Annual Report 2019 PDF (right click and “save as..”)

Administrative Information
Crediton Parish Church is situated in Church Street, Crediton and is part of the Crediton Benefice Community which covers three parishes and eight churches within the Cadbury Deanery of the Diocese of Exeter. The correspondence address is the Parish Administrator, Parish Office, Boniface Centre, Church Lane, Crediton, EX17 2AH.
The Parochial Church Council (PCC) is a body corporate (PCC Powers Measure 1956, Church Representation Rules 2017) and registered with the Charity Commission – Registered Charity No. 1129124. PCC members are elected by the Annual Parochial Church Meeting in accordance with the Church Representation Rules 2017 and during the year, the following served as members of the PCC:-
Incumbent: Revd Preb. Nigel Guthrie (until 16 January 2018) then in Vacancy
Assistant Curate: Revd Helen Drever
Churchwardens: Jacki Hayes (until APCM 2018); John Musty (Chair during Vacancy); Sheila Ralph (Vice Chair during Vacancy); Mike May (from APCM 2018)
Ex Officio (Deanery Synod) Sue Barker; Amy Bright; Anne Jerman; Carol Price
Ex Officio (Diocesan Synod) Revd David Francis
Ex Officio (General Synod) Dr Jack Shelley
PCC Treasurer Glenda Hills
PCC Secretary Anne Jerman
Elected Members Linda Bennett-Smith (until APCM 2018)
Glenda Hills (until APCM 2018)
Mandy Tomlinson (until APCM 2018)
Eileen Brassington, Angy Cargill, Ernie Heard, Kate Lang, Stephen Mitchell, James Turner – served all year
Garry Adams (from APCM 2018)
Peter Brewer (from APCM 2018)
Ted Staite (from APCM 2018)
Co-opted Gill Lee (from APCM 2018) as Parish Administrator
Mandy Tomlinson (from APCM 2018) as Parish Representative for Vacancy
Independent examiner Stapletons Chartered Certified Accountants, 4 Market Street, Crediton, EX17 2AJ
Structure, Governance and Management
The method of appointment of PCC members is set out in the Church Representation Rules 2017. The membership of the above PCC consists of the Incumbent, the Assistant Curate, the Churchwardens, Ex Officio due to membership of Deanery/Diocesan/General Synod and members elected by those persons whose names are on the electoral roll of the church.
The PCC held nine meetings during the year.
Unusually, Crediton Church Corporation owns and is responsible for the repair and maintenance of the church, its artefacts and the churchyard.
The Electoral Roll stands at 164 names following the six yearly full revision of the Roll in the period leading up to the APCM 2019.
The PCC has complied with the duty under section 5 of the Safeguarding and Clergy Discipline Measure 2016 to have due regard to the House of Bishops’ guidance on safeguarding children and adults at risk. No Serious Incident occurred during the year that should have been reported to the Charity Commissioners.
Aim and Purpose
The PCC has the responsibility of co-operating with the incumbent (in vacancy from 17 January 2018), in promoting in the ecclesiastical parish the whole mission of the Church: pastoral, evangelistic, social and ecumenical.
The PCC, as part of the Crediton Benefice Community, commits itself to carry out God’s will through prayer, worship, learning and action. We will develop our life together as we reach out to others; affirm individual strengths; value the diversity of churchmanship across the Benefice; nurture growth, vocations and leadership; work towards greater accessibility and respect and sustain our environment.
Reports from PCC Sub Committees and Other Church Groups
Children and Young People
Children and Young Families (report Eileen Brassington)
In the Midst – the children are now accustomed to staying in Church at the beginning of the 9:30am Sunday Service for the placing of the button on the liturgical calendar and other activities. Thank you to the clergy for accommodating this. Bishop Furry has his own Facebook page to highlight our children’s activities.
Easter activity – as Easter Saturday children’s activities were happening elsewhere, six stations of the Easter story were set up in Church for a week. Each station suggested an independent reflection and simple symbolic activity. It was good to see families following the trail.
Children’s Guide to the Church – this is available at the back of the Church. Funding for the coloured photocopying has been provided by a grant from the Governors. Many thanks to them for this. Several schools have voiced their appreciation of the booklet.
