Annual Report and Financial Statements of the Parochial Church Council for the year ended 31st Dec 2020
Incumbent: Revd Sharon Miles
The Vicarage, The Bury, St Osyth, Essex, CO16 8NX
Bank: Barclays Bank plc, 27, Station Road, Clacton-on-Sea (20-21-73)
Independent examination: Jane Osborne, 35 Kings Road, Clacton-on-Sea, CO15 1BA
Ss Peter & Paul Church, St Osyth – Annual Report for 2020
The PCC of Ss Peter & Paul, St Osyth has the responsibility of co-operating with the incumbent, Revd Sharon Miles, in promoting in the ecclesiastical parish the whole mission of the Church, pastoral, evangelistic, social and ecumenical.
The PCC is a charity excepted from registration with the Charity Commission. Members of the PCC are either ex officio or elected by the annual parochial church meeting in accordance with the Church Representative Rules.
During the year the following served as members of the PCC:
The Incumbent: Revd Sharon Miles, the chair.
The Churchwardens: Mrs Sonia Grantham. Mrs Sonia Grantham was vice-chair.
The representatives on Deanery Synod were Jane Eade, Hilary Worn and Danny Wright.
The elected members up to the APCM 2019 were Sue Baker, Sunny Bissenden, Mel Brown, Sue Butters, Jane Eade, Ian Ford, Sonia Grantham, Tom Grantham, Barry Hills, Tina Norman, Mark Roberts, Christine Smith, Pat Smith, George Thomas, Shirley Wells, Anne Witton, Hilary Worn and Danny Wright.
The elected members from the APCM 2020 were Sue Baker, Sunny Bissenden, Mel Brown, Sue Butters, Ray Crosier, Jane Eade, Ian Ford, Sonia Grantham, Tom Grantham, Barry Hills, Tina Norman, Christine Smith, Pat Smith, George Thomas, Shirley Wells, Anne Witton, Hilary Worn and Danny Wright.
The treasurer was Martin Walsh.
The secretary was Helen Brown.
This is the only committee required by law. It has the power to transact the business of the PCC between its meetings, subject to any directions given by the Council. This is the only committee. However, there are various teams: Treasury, Property, Pastoral, Mission & Outreach, Sunday Club. Each team has provided an individual report – see below.
There are 85 parishioners on the Church Electoral Roll, 18% of whom are not resident within the parish.
The usual Sunday attendance pre covid was 49 adults and 7 children (11 services). The usual Sunday attendance following the first lockdown when services resumed on 16th August 2020 was 33 adults and 2 children.
Due to lockdowns major festivals days were not observed in church.
Review of the year – Clergy Report, Churchwarden Report and PCC Secretary Report
By Rev’d Sharon, Sonia and Helen
What a year to write a report! A year when we had a pandemic with two lockdowns. when our lives changed beyond anything that we could have comprehended. But when we reflect there were so many positives – yes and there were negatives we have to be honest. But we learnt resilience, adaptability, to be kind and enjoy some of the simple things in life.
It is because of this that Sharon, Sonia and Helen instead of producing three separate Reports are writing a joint one with each of us taking different areas of Church life in 2020.
An unusual year with a number of occasional offices; we welcomed 2 new members into the Church Family through Baptism and helped 19 families say goodbye to loved ones, which sadly included 5 Church Family members.
It had not been an easy year but there were a number of highlights of ‘God’s love in action’ that need to be celebrated
The full PCC met 3 times during the year with an average level of attendance of 62 per cent. The Standing Committee, Treasury, Property, Pastoral, Mission & Outreach and Sunday Club teams met between meetings when restrictions permitted and the minutes of their meetings were received by the full PCC and discussed where necessary.
It is fair to say that life was progressing well with only minor concerns, until late February, early March. Then against a backdrop of enormous worries of Coronavirus, Rev’d Sharon was taken ill. It was a very worrying time and although her stay in hospital was relatively short, her recovery period has been long.
Lockdown hit us, our church was closed with only one person allowed into the building. But kindness, care and concern was shown for the elderly and those who were vulnerable in our village. A team of volunteers – from the Church, the Parish Council and residents ensured that over the ensuing thirteen weeks that 705 prescriptions and 894 groceries were delivered with the help of the Nisa and Premier Stores and Boots the Chemist to those in need in our village. So much kindness and concern was shown.
Virtual Services allowing us to worship together but in the safety of our own homes.
