ALL SAINTS’ CHURCH, BRANDESTON
Parochial Church Council
for the year ended 31st December 2007
The Reverend Harry Edwards
The Reverend Robin Alderson
Barclays Bank p.l.c.
Suffolk Coastal Group
4 Church Street
Mr Graham Rice
All Saints’ Church – Annual Report
All Saints’ PCC has the responsibility of co-operating with the Priest-in-Charge, the Reverend Graham Vellacott, in promoting in the ecclesiastical parish the whole mission of the Church, pastoral, evangelistic, social and ecumenical. [PCC (powers) Measure 1956 Section 2]. It also has the maintenance responsibilities for the Cemetery Chapel and graveyard.
Members of the PCC are either ex-officio or are elected by the Annual Parochial Church Meeting (APCM) in accordance with the Church Representation Rules.
During the year the following served as members of the PCC. Their term of office, excluding the priest-in-charge, ends at the APCM in 2007.
Priest-in-Charge: The Reverend Harry Edwards
Assistant Priest The Reverend Robin Alderson
Churchwardens: Miss Eileen Leach MBE (Elder)
Mrs Alison Molyneux
Deanery Synod Reps: Mr David Drummond (up to 2008)
Mrs Wilda Woodland (up to 2008)
Elected Members: Mrs Mary Baker (Secretary and Elder)
Mr Paul Baker (Treasurer)
Mrs Nancy Demetriadi
Dr Anthony Fletcher (Elder)
Mr John Garratt (Trees Officer)
Mrs Kelly Jeffery
Mr Chris McArthur (Vice-Chair/Tower Captain)
Mrs Christine Matthews
Mrs Mary Moore
The PCC operates three official committees which meet between full
meetings of the PCC. They are the Standing Committee, the Friends of
the Mortuary Chapel and the Fund-raising Committee
This is the only committee required by law. It has the power to transact
business of the PCC between meetings, subject only to directions given
by the Council.
Four baptisms, two weddings, but no funeral services have been held in the Church during the year.
At the Family Service in October there were 39 adults and 20 children, including Brandeston Hall, on the third Sunday in October there were 10 adults and two children- the presence of young people at the communion service is a new and welcome feature. The numbers at the eight o’clock service remain constant.
The Christmas services were well attended with 98 people at the Christmas Eve Communion service.
2 names have been added to the electoral roll during the year. The membership is now 43.
The full PCC met seven times during the year with an average attendance of
85%. Much of the year was focussed on the future of the benefice and the interregnum after the retirement of Revd Graham Vellacott. Continuing topics for discussion were the restoration and finance.
The January meeting was dominated with balancing priorities for payment between the quota and the final bills for restoration following the last quinquennial review. Some of the Quota payment was postponed until later in the year.These concerns were partly eased by receipt of two grants for restoration, totalling £1 250. Members of the PCC were thanked for their work in making the Christmas Fair a record breaking event.
In March the Revd Graham Vellacott announced that he would be retiring at the end of April and that we would come under the guidance of the rural dean, the Revd Graham Owen, until the Deanery Plan comes into force and we merge our benefice with the Marlesford Benefice. Members of the PCC paid tribute to Graham Vellacott for his work for the Benefice. The churchwardens were already working on plans for services.
The treasurer and secretary presented the annual report and financial report to the PCC with comments of guidance from the auditor. Mr Risk continued as electoral roll officer and compiled the new roll. The new gates, given in memory of Col. Demetriadi, were completed and the PCC members were thanked for their contributions towards the tea party on 4th February which raised £200 and the confirmation service and celebrations held on 6th March. Mrs Woodland reported on her efforts to find homes for the old maps of the area which have been in storage. More grant assistance was received towards the restoration work.
The meeting in April, following the APCM, elected officials as shown on the cover of this report. The APCM meeting itself, the refreshments and the talk on India by Linda Lancaster were all well-received.
The meeting in May noted the dedication of the gates by the Bishop of Dunwich when he visited Brandeston for the Palm Sunday service.
