The Parish Church of St John-at-Hampstead

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March 2018

PCC Report

Nick Walser

On a rainy Saturday at the end of January PCC Members met to reflect on HPC’s mission and aspirations for the next five years, as the first stage of developing our new Mission Action Plan.  Peter Ginnings presented a summary of the results of the recent Parish Survey and Jeremy introduced us to the entertaining but thought-provoking concept of “reverse brainstorming”.  This involved suggesting ways of emptying our church, which included: "Lengthen the services", "Impose a dress code" and "No parties, wine or cake".  I hasten to add that in more serious group discussions we did also come up with some positive ideas which will be developed further – in consultation with the wider congregation - in the MAP process over the coming months.

At our regular meeting on 19 February, we received reports from the Pastoral Care, Social Action and Children & Young People’s Working Parties, including information about the Junior Church’s “Toilet Twinning” project for Lent and an update on the plans for sponsorship of a refugee family.  We also noted the success of the C4WS night shelter hosted at HPC for the first time, and heard about plans to join the Camden Dementia Action Alliance, which will help us to improve our welcome to people affected by dementia and those who care for them.   

We approved the church's Financial Statements for the year ended 31 December 2017 and the budget for 2018, which will be presented at the Annual Parochial Church Meeting on Monday 30 April.  Our Treasurer Inigo Woolf pointed out the continuing decline in revenue from planned giving by church members, which will need to be reversed if we are to maintain our full range of activities, including our plan to recruit a children’s and youth worker later this year.

On a more positive note, we approved several proposals for improvements to the church building, mainly funded out of the generous legacies received last year from the estates of Doris Asher and Ted Nugee.  We will be applying for planning permission to install solar panels on the church roof (carefully positioned so as to be invisible from ground level), restoring the historic William Taylor Memorial and making improvements to the bells and the notoriously inaccurate church clock.  We also reviewed the initial design concept for a new interior lighting system and agreed to proceed with the next stage of this project, hopefully enabling us to approve a full specification at our next meeting in May.

The meeting was attended by our new Director of Music, Peter Foggitt, and amongst other musical matters we agreed that Tilly Mattich and Joseph Verdin (who have been playing some of the music at Thursday and Sunday services recently) should be formally designated as HPC Organ Scholars.

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