St George’s Annual Report 2016

 

                     

 

 

Parish of Altrincham St George

 

Annual Report for 2015-16

 

and

 

Financial Statement

for the year ended 31 December 2015

 

 

of the

 

 

Parochial Church Council

 

 

 

 

Presented to the Annual Parish Church Meeting on April 24th 2016

St George’sChurch is the parish church of Altrincham and is part of the Diocese of Chester within the Church of England.  The Parochial Church Council (PCC) is a charity registered with the Charity Commission [registration number 1131530]. It operates under the Parochial Church Council Measures.


Contents

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    page

General Parish information                                                                  3

 

Section 1 : Annual Reporting of the  Parochial Church Council

1          Proceedings of the Parochial Church Council                              4

2          Churchwardens’ Fabric Report                                                    8

3          Accounts for the year ended December 2015                              13

4          Report from the Parish Treasurer                                                13

5          Deanery Synod Report                                                              14

 

 

Section 2: Mission, Outreach, Pastoral Care and Maintenance

 

6          Altrincham Christians Together                                                   15

7          Choir                                                                                        15

8          Church Cleaning                                                                        16

9          Flower Guild                                                                              16

10         Mothers’ Union                                                                          16

11         Parish Centre                                                                            16

12         Reading Group                                                                          17

13         Serving Team                                                                            17

14         Sidespeople & Deputy Wardens                                                  17

15         Social Committee                                                                      17

16         Wednesday Coffee Break                                                          18

 

Section 3: Young People

 

17         Beavers                                                                                    18

18         12th Altrincham Brownies                                                            19

19         6th Altrincham Cub Pack                                                             19

20         Crèche                                                                                      19

21         Junior Church                                                                            20

22         St George’s Toddlers                                                                20

23         Tea and Tales                                                                            20

 

 

The Annual Parish Activity Report is prepared on behalf of the Parochial Church Council

for the benefit of the congregation of St George’s Parish Church, Altrincham

 


General Information

 

                                    St George’s Church

Church Street

Altrincham

Cheshire           WA14 4DB

 

Incumbent

The Revd Dr Edmund Betts

The Vicarage

Townfield Road

Altrincham

Cheshire           WA14 4DS

 

PCC Secretary

                                    Mr Michael Littlewood

The Weald

69 Oldfield Road

Altrincham

Cheshire           WA14 4BH

 

Bank

                                    National Westminster Bank plc

23 Stamford New Road

Altrincham

Cheshire           WA14 1DB

 

Auditors

Percy Westhead and Company

Chartered Accountants and Registered Auditors

Greg’s Buildings

1 Booth Street

Manchester       M2 4AD

 

Church Membership [2015]

                                   

Electoral Roll

227

Average Sunday attendance

Adults

130

Children

25

Holy   Baptisms

31

Holy   Matrimony

7

Funerals & Cremations

Funerals in   church

5

Cremations

6


1             Proceedings of the Parochial Church Council

 

St George’s Church is the parish church of Altrincham and is part of the Diocese of Chester within the Church of England.  The Parochial Church Council (PCC) is a charity registered with the Charity Commission [registration number 1131530].
It operates under the Parochial Church Council Measures.

 

Aims and objectives

 

St George’s PCC, Altrincham has the responsibility of co-operating with the
incumbent, the Revd. Dr Edmund Betts, in promoting, in the ecclesiastical parish,
the whole mission of the Church, pastoral, evangelistic, social and ecumenical.
It also has the responsibility for the maintenance of St George’s Church, Altrincham
and related estate including the adjacent Bicentenary Parish Centre and the Old
School Building.

 

The PCC is committed to enabling as many people as possible to worship
at the church and to become part of St George’s parish community.
The PCC maintains an overview of worship throughout the parish and makes
suggestions on how services can involve the many groups within the parish.
The services and worship put faith into practice through prayer and scripture,
music and sacrament.

 

In planning activities the Vicar and PCC are aware of guidance on public benefit and, in particular, the guidance on charities for the advancement of religion.  We try to enable ordinary people to live out their faith as part of the parish community through:

  • Worship and prayer
  • Provision of pastoral care
  • Mission and outreach

 

To facilitate this work it is important that the fabric of the church and of its estate are maintained properly.

 

Membership

Membership of the PCC for the calendar year from January 1st 2015 is set out below with annotations as appropriate.

 

Incumbent:              Reverend Dr Edmund Betts                   chairman

Assistant Priest:      Reverend Professor David Law             

Curate:                    none

Wardens:                Mr Kevin Davis              appointed April 2015

Dr Robert Moscrop       electoral roll officer

 

Representatives on

Bowdon Deanery     Mr Michael Rowley        to January 31st 2016

Synod:                   Two vacancies

Elected Members:   Mr Richard Ballam                                

Mr Simon Balme                        treasurer

Mr David Benson

Mrs Susan Carter

Mrs Joanna Denton

Mr Martin Granger Brown

Mr Michael Littlewood                secretary

Mr Alan Lloyd                           

Mrs Maureen Moors                   elected April 2015

Dr Matthew Walker                               

                                    Two vacancies

 

 

Attendance at meetings of the PCC by PCC members for the period May 2015 to February 2016 was 79.7%.

