the meeting held on 19 01  2921 were unanimously accepted as a true record.

5.Matters arising

There were no matters arising which were not itemised for  discussion later in the meeting.

  1. Vicar’s report:

Please see attached

In the light of recent advice and after  consideration of the  risk assessment document which had been provided by the Diocese, there was a discussion on the re opening of  attended Worship and the consensus of opinion was that St James  open on Sunday 21st March 2021. Prior to that an updated risk assessment will be undertaken and sent to the PCC.

  1. Reports from Sub-Committees:

(a) Buildings Sub-Committee:

There had been no formal meeting since the last PCC.

Commemorative plaque vestry wall – this item it still outstanding and Graham will

look into a faculty.

Extension  to Remembrance Garden – The options for the extension were discussed and it was agreed that a quote be obtained from Hackett’s in the first instance.

Commemorative bench for Jean Nuttall – this was unanimously approved in

principal and Graham will prepare  a proposal.

(b) Worship Committee:

There was nothing to report.

©  Finance Sub-Committee:

The Annual Accounts  for 2020 had been circulated.  Chris expanded on the information and pointed out that whilst income was down by only 5% expenses were down by more than 50%...  It was acknowledged that the Parish Giving Scheme had undoubtedly assisted with this.

The Parish Share for 2021 is £52, 642.00 of which £6,000 has been paid. It was unanimously agreed that an application is submitted for a reduction  in  the 2021 year offering to pay £40,000 of the total amount.

Retained Funds:

There is  £350.00 currently held in the “flower fund”. It was unanimously agreed that this be transferred to the general fund, a small float being retained.

There is £500 from a Silver Band Concert which had to be cancelled due to the pandemic. The consensus of  opinion was that this should be held by Sue until the concert takes  place later in the year and the distribution  of any  residual funds could  be discussed after the event.

As the Remembrance Garden account had now been closed and the balance transferred to the General Account  it was unanimously agreed that all future accounts/expenditure  in respect of the churchyard would be processed  by the Treasurer.

8..Internet Access:

The proposal prepared by David Cooper had been circulated. It was unanimously agreed that internet access in Church is a necessary facility. There is no provison for this in the budget forecast. . However, further costings  on the installation and monthly costs  needs to be  obtained, and Graham has agreed to do this through the Parish Buying scheme.

The PCC thanked David for the work he had carried out preparing this document.

  1. New Committee Proposals:

Pastoral Care Group and Neighbourhood Group:

Rev Charles gave  his thoughts on the purpose of these Groups.

Following  discussion Sue,Rachel P, Rachel C   and May volunteered to meet with Rev Charles to explore the, Pastoral Care Group and Ian Corden volunteered to meet with Rev Charles to explore the Neighborhood Group.

  1. Quinquennial Inspection:

Recent documentation received from the Diocese was noted.  Graham will

ascertain when the next Inspection is due.


Sue detailed the following documents which required consideration and approval by  the PCC:

  • Safeguarding Action Plan level 3
  • Responding to a Safeguarding Concern or allegation
  • Church Activities on the Dashboard

Post meeting note – the above documents accompany these minutes and will require

discussion at the next PCC meeting


Guidance has been received from the Diocese regarding the format and conditions for

this year’s APCM  and  the date by which this meeting  needs  to be held  has been postponed until the end of May.   A revised date for St James will be circulated shortly.

13.Archived Documents:

Information had been received from Michael Whitehead regarding documents which he

had  from previous projects and it was noted that these are now held in Church.

  1. Any other Business:

Vicki informed the meeting that as the Deanery Synod meetings were to be held on a Wednesday she would be unable to attend – this was noted.

  1. Date and time of next meeting:

20th April 2021 at 7.00 p.m.

  1. Closing Prayers

MD/4 03 2021