24. Feb, 2020

Annual Church Reports

Extracts from the Annual Reports for 2019

Every year we have an Annual Church Members’ Meeting when reports of the various activities of the church are received. Words on a page can’t convey adequately the strength of our fellowship together, but they do give some clues as to what matters to us. What follows are some highlights from the reports.

In Touch

Each Tuesday morning up to ten of us meet for half an hour of guided prayer led by different individuals, using a Northumbrian style of worship. The invitation is given by social media, the website and other means to anyone who wishes to send prayer requests and although we have received very few requests from outside the group, we believe that it is a service that we should continue to offer to others.

Following prayer, we share refreshments and conversation together, and some take the opportunity to do craft work, play dominoes or tackle small jobs around the church buildings. Others who were not able to join us for prayer sometimes join us for this time. Every third Tuesday in the month we stay for a soup and pudding lunch. No charge is made for In Touch, but voluntary donations more than cover the cost. For the last two years this has enabled us to lay on a Christmas lunch and contribute to the general funds of the church.

Apart from Sunday morning worship, In Touch is probably the most consistent and regular time we meet as a church community and therefore it seems important to think about how we can develop it further as a bridge so that those on the fringe of the church or living close to our building can be encouraged to find support, request prayer and become more involved in the fellowship.

Scrabble Scrollers

We meet for Scrabble on the 3rd Thursday of each month and it is enjoyed by those who come. Our numbers have fluctuated between 8 and 3 this year. We need to think whether these numbers are viable especially during winter months and we do need to be more proactive in inviting others to come along.

Church Secretary’s report

I would firstly like to say thank you to everyone who has supported me throughout the year.

The first service of the year was our Covenant service led by our minister Rosalyn Wilkes and Ros has led most of our regular Sunday gatherings. We’re also grateful for visiting preachers.  A special thank you goes to Rosemary Knowles for arranging the flowers each week in the church. We would also like to thank Pauline Johnson and Brian Nicholls for playing the piano.

Church prayer breakfasts are held on the first Saturday of each month. We continue with our ‘bring and share’ lunch on the first Sunday of each month.  Deacons meetings and Church Members meetings are held regularly.  We were able to participate in the Swanwick Well Dressing event, and in the village Remembrance Day service.

We would like to say a big thank you to the church maintenance team for keeping on top of work and thanks to the generosity of members and grant giving bodies we’ve been able to replace rotten windows, repair the office, repaint the schoolroom and  refurbish the Manse.

We had a great away day thanks to the generous hospitality of our friends at Milford Baptist Church and this has encouraged and given us strength to keep moving forward.

We have had both happy and sad occasions during December.  We mourned the loss of a wonderful lady, Margaret Miles who will always be remembered for her strong faith as well as for her jam making and cakes and offering an open house, giving great support to the church and never seeking praise. On a happier note Olivia Marjorie Rose Hardstaff came into the world on Boxing day.  She has already attended church with her Mum, Dad and brother, and we look forward to her dedication in the next few months.

The Church remains committed to supporting the East Midland Baptist Association, the Baptist Union and BMS World Mission. We have supported many other causes including Derby City Mission and Operation Agri at Harvest and we had a special Toy service where toys were donated to Derby City Mission. Derby City Mission make it possible for deprived families to give their children a Christmas present. We also supported the Shoe Box appeal together with Churches Together in Swanwick, the Leprosy Mission and Christian Aid.

We had a great evening in December when the Alfreton Male Voice Choir came to join us for a sing along concert with Christmas carols. It was attended well and people from the community and other churches joined us.

We look forward to what 2020 will bring.

LEPROSY MISSION REPORT

In 2019 individual contributions in aid of the Leprosy Mission raised £55.56. Further funds were also raised by our fellowship purchasing goods from the Leprosy Mission Catalogue organised by Alison Briddon.

BMS BIRTHDAY SCHEME

The total amount raised through the Birthday Scheme in 2019 was £146 (This includes £20 sent to BMS earlier in the year). On behalf of BMS, thanks to every member for contributing towards the provision of medical care, clean water to drink, etc. Val Cundey

Church Treasurer’s Report

2019 has seen a demanding year for our finances.  The year ended with an overall SURPLUS of £5,413 instead of the £4,431 DEFICIT indicated in the revised budget.  However, this SURPLUS has only occurred due to the donations and pledges arising from our Gift Day, a generous grant from the EMBA and gift aid claim submissions. 

This meant that income was a lot more than anticipated, with offerings and donations totalling £46541 as against the revised 2019 budget projection of £27593.

Income tax refunds on gift aid at £9104 were higher than the 2019 forecast total of £8070, partly due to the claims being made from 2018 in addition to 2019 and from the gift aided Gift Day Donations. Rental income of £1490 came from the letting of the Manse for a sort period and from schoolroom hire. 

Ministry costs were £23522, and we made donations to Home Mission and BMS in 2019 of nearly £2000.  

Upkeep costs in 2019 for the Church premises totalled £12088, which was a lot higher than we estimated. This was due to extra fabric repairs and replacements in addition to the usual upkeep costs.  

The Gift Day fund meant that we were able to repay in full the EMBA 10-year loan in 2019.  However, we had a large solicitor’s bill to pay regarding the Manse. Although the SURPLUS indicated in the audited accounts for2019 appears to be a satisfactory result, if it hadn’t been for the generous amount amassed from the Gift Day, there would more than likely have been a large DEFICIT. Chris Fissenden.  

Our thanks go to Chris for her excellent and careful work as Treasurer! 

Minister's Report

Another year has swept by.  It’s the year when we finally regained the Manse following several years of waiting.  It wasn’t an easy journey to that point, involving anguish and much energy and expense but perseverance won the day.  Since then many people within the fellowship have been involved in cleaning & decorating as well as tidying the garden.  Thank you to all of you who have been involved.  This made it possible for me to move into the Manse and make the village my home.

The year, however, ended with the death of Margaret Miles, who had served the church in remarkable ways over many decades.  Margaret had played such an integral role until recent years when she moved into a care home and was unable to join us on Sundays.  We miss her but continue to celebrate her legacy.  This year also saw the death of Ray Smith, with his funeral being held at the Chapel. But on a happier note we celebrated the birth of a daughter for Emily & Adam & a baby sister for Martyn.  We look forward to celebrating with them as a family at her Dedication soon.

The Deacons have worked hard once again this year with all the extra work that the Manse seemed to generate.  We say a big thank you to them for the way they serve the church so willingly.

Going forward into this year we have started to explore ways within Churches Together that we can act together in bringing Hope into people’s life during this year of HOPE.  Some ideas have already been suggested and there seems to be a willingness to make care for the environment a focus for these initiatives.

We once again had a Christmas Dinner for the fellowship thanks to Elsie and her team of helpers. 

With the other churches in the village we have had a busy year under the umbrella of Churches Together in Swanwick.  The year started with the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.  During the year there was the usual variety of events including SCT Messy Easter, Shoeboxes, Beer & Carols & Thy Kingdom Come. 

We look ahead to 2020 with expectation, trusting that God is at work in our fellowship and within the community of Swanwick that we serve. Ros Wilkes.