Autumn 2015 Pastoral letter from the PCC

Dear all,

We wanted to write and inform you of the recent and exciting decisions made at the September PCC.

Firstly, and as many of you will be aware, Kathy Crane our long serving and wonderful Parish Secretary is due to retire at Christmas – thankfully she is not leaving St Hugh’s as well, though! As a PCC we have been discussing our needs for staff in preparation for Kathy’s retirement and have decided to recruit a new Church Manager who will undertake a number of new roles including overseeing our facility development and fundraising. This person will not be a direct replacement for Kathy, but will do some of her role. Just this week we have advertised the position on the New Wine website and through various networks churches, please pray that God provides the right person as this is a crucial role to our development as a church – this person we hope will start in January 2016. Please let us know if you or someone you know would like to apply.

Secondly, with this in mind we have also decided to relocate the Church Office to the prayer room, and in January will redecorate Kathy’s current office and outer office to be multi-purpose rooms. These two rooms will also have individual doors opening into the hall so they can be used separately. This we hope will ease some of the increased demands on children’s church which has grown considerably in the last 18 months as well as provide space for prayer, counselling and meeting rooms for the Dyslexia group or others.

Thirdly, a decision has been made is in relation to the rest of our facilities which are often stretched due to the increase in our congregational numbers over the last 18 months and there are some areas of maintenance that require attention including our roof and electrics. We have agreed to approach an architect to do some initial drawings regarding extending our buildings and increasing our capacity in all areas – kitchen, toilets, seating numbers and rooms for children’s church. We will be asking the architect to make provisions for a number of stages so that that it is an integrated approach but one where we can fundraise for each stage. After the initial drawings have been done we will discuss this further at the PCC and show them to the church for comment.

Fourthly, over a number of years many saints of St Hugh’s have generously left us money as a legacy. To honour the memory of many of those who are now in glory, and their families, we will be buying a new communion table, altar frontals, lectern and chalices for Holy Communion. Following on from this, our practice at Holy Communion has been of some concern with regards to the hygiene of using a cup with non-alcoholic wine. This is outside of cannon law (church law) which recommends using alcohol with a silver cup as this combination adds an antiseptic element to the wine and therefore improves hygiene. We have decided therefore to come under the authority of the Church and return to using alcoholic wine at Holy Communion services, whilst being pastorally sensitive to those who would struggle with this.

Lastly, a decision was made to be more ethical in the way we approach our purchases, but that we would prefer not to be labelled as a ’Fair Trade church’, and therefore tied to one particular brand; instead, we chose to become more ethical as a church and research the methods used to produce the goods we buy. This will start with our tea and coffee on Sundays but also begin to influence other areas soon after.

We hope that this news blesses you as we continue to journey further into the abundance that God has for us all – from St. Hugh’s PCC