St Marys Church Annual Report 2015

April 13, 2016 No Comments by Pyrton PCC

Church, pastoral, evangelistic, social and ecumenical. All Saint’s Church Shirburn is administered by the Churches Conservation Trust.


Members of the PCC are either ex-officio or elected by the Annual Parochial Church Council Meeting (APCM) in accordance with the Church Representation Rules.

During the year the following served as members of the PCC:


The Revd Christopher Evans  Chairman


Mrs J Lockwood                     Lay Chairman

Elected Members:

Mr P G Pinney                        Treasurer

Mrs F Fieth                              Secretary

Mrs L Brittain                          Mr D Minns

Ms S Robinson                        Mrs B  Raymond

Committees     The PCC met 4 times during 2015 and informal Benefice meetings were initiated in October in order to prepare for Christopher’s retirement.



Church Attendance

There were 20 parishioners on the 2015 Church Electoral Roll; 6 are not resident in the parish. 53 services were held in St Mary’s Church at Pyrton and none in All Saints’ Church, Shirburn.  The total 2015 attendance was 1,158 adults and 155 children (in 2014, 58 services/events attracted 938 adults and 103 children). The average attendance at Sunday services was 13.0 adults and 1.8 children (2014 – 13.3 & 1.0).  Our 2015 figures include a funeral, a wedding and a blessing service.  Our popular Christmas Eve children’s candlelit carol service attracted 165 people.



Organist: We continue to be grateful to Peter Le Maire, our organist, for his unswerving support for our services.


Living Sanctuary Project (LSP) in Churchyard: Notwithstanding the ever-changing climate, our snowdrops and daffodils adorned the churchyard once again and attracted a large number of visitors in spring. The churchyard is a wonderful natural habitat for flora and fauna.


Daffodil Sunday continues to be held each year in March in 2015 (and February in 2016). The Benefice service in the morning is an ideal opportunity for the congregations from all four churches to worship together. Thanks to Kath & Tom Gomm and lots of cake-bakers, wonderful teas are enjoyed by visitors from far and wide in the Village Hall in the afternoon.


Repair and Restoration:  Following the completion of Phase 2 of the restoration project, there was no major restoration work on the church, although we did commission some major tree surgery work alongside Church Lane.  We also commissioned our architect, John Radice, to produce plans to improve the inside of the church.  Plans have been modified to ensure that pews containing mediaeval wood remain on display in the church. However recent costings of this work imply we will need to raise around £150K and, to date, no sources of grants have been identified.

Parish Survey. With the help of Anne Curtis the PCC produced a questionnaire which was distributed to all villagers. The aim was to discover the importance of the church and its activities in the local community. There was a good response and the answers are still being analysed.


Clergy Changes: At the last APCM Christopher indicated his plans to retire during 2016 – this is likely to occur during the autumn. Two members of the PCC (Jenny and Philip) have been meeting with representatives of the other 3 churches as a Benefice group in order to plan for his replacement. We will be producing a Parish profile to inform the criteria for selection.


The Annual Church Fete:  Over 600 people came to the Fete at The Old Stables.  Helped greatly by the generosity of our hosts, Tim and Steph Anders, we had a wonderful afternoon and the event raised a record-breaking profit after expenses. After donations of £300 to the Village Hall and £300 to a charity, the balance of £4,750 was added to our R&R fund for St. Mary’s Church.  Once again, we thank all those who donated gifts, articles and prizes – and those from the community who organized and manned the stalls and ran the raffle, competitions and children’s activities.  It was a tremendous Fete, much enjoyed by everyone.


Ride and Stride: Thanks largely to the efforts of the Fieth family, Pyrton raised £1,009 on the 2015 Oxfordshire Historic Churches’ Trust Ride and Stride Day, half of which came back to our R&R fund.  Very many thanks to Rob, his family and to all those who rode – it was another wonderful effort.


Financial Matters 2015

Restricted Account:  The value of the shares in the Village Hall Trust held by the Diocese on our behalf increased slightly to £2,558 (from £2,524 in 2014).


Restoration and Repair (R&R) Account: We spent £10,641 on R&R (against.£3,069 in 2014).  Tree surgery along Church Lane accounted for £6,300.  Most other expenses covered the Architect and contractors’ bills at the end of the recent Phase 2 restoration work and to produce plans for possible future internal changes at the rear of the church.  Thanks to the Fete and Ride and Stride, our R&R income was £6,208 (in 2014 it was £28,166 with many outside grants), so we had to transfer funds from our general account to offset the £4,433 loss on the designated R&R account.


General Account:  The general account receipts were £11,607 (£23,813 in 2014) and expenses £14,040 (£13,806 in 2014) giving a trading deficit of £2,433 (after a trading surplus of £10,007 in 2014 thanks to receipt of £12,500 for a one-off gift aid donation to the church).  In 2015, after transferring £4,433 to cover the shortfall in the designated account, we ended the year with assets of £42,067 (£48,933 in 2014).


Overall Summary: These financial results effectively bring to a close a long period of considerable R&R expenditure, and the outside fund-raising needed to finance the 2011-14 Phase 1 and 2 restoration programmes. Thanks to our long term strategy of building up R&R assets with the support of our local community at the Annual Fetes and Ride and Stride Days, we end 2015 with assets in hand.  Mindful of the ageing and reducing size of our congregation, this is a remarkable achievement.  We offer grateful thanks to all those who support and sponsor our church activities.


The Revd. C I Evans


March 2016

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