Baptism Preparation – the Baptism booklet continues to be used as a basis for preparation and discussion. The baptism support group has been continuing to help prepare families for the Baptism service and Linda Heard has been the Mothers’ Union (MU) representative at the services. We hope to work with the new Rector to introduce materials from the Church of England website. The knitted teddy bears presented to babies at their baptism are proving very popular. There were 21 baptisms during 2018.
Connect – Rachel Hunt is our new Connect worker. With support from Lauren (Connect associate worker and Methodist youth worker), Dave (the Crediton Congregation Church Youth worker) and Graham (the Copplestone Methodist Church youth worker), lunchtime clubs are available in both Lower and Upper Queen Elizabeth schools. Rachel also does support work in RE and maths lessons and has occasional input in assemblies. She is interested in becoming a listening voice for pupils experiencing problems. Helen and Eileen are members and Peter Brewer is secretary of the ecumenical support group.
Messy Church – numbers attending have been lower, though the themes and activities have been enjoyed by those who came. The team of helpers are most faithful and much appreciated. Discussions are still ongoing about running Messy Church as an ecumenical event.
Sunday Club and Babes & Toddlers – grateful thanks to the team of Sunday club leaders and Angy Cargill (Babes & Toddlers) who prepare and lead sessions every week and have done so for many years. Sunday Club has been augmented by young members of the choir during the sermon.
Wednesday Morning Prayer – prayer for the work for children and families continues within the Morning Prayer Service on Wednesday morning at 9.15am. Please join us.
Children’s Corner – this was refurbished during the year with new furniture and other items purchased. The money for a Noah’s Ark was provided by Crediton Boniface Rotary Club, populated with animals knitted by members of the MU, has been particularly popular.
Crib Service – Richard and Stella Stephens kindly organised the service this year and we give grateful thanks for this – especially in view of their many other commitments. This popular service was attended by 365 adults and children.
Please continue to pray for this ministry.
Babes and Toddlers (report by Angy Cargill)
Holy Cross Babes and Toddlers runs every week during school terms in the Boniface Centre from 2pm – 3.30pm. We welcome any carers who have a 0 – 4+ year old child. We sing songs, tell very basic stories, play instruments, do crafty things and enjoy time together. There is no charge but voluntary contributions mean that we have been able to give money to various charities. Thank you to Enid Clifton and Jacki Hayes for weekly support and to Carol Price and Eileen Brassington who also help us out. We had a wonderful Christmas session when Father (Ted Staite) Christmas came loaded with gifts. Thank you to Morrisons who gave us some lovely toys. We have a Facebook page and so does our big supporter Bishop Furry. Do look us up! We can’t wait to meet our new Rector, Matthew and his wife, Antonia.
Sunday Club (report by Gill Lee)
Sunday Club uses the ‘Roots’ material, which usually follows the lectionary and helps to provide a link with the congregation. The number of children who attend regularly continues to be disappointingly low, however it has been good to welcome a larger number of junior choristers for a brief time during the sessions. Our display at the Flower Festival was based around the ‘Blue Plant’ television programme, allowing plenty of scope for imaginative fish of all colours. Decorations for our Christmas Tree were based on the carol ‘Hark the Herald Angels Sing’.
Open the Book (report by Revd Jenny Francis)
During 2018, we have carried on as before, visiting each primary school fortnightly. The head teacher at Yeoford, which is part of a 9-school federation stretching to S. Devon and including two church schools (CoE), left to assume the locum headship of two primaries in E. Devon. The school will be supervised pro tem by a senior staff member from Tedburn St Mary but when such things happen, we know to be very alert to the need for adequate safeguarding, as gaps can occur.
Hayward’s continues to be the very welcoming school we have got to know, with increasingly warm mutual relationships. This term we are looking forward greatly to the Bishop of Crediton’s visit on 15th March. She kindly accepted my invitation, issued last October, to visit the school one Friday when the OtB team will be presenting a story and to meet staff and children. Bishop Jackie is very familiar with OtB (it’s very popular in the Gloucester Diocese where she was last) and she was a primary teacher before ordination.
The day on storytelling held last May for OtB supporters in the SW was a success as we welcomed Bob Hartman, author of the Lion Storyteller Bible.