 

The PCC records its thanks to the work of the clergy during the 2015-16 period, and welcomes the assistance given to the vicar by Revd Professor David Law.  Fr David, who holds a substantive post in the University of Manchester, spent the first semester of the year (September 2015 to February 2016) undertaking research in the University of Munster.

 

The Confirmation service was held on Sunday September 20th 2015 when Bishop Libby Lane welcomed 10 people into full membership of the church.

 

A blessing of pets took place at a special parish Eucharist on Sunday September 13th.  An evening service was held on All Saints Sunday (November 1st 2015) to remember the faithful departed and the recently bereaved.

 

As in 2014, a moment of silence and reflection was incorporated into the Remembrance Day Parish Eucharist when the children and uniformed organisations were present.  In reviewing the Remembrance Day service the PCC reaffirmed its view that the incorporation of the act of remembrance into the parish Eucharist was seen as a positive development and as something to be encouraged. The intention was to make the occasion meaningful to the next generation as attendance at the eleven o’clock Act of Remembrance had dwindled and the service had failed in recent years to attract significant numbers of people of all ages but especially young families.  The innovation had been generally welcomed by the congregation. Some minor modifications have been suggested for inclusion in future years.

 

 

The successful introduction of a new style carol service Carols for All in 2014 was repeated again on December 20th 2015 at 4 pm attracting some seventy-one adults and twenty children.  The Advent Carol Service was held on the evening of November 29th.  The Christingle on Christmas Eve attracted 456 adults and 238 children, Midnight Mass was attended by 60 adults.  The Christmas morning Family Eucharist had 120 adults and 22 children.

 

Holy Week 2015 was marked with a series of talks on “Building up a visual rule or love of life” which explored through art and paintings the themes of Time to Play, Time to Work, and Time to Pray culminating with Time to Rest on Maundy Thursday.

 

In preparation for Lent and Easter 2015 the congregation were consulted in December 2014 on issues that might form the basis of a Lent course and Easter reflections.  People were invited to offer replies to the following three questions:

  • What do people want to know about the Christian faith?
  • What are the challenges people face today?
  • What would you like to ask Jesus?

The analysis of the replies drew out a number of themes which informed the choice of the Pilgrim Course as a Lent study group in 2015.

 

Attention continues to be paid to the Diocesan initiative on Growth Action Planning [GAP].  St George’s GAP objectives for the period to 2020 are:

 

1)     To help our children, young people and adults to grow in faith and to participate in the life of St George’s by encouraging them to become members of the choir, serving, reading being confirmed and becoming welcomers / sidespersons;

2)     To encourage more people to come to coffee after the 9.30 service;

3)     To identify a young family to host a Lent Group;

4)     To review publicity and in particular to evaluate the effectiveness of St George’s Link and the banner outside the church;

5)     To prepare a welcome leaflet;

6)     To explore the possibility of supporting financially a credit union from the main PCC fund, a Lend-with-Care as part of charitable giving;

7)     To continue the programme of estate and building maintenance including the roof aisle replacement.

These aims continue to be the focus of discussions within the PCC.

The Archdeacon’s visitation took place on May 28th 2015 at St John, Knutsford and was followed by the traditional St George’s sidepersons’ supper.

Altrincham Christians Together observed the week of prayer for Christian unity from January 18th 2016 with prayer meetings in a different church each weekday evening.  This year there was no united service to mark the conclusion of the week.

 

A principal preoccupation of the PCC has been the continued attention to finance and to the condition of the church buildings and of the estate.  Further details of PCC activity in these important areas are to be found in the Treasurer’s and Churchwardens’ reports.  A review of the church’s Health and Safety policy was undertaken in late 2015.

 

As witness to the PCC’s on-going commitment to social responsibility a sum of £6,000 was allocated for the purpose of charitable and missionary giving from commercial activity surplus income.  The allocation of funds is recorded in the annual accounts.  The PCC also acknowledges that many parishioners donate privately to preferred charities including the Children’s Society through house collection boxes and the purchase of Christmas cards in the parish centre.  The Harvest Thanksgiving on October 4th 2015 was marked by support for The Wellspring, a Stockport based resource centre for homeless and disadvantaged people where the doors are open every day serving over 30,000 free meals a year to those who would otherwise go hungry.  In addition the choir sang carols in outside hostelries to raise money for charitable causes.

