Minutes of a Meeting of the Parochial Church Council of St. Margaret’s, Ilkley, held at 7.30pm on Tuesday 16th November 2021 in the Church  

Fr Alex in the Chair. Fr Alex opened the Meeting with prayer.


Present: C Beaumont, R Beeson, H Buswell, C Cheater, Fr A Crawford, C Gibson, G Hartley, B Harrison, J McGhee, H Pilling, M Still, A Stretton, P Tooke, B Whittaker, S Williams, T Williams

Apologies: C Ramage, R Smeaton, J Smith, V Smith, T Warnes, A Wilson


2.    Minutes of the last meeting

       Adopted unanimously

3.    Matters Arising

Helen P informed the PCC of David Shaw’s resignation and thanked him for his contribution.

John informed the PCC that the trees outside church were becoming an increasing risk to health and safety that he was in the process of organising a tree surgeon to look at them.

4.    Safeguarding

Catherine B had previously circulated the Safeguarding Report and additional documents.

i) Safer Recruitment- Philip shared his concerns about the position of references, in particular the requirement for one of the references to be the individual’s employer.  He said most large employers would give character references and would not comment on an individual working with children/vulnerable adults.  It was discussed whether the wording on the application form could be amended and discretion used on what an acceptable reference is.  Fr Alex was happy for this as long as it met diocesan requirements.  It was proposed that the wording on the application would be changed to say ‘One reference might be from your current employer or someone who oversees you in a volunteer role…’  This proposal was accepted by everyone.

ii) Confidential Declaration Forms – Catherine B asked the PCC to approve the sharing of the task of annual renewal with Christine Butler.  All approved.

iii) Robing/Disrobing Arrangements – Catherine B had circulated a risk assessment prior to the meeting regarding the supervision of junior servers and junior choir members whilst robing/disrobing and going up and down the stairs.  After discussion it was agreed that Fr Alex and Catherine G would meet separately to discuss the options for robing/disrobing upstairs for those junior members involved in the Family Service.  For those attending the High Mass, the choir already had a risk assessment in place.  Catherine C would review this and ensure there are two named persons to assist the junior members.

iv) Outstanding Safeguarding Training – It was agreed that by the next PCC meeting everyone would have completed the Safeguarding Foundations training.

5.    Wardens’ Items

i) Christmas 2021 – Helen B informed everyone that she would be spending Christmas in Australia with her daughter and would be away from 12th December returning on 29th January.  She asked the PCC for support with the Christmas services and was planning to make a rota of what and who was required for each service.  It was also noted that Alison would be away for the 19th December and 9 Lessons and Carols so help was particularly needed for that service. 

ii) APCM 2022 – the date of the 2022 APCM was confirmed as Sunday 24th April after the Parish Mass at 10am.  Bethany said she would start to request information from relevant people after Christmas.  Alison stated that at the APCM we would need to recruit a new Warden and new Head Sidesman as both Helen B and Janet Kish were stepping down.

6.    Fr Alex’s Items

i) Altar Frontal and Vestments – the current main green altar frontal was beginning to look worn.  We had recently received a generous legacy from Anne Kilvington RIP and Fr Alex agreed with the Kilvington family that spending the legacy on a new frontal and vestments would be an appropriate way to remember her.  He had already made enquiries with his father who was in the business of making these and had received an initial quote of £2,500 for an altar frontal and set of three vestments.  This was about half of what we would normally pay.  Fr Alex would get a more detailed quote and some samples to bring to a future meeting but the hope was that we could have this commissioned and ready by the early part of 2022.  A question was raised as to whether we would require a faculty and DAC permission before we could commission this.  Fr Alex was pretty sure it was not required but would check with the Archdeacon.  