We have all been aware that Landscore was the only school in the benefice not to have an OtB team. Consequently we were delighted to be invited to Landscore School by the Deputy Head last term, initially for one visit a term until our new Rector has arrived. We received a warm welcome and were impressed by the space afforded by their recently extended hall. Our second visit will be on 28th February and we’re all keen to continue to make a good impression. We know the pupils are used to ‘all singing, all dancing’ assemblies when visiting speakers bring acoustic guitars, use OHPs etc, whereas we stick to C20th century spoken methods, props and costumes. It was, however, positive feedback which earned our second visit. We’ve just welcomed Jacki Hayes to our number, but should we be invited to do more at Landscore or elsewhere, we will undoubtedly need more volunteers.
Worship Committee (report by Joanna Lunnon)
The Worship Committee has continued to review services and plan for those ahead, meeting three times during the year. In the absence of a Rector, the Committee was chaired by John Musty. Attendance at the main Sunday services has held up during the vacancy with around 120 in the congregation plus up to 53 in the choir. Evening services continued to be appreciated with a wide variety of attendance depending on the occasion. The church was very full for the Advent carol service, Nine Lessons and Carols and the Crib Service. Services were reviewed, including those for Christmas 2017 and Easter 2018, and any potential changes noted for future implementation. A lighting plan for major services has been drawn up as well as a master plan for services involving candles so that the church does not rely on the knowledge of one person. The new sound system was discussed and feedback from the congregation implemented. Short family services were discussed and some members of the Committee attended the 30 Minute Worship at Heavitree. It is hoped to trial a similar service at Holy Cross.
Choir Committee (report by James Turner)
2018 was a good year for the choir. We ended the year with the same number of Juniors (19) and one additional Adult (34). Each year we lose a few Juniors, mostly to university, so it’s great that recruitment kept pace with mover-oners. It’s worth mentioning that our choir is the only parish choir in the West Country that fields a full team of Trebles every Sunday.
Outside the regular duties of Sunday services in the parish, and the not inconsiderable 4¼ hours of rehearsals each week, the choir sang services at Wells, Exeter and Truro Cathedrals in 2018. This note of thanks was received from our host in Wells: “What a very great pleasure to have you all with us over the weekend, and such thoughtfully chosen music and fine performances. I hope you are booked to come again soon! With all good wishes and renewed thanks, Nicholas.” The Reverend Canon Nicholas Jepson-Biddle, Precentor. The choir also held two concerts in June and December, which were well received and we sang joint services with Topsham Choir both in Topsham and Crediton.
Choir Social, an essential part of choir life for the children, which takes place after Tuesday practice, continues to thrive, though having to hold it in the church when the Boniface Centre is rented to the blood donor service does cause issues. We are very grateful to Jenny Scott, who stepped down from running Social for many years. It is now run by our Choral Scholar, with help from James Turner and a rota of parent helpers.
At the request of a number of congregants, the Advent Carol Service was sung from the nave altar platform. Acoustically, this was very successful and many positive comments were received.
The news of the death of Margaret Vodden, who for many years helped prepare the Trebles for their Ribbon tests, was very sad. She was such a great supporter of the choir. An excellent turnout of choristers sang at her celebratory event in the Boniface Centre. There were no less than five Head Choristers present.
Whilst there was no overseas tour this year, plans are already afoot for a trip to Fulda in November 2020. This will require significant financial support, if we are to enable all choristers who would like to go do so, regardless of their financial situation.
Bellringers (Report by Geoff Sparling)
Once again on-going recruitment must remain a priority. Our social programme of two outings was reduced to one but our annual dinner was maintained and several church events supported. Ringing has been maintained for all regular ringing occasions and whenever extra is requested, in particular for St George’s Day and at both towers for the Royal Wedding. We continued to provide occasional assistance to local towers, Lapford and Newton St. Cyres. Tower tours have been provided when requested. The one peal attempt in February once again was blighted by the failure, after barely one hour, of the 11th clapper, the second time in its relatively short life, this time due to a weld failure.