 

The annual Christingle service raised a record £696.67 for the benefit of the Children’s Society.  Christian Aid week took place from 10th to 16th May 2015.  St George’s was responsible for the collection of £866.  A special collection was also organised for the benefit of refugees fleeing the conflict in Syria and raised £653.

 

The Trafford Foodbank continues to be promoted by the PCC as a cause worthy of regular support.  As a commitment to personal and communal social responsibility every family in the congregation is encouraged to donate items once a month for the benefit of people in the local community experiencing difficult times. Without regular reminders there is a danger that contributions wane with time.

 

One vital aspect of the church’s mission is outreach and contribution to the local community and a desire to bring people into the church and the church hall/old school building.  The re-ordered interior of St George’s has widened the opportunities for increasing the participation of the general community of Altrincham and south Manchester and the PCC aspires to make St George’s a place of welcome for  the wider community by hosting concerts and other civic events.

 
The 2015 APCM marked the retirement of David Benson from the position of churchwarden, a post he had held with distinction for 16 years.  The PCC records it appreciation to David [and to Mary] and to his remarkable diligence towards and stewardship of St George’s affairs during his tenure as warden – following many years as secretary to the PCC. As warden, David had overseen major repairs to the church roofs and tower. Despite his stepping down as warden he has continued to serve on the PCC maintaining an overview of matters relating to the estate in the role of Fabric Project Officer.

 

Important Safeguarding and Child protection work undertaken by Helen Stant as the parish recruiter/protection co-ordinator is acknowledged with gratitude.  Revised safeguarding policy and procedures were issued by the Diocese in January 2016. The work of Jane Parker in bringing awareness to the issues surrounding dementia is also recognised.

 

The PCC records each year its thanks to all those who prepare the church for and help with the services: the organist, the choir, the servers, the wardens, the treasurer and his assistants, the collection counters, the deputy wardens and the sidespersons, the leaders of all parish organisations including junior church, uniformed organisations and the crèche, the intercessors, the lesson readers, the cleaners, the flower arrangers,  the parish secretary, those who prepare, print and collate the weekly service sheet, the refreshment servers, cake makers and sellers, the key holders and the Friday ‘church-openers’ – and all others who make a quiet but meaningful contribution to the church’s daily well-being and to special occasions.  Mention is also made of those who bring necessary income into the church by making donations in using the parish centre and also the generosity of the town.

 

 

Michael Littlewood

PCC Secretary

 

2          Churchwardens’ Fabric Report

 

St. George’s Church is a Grade II listed building, and the Churchyard is wholly within the Altrincham Old Market Place Conservation Area, so that the Church building and the Churchyard are formally recognised as heritage sites.

 

This report covers fabric matters of the church, churchyard, and selected work on the two buildings of the Parish Centre (Bi-centenary Hall and Old School Building) and Churchside (Ashton Brooks Funeral home).

 

There were three projects of long-term significance in 2015:

  • The re-roofing of the North and South aisles of the church
  • The replacement of the central heating boiler systems in the Church, the Bicentenary Hall, and the OldSchoolBuilding
  • The churchyard tree work – felling of the overgrown trees adjacent to the Arnold’s yard flats, and the planting of new trees.

As reported in last year’s Fabric report, Graham Holland Associates, of Knutsford, have been appointed as church architects, as from January 2016.

 

1.      Refurbishing The Aisle Roofs

It had been recognised for some time that the felt coverings of the North and South aisle roofs would need replacing, and this was finally achieved this year.  (The felt covering was put on in the late 1970s, to pre-empt the theft of the lead covering; the sale of the lead provided the money to buy and install the organ.)  A Faculty application was submitted early in the year and was finally granted in June.  After going out to tender, the contractor selected was Mooney Conservation, who did the work on refurbishment of the steeple in 2005/6.  Work began late June, and was completed by early October.  The felt covering was replaced by stainless steel sheet, which should be long-lasting and takes on the appearance of lead, which was the original covering.  The roof of the west porch was refurbished as part of the same project, and it was found that some of the wood in the porch roof had rotted.  The total cost of this work was approx £75K, after reclaiming VAT of approx £14.6K under the Listed Places of Worship (LPW) Grant scheme.  This work was funded by £20K from The Friends of St. George’s, and by legacies previously given.

 

2.      Churchyard Tree Work 2015/6

As reported in last year’s Fabric Report, we applied for a Faculty for the felling of a number of trees along the south wall of the churchyard, including the line of large self-set sycamore trees at the western end of the wall, adjacent to the flats.  This work was instigated by a group of residents of the Arnolds Yard flats, who were not happy with the large trees growing so close to their property.  The trees were felled in late Spring, and the cost of felling the trees was shared, with the residents paying half the cost of felling and grinding out the stumps.  Replacement trees (hawthorns) have been planted a few metres back from the wall, and of such a size that, when mature, they will provide a pleasing screen, for the churchyard and the residents of the Arnolds Yard flats.  This is part of the long-term development of the churchyard.  (We would have had to remove the trees at some stage anyway, and doing it now has enabled us to share cost and be a good neighbour.)  This work starts to open up the south-western sector of the churchyard, anticipating that the remaining Horse Chestnut trees will probably not last more than 5-10 years.

