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Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held on Tuesday, 14th January 2014

St. Peter’s Church, The Square, Petersfield

Those present: Peter Hollins (Chair), Carolyn Barton, David Barton, Hilary Bonney, John Callaghan, Linda Cawsey (Secretary), Janet Colby, Rosemary Davies, Brian Edwards, Andy Hall, Audrey Hollingbery, Paula Hudson, Will Hughes, John Ide, Caroline Lacklison, Liam Maguire, Helen Mason, Janet Owen, Sylvia Parnell, Kate Perry, Linda Read, Sylvia Roberts, Richard Saunders, Sheila Silk, Sally Smith, John Studd, Liz Studd, Joan Thraves, Terry Thraves, Christine Tully (Treasurer), Barbara Ward, Jill Wardle.

1. Opening prayer: Father Peter Hollins opened the meeting with a reading from Isaiah followed by prayer.

2. Apologies for absence: Judith Bee, Emma Dean, Vanessa Dowse, Steve Field, Simon Mason, Bobs Moat, Phil Moat, Patsy Robinson, Ken and Olivia Tottle.

3. Minutes of the 2013 AGM and matters arising: the minutes were approved unanimously and signed by the Chair. There were no matters arising.

4. Petersfield Community Profile: Liam Maguire, URC Development Worker, presented a snapshot of the study he had undertaken for his church in respect of the community within Petersfield. He set out the issues under three categories –

As churches, it was important that we concentrated on what we each did well, did not replicate what others were doing and identified those areas where it was best to pool our resources and work together.

5. Chair’s report: Peter reported on his year as Chair. He had taken particular pleasure in presenting the prizes for the design of the PACT Easter and Christmas cards to the winners at Churchers Junior School and Buriton Primary School respectively. As part of the Petersfield Festivities, short Sunday Services had been arranged in the Square over the Spring and August Bank Holidays, the first being organised by Rev. Will Hughes and the second by himself with other clergy assisting on both occasions. It was felt that it was important for the churches to be seen to be involved in these community events. He had also attended the annual meetings of some of the partnership organisations including The King’s Arms and the Voluntary Care Group. There was a common theme from these organisations i.e. they were trying to fill the gap left by reductions in local funding and they desperately needed more volunteers. Peter concluded by expressing his appreciation for the support he had received from Linda, as secretary, during the last year.

6. Treasurer’s report: Copies of the sets of accounts for both PACT and Holiday Club had been circulated. Christine Tully pointed out that PACT’s major expenditure had been on the Christmas and Easter cards and insurance. The collection taken at the PACT Carols in the Square had been donated to the Counselling Service and Home-Start Butser. The collection at the Service for Week of Prayer for Christian Unity had been donated to Holiday Club. The ‘Restricted Funds’ were donations earmarked specifically for the work of the Food Bank and the Christmas Lunch. Holiday Club accounts were significantly lower for the past 3 years due to the change of format. Families now provided their own refreshments with the major expense being the use of The Petersfield School.

7. Election of Officers: In accordance with the Constitution, the current Vice Chair would normally become the Chair for 2014. Unfortunately there had been no Vice Chair during 2013. One nomination had been received for Chair and it was proposed by Carolyn Barton, seconded by Linda Read and agreed unanimously that John Callaghan be elected Chair for the coming year. The Induction of the new Chair would take place on Sunday, 19th January at the Service for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

No nominations had been received for the position of Vice Chair and it was agreed that John Callaghan and the Co-ordinating Committee endeavour to find someone willing to take this position. It was proposed by John Callaghan, seconded by Brian Edwards and agreed unanimously that Christine Tully continue as Treasurer for the coming year. Christine was thanked for the work she undertook in this capacity throughout the year. Linda Cawsey was standing down as Secretary and a replacement had not yet been found. Carolyn Barton proposed a vote of thanks to Linda for her work in support of PACT which was agreed unanimously.