In January the clock fell silent owing to the failure of one of the self-winding mechanisms. The clock itself continued working until June when it stopped completely for replacement of all three self-winders. Full service was resumed at the end of July but its running characteristics had completely altered taking some time to get it keeping reasonable time again.
We were saddened by the death of former ringer Shirley Burridge and several ringers attended her funeral at the beginning of November. During major repairs to the Cathedral bells we hosted their two Saturday two-hour open practices in July and August. Coaching has been provided for several people new to chiming the service bell before daily services.
St Lawrence Chapel (report by Isolde Summers)
The Chapel is closed for services (with one exception) over the winter months but opens every year with a communion service on Ash Wednesday. From then until September or October, there are two services a month – a Wednesday mid-week communion and a Sunday evening prayer. The year ended with West Gallery Quire’s annual Carols by Candlelight on 30 December which raised £171 – the only winter service held at the Chapel. The number of people attending and the collection were well increased from last year. The service is becoming better known and attracts more people each year. We are very grateful to the members of the Quire for their support in all our activities. We are grateful to the clergy who take services and the small congregations who regularly attend this peaceful Chapel.
The Friends of St Lawrence were pleased to see the publication of a booklet on the history of the Chapel with the booklet launched in January 2018. Over 100 copies have been sold to date and a reprint will take place very soon. The St Lawrence stall at the St Nicholas Fair in 2017 raised money towards the purchase of two fire extinguishers in early 2018. This was to comply with insurance requirements and had hitherto been lacking.
Following the St Lawrence Fair in August, we were able to send a cheque for £135 to Médecins Sans Frontières. This is the charity which the Friends support and this is publicized on the posters etc. for the Fair. In September, an Art Exhibition as part of the Crediton Open Studios attracted a good number of visitors, many of whom were new to the Chapel. We hope that a similar event will be arranged again in 2019. We had a stall at the St Nicholas Fair once again in November 2018. We were delighted to welcome Amy Bright as our Honorary Treasurer from December 2018. We hope we can look forward to welcoming more people in 2019 as the Chapel becomes better known.
Holy Trinity, Yeoford (report by Carol Price)
The plans for the new toilet and kitchen have been drawn up and passed by Mid Devon District Council. We will now apply for grants. We have raised money from The Cafe, St Nicolas Fair, Yeoford Village Fair and the Harvest Lunch.
Numbers at the regular Sunday Services which take place twice a month have dropped so we have introduced a family service on the 2nd Sunday which has been well attended. Holy Communion remains on 4th Sunday of each month. A prayer tree started at Messy Church was displayed in church from Ascension until Pentecost. The prayers were offered at a Taizé Service just before Pentecost. Songs of praise was held in July and refreshments followed the service. Harvest Festival followed by a Harvest lunch was held in October and is now an annual event enjoyed by all. The Carol Service was held in Church after several years in the village hall. It was a special occasion as the church was completely lit by candles. The carol service, crib service and the first Communion of Christmas were all well attended. Messy Church is held five times a year and Café Company is held every Monday. Thanks to all the Clergy and Readers who lead our services and John who plays the organ.
Ministry Committee (report by Sheila Ralph)
The Ministry Committee meets three times a year and gives an overview of the ministry of the Benefice.
During the vacancy Canon Ian Morter has led two services a month at Holy Cross and has supported Helen’s training. There has been a vacancy prayer group at the home of David and Jenny Francis throughout the year. Sandra Collier (Reader) was busy at Hatherleigh until the end of October but has been seen much more in the Parish since then. Sandra and Carol Price, our other Licensed Reader, have worked on a new family service for Yeoford. The prayer wall at Holy Cross at Pentecost which Eileen did worked well. There was also a prayer tree at Yeoford and also prayers and a Taizé service on the Friday before Pentecost.
Sacred Space is well attended and the theme has been “Thy Kingdom Come”. Every Wednesday morning at 9.15am at Holy Cross there are morning prayers for the children in the parish, these are lay led. The All Souls service was held on Sunday 4th November with all the people who had lost someone in the last year invited to attend. The first ecumenical Messy Church was held in November and it has been proposed that they will be held in different churches each time.