Being unable to meet in person from 23rd March, the way we worshipped together as a church community had to change. This change evolved over the course of year as restrictions altered over the months and as we upskilled to face the challenges. Initially no one was allowed in church buildings and a team at Great Bentley church created a written service with internet links to hymns and reflective music which was emailed to the congregations (this in itself was a challenge as email addresses aren’t routinely collected on the Electoral Roll so we had to make contact with as many people as possible and update their details so we could keep in touch). Once restrictions were altered to allow us to enter the buildings, services were recorded in church. To keep the numbers of people present to a minimum, elements of the service (readings, music, prayers, sermon) were recorded separately and stitched together in editing with software purchased specially. The words, responses and hymns were also added at this stage to ensure people could fully participate at home.
As a further lockdown took place the service was simplified to save time and finances and yet still provide an opportunity for collective worship, all be it separately at home, with a continued sense of church community.
The church was allowed to open again and Risk Assessments became the order of the day. We had to plan for social distancing, for sanitising, for delivering a reduced number of services, carrying out ‘track and trace’ so keeping all those who entered church safe. Many adjustments had to be made, but they were made and the sudden appearance of rainbows in windows both in our village and in the country became a symbol of hope for us all. The Brown family made us our own rainbow on the porch of the church, proclaiming ‘Hope and Promise’ for everyone to share.
The Quinquennial Report drew attention to the need for repairs to the weathervane. A donation was made in memory of Mr Jacobs who loved sailing and used the weathervane regularly to check wind direction before going out on the boat. A new weathervane was designed with this in mind and included a trawler. Work was not as straight forward as the PCC might have hopped, but with much perseverance and creativity the weathervane was finally installed in November 2020.
Remembrance Sunday was planned as an outdoor service in the Churchyard, much thought had been put into how it could be done safely. However, with national concern about the ever increasing number of cases of coronavirus, it was decided that it would be irresponsible for the church to be encouraging people to attend such a service even being held outdoors.
A virtual service was planned which would be filmed on the Wednesday before Remembrance Sunday. The planning was such that all those who had contributed in previous years would do so again. They were asked on the Sunday if they could attend a rehearsal on the Tuesday, in preparation for the filming on the Wednesday. Without exception everyone was there and the team from the Royal British Legion swung into action. The service was led by Rev’d Sharon and filming was done by Helen Brown, she then spent time editing all that she had filmed.
Extra recording equipment was purchased so filming could take place at different angles and edited together. The resulting video was shared through the website and Facebook and received an astonishing 2.5k views. Another shorter video was created and shared on 11th November to support people as they acknowledged the 2minute silence at 11am with the Parish Clerk reading Exhortation and photos for reflection.
It was sent to everyone on our pewsheet list including the Bishop of Colchester and the Archdeacon. It was a virtual service that we were all so proud to be part of either by participating or by watching. Our church had indeed remembered ‘the fallen’ even in these difficult times.
The Salvation Army Carol Service
For very many years now we have held an Annual Village Carol Service. The Salvation Army Band plays Carols and we have a wonderful time singing our hearts out and we give generously both in food and in money to the Salvation Army to support those in need over Christmas and beyond.
Approaches were made to Robert Fisher who leads the Salvation Army band in late October to begin discussions on whether it was a possibility that we could hold a Carol Service in 2020. It did look bleak at times as we discussed if it could be possible. The need to obey ‘the rules’ and to keep people safe was paramount. But we really wanted to give people the opportunity to sing carols and we planned hopefully to do it on the Sunday before Christmas. So a Risk Assessment was produced and a QR code printed for NHS Test and Trace. Stewards took details of those who were unable to use the app on their phones. The response from the community was brilliant and everyone was very respectful of the safety measures in place.
We did it! With the great help and cooperation of many people, not least the Salvation Army band themselves. Over 200 adults and children gathered together, socially distanced, on Cowley Park and celebrated Christmas in the only way we could that year, as no services were held, by singing the familiar and comfortable words of the Christmas Carols. It was such a lovely occasion and £800.00 was raised for the Salvation Army.
It was an amazing view from the stand with the musicians and a wonderful sound of normality and positivity in our Christmas preparations. Also raising great funds for the Salvation Army.
Many thanks to all of those who gave their time and energy to help and care for our villagers in this unprecedented year.
Rev’d Sharon Sonia Grantham Helen Brown
Church warden PCC Secretary
Last year we didn’t raise any money after March from Saturday Pop-In or Sunday “after Church refreshments”, neither could we hold our annual Christmas Fayre, as it is too popular and wouldn’t be able to keep a socially distant from each other.
