The Annual Vestry Meeting took place on Monday 29th April in the Parochial
Hall. The attendance, even allowing for a number of apologies, was appalling,
there being only four persons present who were not members of the Parochial
Church Council. We are used to poor attendances at Annual Vestry Meetings
but this has to be one of the worst on record. It is at this meeting that
parishioners get the opportunity to find out what has taken place during
the previous year in the Church. On this occasion, a great deal happened
in the previous year, including, of course, Colin's appointment as Priest
in Charge of St. John's.
A great deal of work goes into an interregnum. The Churchwardens face
the brunt of the work and we are indebted to both Elizabeth Blakey and
Peter Oldfield for their hard work and effort during this period. Mention
should be made of Arthur Marshall who has worked tirelessly for the Church.
We are particularly grateful for all the effort he put into raising the
funds to facilitate the re-ordering of the stained glass windows, and
for his handling of the Freewill Offering Scheme. Reverend Steve Jarratt,
the Area Dean, without in any way being intrusive, has always been available
and ready to provide advice and assistance as and when required and we
are grateful to him for this. Reverend Tim Morris has been extremely supportive,
as always, especially during the interregnum, and we do appreciate his
Elizabeth Blakey, having completed her six year tenure as Churchwarden,
leaves office this year along with Peter Oldfield. Elizabeth has not been
allowed to fade into gracious retirement and continues to carry out the
demanding role of Treasurer. We must congratulate her on managing to hold
down both jobs so well for so long. Your new Churchwardens are Peter Haddleton
and Liz Giles. Eric Jones is Deputy Churchwarden.
The three persons elected to represent St. John's at Deanery Synod are
Elizabeth Blakey, Eric Jones and Liz Giles. We must congratulate Liz on
her excellent reports on the work of the Synod over the past year and
wish her every success in her position as Churchwarden which she is well
equipped to fill.
The following persons were elected to serve on the Parochial Church Council:-
Mrs Elsie Merrick, Mrs Lorna Carter, Mrs Margaret Aspinall, Mrs Doreen
Smith, Mrs Davina Hawkyard, Mrs Elizabeth Shepherdson, Mrs Ann Clark,
Mrs Emma Pearson, Mrs Krystyna Primrose, Mr Arthur Marshall, Mr Sean Primrose,
Mrs Elizabeth Blakey and Mr Eric Jones, the three latter members being
ex-officio. Three PCC members were subsequently co-opted - Mrs Vera Agar,
Mrs Jean Lawson and Mr Ben Heath.
From the above list you will see that there is a large female predominance!
What can we do to persuade more gentlemen to come forward and seek election
to the PCC and help to redress the balance? We are pleased to welcome
Krystyna Primrose and Vera Agar as new members and hope that they will
enjoy the experience and not find it too daunting.
The following persons were elected to serve as Sidespersons for the coming
Mr Eric Jones, Mrs Brigid Jones, Mrs Jean Lawson, Mrs Barbara Worthington,
Miss Anne Bond, Mr Peter Oldfield, Mrs Elizabeth Shepherdson, Mrs Pam
Withey, Mr Brian Emms, Mrs Pamela Emms, Mr Arthur Nicholas, Mr Ben Heath,
Mr Gary Pearson, Mrs Emma Pearson, Mrs Ann Clark, Mrs Elsie Merrick, Miss
Christine Sharp and Mrs Valerie Trigg.
The officers of the Church are:-
Secretary - Sean Primrose
Treasurer - Elizabeth Blakey
Electoral Roll Officer - Lorna Carter
Vice Chairman - Peter Haddleton.
As well as ?the appointments it is appropriate that we take the opportunity
to thank a number of persons who have contributed, in no small part, to
the smooth running of the Church. Davina Hawkyard, our Verger is in Church
three times a day most Sundays and for all Weddings, Funerals and Baptisms.
She exudes true devotion to her duties and provides tremendous support
for both the Vicar and Churchwardens in a quiet and efficient manner.
Long gone are the days when the Verger received any form of remuneration
at St. John's. All the work that Davina does is done on a voluntary basis
and performed in a truly Christian way - she is an example to us all.
We are grateful to Jean Lawson and her small band of helpers who turn
up each week to keep the Church clean and tidy. To the individuals who
so kindly help to keep the flower beds and borders so neat and tidy, regardless
of the damage inflicted upon their work by careless drivers. To those
who turned up to help with the huge task of preparing the Church for the
Classical Concert and putting everything back in place afterwards. To
Ben Heath for overseeing the maintenance of the Church building and to
Ron Aspinall for his electrical installations and repairs. There are the
"Flower Ladies" who turn up each week to make the Church look
attractive and who really go to town with their displays for the Gift
Day. We receive tremendous help from the ladies who run, and provide for,
the monthly Coffee Mornings and those who assist at the Get Togethers.
We have a thriving Crèche thanks to the ladies who volunteer to
help each Sunday and especially Krystyna Primrose who is not only instrumental
in running the crèche but also for preparing, along with Sean,
the two crèche pages in the magazine each month. We are indebted
to the Servers, Readers, and those responsible for Intercessions, the
Bell Ringers and Choir and our two resident organists, Colin Briggs and
John Hewitt. Colin, who is also Choirmaster, was recently laid low by
an infection which had a devastating effect resulting in his being seriously
ill in hospital. Thankfully that is now behind him and, whilst not fully
recovered, he is back with us playing the organ as if nothing had happened.
We are grateful to John for all his work and for providing excellent backup
during Colin's illness. We must not forget Lorna Carter who has recently
been involved with the 6 yearly revamp of the Church Electoral Roll. Our
Architect, Roger Shaw is meticulous in his handling of all works carried
out in the Church and we value his expertise. Sean Primrose does an excellent
job as Secretary and Peter Oldfield is developing our Web Site so that
St. John's is now known throughout the world, communications having been
received from Canada and other far flung places. Without these people,
and undoubtedly some that I have forgotten to mention, St John's would
struggle to exist. But of course the people that we must thank are you,
the parishioners, for it is you that comprise the Church. We welcome your
presence at Church Services and the support and encouragement that we
receive from you.
Finally, the Vicar! Since his arrival last September, Colin has integrated
seamlessly into St. John's earning the respect and friendship of us all.
Ably supported by his wife Jan, his three children, and a whole host of
animals, Colin has endeared himself to all those with whom he has come
into contact, both young and old. One of his first tasks was to oversee
the requisite change to our 10.00a.m. Service which went without a hitch
or a moments dissent, not an easy task. Little did he anticipate that
several attempts upon his life, by drowning, would take place thanks to
the vagaries of the vicarage plumbing system. There have been at least
nine occasions when there have been bursts, leaks and/or flooding which
fortunately have been caught early enough to prevent serious damage although
on one occasion it was necessary to re-decorate part of the hall following
a leak in the bathroom, the house having only just been decorated. There
is a lot to be done at St. John's and a lot to look forward to. With Colin
at the helm we feel confident in the future of our Church.