In addition, hawthorns are to be planted on the North side of the churchyard, again a few metres back from the newly-rebuilt section of the North wall.  The work is being done by done by Frankland Tree Services, who have been advising us.  The cost of the felling, etc was £1,800, with a similar amount being paid by Arnold’s Yard residents.

 

3.      Church Central Heating Boiler

During last winter (2014/5), there were repeated problems with the church heating system.  The PCC therefore decided to have a new boiler and associated control system installed.  We applied for a Faculty, but because of the small impact outside the boiler-room, permission was granted by the DAC without the need for a Faculty.  We approached J.E. Dean, of Hazel Grove, who had been involved with the system for a number of years.  They proposed a system with two boilers, giving greater efficiency and greater reliability, at a cost of £18,300, including VAT.  The system was eventually installed in September – October, so it was ready for the winter.  The work also included getting some of the radiators in church working, and replacing the gas heater in the Lady Chapel with a new radiator.  The VAT of £3,050 has been reclaimed under the LPW grant scheme.  Just as the decision was taken to proceed with this work, the Vicar received a letter saying that Ken. Weston had left c £18,000 to St. George’s in his will, and it was agreed that this should be used to pay for the new boiler system.

 

4.      Parish Centre Boiler

It was reported that the Parish Centre (Bi-centenary Hall) central heating system had been unreliable during the winter 2014/5, with spare parts sometimes taking a week or more to arrive.  It was therefore decided to replace the boiler system.  Since the building is let out, and used by the St.   George’s Playgroup, it was important to ensure that the heating system was reliable.  We had two quotations, and that from J.E. Dean’s was significantly better, again proposing a two-boiler system.  Dean’s tender was accepted, and the work was done in early September, at a cost of £6096 (Inc. VAT).

 

5.      Old School Building Boiler

In late October, it was found that the Boiler in the OldSchoolBuilding was in a poor condition, and unlikely to last the winter.  Again, we asked J.E. Dean to replace the boiler, which they did in December, at a cost of £1920 (inc vat), using a single boiler system.

 

6.      Steps To St George’s Square

These steps are out of alignment, and could be a hazard.  While not explicitly admitting responsibility, Trafford Council appear to have accepted the need to re-align the steps, based on the documentation presented to them, showing that when St. George’s Square was created in 1935,
The Council were responsible for the steps.  The misalignment was almost certainly caused by the roots of the two large horse-chestnut trees which were felled in 2008.

 

7.      Frontal Chest

We now have approval for a new Frontal Chest (where altar coverings are stored when not in use).  This has arisen because the nave altar coverings take up more space than the frontals, since the new coverings have a back as well as a front.  The new chest will be made mainly of wood from the pews taken out to make way for the Nave altar.  The current plan is to have the new chest adjacent to the organ console, and move the current chest to the west end of the north aisle – the “Quiet Area”.  Andy Morgan (the joiner who did the work on the re-ordering) has started work on the new chest, which is currently expected late Spring.

 

8.      Churchyard Working Parties

There have been three Churchyard Working Parties during the year, mainly just clearing growth and general tidying.  We appreciate the time and hard work that goes into these working parties, to the benefit of the churchyard, and thank all those involved.

 

9.      Fabric Project Officer

This year has seen the appointment of David Benson as Fabric Project Officer.  After standing down as churchwarden at the Easter Vestry Meeting, David was elected to the PCC, and was appointed as Fabric Project Officer, to allow him to continue his work on the fabric management, as above, working with the Vicar and Wardens.  Peter Axelsen coordinates work on the fabric of the Parish Centre Bicentenary Hall and OldSchoolBuilding in his role a caretaker.

 

10.   Surveys Of Building

Following the discovery of the rotting of the wooden frames of the large south-facing window/door in the parish centre, it has been decided to have the architect conduct Quinquennial-style surveys of the Bicentenary Hall, the OldSchoolBuilding and Churchside (The Funeral Home).  After receiving a number of quotes for the replacement of the window/door, Manchester Glass are being appointed, with the aim of doing the replacement during the school’s summer holiday, when the playgroup is not operating.

 

The Old School Building and Churchside are now in the Altrincham Old Marketplace Conservation Area, which was recently extended; this imposes some restrictions on what changes can be made to the buildings.  Any recommendations in the survey reports will be followed up, as appropriate.

