The Rector writes about the Annual Meeting of St.Mary’s Church

The 2019 Annual Meeting was held on 25th April.

The Churchwardens for the next 12 months will be Jenny Youatt, Michael Penlington and Ken Wilkinson. The Parochial Church Council members for the next 12 months are listed on the notice in the church porch.

The meeting adopted the Annual Report and Accounts for 2018. These show a deficit in 2018 of £28,328 which had to be met from reserves. We cannot continue like this. In my ‘Rector’s Remarks’ made at the meeting, I said that it cuts no ice with the Bishop if we complain that our Parish Share is too high. Every parish church would argue that. Disposable income in our parish is relatively high: we have a duty to ensure that our parish pays its way in the Diocese. Most of our Parish Share payment comes back to me in my stipend. And we pay an amount in our Parish Share to help subsidise the provision of clergy in parishes in Chester Diocese which are urban priority areas, where there are many people on the breadline. If we are depleting our reserves to balance our books, we need to serve our parish better, so that it values its parish church more, and gives more.

I went on to say that St.Mary’s Church has a large Electoral Roll – and that many who are on the Roll live outside the parish. A still larger number of people regard St.Mary’s as their spiritual home, even if they only tell me that at baptisms, weddings, funerals, and chatting with me in the village. With so many people who belong here, and in such a wealthy area, we should not be having to take from our reserves to pay our running costs. Every parish church should pay its way from the freewill offerings of those who belong to the church. I will be working with the PCC to turn things around.

I used to often go motor racing with my cousin, Piers. He is a gentleman racer. Ten years ago you could buy yourself a racing weekend in the British GT series in an Aston Martin – as long as you had all the gear and experience and a racing licence – for £17,500. I’m sure the price has gone up, so last year’s deficit at St.Mary’s equates to just over a weekends’ drive in an Aston Martin in a top flight race. It must be possible in Alderley to fill this gap.

We have things to celebrate as a parish church, including:
• Nether Alderley Parish Council is paying for a major upgrade and repair on the hall that stands at the churchyard gate: this work is planned to start late this year.
• Management of the Parish Hall is being improved, which is to our financial benefit.
• Our Facebook page has 123 Likes, with additional Likes all the time.
• We have bells, music and flowers!

Revd Jon Hale