In October we held a meeting to try and work out how to raise some money without having a raffle or Fayre.
It was decided to have a draw, anyone you made a donation would have their name put into the draw.
Jenny and Nicole asked friends and businesses for prizes, they also advertised the draw on the Internet.
Allison made posters and also had the unenviable job of setting up a” just giving ” site on the internet. This is still on the Church web site and can still be used by anyone who wishes to make a donation to the church.
More angels than ever on our tree this Christmas, all in memory of loved ones.
December 19th was the date chosen for the Lucky Dip Draw.
It was worked out that we could hold the Draw in the Church if not too many people came and we all kept 2 metres from each other.
We had a few stalls, Sue White and Lesley Grimwood had a cake stall that made £203, Sue Baker had a Jarbola stall and that made £59.
The Angels for the outside Church Christmas Tree were also available and were organised by Peter, Jenny, Robert, Heather, Jill, and Jim.
All the lucky Dip prizes were on view and we have to thank the many people and businesses in the village who donated them.
Donations of £1735 were received, this added to the two stalls made a total of £1997 towards the Church Funds.
Church Website – www.stosythparishchurch.co.uk
The website really came into its own over the past year. What a relief it was to have this vital method of communication ready and waiting to be used for instant and up to date news during the pandemic. I remember saying at our final service before Lockdown last March that everyone should look to the website for the latest information regarding what was happening in the Church and community, and looking at the statistics for the year it seems a good many people did just that.
It was a real muddle at first as I tried to fit what we were trying to say into a format that it wasn’t designed for. Naglotech helped by creating new pages for us to use but at times my lack of expertise made it cumbersome.
Managing the site became a weekly job as I put a link to the filmed service on to the front page and links though to other information on the pew sheet and the service in written format etc. We also included links to other C of E services, special prayers, other items of interest and regularly reminded everyone that the Salvation Army food bank was in need of regular supplies. Without the Parish Magazine this was the only way we really had of getting news and information out quickly to lots of people.
In November I helped to start a Just Giving page to support Christmas fundraising and this will now be available to use in the future in conjunction with new campaigns. We were able to use the website to link to Just Giving as well as advertise the event itself.
The website would benefit from being managed by someone with more time and expertise and with a love of these things but until someone can be found to fit that bill you will have to put up with me muddling through!
I am aware that that not everyone instinctively thinks of looking for information on a website but if I’ve been told about something it will be there to be found, usually with links through to the appropriate place straight from the front page – it couldn’t be easier to use so please do use it?
Reflecting on the past year is really quite surreal, as our Church has been closed for services for a greater part of it. However, apart from the first lockdown it has remained open during the day for private prayer.
Despite all of the troubles of 2020, the Property Team have achieved a great deal, which says much for the resilience of church members and friends of the church.
The restoration and replacement of the weather vane progressed and it was finally put in place in November 2020. The extensive renovation was led by Peter Tidy with tremendous support from his backup team and “Tiny” the Blacksmith. We are all enormously proud of what was achieved during a particularly difficult time.
The installation of the sound system and the screens was completed which was another major achievement. We have had some hiccups in using it, but we are mastering the system. Certainly it has been tremendous in ensuring there is no cross infections as no service books have had to be used.
The five year report, which is a legal requirement, on all electrical circuits, showed that they were certified as safe but that there was scorching on the reflectors at the back of the lighting units. It was because of this that we began to look at replacing all of the lighting units in the church. With the financial assistance of a grant from Dollar and Meena of the Nisa stores, they have all now been replaced. They are cheaper to run, are giving better lighting and will be more efficient generally. Another achievement!
Minor achievements during this year!
- All the gutters and downpipes have been cleaned.
- The organ has undergone its annual maintenance service.
- The church has rented a bin for green waste from TDC, so David, our volunteer gardener, can use it for vegetation.
- We had more damp on the south wall in the church room identified. We talked to our architect Chris Betts and again organised the removal of the damp plaster. We have an increasing number of these patches in church – we all find them both fascinating and attractive!
- With money donated from Dollar and Meena of Nisa Stores, we purchased forty folding chairs and a trolley, which will be useful for when the church is able to be full again.
- The floor is now being regularly polished.
- All of our fire extinguishers were serviced.
Reading this report, I feel that the church building was indeed well maintained and looked after in the difficult year that was 2020. Thank you to all of those who supported in any way. Our church building is in good repair.
The trees in the churchyard are in a good state of health – there are no concerns.