11.   Churchside (Funeral Home)

This building is leased to Ashton Brooks (part of the Dignity Funeral Homes group), who are responsible for the maintenance of the building.  However, it remains the property of the Church (PCC), and we need to ensure that it is properly maintained.

Recently, some damp was found on the north side of the building.  Investigations showed that the gutters and downspouts were in a poor condition, and that a some of the bricks were in a poor state.  A further problem is that part of the wall is on the boundary with the adjacent property, which makes access difficult.  It has been established that like-for-like changes to the building do not require permission (because in a conservation area).

 

12.   Lighting

As time goes by we are replacing electrical light bulbs with low-energy bulbs to save on the cost of electricity.  The lamps along the path beside the south aisle had become unreliable, and have been replaced with LED lamps, thereby saving on both maintenance and electrical power.

 

13.   Parish Centre Trees

At the beginning of April (2016), work was carried out to fell and reduce the large self-set sycamore trees to the south and west of the Bicentenary Hall.  Again this work was carried out by Frankland Tree Services.

 

14.   Churchyard Monument Inspection

An inspection of the churchyard monuments was carried out in March (2016), to ensure that there were no upstanding monuments that might fall and cause injury.  All monuments appeared safe.

 

This Year (2016)

There are currently no major projects planned for the church for 2016.  We are looking to re-paint the walls of the Lady Chapel and the Chancel – but only areas that are already painted.  There will be the inevitable maintenance and repair work.  The Churchyard Working Parties will continue, and an inspection of the churchyard monuments is due. We will be following up recommendations from the surveys of the outbuildings, including restoration (replacement or repair) of the south-facing window of the Parish Centre

 

Acknowledgements

We are grateful for the on-going support of the PCC, on whose behalf this work is carried out.  Our continuing thanks are due to English Heritage and the Heritage Lottery Fund (EH/HLF) for their contribution of  £62,690 towards the cost of restoration of the church steeple in 2005-6.

 

We would like to thank our architects (Graham Holland Associates) for their advice and collaboration, particularly Carl Thorgaard who handled the re-roofing of the aisles, and is carrying out the outbuilding surveys.

We should also thank the contractors who have worked for us, in particular: Mooney Conservation for their work on the aisle roofs;  Frankland Tree Services for the Tree work and associated advice;  J.E. Deans for replacing three boiler systems;  DB Property Services (Barry Williams) for numerous jobs;  and Lectrix of Sale for electrical work.

 

This report was prepared by David Benson (Fabric Project Officer) on behalf of the Churchwardens (Robert Moscrop and Kevin Davis).

 

3     Accounts For The Year Ended 31 December 2015

Please see separate sheet

 

4          Treasurer’s Report

A more detailed report will be presented at the APGM based on the audited accounts but below are some key points:

 

  • The deficit for 2015 is £24,092 a reversal from 2014 despite including legacies of £25,000 demonstrating operating within our regular income proves difficult.

 

  • The Gift Aid rebate from HM Revenue & Customs for the period 5th April to December 31st 2015 has been estimated at £12,165.

 

  • The Parish Share, our contribution to the Chester Diocese for running the diocese, in 2015 was £65,462. This will increase to £67,099 in 2016, giving a £1,637 (2.5%) increase.

 

  • The PCC set aside £6,000 in 2015 for Charitable & Missionary Giving, £2,000 of which went to Altrincham CE Primary School as part of our long term obligation.  The remainder was distributed to various causes following recommendations from parishioners.  This level of giving will be maintained in 2016 being 10% of our commercial trading surplus.

 

  • The Parish received a £25,000 in legacy from Ken Weston’s estates and the PCC decided to utilise this to refurbish the church boilers.

 

  • One major expense in 2015 was the reroofing of the North Wall which has cost the PCC £69,500, though we received a contribution from the Friends of St Georges of £20,000.

 

  • The Quinquennial Maintenance contingency fund stands at £69,000 as at the end of 2015 following a further £20,000 transfer into it during the year and the above mentioned expenditure.

 

  • The parish continues to try to balance expenditure with income as mentioned in point 1 but relies heavily on the rent from the Old School (£32,000), the Parish Centre lettings (£27,000) and leasing out of 18 Hawarden Road (£6,000) to remain in a reasonable financial position.

 

  • Once again I must thank Helen Brundrett for her work on a Sunday morning with the banking and expense claims, and must acknowledge Barbara Floyd’s passing as she is sorely missed.

 

  • The accounts for 2015 have been prepared with the assistance of Chris Stafford of Percy Westhead & Co. to whom we would like to record our gratitude.  Furthermore they have agreed to continue as our independent examiners into 2016.

