JPCC Minutes, Thursday 7th March
UNITED BENEFICE OF BISHOP THORNTON, BURNT YATES, MARKINGTON, RIPLEY &
Minutes of meeting held at 7.30pm on Thursday 7th March 2019
- Opening Worship and Prayer
Rev. Paul opened the meeting with a prayer. He then went on to explain that the JPCC representatives from the PCCs are not fixed. If a representative cannot make it someone else should come in their place. Up to three members of each local PCC can attend the JPCC and vote.
Rev. Paul explained that one of the aims from this meeting was to take stock and catch up on various outstanding agendas and projects, while looking forwards to see what the Benefice would like to achieve this year in light of that assessment.
- Apologies for absence
- Minutes of the previous meeting and matters arising
Minutes from JPCC 5th February 2019 were unanimously approved with no matters arising.
- Matters to be considered for inclusion at AOB
There were no other matters suggested for AOB
Our Life Together
Welcome & Review
Everyone was welcomed. Rev. Paul expressed his concern that the relationship between the JPCC and the PCCs appears to have not been fully understood.
The JPCC has authority over worship, ministry and mission and all joint resources.
The PCCs have authority over fabric, furnishings and finances of each local church and all local resources.
When the JPCC vote on a course of action it is then up to the PCCs to work out how they will meet that requirement in a way that works for them, adding their own unique touches and personality to that implementation. The PCCs in return discuss the items on the agenda, prior to the JPCC meeting, so that representatives can feed back all views. This allows an informed decision to be made which benefits as many as possible. Rev. Paul explained that if a church does not send representatives to the JPCC, the other members of the JPCC will have to make decisions without that feedback. Opposing views within the JPCC are resolved by the democratic process of voting, thus it is important to have your church represented, preferably by three PCC members.
Rev Paul explained that problems can be solved differently depending upon whether they are approached from a parish or benefice perspective. What may work well as a parish will not necessarily work well on a benefice level and vice versa. The JPCC makes decisions from a wider perspective and is always happy to explain these decisions to local PCCs, and work with them to help implement them if that support is desired.
It was brought up that sometimes it can be difficult to take a decision back to the local PCCs if the representative feels the decision will be unpopular or received unfavourably. Rev Paul emphasised that he is happy to attend any PCC meetings to help in this process if required – he simply needs to be invited. He also emphasised that even if the PCC was unhappy with the decision made they are bound by it, and must therefore carry it out to the best of their abilities. If support is needed it can be requested.
It was acknowledged by the JPCC that this process of administering is different to how it used to be and that everyone is still adjusting to it and endeavouring to make it work. Rev Paul read feedback he had received via email, which emphasised the positive impact the current approach had on new comers joining the churches. It was acknowledged that sometimes changes can feel uncomfortable or destructive, but that long-term good can come of them and that as a Benefice we can grow stronger by learning to work with each other and support each other. Rev Paul emphasised very strongly that there was no intention to close any churches, and that the churches had been joined as a Benefice to prevent this. He acknowledged the amount of time and energy spent working with fear and asked that instead of fearing loss, as much as possible it would be preferable to focus on the many positives and the new and exciting opportunities that can now be taken advantage of.
Sharing from five churches
Rev Paul invited representatives to share some of their strengths and areas where they felt they would like support.
Bishop Thornton felt that there was more freedom to attend other churches now without the feeling of ‘guilt’ or ‘betrayal’ that had previously been experienced. They felt that the 4th Sunday service was not very well attended in comparison to the other services in the month and have asked for feedback on this.
Burnt Yates explained that they were successfully moving past the fear that the new services weren’t traditional or ‘proper’ services and have found that people who would not normally speak up are now joining in more. They find they are moving through a period of turmoil and confusion as the new pattern settles in, but are confident that everyone is working hard and wants to do well and make it successful. They asked for support with their new ‘Songs of Praise’ service. If anyone is a musician they would like to hear from you. Ripley suggested that the choir might like to practice or do their warm up at the service – this will need to be discussed with the choir.