Instead of the Children’s Easter activity morning, the Easter story was told through stations which were set up in church and left as a resource for schools or anyone else to use over the Easter period and this proved very successful. There were three Lent groups in Crediton which followed Life in the Frontline and a further course in Shobrooke following the York Course. Open the Book is going from strength to strength and has become ecumenical with people from the Catholic and Congregational churches joining the team.
A leaflet has been produced by all Churches in the Parish containing details of services. These are being delivered to all new build properties in the area, also to current housing where new residents are identified.
The Prayer Ministry group coordinated by Eileen Brassington continues to pray with individuals during the 9.30am service. Bible Reading Fellowship notes are well supported.
Pastoral Visiting and Care Scheme (report by Slim Savage)
The ministry of Pastoral Visiting and Care continues to develop and has involvement with over forty church members. Visitors meet regularly on a confidential basis to ensure appropriate levels of involvement are being maintained. Visitors predominantly minister to the elderly and housebound, which include those in hospitals and residential homes. Whilst referrals for group involvement can be made to the co-ordinator via the Parish Office, the majority of involvement is picked up by casual networking within the group and other members of the church. The number of visitors now stands at nine and training remains ongoing. All the volunteers have undergone specific training provided by the Diocese. They are all now authorised to administer Home Communion, and this has become an important aspect of the Scheme’s Ministry.
Within the scheme, a Bereavement Sub-Group continues to make contact with the families of all those deceased persons known to the church over the last year and follow up visits have been made where necessary. The Book of Remembrance is kept up to date following this contact. Arrangements are in progress to introduce an annual remembrance luncheon for those who have been bereaved.
Safeguarding issues identified by the group are considered by the responsible representative in conjunction with clergy and the Diocesan Advisor where necessary. All established group members have been subject to successful DBS checks.
Missions & Charities Committee (report by Angy Cargill)
The Missions and Charities committee help the PCC to decide which charities, with a Christian mission, to support on a regular basis. At present we at Holy Cross contribute to: Connect, Church Mission Society, Christian Aid, The Amos Trust and Mission to Seafarers. We support the last two charities on a three-year rolling programme and ask our church members to suggest new ones. There is an informative board at the back of church with information about all the above. We also run four very successful cake stalls each year in church for different charities.
Communications Committee (report by Stephen Mitchell)
The Communications Committee has met a few times during the last year to discuss issues such as the magazine, the Facebook page and website, the sound system, guides in the church, noticeboards and signs. The Friends kindly funded a new set of movable, larger display boards and a portable desktop set. The magazine print run will be reduced in 2019 to reflect a drop in the number of subscribers but the number sent electronically to those living outside the benefice has increased. Greater use of the Facebook page and the website reflects the changes in how people get information nowadays. The committee has continued to operate during the vacancy, though we have not made any radical changes. Members of the committee are always open to suggestions for improvement.
Crediton Benefice Community Council (report by Anne Jerman)
During the vacancy, the Council met only once to bring the Mission Action Plan headings more into line with the Diocesan Strategy to Grow in Prayer, Make Disciples and Serve with Joy. This was necessary as a copy of the Mission Actin Plan was sent to each of the applicants as part of the Benefice Mission Community Profile. The Council is aware that it needs to be revitalised and the arrival of the new Rector and the development of the Deanery Plan may well serve as a catalyst for this.
Fabric and Maintenance of the Church and Churchyard
Housekeeping Committee (report by Jacki Hayes)
We have met only twice this year as projects like the provision of a kitchen in the church have been put on hold until the new Rector has settled in. We saw little point in taking these any further until he has had a chance to think about them – he may have better ideas. The necessary checks of the gas heaters and the fire extinguishers were completed. Sadly, Bill Jerman has resigned from the committee but we hope we will still be able to call on his vast knowledge of all the nooks and crannies in the church when necessary.
Other Reports
Boniface Centre Committee (report by Geoff Sparling)
The committee has continued to meet regularly and has kept on top of routine maintenance and servicing. In April we welcomed Garry Adams to the committee, another welcome extra pair of hands. Robin Lavery
produced some useful notes on all the many duties he carries out which will be useful in spreading the load of duties and future planning. Several people from within the committee and beyond have achieved food hygiene certification and we are pursuing renewal of our Food Hygiene Rating. Our thanks to all committee members for their ongoing involvement.