Simon Balme

 

5          Report on Deanery Synod

May 27th 2015: (St Marks Dunham Massey) Presentations on CSR – the Committee for Social Responsibility.  Janice Mason, Director of Social Responsibility, gave an overview of CSR work and the ‘Seven Miles Wide’ initiative – The Wirral peninsula is only seven miles wide and yet people living on the west Dee side of the Wirral live on average 12 years longer than those on the east Mersey side:  Why is this?  What can be learned from CSR’s Life Expectancy initiative on the Wirral (LEW) to help other deaneries?  Janice outlined how CSR might support our churches – in Training (e.g. Safeguarding & parenting course for Clergy, now taken by most of our clergy); on-line resources (e.g. for mental health); Events (e.g. on prison ministry; CSR are on hand to help parishes engage with prisoners); Gatherings (e.g. on Welfare Reform); Networking for rural and urban churches; videos and ideas to inspire.   Wendy Robertson, Project Co-ordinator for the Life Expectancy initiative, shared the learning and resources from this, taking the meeting through a “Poverty Quiz” to help focus the mind and indicate what problems are around, what might be happening in our own area.  Questions were such as: How many times is poverty mentioned in the Bible?; According to the public, how much do a couple with 2 school-aged children need per year to maintain a minimum standard of living?; How much is the UK national wage as a full-time salary?; What percentage of children living in poverty are in a household where someone is in paid work? LEW has started with small projects, things to make a difference, and have six churches “paired to help” to-date. The Wirral Pledge is to “help all churches work together more.”

October 1st 2015: (St Anne’s Sale) Challenging Loan Sharks – Credit Unions for All”. Christine Moore, CEO of Manchester Credit Union, described how the Manchester Credit Union had evolved since 1991. Initially it only reached a small number of people before gaining permission in 2000 to reach into shops and other places, and to serve a larger area. Credit Unions have been growing steadily over the past ten years. They can help those in financial difficulties (not just those on benefits) as an alternative lender for those who cannot get loans from banks. They have both paid staff and volunteers now, are run by the members and services include savings, affordable loans, and money guidance.   Working with Schools  (Revd Sue Mayo, Chester Diocesan Board of Education Schools/Churches Link). Sue is Assistant Vicar in All Hallows, Cheadle, helping the diocese one day a week to provide support for churches working with local schools. With an engaging start asking how much individuals are worth, from celebrities through to a newly born with cleft palate and hairlip, we are reminded how much everyone is worth, as God loves us all, and reminded how much education can also add to the worth of an individual. Sue indicated challenges and priorities and gave examples of how Christians can do a lot to help all local schools e.g. offering to take school assemblies, help for primary school projects, Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme work.

26th January 2016:  (Holy Cross, Timperley). Christopher Burkett, Director of Ministry for the Diocese of Chester, spoke on Bible Literacy. A campaign was to be launched in September aimed at making people more literary aware of the Bible.

Michael Rowley

Deanery Synod representative

 

Section 2: Mission, Outreach and Pastoral Care

 

6          Altrincham Christians Together

The Lent Groups and Summer Sunday evening services continue to be well supported and enjoyed by those of us wishing to present a Christian presence within our local community.  .

 

7          The Choir

The choir have had a successful year of performances. With the birth of ‘The St George’s Strollers’ group, we put on an evening of musical entertainment mixed with comedy (and madness!), which was very well received. We hope to continue our work this year.  The Christmas Carol Service was once again a wonderful opportunity to show off the hard work and commitment of our choristers for the year. We are gradually tackling more and more complex music and broadening our repertoire. At choir practices, we also learn about the music itself as well how to sing well. Numbers have continued to be steady and consistent this year. However, as always, we welcome new comers of all ages and abilities. There are no auditions for our choir, and the ability to read music is not a requirement, just enthusiasm! Join us on Thursday evenings, 7.30pm – 8.15pm. Contact Lizzie on 07983 477 279 or lizziembell@yahoo.co.uk for more details.

 

Lizzie Bell

8          Church Cleaning

The Wednesday and Saturday Cleaning Teams continue to keep
St George’s looking well cared for and thanks go to all involved.
Jo Denton

 

 

9          Flower Guild

The Guild works on a rota basis, with everyone working to decorate the church at festivals.  Donations may be made to the Flower Guild to have special flowers arranged to celebrate an event, such as a birthday or wedding anniversary, or in memory of a loved one.  We held another open evening for Advent, when several ladies created wonderful greenery and candle arrangements for the window sills and then some came along on Christmas Eve to decorate the arrangements with Christmas ornaments.  We are hoping to make this an annual event as it is so popular.  This year we welcome Doreen Swindle as a new member of the team, but we are still looking to recruit younger arrangers, both male and female.  No experience is necessary as training will be given.