Markington fed back that there was a real dynamism in their services and that new people were joining them for the Celtic Prayer and Discussion group. There is an increase in people sitting and being willing to discuss their faith. There are some discordant notes at the church and some dislike of the new pattern by those who prefer a traditional pattern. There is recognition that JPCC decisions are not always warmly embraced. Rev Paul once again emphasised the importance of representatives turning up to JPCC meetings so those different views could be expressed and taken into account before decisions are made.
Markington felt that there was an appetite for more discussion and has noticed that the morning sessions tend to overrun because people wish to continue those conversations. This is seen as a very positive response to the new way of worshipping. Markington would like to encourage other churches to come along to their morning service as well as attending their own in their own church. They felt the more involved in the discussions the merrier it would be.
Ripley admitted the change from Morning Prayer to Matins was difficult for some, however feedback indicates that many are enjoying the singing and tend to leave church happy and joyful. This is seen as a very positive thing.
South Stainley was not represented but Rev Paul fed back that the festival services were drawing a good crowd and everyone still appeared to be enjoying those.
Representatives expressed a lot of interest in other churches’ new worship and service styles. All members of all churches are encouraged to go along to anything that sounds like it may be of interest to them. In doing so they make no commitment and may find something there that they enjoy.
Sharing from Worship Leadership Team
Rev Paul shared his experience of leading worship and expressed gratitude that the new pattern also allowed him to attend services too. He has noticed that from behind the altar the congregation can seem a long way away, but when he sat in the congregation and attended a service led by someone else, the altar felt very close. He has realised that the experience can be different for the leader and the congregation and this has been valuable feedback.
He is also grateful for the opportunity to arrive early instead of late, and explained how that allowed him to look through and prepare better for services on the day, to get ready and to be able to greet people and say hello. This is far preferable in his opinion to arriving in a rush after a service had already begun. This difference is a direct result of the change in the pattern of worship which is being used this year.
Janet shared that she enjoyed every moment and expressed the fear that some lay leaders are uncomfortable running services and worry that they will be asked to do more than they would be comfortable with. Rev Paul explained that no lay leaders will be asked to do anything they don’t want to and that they are allowed to say no or express their concerns to him should this unintentionally occur.
Karen has noticed that in the smaller groups people are growing more confident. They feel they are among friends and the greater familiarity is helping people to ask for help if they feel they need it. She believes this is because people are more comfortable and no longer afraid of being judged. This is a positive step forwards.
Our focus this year
Discussion took place regarding what the focus should be for the JPCC this year. The emphasis in the meeting was on encouraging people to come together and letting people know what is available to them; thus communication and marketing will be the primary focus of the JPCC for the next 12 months.
Tina would like to see individual churches involved in and owning their service patterns.
Janet commented on how well the Epiphany service had gone when everyone had come together as a Benefice. The inclusion of more social events to allow churches to spend time getting to know each other was suggested.
Rev Paul would like to see people choosing where they want to go to worship as a conscious choice – he envisions this as people going to services because they want to go rather than because they feel obliged to be there. He acknowledged that for some people this would require no changes to their current pattern, whereas others may find they go to different services each week depending on their mood or circumstances.
The next meeting will discuss what is already in place and what needs to be done to move towards these goals.
Regular meetings for clergy and readers as well as clergy, church wardens and treasurers are now in place and it is hoped these will be beneficial.
- Treasurers Meeting Report Not yet available.
- Progress on Benefice admin project Not yet discussed in PCCs – Rev Paul would like to appoint an administrator for 5 hours a week at an estimated cost of £10/hour. See minutes from JPCC 5th February. Possibility of a Joint Fund also requires discussion.