The result for the year as shown is a deficit of £12,397 (2019 Surplus – £14,080). The 2020 result has been overwhelmingly affected by the Covid -19 pandemic resulting in the closure of the church for long periods for services and general church activities.
Total receipts of £56,541 were £23,495 lower than the 2019 total of £80,036. All categories were reduced, except general donations of £8,445 which includes some generous gifts that would in other years be included in planned giving and collections.
Payments totalling £63,289 were monitored closely during the year and kept to a minimum. The full Parish Share of £31,252 was paid to the Diocese. Non-recurring costs of £8,443 includes sound system £3,923, table and chairs £550, damp issues £1,110 (paid out of Friend Of St Osyth Church Fund) and church lighting £2,860.
As at 31st December 2020 the Designated Funds held in the current bank accounts totalled £17,906 of the total £56,621 leaving General Account Funds of £38,715.
The robed choir worked hard during the first part of 2020. We sang unaccompanied and, on occasion, introduced instruments to enhance the music within the church. The members are loyal and we were looking forward to swelling our numbers for an anthem from the Messiah by Handel on Easter Morning. Unfortunately, the country was placed in lockdown before this was possible. I hope to build on the skills already available within the choir once we are allowed to sing again and it would be lovely to see some new members. We practice after the service at 12pm for around an hour and are expanding our repertoire. I would like to thank the members of the choir for their enthusiasm and willingness to try new things and I hope we can all enjoy singing together once again.
2020 has not been the year we all expected following the Christmas celebrations of 2019. The year started well and I enjoyed playing for services and other functions within the church. As February turned to March it became clear that the world was going to change in a major way and on 23rd March the country was put into lockdown. As we began to adapt to this, following an idea by Penny Evans-Jones, Mary Maskell, Annabel Stem Penny and myself, produced a weekly service which was emailed to the congregations of both churches in the Benefice. The service included a hymn to sing along to and music for reflection. Following easing of the rules in the summer, we began to record a service which was available on YouTube. The organ had suffered from lack of use, as would be expected, but recording and subsequent services with social distance have helped. The organ still has some issues which I am trying to rectify such as intermittent ciphers and notes which do not sound. I have arranged for Andrew Stevens to take over the maintenance once the lockdown ends. I am sure that we are all looking forward to meeting together in the church for services once again.
Regular meetings have been held throughout the year on Zoom.
These meetings enable the participating parishes to receive general information relating to the Diocese of Essex and East London and to share information of interest between the participating parishes.
Deanery Synod Rep
Magazine/St. Osyth News
The Magazine was not able to produce its usual 11 issues due to lockdown and safety concerns around delivery. However the issues that were produced proved to be highly significant and useful to the whole community. Before the first lockdown in March the March Magazine was produced and delivered. It included vital information on how people could get food and medication delivered and kept the community connected at a time when a Stay at Home order was in place.
The next significant issue was produced after the first lockdown and had a vibrant rainbow cover. It contained photos and thanks for all the wonderful ways in which the community rallied and supported one another during such challenging months. It landed through people’s letterboxes with a compelling message of hope and promise, echoing the words that had been displayed on a rainbow outside the church throughout the lockdown. It proved a great encouragement for the community and demonstrated the multiple ways people had supported one another, including deliveries of medication, phone calls and the creation of the phone box food bank.
The magazine finances were significantly affected by Covid-19 restricting the editions to 8. Despite the gallant efforts of the team in seeking advertisers, income fell by £12,817 resulting in a deficit of £5,650. A number of businesses stopped advertising due to closure plus charitable events were not held which often attracts advertising.
Andrew Brown and Shirley Wells , Advertising Manager and Editorial Team
Pastoral Team – support in 2020
During the pandemic members of the Pastoral team were busy keeping in touch with members of the congregation by phone an initiative instigated and initiated by Sonia and with Rev’d Sharon’s agreement. A team of 23 people agreed to make calls and Sonia divided everyone on the Electoral Roll and Church community between them so that about 100 people received regular phone-calls from someone in the church family. These were greatly appreciated and made many new connections between people, many of which are still going strong.
I made around 380 phone calls which includes reporting back to Sharon. I was asked to add a name to the Prayer list and was pleased to hear that the person concerned has made good recovery from being seriously ill. I was also in attendance at funerals.
Pastoral Assistants meetings haven’t taken place, our local leader has kept in touch by phone. We are looking forward to the time when we can meet up again. Two Pastoral Assistant training courses have taken place via Zoom. There will be further courses during the year, it is hoped that they will be back in Chelmsford.
