We are pleased to provide the minutes of our 2020 AGM. Although it has been difficult to hold many public events this year, we have been making good progress behind the scenes. We have now taken delivery of the two restored banners, and have allocated £20,000 to work on the churchyard wall and forthcoming work on the windows.
We look forward to bringing you more news about our projects and events soon.
Emma, Ank and Geoff
11 August 2020, 6pm, UK Time
Held via Video Conferencing
Present. Geoff Dumbreck (standing in for John as chair), Richard Pick, Sylvia Pick, Arthur Hibble, Oliver Coates, Stella Cross, Philip Cross, Roy Papworth, Margaret Waring, Richard Catchpole, Jane Bays, Michael Bloy, Emma Wragg, Ank Rigelsford (minutes)
Apologies. None were received.
Minutes of the last AGM. These were signed as a true record.
Conflict of interests. None was declared.
The membership has declined over the last year and stands at 35. This is partly because some members have not yet paid their yearly subscription and partly because at some of the events from last year one-off donations were made which automatically made the donors Friends for the year. Ank will send out a reminder to our regular lapsed members.
The report is in the AGM pack [with two minor corrections from those circulated before the meeting: page 2, under ‘2020 Accounts’, 2nd line, ‘income’ was changed to ‘expenditure’].
This year our expenses are higher by some £7000 than our income. This is because some large sums have been paid for the restoration of the banners, the lowering of the wall and re-ordering of the car park and to Archangel for architect’s fees. These were expected expenses and there was money to cover them. Geoff thanked Richard C for the careful stewarding of the expenses on the wall.
There followed a discussion on the high cost of the architect’s fee and whether this was warranted, or whether it would be better to just concentrate on maintaining to church as it is. Sylvia said she was not happy with the plans for the west room. For instance, she did not see how a lavatory next to the main entrance, as on the current plan, would work, as wedding parties and funerals would have to negotiate this as they come in. Richard P felt we should concentrate on retaining and improving the Victorian look of the church rather than planning to add contemporary spaces.
The final conclusion was that we carry on with the plans as they are at the moment, because to apply for any substantial grant we need to have plans drawn up by an architect. This is therefore a necessary expense which in the long run should bring in much more than we are now spending. We will however bear in mind that we will look again very carefully once, with the help of a 3D model, we have a clearer idea of how the west room will fit in. We can then suggest any necessary changes and improvements to the present plan.
Our income from regular donations is between £5,000 and £6, 000per year. The need for an auditor for the accounts was raised, but Geoff pointed out that or accounts are well below the limit for needing to be approved by an auditor. It might nonetheless be good policy to have them looked at unofficially. He would ask someone he knows to do so. Geoff proposed we retain a minimum of £1000 in reserves. This proposal was unanimously accepted. Acceptance of the report was proposed by Margaret, seconded by Oliver and signed by Geoff. Geoff was thanked for the meticulous way he keeps the accounts.
Chair’s / Trustees report
The Trustees Annual Report for 2019 is in the AGM pack (follow link above).
Election of new trustees and chair of trustees
John M has given notice that he is standing down as chair, although he is willing to carry on fund raising. Emma has agreed to be our new chair. She first had to be voted on as a member, and this was proposed by John J and seconded by Geoff. She was then elected as the new chair of the Friends, having been proposed by John and seconded by Oliver. Apart from one abstention (by Richard C who is not a member and therefore has no voting rights) she was unanimously elected.
From this point Emma took over as chair.
After thanking John for all he has done Emma started off by telling us something about herself. and saying how much she is looking forward to the future of FOSGC.
Arthur reminded us that once new church wardens can be sworn in again his term will come to an end. Although he is happy to remain a member, he will no longer be a trustee, as he was appointed specifically as churchwarden. Richard C was asked if he would be happy to take over from Arthur as CW trustee when that time comes. He said he was. It seemed best to elect Richard as a member now, in readiness for becoming a trustee when needed. This was proposed by Geoff and seconded by Arthur.
It was decided to buy a present for John, who was once again thanked in his absence for all he has done for the Friends.
There being no further business, the zoom meeting closed at 7.00pm. A.R.