There was much discussion about how the Parish could continue its work following the retirement of Revd Graham Vellacott. Mr McArthur took the chair at PCC meetings and Mr Baker was elected as vice-chairman. The Churchwardens reported that they were managing to organise future services using visiting clergy and elders. The service and party to mark Graham’s retirement were a great success and received support from villagers and church members from all three parishes as well as Graham’s family.
In July we heard that our interregnum would not be as protracted as we had feared. The Revd Robin Alderson was to become assistant priest for the three parishes with Revd Harry Edwards as priest-in-charge. The date of their installation was announced as 21st November. The fete was spoiled by atrocious weather but still raised £2000 to be split equally between the church and the village hall. The many people who helped with this event were thanked for all their hard work.
In September we were making plans for the arrival of the Revd Robin Alderson. Suggestions were made for the future of services in the parishes and arrangements were made for the service on 21st November with refreshments in the village hall afterwards. There was also a significant amount of thought about fund-raising events including the bike ride, organised again by Mr and Mrs Garratt, the sale of some of the maps, evening talks, the Christmas Fair and a possible music festival.
Members of the PCC were anxious to clarify and develop the role of the church in the community. This is expected to become a significant area for discussion and action when the new vicar is established.
By the end of the year all the maps were either sold or on display in the village hall although two were paid for but not yet collected. Mrs Woodland was thanked for her considerable efforts with the maps. The PCC were pleased to hear that next year’s quota increase would be smaller than last year’s. This year’s charitable giving was agreed and it was announced that Mrs Weston would play for one service a month and Mr Matthews would continue to play for two services per month. Final arrangements were made for the induction service. Mrs McArthur has given up the organisation of the church cleaning rota after many years. Her work was greatly appreciated. Many visitors to the church comment on how well maintained and clean it is. All those who helped with the major cleaning of the vestry were thanked for their efforts. Mrs Matthews and Mrs Jeffery will take over the role.
Fabric, Goods, and Ornaments
The work on the fabric required by the quinquennial report in May 2005 has now been all completed and all invoices paid and grants received. A commitment for a grant by the Suffolk Churches Capital Fund was surprisingly withdrawn when we called the grant down. They believe that a small positive balance in our fabric fund was justification for this action, the PCC disagree with this unfortunate action.
The church fabric remains in good order and no damage or ongoing repairs were needed during the year. The interior of the church will need redecorating when funds allow, as it is becoming slightly scruffy, particularly in the chancel.
The major change to Goods, and Ornaments this year has been the replacement of the old gates with new ones, paid for by donations in memory of Col. Michael Demetriadi. Members of his family were at the Palm Sunday service to see them being dedicated by the Bishop. A new kneeler in memory of Miss Colinette Gallienne has also been dedicated and is in use. The gates were made more secure following helpful suggestions made from parishioners at the APCM.
There have been several fund-raising events this year. This is very necessary if we are to keep up with restoration and quota payments. In February a tea party raised £200
On December 2nd 2007, a fund raising event took place in the Village Hall. This was an excellent talk by Chris Parfitt entitled “Mongolia-Home of Genghis Khan”. As always, the ladies of the PCC produced a delicious tea which was much appreciated by the audience. We raised £203 to go into the Church Fabric Fund.
This year’s bike ride raised £635 for our parish. Mr and Mrs Garratt were thanked for all their work with the organisation of the event.
The summer fete (£1000) and the Christmas fair (£1077) raised a significant amount towards the ongoing upkeep of the church.
Many thanks to the Fund-raising Committee for their hard work, as always.
Flower arranging report
In 2007 we did the flowers for one wedding, which raised £160 for the Church plus the Gift Aid allowance of 28%. Throughout the year there were, of course fresh flowers arranged every weekend, even when there were no services, which sometimes happened during the interregnum. I thank all the people who generously give their time to Church flower arranging, especially those who help at special times like Christmas, Easter and the Harvest Festival, when everyone is so busy at home. If there are any new people in the village who would like to join the rota, they would be most welcome.