The major item of the year was the refurbishment of the kitchen to modern high standards. This was financed by a grant from The Norman Family Trust, generous donations and from general funds. After failing to find anyone willing to repair our failing door-closer, Ernie Heard managed to obtain a replacement – amazingly identical to the original – which with help he fitted himself. Following various leaks, both water storage tanks have been replaced and both boilers are in process of being replaced. Finances are in good order and in line with the 20-year plan.
Stella Stephens has stepped down from cleaning duties with thanks from all the committee for all her hard work. Gill Lee’s son and daughter Dom and Jess have stepped into the breach and with Patty the team is working well. The Town Council approached us in respect of the Community Emergency Plan. After discussions we are likely to become the secondary Incident Control Point and Community Shelter.
Social Committee (report by Karen White)
The members of the social committee are: Tracy Jones, Sheila Ralph, Anne Parsons, Pat Sherwood, Kay Shillingford, Pat Sneddon, Mandy Tomlinson and Karen White. Plus, Garry Adams, Ian Sneddon and Brian Shillingford who thankfully assist when called upon to do so, which is much appreciated.
The aim of the Social Committee continues to be fellowship, fun and raising money for our PCC in order that our contribution to the Diocese and our own bills, at a local level, can be paid . We always say we would like to run more events. However, due to our busy lives, family commitments and, at times, poor health, we simply have not been able to do so. We need more willing members! You do not have to help at all events, just joining in for a few would make a significant difference and would spread the load. Please speak to any members of the committee for more information.
We would also be interested in new ideas and thoughts for realistic events that could take place are always very welcome. I find the idea part of running the committee hard work and would appreciate suggestions from others.
Last April Glenda Hills worked with the Social Committee to do a Quiz and Super and the profits were jointly be shared with our PCC and the Roof Appeal. We have held hot Sunday lunches which have increased in the number attending and are thoroughly enjoyed by all. We also help at all the other events; Book Fair, Stewardship Lunch, Harvest Supper, Flower and Christmas Tree Festivals, St Nicholas Fair, etc. Not a month goes by when we are not in the kitchen in some capacity!
At this point I always like to thank Sue Lavery who guides and advises us about food orders and quantities, without which I would be lost. She is always patient with my endless questions and is very dismissive of this well-earned praise. Also, to the Boniface Committee for our amazing building, it is very well maintained, equipped and clean and receives great praise from those who hire it.
We look forward to the next year and more events. Many thanks for your support throughout 2018.
Brief Overview by Glenda Hills MAAT, PCC Treasurer
We must thank God that during the year, a decision was made nationally that local parishes are not the right groups to pay compensation in cases of historic abuse that occurred locally. This removed the possibility of a large financial burden from Holy Cross PCC. It meant that we were able to pay the Diocese £22,267 for the Common Fund withheld from 2017. We have also paid the full amount of £73,249 due for Common Fund in 2018.
The PCC accounts are prepared on an accruals basis. This accounting method records income and expenditure when they are incurred, regardless of when cash is exchanged. A new requirement under the legislation for Charity Accounts is that where the accruals method is used, the accounts must state the giving to the charity by trustees (that is, all the members of the PCC) and their “close relatives”. This can be shown as an amalgamated, total figure with no details of individual giving. The aim in introducing this requirement was to improve transparency and governance, as there have been previous instances where trustees of charities have given donations and then “expected the charity to act in a particular way in return”.
Total receipts on the unrestricted General Fund were £167,347.97 but this included a very generous anonymous donation of £25,000. Part of this has been used to cover the unavoidable legal costs arising from the compensation claim (which otherwise would have been met from funds that should have gone to the Common Fund) and the costs associated with filling the vacancy. How the balance will be best and appropriately used will be for the new Rector to decide. Total expenditure of £188,909.64 is distorted by paying the Common Fund withheld from 2017, the legal costs and the vacancy expenses which total £31,902.91. The year has ended with a deficit of £21,561.67, but even after taking this unusual income and expenditure into account, it would still have resulted in a deficit of £14,658.76. The main reasons for this were a reduction in Collections and Planned Giving which decreased by 4.67%, no profit from a Festival Concert, fewer fund-raising activities and an increase in utility bills. The resulting drop in reserves cannot be sustained year on year so we face a very serious situation.
