NEWS - February 2018
To all the Family of St. Barnabas
As some of you may be aware, we have been waiting to see what the implications of the new Parish Share system would have on St. Barnabas. The Parish Share is what each parish is expected to pay towards the cost of providing a full-time, paid minister and various other shared costs (towards running the Diocese and National Church). Although I am paid just over £27,000 a year, the actual cost, according to the Diocese, is closer to £55,000 when National Insurance, pension contributions, and training are included. In the same way, the Diocese puts shared costs at £10,000 a year, which makes a total of £65,000 for each parish across the Diocese.
Currently we pay a heavily subsidised share of £41,748 because St. Barnabas is one of fourteen parishes that cannot pay the full cost of its ministry due to the deprivation of the community we are located in. But from next year this will all change because a new system is coming into play that is supposed to make things fairer and more transparent. It will also address the concerns of larger, growing churches who have felt that they are paying more than their fair share, which has hampered their further growth. The new system seeks to spread the burden. Let me make it absolutely clear, I do not agree with this new share system or the premise it is built on. Churches with more members ARE in a position to pay more as a church than smaller ones like us. Four hundred people looking to meet a share of £150,000 are in a much better place to raise that amount than a congregation of thirty-five trying to find £42,000! That’s £375 per person as compared to £1,200 a year!
Nonetheless this is what will come into play next January. I was invited to meet with Paul Bryer, our Archdeacon, and Des Williamson, the Rural Dean, to discuss St. Barnabas and the new share arrangement. We are no longer going to be subsidised as a parish of deprivation. We will be expected to pay £65,000 a year starting from January 2021. As a way of cushioning the blow, the Diocese is offering us a one-off “transition investment” of 25%, meaning that next year we will have to pay £46,000, then £51,000 in 2020, and finally the full share of £65,000 from 2021. The Archdeacon made it clear that if we could not meet the share, the parish would have to become part of another parish (Pastoral Re-organisation) and/ or have a part-time minister.
I did make the case that we had increased our giving through a successful Stewardship scheme and that we did have some new people joining us. Financially we were better off than we were last year, but numerically barely replacing those who have either died, moved away, or stopped coming. In order to pay £65,000 a year, we would need to double our membership and dramatically increase our giving. I was asked to sign the document and accept the Share, but declined to do so without consulting the PCC. It would not be right for me to sign away St. Barnabas’ future without everyone knowing what was happening. That won’t stop the new arrangement coming into effect or what we will be required to pay. We need to look realistically at what we can and cannot do, and we need to prayerfully consider what is the best course of action for our future so that we are part of that decision-making process and it isn’t just thrust upon us. Ministry will continue to be offered here, but what that will look like isn’t clear. What is certain is that we cannot simply stay as we are now.
Next PCC meeting is 21st March. If you have any issues or concerns then please don’t hesitate to speak to Michael or the Churchwardens.
Pastoral Visit: If you would like a pastoral visit, or know of anyone living in the parish who would appreciate a pastoral visit, please either contact Father Michael or the church office.
AGM: 22 April – Please try and keep the date free for our AGM at midday on 22 April. We want to be able to circulate papers a couple of weeks before hand so it gives you plenty of reading time and an opportunity to come to the AGM with your questions/ comments and most of all ideas!
Volunteers needed ………………..could it be you?
We are looking for an Electoral Officer. This is a vital role, but not too onerous a role throughout the whole year with the bulk of the work being undertaken in the run up to the AGM. If this is something that you are interested in being involved in or would like to know more, then please speak to Michael or the Church Wardens.
It would be lovely if we could support Christian Aid again this year. Janet, who has organised this for a number of years has stepped down from this role, but is very happy to show anyone the ropes. Is this something you feel that you could be involved with? We are looking for two people to be work together to organise things for us. Please do have a think and if you want to know more Janet can perhaps best answer your questions or speak to Michael or the Church Wardens.
Feedback from the PCC Meeting – 17 January 2018
We always begin every PCC with prayers. We also pray and light a candle before every item, so by the end of our meeting we have a table full of lovely candles burning!
Our Finances–We have good news on our finances, and although we still have a few loose ends to tie up we have ended 2017 with approximately a surplus of £14,500. However, the final figure will be less because of some outgoing payments still to be resolved but it is very encouraging news. We have had an increase in planned giving of £6,000 during 2016, so a big thanks to everyone for that.
I must emphasise that although this sounds all rosy, and indeed our prayers have been answered in that our Finances are healthier than previously, we still must be very prudent on an ongoing basis. We have a long way to go before we can relax, we need to always look to increase our planned giving where possible, and be careful of our expenditure. The Parish Share is still our biggest hurdle.
Vicar's report – At the end of last year Michael met the Archdeacon, Paul Bryers, and then just before Christmas had a meeting with the Bishop. He discussed with them our Parish Share and the proposed changes and the implications to St. Barnabas with the proposed very big hike in Parish share by 2021. Michael is going to report in the February newsletter about the details of the changes to the Parish Share and the very serious financial implications for us.
We then had a discussion about Mission in action and how we can build bridges with our community. How can we connect? We are looking to arrange a Saturday when we can meet to develop this further. We asked Michael to contact Bishop Jo, who has not yet visited us, so we had a chance to hear her preach and so we could hopefully be inspired with some ideas to connect as well.
As always at St. Barnabas we find our limited resources stretched, and although we do a lot we perhaps need to think how we can perhaps stop doing some things and pick up on new things to help us grow and reach out more.
Christmas services and social events – Christingle and the midnight service, held at the new time of 9.00pm were sadly poorly attended. We are considering the future of these services and also our limited stretched resources. The Crib service was again well attended with 89 people counted in!