- Grapevine Magazine
- Consideration of initial concept draft from Kathryn
Kathryn provided copies of her initial concept for the Grapevine and explained that she’d pulled out the relevant parts of the old magazine to make a newsletter consisting of 4 pages – this would be printed on one piece of paper with two pages per side and folded to make a simple booklet. On the back page is the table including the pattern of services across the Benefice. The inclusion of the Community Noticeboard feature leaves no space for advertising. The booklet is text heavy but consists of existing magazine content. Due to less space the possibility of the contents varying each month was discussed and felt to be a good idea. Features such as a focus on the seasons or special times of year based around an annual cycle, was felt to be appropriate. This would require further discussion to produce themes. Kathryn was thanked for her hard work in preparing the initial concept.
The issue of editing was raised – the publication of a newsletter would require an editor. This requires further exploration.
- Costs of printing
The quoted prices were on paper of 120gsm which was felt to be too heavy. New quotes are to be attained. Discussion about the newsletter costing money rather than producing money took place. It was clarified that the Benefice are considering printing the Grapevine in order to distribute their news and communicate with people outside the church, rather than to make money, and that the money may come in indirectly through attracting new members to the church. This reflects the policy that the churches are open and welcoming to all. There were concerns about it being thrown away or seen as junk mail, but it was felt this was also applicable to the old style of magazine which some didn’t read due to it being advertisement heavy. Distribution was discussed but it was felt a conclusion could not be reached at this stage. The Grapevine previously had a good distribution network which could be used again if people are willing to do that.
- Commitment to trialling or deferral for future consideration
New quotes are required for consideration, PCCs need to discuss the financial funding of the project, themes need to be developed and an editor confirmed or approved. Thus the decision has been deferred for future consideration. Kathryn clarified the questions for consideration are – what do we want in? How do we want it to look? How will it be distributed?
Received from Local PCCs
- Correspondence, Safeguarding Posters etc
Safeguarding posters have been handed out to church representatives, please ensure these are displayed on the service board at the back of church along with the accompanying booklet outlining the safeguarding policy. Please let Rev Paul know if you do not have a paper copy of the full policy and he will ensure you receive one.
The foodbank will be continuing in Bishop Thornton and Ripley churches. Burnt Yates already support the Women’s Refuge so would rather stay focused on this. Markington will discuss whether they do or do not wish to have a collection point at their church too.
Pastoral Care Update Bishop Thornton asked about the Pastoral Care scheme – Rev Paul confirmed that launch events would be taking place in other parishes within the Benefice after the success of the Markington one. This had been put aside over the Christmas period but will now be returned to. Judy asked that contact information for the Ripon team (email@example.com. Tel 01765 645915) be included in the Grapevine once it is ready for printing and this was felt to be a good idea.
- Next meetings:
- 6th June
- 3rd September
- 26th November
Thanks were given to the host for her generous hospitality and the JPCC of 7th March 2019 closed with the Grace.
Required Action by PCCs/churches
- Full list of PCC members and officers of each church to be supplied to Rev Paul so he can update emailing lists please
- Possibility of a Joint Benefice fund to be discussed (see minutes from JPCC 5th February under; Culture and Care; Shared Fund.) This will allow Grapevine discussions to move forwards.
- Possibility of administrator and whether local PCCs would be willing to contribute to be discussed (see minutes from JPCC 5th February under; AOB; Administrator.)
- Markington to discuss views on having a foodbank collection point in their church.
- Would the Benefice Choir be willing to help with the 9.30am Songs of Praise at Burnt Yates? (They would have time to return to Ripley prior to the service there) To be discussed with choir members and choir master.
- Any musicians willing to help out Burnt Yates with their Songs of Praise service @ 9.30am on the 1st Sunday of the month would be warmly welcomed. Please do get in touch or pop along for a chat with the Burnt Yates team.
For Next JPCC
- Communication and marketing
- What is already in place?
- What do we need to do?
- Quotes for printing of Grapevine Magazine on paper <120gsm to be attained.
- Is anyone willing to help Ross edit the Grapevine Newsletter and help to develop themes – please come to next JPCC meeting or discuss with Rev Paul. Many thanks.