Lockdown - Supermarket and food outlets helps and initiatives in our area
The following information has come from Tendring District Council at the request of St Osyth Parish Council and St Osyth Church.
Who they support
Existing customers already registered and those who cannot shop safely in store and who do not have any network of support
Prioritising customers on the government list, who have received a letter from the NHS and registered on the GOV.UK website
When ordering on-line use the delivery note box to state if you are self isolating
Free phone number
Slots cannot be guaranteed but Tesco will do their best to prioritise them
Deliveries for elderly, vulnerable and shielding customers and those not able to visit the store and who do not have access to the internet.
Can select from 46 essential items including:
milk, butter, eggs, potatoes, pasta, bananas, cornflakes and flour
Pay for delivery on the doorstep with your chip and pin card
Shopping will be dropped off at the doorstep and not be taken into the house
Also offering selection of pre packed food boxes. Prices start from £30. Order online
Prioritising customers on the government list, who have received a letter from the NHS and registered on the GOV.UK website
Click & Collect and how to access
1. Log in to your account, and select a location and collection time slot that suits you.
2. Complete your shop online as usual.
3. Head to the Click & Collect collection point at your chosen collection time.
4. Once you’ve arrived, let us know you’re here by following the steps via the link in either your email or text message confirmation.
5. They will then bring your shopping out to your car
For more information see link
Volunteer shopping Cards (see link opposite) – There are 2 options
1. eGift, you can select an amount and an email address of your volunteer
2. Gift card, you can select an amount along with your volunteers address and a physical card which will be posted
Wholesale Orders – Morrisons Food Boxes are now available to order in large quantities. Whether you’re looking to provide essential food to support communities or you want to source a gift for a large number of recipients, for more information or to place an order please get in touch at: firstname.lastname@example.org. They are set up to supply individuals to their doorsteps, with GDPR requirements covered, or alternatively deliver boxes in pallet loads to your required destination within the UK.
Free phone number
0345 611 6111
and select option five
Prioritising customers on the government list, who have received a letter from the NHS and registered on the GOV.UK website
Volunteer shopping E-Gift card (see link opposite)
1. Select amount
2. Complete name and email address
3. Request delivery date
4. Use via smart phone or print off
· For vulnerable customers who have been offered a slot and are unable to place their order online, they are offering a telephone ordering service – 0800 328 1700 and is available Monday to Sunday 8am – 11pm.
Offering selection of pre packed food boxes. Prices start from £15. Order online
Volunteer shopping E-Gift Card
1. Select “We’re all in this together” e-gift card
2. Select the amount
3. Specify email address yours or volunteers
4. Pay by scanning barcode via smart phone or print off
Aldi Food Parcel, £24.99 including delivery. 22 essential food and household items.
Order on line while stocks last
Prioritising customers on the government list, who have received a letter from the NHS and registered on the GOV.UK webs
Asda will email vulnerable customers to offer them first access to delivery slots and then can have repeat slots
Volunteer shopping Card e-gift – (see link opposite)
Complete the form and add to basket and checkout. The Recipient will then receive the Volunteer Shopping Card electronically via e-mail which can be spent in any Asda store by printing it or displaying on a smart phone. You can also choose to enter yourself as the recipient and forward e-mail at a later date to your volunteer shopper if you would prefer
Food boxes available prices start from £17 – £40
Delivery of fresh pre-cooked meals.
Select from a set menu found on their website
Selection of starter & main or main and pudding. Prices £5.95.
Call to discuss dietary requirements
Delivered between 12:00 – 2:00.
Contact 01255 435842
To view menu right click link below and open Acrobat Document Object
Websters Foods Anglia Limited
Suppliers to catering outlets now offering home delivery to the public. Products include bacon, eggs, bread, potatoes, frozen food, cleaning products, tea, coffee etc. Minimum spend £45. Telephone for further information and delivery details.
01255 679279 / 674874
Meals on Wheels service. They have a six week menu plan.
All menu plans are on their website and are printable.
Meal With Dessert…………………..£6.25
Order before 10:30 am for same day delivery
Contact 01255 434946
Mobile Meals Ltd
Dinners can be ordered as often as you require them, no contract, no fuss, no hassle, delivered lunchtimes to your table.
Main meals ………………..……..£6.50
Sweets ……………………….….… £1.50
Sandwiches with cake ……….£2.00
Salad meals ……………………….£6.50
Contact 01255 222693