Deanery Synod Report
There have been three meetings of the Synod during the year and a Garden get-together in June.
At the first, held at Campsea Ashe, the speaker was Mrs Sue Young, the Diocesan World Development Officer, who spoke comprehensively on “Fairtrade Justice and Christian Love”. With over 800 products available and, as our Diocese is now committed to Fairtrade, our Deanery should strive to be 100% signed up, as against the 50% at present, so doing our part in this project.
Mr Peter Markland reported that half the parishes at the 1st March had paid nothing towards their Parish Share. The other half had paid 10% when 17% should have been paid.
At the June meeting the Bishop’s Chaplain (Revd. Cannon Graham Hedger) gave us an in depth talk on affordable rural housing, stressing how the “right to buy” 1970s Act exacerbated the shortage of rural housing. Developers are now required to provide 1/3 social housing when they build 5 or more properties. Housing Association and Home-buy schemes are helping low income families, as is the Church’s national “Marks for Mission” programme.
The Diocesan Board of Finance report showed a shortfall of over £300 000 for 2006 and a stormy response was encountered by proposals for an increase of the Paris Share by 4.47% for 2008. Four of our parishes have paid nothing to date. (April 30th).
It was proposed that in future March Deanery Synods, instead of a speaker, we will confine our discussions solely to Deanery matters.
The Chaplain of St Elizabeth’s Hospice, the Revd David Flower spoke at the October meeting, giving a heart-warming and reassuring talk and DVD presentation on the wonderful work at the hospice. It was evident that he and the staff have a positive, loving attitude in their vocation. The DBF have proposed an increase of 2.8% over the Diocese as a whole for 2008. This is to be graduated over the 19 Deaneries with some paying 0% up to 8.08% for the highest. Our Deanery would increase by a modest 0.06% (£182).
The Revd Richard Clement, reported that the Youth Service/event held on 15th July at St Michael’s Framlingham was a great success with the Wickham Market band and leaders in attendance.
Notice was given that the licensing of Revd Robin Alderson (NSM) in the parishes of Brandeston, Easton and Kettleburgh, working under Revd Harry Edwards, would take place at Brandeston on 21st November.
Gift Aid and Charitable Giving
There are now 16 regular Gift Aid Donors and 6 who give free-will offerings.
In the area of charitable giving we gave £50 to the Archdeacon’s retirement fund, £25 for the Suffolk Historic Churches’ Trust, and £50 for the Historic Churches Preservation Trust. It was agreed that we should make this up to a total of £200 by making a donation of £75 to the Red Cross in addition to collections given to the Poppy appeal, Hospice and Children’s Fund.
In the Churchyard the trees are all healthy and in good condition. Following last year’s report, the two chestnut trees, numbers 1 and 4, were inspected by a
S.C. D. C. Tree Officer. It was agreed that the crown would be removed from
number 4, by the War Memorial, and that number 1, overhanging the road, should be trimmed back to give a clearance of 5 metres. This work was carried out by a tree surgeon and completed in July. At the same time, two branch stumps were trimmed off the beech tree, number 6. The six lime trees along the road had their lower branches trimmed to give clearance for the grass cutting carried out by the Hall Ground Staff.
Friends of the Mortuary Chapel
It has been a quiet year at the Chapel but, as usual, the cheese and wine evening was a great success and the chapel was visited by people from a wide area as part of the Historic Churches bike ride. Most of the action has been focused on the cemetery itself.
In the Chapel’s Cemetery, the scots pine trees are all healthy, but the black poplar, planted in 2004, has not survived. This has been replaced by another black poplar and planted in the north-east corner. Several of the smaller trees have been trimmed, but more trimming is needed on the yew trees. The north and east hedges were cut on the outside by Mr Sillet and the inside by Mr David Risk. At the same time, several gaps were noted in the north hedge and these have now been filled in by 60 pieces of hedging, assisted by Mr Risk. The hedging and the black poplar were supplied by S.C.D.C. under the Parish Tree and Hedge Scheme, at a nominal cost.