Reserves Policy – The PCC aims to maintain net reserves at a level representing 3 months operating costs, plus a minimum of £15k to cover potential repair liabilities at the Boniface Centre and Yeoford.
Cadbury Deanery Synod
Four members of the PCC sit on the Cadbury Deanery Synod, two on the Diocesan Synod and one on the General Synod. A report of the Cadbury Deanery Synod meetings appears in the Crediton Benefice Community Parish Magazine and specific items brought to the attention of the PCC as necessary. Amongst the items discussed was the Common Fund Review and late in the year, work began on the formation of Deanery Plan which will consider at Deanery level where we are now, how to move forward and how best to use the stipendiary and lay ministry between the 28 parishes in the Deanery.
As Deanery Development and Training Officer, Revd Paul Fillery organized four Deanery Development days during the year. Although the number of people attending was low, those that did appreciated them very much. Topics included ‘Connecting with Families’ and ‘Making Sense of Sundays’.
Approved by the PCC on 13 February 2019 and signed on their behalf by:
John Musty Sheila Ralph
Churchwarden and PCC Chair Churchwarden and PCC Vice Chair
during Vacancy during Vacancy
Annex 1 – Non Crediton PCC Group Reports
Restoration Committee (report by Sandra Thresher)
Over £27,000 has been spent this year on repairs and maintenance of the church building and churchyard. This includes tree survey and remedial works, protecting the thirteen church windows with powder-coated mesh, repairs to the stonework and floor, security improvements and testing of the tower lightning conductor. You can see from this list that works are many, varied and on-going. Many are done without cost by volunteers-this is a good opportunity to thank all who help practically and in other ways so that the building and churchyard are kept in good order.
Much of the money for repairs and on-going projects such as the Roof Appeal comes from fund raising events like the two Festivals in June and at Christmas, 2 Quiz evenings, Roof Appeal Talks and other events, with valued donations from the Friends and others, putting much needed money into the funds. Our thanks go to all who support the fund-raising events through the year by organising them, helping at them or attending them.
The Roof Appeal has raised £108,300 to date and it is hoped to apply for grants during 2019 that will enable work to start on Phase 1 of the project which presents an ongoing challenging.
Mothers’ Union (report by Anne Jerman)
The Crediton with Newton St Cyres and Shobrooke Branch met throughout the year with speakers on a variety of subjects from running the Crediton Food Bank to hearing all about chillies to building the Boniface Centre. Our thanks go to Revds Jenny and David Francis for taking our Home and Harvest Communions. We hosted a Lent Lunch and also enjoyed Summer and Christmas meals together where we were joined by members of other local MU branches. Thank you to Carole Rimmer for organising these. We were able to hire the Community Transport Bus, thanks to a legacy, to attend the Bideford MU 125th service and tea and travel to Yeoford to enjoy a summer tea kindly hosted by Carol Price. It has been decided at Diocesan MU level to move from a Deanery structure to one of geographical Clusters. We are now in a Cluster with Colebrooke, Lapford, Sampford Peverell and Tiverton. Nationally, the MU is encouraging branches to listen, observe and act on what they see in their local communities that they could help with. We’ll hear and learn more about this in 2019.

Rector’s Address at Holy Cross APCM 2019

I’d like to begin by thanking everyone for the kind and generous welcome that Antonia and I have received. It’s a joy and a privilege to serve in this place. It really is good to be here.
And I’d like to say a huge Well done! Well done to Churchwardens and PCC and to all of you for not merely keeping the show on the road, but for continuing to engage in mission and ministry during the vacancy.
So here we are at the APCM 2019 with much to look back on and to give thanks for and yet an opportunity for us to move forward together.
So where do we go from here?
Recently, during worship in Holy Cross, I mentioned how important the Exeter Diocesan Vision is. To deepen our prayer life, to grow in our discipleship (and grow new disciples too) and to serve the people of Devon with joy. In short …. Pray, Grow, Serve. That vision has really caught my imagination and I believe should underpin our vision here at Holy Cross and in the wider Benefice.
So how are we to go about it?