8. Reports from Partnership & Linked Organisations: Full reports from the Partnership organisations are available on the website for The King’s Arms, Prospects, Messy Church, Holiday Club, Town Chaplaincy, Social Concerns, Food Bank, Prayer Impact and PACT Website.

Additional comments were made at the meeting as follows:

The King’s Arms: Caroline Lacklison presented a brief outline of the work being undertaken not only as a youth centre for the young people of the town but also work with schools in mentoring, anger management, inclusion work and off-site provision. They also had a NEET programme and were working with Special Needs groups and Young Carer provision. She asked that each church nominate their own ‘local champion’ to act as a conduit between the church and the King’s Arms. Churches were also invited to join the Friday morning prayer meeting at 9 a.m. An administrator and fund raiser were urgently needed and financial contributions were always welcome.

Unity Bookshop: The meeting was saddened to hear from Sylvia Roberts that the trustees had reluctantly decided that Unity should close. With increased on-line shopping and the consequent reduction in trade, the business was no longer able to meet its financial criteria of having sufficient funding to support the next three months. Also, following the death of the previous owner of the premises, the lease had now been regularised to become a full repairing lease with liability resting with the trustees. The shop would close on 28th February followed by a month for clearance of the premises.

Prospects: Sylvia Parnell reported that they had now been in existence for 12 years. Numbers had been constant with about 17 members but this had suddenly dropped to just 2 following removal of the Tilmore Home Group to Gosport. It was hoped they might return mid-year. However, there were other people with learning disabilities in the area and it was important to reach out to others who might wish to come along.

Social Concerns: Hilary Bonney reported that the Christmas lunch went well with 80 people being fed. A review meeting was scheduled for next week. Special thanks were due to the chef, Marika Kyovska and Katie Wigley who did most of the organisation. Also to Linda Read who did most of the serving and John and Rosemary Davies who did the washing-up (without the aid of the dishwasher).

Food Bank: The meeting thanked Brian Edwards for all his invaluable work with the Food Bank. It was noted that the Liss Food Bank needed someone to assume responsibility in that role and if anyone knew of someone appropriate, please would they let Peter Hollins know.

Petersfield Town Chaplaincy: John Callaghan invited anyone who wanted to learn more about sharing their faith to the next training course. The training consists of two sessions learning biblical truth and then two sessions on listening.

PACT Website: The meeting thanked John Studd for his invaluable work as Webmaster.

Full reports from the Linked organisations are available on the website for Cuppa & Company, Petersfield Housing Association, Home-Start Butser and In Ministry to Children.

Further comments were made at the meeting as follows:

Cuppa & Company: Peter read the late report from the organisation which has now been running for 2 years and receives referrals, usually by word of mouth, including from local clergy, doctors, funeral directors and other professionals. It provided a real stepping stone for those who had been bereaved to being more confident about being able to cope alone in social situations.

Home-Start Butser: Audrey Hollingbery thanked all those who had made contributions either from PACT, individual churches or just as individuals. The charity’s work was targeted at families under stress with at least one child under the age of 5. The meeting had already heard from other organisations of the pressures on families in the community and the high number of referrals to the scheme demonstrated the ongoing need for the service.

In Ministry to Children: Joan Thraves reminded the meeting of the IMC Annual Fun Day in Rams Walk on the 2nd Saturday in June. All help was gratefully received.

The following verbal reports were made to the meeting:

Christian Aid: Will Hughes reported that less than half the churches had put forward names for people to acts as co-ordinators. This had led to only a relatively small number of door to door collections. The latter were considerably more significant in the amount of money they raised in comparison to the bucket collection. Will challenged churches to nominate co-ordinators to work with the committee for this work in the coming year.

Alpha: Liam Maguire reported that an Alpha introductory meal was scheduled for Friday, 17th January at the URC. 25 people had signed up and the course was due to start on 31st January.

9. Any other business:

Lent Groups: The churches’ information on Lent activities was currently being compiled and would be available shortly.

10. Date of the next AGM: Wednesday, 14th January 2015.

11. The meeting closed with prayer.

Reports for other years are also available on this web site

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