The Christmas tree festival had mixed attendance but the highlight was Epsom Primary School attendance packing the Church on the Friday. The cabaret dinner was a very enjoyable occasion, but it was held on a Friday and clashed with a number of other events, and also was not advertised in advance enough. It was agreed that in future the timing of the Festival would be looked at, and the community stalls being held on the Saturday, rather than spread over three days and the Cabaret dinner on a Saturday. We also agreed being able to promote the dates in advance would be good so we are agreeing the exact dates of the Festival at our next meeting.
We are again looking to hold our Harvest barn dance over the weekend of 22/23 September.
Future events planned are a Cream Tea on Derby day.
Building Maintenance matters. A big thank you to Love me Love my Mind for paying for the walk-in cupboard at the top of the stairs, to be fitted out with lovely wide shelves. For too long it has been a dumping room and the storage potential has been lost. This will make a big difference for Love Me Love My Mind but also for St. Barnabas too as it is joint storage.
We are also pleased that some of the lights have been sorted out, with a new switch as well. We still have some further work to do and that is in hand.
Prayer triplets. This is something we have discussed before and we are keen to be able to support each other in prayer in a different way, and in addition to our Sunday services. There is a list in the narthex if you are interested in being involved. Michael will be talking about this in more detail on Sunday 28 Jan.
We have our AGM on the 22 April. We want to be able to circulate papers a couple of weeks before hand so it gives you plenty of reading time and an opportunity to come to the AGM with your questions/ comments and most of all ideas!
We are looking for an Electoral Officer for this year. It is not too onerous a role, but it really needs some work during the run up to the AGM. If this is something that you are interested in being involved in then please speak to Michael or Helen or myself.
On the subject of volunteers it would be lovely if we could support Christina Aid again this year. Janet, who has organised this for a number of years has stepped down from this role, but is very happy to show anyone the ropes. Is this something you feel that you could be involved with? We are looking for two people to be work together to organise things for us. Please do have a think and if you want to know more Janet can perhaps best answer your questions or speak to Michael or Helen or myself as Wardens.
Diary for February 2018
Thursday 1st: 11am Coffee Morning
Wednesdays: 9.30am Holy Communion
7.30pm Holy Communion (except 21st)
Ash Wednesday 14th: Dispensing the Ashes 9.30am and 7.30pm
8pm Bible Study
Friday 16th: 2pm Knit and Natter
Bible Study: Every Wednesday at 8pm (not 10 or 17 January).
Readers and Intercessors: The January-March list is in the narthex. Please sign up if you are able to do a reading or prayers on any Sunday.
Parish Prayer Chain: Together We Can Make a Difference
Please sign up to prayer triplets – list in the narthex.
Birthdays this month: 28th Sam Dyke.
Church website: We have a new website on the existing web address: stbarnabas-epsom.org.uk You will find prayers, the monthly notices and information about upcoming events. The website is still evolving so if there is anything you would like to see added, please speak to Father Michael or Janice Pond.
Sick List: We miss Doreen and continue to pray for her throughout her treatment. We also include in our prayers Betty Forbes, Eva Wood, Craig Mey, Penny Spring, Robert Campbell, Heather Pryce and Alan.
RIP - John Harrison: John passed away suddenly on 31 December and a celebration of his life service was held at St Barnabas on 26 January. John was closely involved with the Kites Club, run by Sunnybank Trust, and also held Community Church services at St Barnabas once a month. He was our Santa in December and thoroughly enjoyed it. He was a good friend to St Barnabas and we shall miss him dearly.
Epsom Passion Play: Once again Churches Together in Epsom will be staging the play on Good Friday next year. This incredible act of community witness relies on the help and support of volunteers from local churches.
Donation by Insurers to St Barnabas: Our insurers, Ecclesiastical, will donate £130 to St Barnabas for every parishioner who takes out insurance with them on or before 31 October 2018. Full details on the notice board.
Time for a Laugh!
A Sunday school teacher asked the children just before she dismissed them to go to church, “And why is it necessary to be quiet in church?” Annie replied, “Because people are sleeping”.
The secret of a good sermon is to have a good beginning and a good ending and to have the two as close together as possible. George Burns
A priest and a rabbi are in a car crash and it’s a bad one. Both of their cars are demolished but amazingly neither one of them is hurt. After they crawl out of their cars, the rabbi says, “So you’re a priest. That’s interesting, I’m a rabbi. Wow, just look at our cars! There’s nothing left, but we’re unhurt. This must be a sign from God that we should meet and be friends and live together in peace.” The priest replies, “Oh, yes, I agree. It’s a miracle that we survived and are here together.” “And here’s another miracle”, says the rabbi. “My car is destroyed but this bottle of wine didn’t break. Surely God wants us to drink the wine and celebrate our good fortune”, he says, handing the bottle to the priest.
The priest nods in agreement, opens the wine, drink half of it and hands it back to the rabbi. The rabbi takes it and puts the cap back on. “Aren’t you going to have any?” asks the priest. “Not right now”, says the rabbi. I think I’ll wait until after the police make their report”.
Three boys are in the school yard bragging about their fathers. The first boy says, "My Dad scribbles a few words on a piece of paper, he calls it a poem, and they give him £25." The second boy says, "That's nothing. My Dad scribbles a few words on a piece of paper, he calls it a song, and they give him £200." The third boy says, "I got you both beat. My Dad scribbles a few words on a piece of paper, he calls it a sermon, and it takes eight men to collect all the money!"
Suggestions: If you have any suggestions or ideas for our monthly parish news then please speak to Michael, Hilary or Ruth.
Notices from August 2017 to January 2018 can be found below.