Janice Ripley

 

 

10        Mothers’ Union

We have 28 members, 3 are indoor members.  The Committee try to arrange a varied programme – eg speakers on various subjects, a barbecue, Lady Day meal at the Aspire Restaurant, an outing including lunch, wave of prayer in May, July a quiet afternoon in Church when we invite our prayer partners and Fr Edmund arranges the service.  Members are always busy knitting Teddies for Tragedies, blankets, clothes for premature babies and lots more.  In 2015 St Martin’s, Ashton-on-Mersey, St Peter’s Oughtrington and St Paul’s, Sale branches closed.  Holy Cross and Christ Church Timperley amalgamated.  This was very sad.

Frances Wright

 

 

11        Parish Centre

We are very fortunate to have a thriving and well cared for Parish Centre and Old School Building (OSB).  Our facilities serve our parish organisations (coffee after services, our young people organisations, our work with families, older adults, for meetings and social events) and the wider community.  St George’s Playgroup, an independent charity, has its home in the parish centre five mornings a week.  We provide a regular meeting place for South Manchester Alcoholics Anonymous, a Trafford self- help ‘drop-in’ anxiety group, Gaming Group, Red Players Drama Group and
St John Ambulance Cadets.  On Saturdays and Sundays (after Church coffee) the centre is popular for children’s parties and is also regularly booked by the National Charities NCT (National Childbirth Trust) and TAMBA (Twins and Multiple Birth Association).  At local and national elections it is used as a local Polling Station at elections.
Our young people’s organisations; LA School of Dancing and Seamons Cycling Club use the OSB.  The Centre serves the local community as required by the Lottery Charities Board.

Fr Edmund

 

 

12        Reading Group

The Reading Group continues to meet monthly to discuss a wide range of books.  We were saddened by the death of Barbara Floyd before Christmas, who was one of our long standing members.

Jo Denton

 

 

13        Serving Team

There is little to report regarding the serving team, as not much has changed since last year.  The main problem, as always, is the need for adults, especially a few younger ones, willing to train as servers.  This has been highlighted recently by the non-availability of some “senior” servers either due to ill health or work commitments, and has led to problems in being able to maintain a full serving team on some Sundays.  Although one or two new servers have been recruited recently, others have had to step down, so numbers haven’t improved.  There is also a need for someone to take over from me as head server before too long, due to back problems I am finding certain things difficult, especially carrying the cross.  If anyone wishes to consider training as a server (you would only be required approximately every three weeks, on a rota basis) please speak to me.

Peter Ripley.

 

14        Sidespeople and Deputy Wardens

The Deputy sidepersons are looking for 2 new sidepersons as we have vacancies due to the sad loss of Barbara Floyd and also Allyson Rowley who has left the area.  We would welcome.anyone who would like to join us The Teams are as followed

HELEN BRUNDRETT – J. Ripley, M. Moors, +one empty place

JANICE RIPLEY – J. McConnell, K. Maddock, A. Lloyd

MIKE LITTLEWOOD – D Swindle, A. Moore, B. Moore

MAUREEN MOORS – S. Carter, E. Haddock, +one empty place

We all attend the Archdeacons Visitation to be sworn in and this year it at 7.30pm on May 12th. at Christchurch, Timperley.

Helen Brundrett

 

 

15        Social Committee

The social committee had a busy year again organising some fantastic events last year:

Bring and share lunch 26th April 2015 – The Parish community had a great afternoon with lots of food and fun for all the family.

Picnic in the park 21st June 2015 – We all decamped to John Leigh park where there were games of football, cricket, bowls and the weather stayed fine for us too!

Summer BBQ 12th July 2015 – The annual BBQ was a great success and all who attended enjoyed a feast of BBQ food and a chance to catch up with friends with a burger and glass of wine/beer.

Harvest Supper 3rd October 2015 – The Harvest supper was again a big success with a beetle drive and fun for all the family. Thanks to Janet McConnell for providing the delicious food.

 

Children’s Christmas Party 19th December 2015 – Over 40 children attended this year’s Christmas party and enjoyed games and lots of fun with a visit from Santa too.

Afternoon Tea-sing Quiz 7th February 2016 – An afternoon tea with a difference! There was a quiz and a sing a long for all the family with some fantastic food brought by all who attended.

We have events planned for this year too, a date for your diary is 22nd May for the summer BBQ.

Our thanks must go to all those who assist with the social committee and those who assist at the events all throughout the year.

Alan Lloyd

 

16        Wednesday Coffee Break

The Coffee Break remains popular – almost always a dozen or more – not always the same people.  It’s good to meet up with those who have moved on from St George’s.  A couple of weeks ago it was a pleasure to have Vivienne Bell and her son join us.

We were invited to join the Play Group and sing along with them – it was very enjoyable and we remembered the words we had learned – how many years ago?  So if you have a little break on Wednesday around 10.30am, please come and join us.