Following a visit by the Suffolk Wildlife Trust, regarding the encouragement of more orchids in the cemetery, it was suggested that we should clear the bottom half by grazing sheep in the spring. Mr Compton, from Kettleburgh, kindly brought some sheep and lambs over and they cleared the area. The first orchid of the count appeared on 22nd May and by 14th June we had over 100. It was a very successful exercise, plus the sheep were a great attraction and many photographs were taken over the period that they were there. Following that, one ewe and four of the lambs were shown at the Suffolk Show and received two prizes.
Children’s work continues to be one of the most important features of Church life and it was good to see our families continuing to give their support to Family Services and church events during the interregnum. One of the highlights of the year was the Confirmation service, held at Brandeston, in February. The church was full to see the candidates make their commitments and everyone enjoyed the party afterwards. As the older children grow into young adults they are making an important contribution to worship in the Church through music with the band at Kettleburgh and drama, prayers and readings at Brandeston.
Christmas is obviously an important time in the church calendar. The special services were well-attended with generous gifts at the crib service, and a full church for the Christingle service. The Good Friday family service is becoming a feature of the Easter celebrations. It is a quiet and thoughtful service where children construct the Easter Garden and everybody, young and old, has the opportunity to reflect on the importance of Easter.
Regular Sunday ringing continues with few exceptions, with a band of ringers from the local villages. In addition the practice night occurs on a Thursday, once a fortnight. New ringers are always welcomed and interest from the Brandeston School has started.
The bells remain in excellent order and were visited by seven visiting bands during the year. This produces a small income for us. Again we must thank those who put in the commitment to ring our bells on Sundays, particularly Christopher McArthur (Tower Captain) Peter Arbon, Hillary Stern, Chris Oswald , John and Ruth Garrett, Helen Saxton , Anne Hayward, Ruth Darton, Jayne O’Leary, and Persephone Booth.
One notable occasion was ringing in the New Year at December 2007 with a local band, when we were delighted to be joined by our new rector Robin Alderson and his wife, who had recently joined our parish.
The staff and children from Brandeston Hall have played an important part in Family Services. They prepare readings, prayers and drama activities and are always keen to make a lively contribution during services. Their stall at the Christmas Fair was an example of the good links between the Church and the School.
The Parochial Church Council would like to thank everyone who works so hard to maintain our Church’s place as one of the central points of the local community. The church is not just a building; it involves those who attend church regularly, those who value the church for special events and those for whom the building and clergy are there in times of need. There are many people in the village and the surrounding area who support the church, and the part that they play is valued by us all. They may give us their time, their money, or their prayers. We need all this goodwill to continue to function and for our work to grow.
We thank all the people who help with tasks within and around the church. Inside the church we notice the efforts of those who prepare the church for services including the flower arrangers and the cleaning team, particularly Mrs McArthur who has handed over the job of organising the cleaning of the church after many years. The bell ringers and organists spend time, not only at services, but also in many hours of practice. Outside the Church we see the beautiful condition of the churchyard and the care and maintenance of a very old building and we see the flag that has to be raised to remind us of special events. We thank all those who do the paper work, preparing for church services, auditing accounts or working on the magazine. In addition to this, there are those who support us practically and financially at services and social and fundraising events which are such a valued part of church and village life.
We would also like to thank Master and the staff of Brandeston Hall. The ground staff have taken care of the churchyard while the Master and the teaching and boarding staff have given us consistent support with school services and special events, especially fund-raising events. Mr Garratt, and Mr Risk have worked hard to make the grounds of the Cemetery in Mill Lane an area of significant importance for plants and wildlife and the Friends of the Mortuary Chapel have taken similar care of the building.
Everybody, for everything that you do, the Parochial Church Council offers its thanks and appreciation of your efforts.