7.    Finance

i) Treasurer’s Report – John explained that the report (previously circulated) was showing small signs of improvement with Hall Lettings beginning to recover.  We had also paid £49,000 of our Parish Share which was already more than had been previously anticipated.  John was hopeful that we might pay half of what we had been asked to pay.

ii) Emergency Appeal Update – John stated that this had to date given the church circa £5,000 of additional funds.

iii) Stewardship Update – The emergency appeal had impacted regular giving with givers increasing their standing orders by £4,800 per year.

iv) Parish Giving Scheme –Philip informed the PCC that he and members of the Standing Committee had attended a recent presentation on the Parish Giving Scheme which was a completely free national scheme that could complement our current ways of giving.  Philip explained that all of the administration was carried out centrally with the donor choosing a church they wished to donate to regularly (only regular donations were accepted).  The donation would be taken by direct debit from the donor’s account on first of the month and then paid to the relevant church on 10th month.  Gift Aid would also be reclaimed on the church’s behalf and would be paid a little later in the month.  This would significantly help with cash flow.  There would also be an option for the donor to link their donations to inflation and research had shown that most people signed up to this.  Alison stated that we would still need to claim a certain amount of Gift Aid rather than it all being processed centrally in order for us to still be eligible to claim GASDS. 

There was discussion around the benefits of this scheme which included being able to give anonymously and that it might encourage people to give who don’t regularly worship with us but have outside links with us.  On a negative side it was felt that some people would not like to give by direct debit.  There was also the question of the Restricted Share Scheme and whether we would still be able to carry on with this whilst using the Parish Share Scheme. Philip was waiting to hear back from Joanne Wardale, our Independent Examiner on her thoughts about this.

Links to further information on the Parish Giving Scheme would be attached with the minutes and Philip was happy to give a presentation to the congregation if it was something we were to adopt.

Other ways to raise funds for the church such as Amazon Smile and Easy Fundraising would be looked into next year.

8.    Church Fabric and Hall

i) Committee – John was very happy to report that Donald MacRae had accepted the role of chairman of Church Fabric and Hall and that a committee was required to assist him.  The current members of the committee were: Fr Alex, John, Catherine G, Alan Raw (caretaker) and Vickie K (church administrator).  John stated that ideally a further two members were needed.  Ben W kindly agreed to join from the PCC.

ii) Health & Safety Officer – John informed the PCC that a named person was required to review policies and procedures.  It would be a light tough role and thought would be given to who might do this at the next meeting of the newly formed Fabric and Hall Committee.

It was also discussed that First Aid Training might be offered in church for anyone who required it.  Ben W said he had a contact at St John’s Ambulance who we could use.

9.    Church Communications

i) Update – Catherine C updated the PCC on what the Communications Group had been up to.  The group comprises of: Catherine C, Fr Alex, Catherine G, Tom and Vickie K.  She talked about how the church’s different media platforms were used and updated, this included Facebook, Website and YouTube.  It was also discussed how Zoom meetings had been a lifeline to the church’s young people during lockdown when the Friday Young People’s Social Time had been able to continue.  Catherine thanked Tom for his huge involvement with this.   Catherine was also keen to point out that safeguarding procedures applied to digital media as they do in person and that all the relevant procedures had been followed.  Catherine was happy to give a presentation on the church’s different media platforms to the congregation in the new year if required.

10.  Outward Giving Group

i) Christmas Appeal – In view of the church’s current financial situation, and the increased costs involved in putting on large services in winter, it was proposed that this year the Christmas appeal money would be split 50:50 between St Margaret’s Church and Leeds Autism Services (the organisation which supports Christopher Baggaley and which had been agreed at the previous PCC Meeting).  It was also proposed that the collection from only the Christingle Service would go to The Children’s Society and that the collection from the Advent Procession, which normally also goes to the Children Society, would this year go to St Margaret’s Church.  There were some reservations to this but Fr Alex informed everyone that the OGG goal was to give 5% of the total annual regular donations and that had already been achieved this year.  It was also noted that St Margaret’s had given a lot of gifts in kind to charities such as Wharfedale Refugees, Shine and Staying Put.  A vote was taken and the majority agreed with the proposal with one against. 

11.  AOB

i) Sidesman – Helen B mentioned that we were a sidesman short at the moment.  It was not an onerous task and any volunteers would be placed on a rota and carry out duties every 3 months or so.  John kindly offered himself and any other volunteers should email Helen P.

ii) Thursday Morning Mass – Fr Alex informed that the Thursday Mass with Coffee and Chat was going very well and thanked Gwyneth for undertaking the hospitality.

iii) Leaves Outside Church – John explained that he’d been in touch with Bradford Council to ask about removing the leaves and was told that they cannot do anything until 80% of the leaves are fallen.

The meeting closed with Grace.