Marjorie Mercer

 

 

Section 3:  Young People

17        6th Altrincham (St George’s) Beaver Colony

6th Altrincham Beavers meet at 6pm every Friday evening during term time.  We currently have 18 Beavers aged from 6 to 8 years old under the watchful eye of two uniformed leaders and usually a parent/adult helper.  We also have a young person helping us each week as part of her Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award.  Our evenings are spent doing crafts, games and badge work.  When possible we spend our evenings outdoors around the church grounds or on outings.  As we are celebrating 30 years of Beaver Scouting this year we are having a sleepover at The Catalyst Museum at Widnes.  We will be doing workshops and activities in the museum, and hopefully getting a few hours sleep!  It promises to be a great event and one of a number of activities organised to mark our birthday.

Jane Ford and Pamela Cowen

 

18        12th Altrincham (St George’s) Brownies

We have 29 Brownies on roll and still hold a long waiting list for girls wanting to join.  The majority of girls on roll attend St George’s Church of England school.  I have 3 permanent leaders that assist me weekly.  Last October we enjoyed a weekend camping at our Girl Guiding site in Ashley.  This year we will be camping at PGL in Preston.  Activities for the girls are high ropes, sailing, wall climbing and orienteering plus many more.  As a unit we will be working towards 2 badges.  ”All around the world” and “25 years of Senior Section” both badges have been especially created to celebrate achievements by girls in Girl Guiding.

 

Emma Lee

 

 

19        6th Altrincham (St George’s) Cub Pack

St George’s Cub scouts meet in the old church hall and have a great time!  We have around 20 cubs and follow a “Balanced Programme” suitable for the range of ages (8 to 10 ½), inclinations and abilities.  Recently we have been doing some “challenge badges”, including problem solving, night hike and learning how to make a lung!  This year is the 100th birthday for Cub Scouts, so there are various activities planned at a national and regional level.  In February, we took over the whole of Blackpool Pleasure Beach theme park, which was great fun.  Cubs do lots of traditional scout activities, such as maps and compass, knots, tent pitching, shelter building and firelighting.  Also camping, which last year was a very traditional style camp at Dunham.  The highlight of the weekend was the raft building, which was a mighty construction that easily took 6 cubs and an adult.  In cubs we are ok for leaders, but our associated Scout section is desperate for help.  This affects all our sections as we are having to limit numbers lower down due to the bottleneck.  Please get in touch if you are interested in helping.

 

Anthony Waters Cub Scout Leader:  07910 775 802, 0161 929 8474, AntWaters@btinternet.com

 

20        Crèche

We have had a successful year in crèche.  There are currently 8 members of the crèche team, 2 members stood down due to other commitments but two new volunteers were recruited.  We also have 2 more volunteers currently going through the application process.  The safeguarding and accident procedures were strengthened and the safety risk assessment was updated.  We have between 1 and 9 children attending crèche but numbers have increased generally over the last 7 months.

 

Jayne Fulthorpe

 

21        Junior Church

The Junior Church team consists of lesson leaders Tracy Edwards,
Simon Edwards, Michael Nash and Isabel Nash.  The support volunteers are Mary Benson, Nichola Lloyd, Tarren Taylor, Emma Birch and
Rebecca Gilbert.  We provide 8-10 Junior Church Sundays per term.  Junior Church most importantly comprises the children of which a total of 15-25 attend each Sunday.  They are split into two age groups:
Little Fishes (age 3 to reception) and Whopping Whales (year 1 upwards).

We use the “Roots” resource as our guidance each week to determine the Bible reading for study, which usually corresponds with the Gospel reading in church.  Roots also provides help with explanation and discussion of the lectionary and inspiration for craft activities, games and prayers.  Overall I hope that we provide a fun but educational introduction to Christianity and welcome into the Church community, as well as support for parents to participate in the main service.  Any suggestions from the wider congregation as to how we might work better, and volunteers to sign up to help are always welcome.

 

Isabel Nash  – Junior Church Leader

 

22        St George’s Toddlers

St George’s Toddler Group has had up to 16 families in a session.  Children from birth to nursery age.  Mothers, fathers, grandparents, carers and childminders are all welcome.  We are a friendly group where you can meet others for a chat and drink.

 

Sharon Halstead

 

23        Tea & Tales 

Tea and Tales is held term time in the chancel area of the Church every Tuesday at 3.30 pm.  It continues to be popular with the four to seven year olds, their younger siblings and with parents and grandparents.  We have songs, stories and prayers.  We are grateful to Shirley Axelsen who organises the refreshments, including muffins, each week, and to Peter Axelsen, who sets up the hall for the refreshments.  There can be any number between 11 and 25 children attending.  Tea and Tales is well worth a visit, so if you have a chance to pop in at 3.30pm on a Tuesday afternoon in term time you will be very welcome.

 

Fr Edmund