Minutes of the Meeting of the Parochial Church Council of St. Margaret’s, Ilkley, held on Tuesday 29th June 2021 in the Parish Hall and on ‘Zoom’.

Alison Stretton in the Chair. The Meeting began in prayer.


  1. Present: C Beaumont, H Buswell, C Cheater, C Gibson, G Hartley, D Shaw, V Smith, A Stretton, M Still, P Tooke, T Warnes, T Williams

     On Zoom: R Beeson, H Pilling, J Smith, B Whittaker

     Apologies: B Harrison, J McGhee, S Williams, A Wilson


2.    Minutes of the last meeting: Approved.


3.    Matters arising: Code of Conduct. It had been decided to defer discussion of this until Fr Alex Crawford is present.


4.    Fr Alex – Appointment and Licensing arrangements

Alison Stretton stated that the service would be held on the afternoon of Sunday 5th September. Bishop Nick would preside and it would include the Eucharist. There would be no other services that day. If Covid restrictions were lifted, the service would be followed by a parish reception. Judith Smith was happy to organise refreshments, and Mike Coe and Fr Alex are currently working on the order of service and a guest list is being drawn up. If numbers were still restricted, it might be necessary to prioritise church members and ask them to state in advance whether they wished to be present.


5.    Safeguarding

Catherine Beaumont presented three documents. She first asked the PCC to authorise the updated list of activities for which safeguarding procedures are needed or in process and said that the Lunch Club, Servers and Social Activities needed to be added in the near future. The PCC also approved the Recruitment of Ex-Offenders Policy and the Responding to Allegations and Concerns Procedure.

She presented the St Margaret’s Safeguarding Action Plan, and explained that in future all positions (whether paid or voluntary) would need a role description, would need to be advertised, and would require references and an informal interview.  It was adopted unanimously.


6.    Wardens’ Items

 i)   Review of Covid protocol procedures. We will continue with existing protocols until 18th July. The pricket stand has been returned to use. Low numbers attending the Family Service have enabled us to discontinue the booking system for that service.

 ii)  Changes to services on 11th and 18th July. Because of road closures on 11th, the Parish Mass has been moved to 4pm that day, and there will be no Family Service. On 18th, we are keeping St Margaret’s Day, and there will be one Parish Mass at 11am. (Covid restrictions unfortunately preclude a meal in the Hall afterwards.) There will be a short Choral Evensong that evening and on 25th July.

7.    Finance

i) Treasurer’s Report. This had been circulated already and there were no questions.

ii) Stewardship. Alison Stretton reported that it was intended to hold a stewardship campaign this year, in November if Fr Alex agreed. She invited volunteers to join the Stewardship Group in planning this, and Philip Tooke and David Shaw both expressed interest.


8.    Church Fabric and Hall

John McGhee had reported a “mole issue” in the churchyard.

He and Catherine Cheater had met Kyle Green (Ilkley Parish Councillor) to discuss the extended double yellow lines outside the church. He had said they could be reduced to a single yellow line, which would allow parking during services. Ben Whittaker had also spoken to Robbie Moore MP, who would expedite the matter with Bradford Council.


9.    Deanery Synod Update

Gwyneth Hartley reported on the latest meeting (8th June), at which, under the heading “Shared Ministry”, three lay people had been invited to speak about their vocational journey. Ros Beeson and Val Smith spoke warmly about the sense of lay and ordained working together across the Deanery.

Diocesan Synod Representative. Val Smith also spoke of the vacancies on Diocesan Synod: our deanery is entitled to five lay and two priest representatives, but so far it has only filled one in each category. Representatives need not already be members of Deanery Synod or the PCC, but they would become members of both ex officio.  It is possible to nominate a representative at any point in the next Synod term which commences in August.


10.  AOB.

i) Engagement with Parishioners & the Community. David Shaw is keen that St Margaret’s should be more pro-active in this area. Speaking as Chair of the Communications Group, Catherine Cheater said that she had discussed this matter informally with Fr Alex, who also considers it a high priority. One aspect is dissemination of information. We use the Newsletter, the Parish Website, Facebook and YouTube, but until Covid our approach had not been very streamlined. We need to be more strategic, but she thought there was not much to be done before Fr Alex arrives.  It was highlighted that engagement and communication with parishioners and the wider community were quite different things. Val Smith was missing Zoom Coffee, which gave the opportunity to converse about many subjects from a Christian standpoint. Catherine Cheater remarked that Revelation & Relaxation provided such an opportunity for young people; and Val Smith recalled the Enquirers’ Courses were similarly stimulating.  It was also noted that Stewardship involves engagement too.

ii) Ministry of Women at St Margaret’s. Michelle Still asked for assurance that Fr Alex would honour the step we had taken by deciding not to consider any resolution. Catherine Gibson and Catherine Cheater said that at his appointment it was clear that he was supportive of women priests, but would be concerned to listen, discuss, and accommodate people’s consciences as sensitively as possible.

 iii) Outward Giving. Alison Stretton said that the Outward Giving Group was meeting next week. The Christian Aid collection had amounted to £685 (double last year’s amount). The PCC approved the OGG’s recommendation that this year’s Harvest appeal should support Mary’s Meals, a charity which aims to ensure that every child receives one meal a day in their place of education. Val Smith also suggested we might consider supporting the charity which helps Christopher Baggaley, Leeds Autism Services.


The meeting closed with the Grace about 9pm.