I’m afraid that there are no magical formulas, no magic panaceas, no quick fixes. However, we do have something far better ……… namely the grace and love of God. Theologically speaking we need to have the obedience that Mary had when she said ‘Yes’ to God at the Annunciation. To open ourselves to the possibilities that God offers us. We also need to cultivate the second part of Christ’s prayer at Gethsemane …… ‘Father not my will, but yours be done’. We are here to discern God’s will for us and for this community. And we need to be open to the promptings of the Holy Spirit to enable us, to equip us and to send us. We are called to be both disciples, those for who growing in faith is a lifetime’s work and to be apostles, those who are joyfully sent by God to help build his kingdom.
What might this mean for us in practical terms?
It’s still early days as I find my way around, but in the past five weeks or so, I’ve given much thought and prayer as to where God might be leading us and what follows is, by no means, an exhaustive list.
I hope very much that we can continue to build our links with the local community. Constantly looking for opportunities to serve and to be a blessing to our community. I hope that we can build links with our Town Council especially. I want us to be a resource for our local community and one of the things that helps to facilitate this is the wonderful gift called the Boniface Centre.
There is much going on here in terms of work with children and young people and I give thanks for that. We have Messy Church, Open the Book and, of course, Sunday Club. I’d like to explore ways to both co-ordinate those things and to develop them. I can immediately see that one opportunity that presents itself is to develop a more robust approach to baptism follow up. Another thing I’d like to set-up in consultation with the schools is a ‘Pray for Schools Day’ ….. speak to me for more details of this.
Holy Cross has a great reputation for what I’d call thoughtful hospitality and my licensing service was a great example of that. I’d like us to continue to develop our hospitality, to continue to develop our welcome, because it is so often the welcome and hospitality which draws people into the worshipping life of the Church.
If we are to grow in discipleship then we need to continue to learn and to reflect and to deepen our spiritual life. I hope that we can offer further opportunities alongside our Lent groups, for example, in order to do this. In the Autumn we’ll offer confirmation preparation for the younger and I hope to be able to offer preparation for adult candidates as well. I also hope to offer a session or two so that we can prepare ourselves by looking at the predominant Gospel for the new lectionary year which begins on Advent Sunday.
I hope too that we can draw on the wisdom of others and so I’d like to think that we can invite people to preach on a specialism of theirs on an occasional basis at the Parish Eucharist on Sundays as well as having speakers who can offer us insights into topical theological concerns or who can offer us a theological take on current affairs. The term I like to use is ‘doing theology in the public square’ and we are well placed to do that.
One of the USPs of Holy Cross is it’s good music and well-ordered liturgy and my prayer is that those things will grow and develop …… as well as growing and developing some other forms of worship which might appeal to the spiritualities of those who haven’t yet dipped their toe in the water. The first Sunday Family Communion and Sacred Space form the starting point for that. We have a wonderful building with a great
variety of liturgical space which can be used imaginatively ……. we had a glimpse of that at Choral Evensong last Sunday ……. and I shall take the lead on that again when I officiate at my first baptism, in this incumbency, in May.
These thoughts and hopes are very much initial ones and are thus a work in progress and will be developed and refined as my thinking becomes more clarified. But I dream of a church that is ‘ragged around the edges’ and by that I mean seeks to include everyone and where all feel that they can and do belong. A church that is not afraid to take risks and to make the odd mistake or two along the way …… and doesn’t beat itself up or apportion blame when that happens. A place where mutual encouragement is part of life’s daily pattern. A church that continues to point towards God. I want us to be a listening church, listening to and respecting the voice of each other, but ultimately to God. If you have any ideas don’t keep them to yourself, please don’t harbour them …. come and talk to me. I may not be able to give an instant fix, but I do try to give someone a good listening to.
I’m going to leave you with both a question and a thought. What do you currently undertake in the service of God and of this place? What is your true gifting? How might that be realised? Because it is when we acknowledge and use our gifts that God’s kingdom is built. Think about it prayerfully and carefully and if you like, have a conversation with me about it!
In the words of Dag Hammarskjöld, For all that has been – Thanks, for all that will be – Yes.
Thank you for being the very special people that you are and for all that you do.
With my prayers and blessings and thanks
Matthew Tregenza