Annual Parish Meetings held on Thursday 26th November 2020 at 7.30pm by ‘Zoom’


Fr Philip welcomed everyone and began the meeting with a prayer.

Annual Reports

These had been made available on the church website beforehand.  Catherine Beaumont read out the Electoral Roll Report and Safeguarding Report and asked all those involved in working with children or young people to please speak with her to arrange training.

There were no questions raised on any of the reports.

Fr Philip's Words

Fr Philip likened the difficulties we are finding with Covid stopping our day to day church activities to that of a computer gradually winding down until it grinds to a halt.  We rely on it so much, but when it doesn’t work, we feel anxious.  He expressed his gratitude for the recognition of the work he and his family had done during this difficult time since the pandemic began, and also offered his thanks to our staff, Alan Raw and Vickie Kemp for all they have done during these unprecedented times.  He feels now is a providential time to be leaving – like Covid has set the computer back to its ‘Factory Settings’, an amazing opportunity now presents itself.  It now needs courage, as a visionary new leadership is going to emerge; it is a once in a generation opportunity, which should be guided by doing fewer things better.  Like a computer, St Margaret’s is being re-booted, for today and for the future; we must now let go of what we knew before, it is painful and costly but if we do not it could be even more so.  Some decisions will need to be made before the new priest arrives.  This includes looking at the church services going forward – our team of clergy has now reduced significantly since Fr Philip started; what was substantial in 2007 is not sustainable in 2021.  The right pattern will need to be reflected upon as things will not be as they were before, and we must not exhaust our new priest.  He said it has been a privilege to serve as our priest for the last 13 years and he is deeply thankful to the congregation.  He said we must not make ourselves wholly outdated and irrelevant to nearly every person and institution around us by focussing on one internal issue, and begged that we pay attention to how we conduct ourselves going forward, particularly regarding any disagreements we have.


Fr Philip thanked Catherine Webster for her report and echoed her thanks to those included therein.  He thanked Mary Harris who is stepping down as Headsidesman for her reliable work.

He also thanked Steve Betts - who is now handing over his huge portfolio of roles - for the great number of years he has fulfilled with remarkable energy and commitment to the PCC.  Significant roles have included the website creation, development and ongoing management, and managing the Parish Hall and all that that entails.  Steve has also been one of the few people Fr Philip has turned to during the darker times at St Margaret’s for which he is truly grateful.  He also expressed his deep gratitude to Steve’s wife Ann, in supporting Steve’s considerable time spent on church work.

Meet the Nominees

The vacancies available were as follows:
2 Churchwardens - we had 2 nominees: 

Helen Buswell and Alison Stretton

5  Deanery Synod Representatives - we had 2 nominees:

Gwyneth Hartley and Judith Smith

13 Parochial Church Council members - we had 11 nominees:

Catherine Beaumont, Rosalind Beeson, Catherine Cheater, Bethany Harrison, Helen Pilling, Carmel Ramage, Richard Smeaton, Michelle Still, Sarah Williams, Tom Williams, Adam Wilson

Each nominated candidate gave a brief introduction to themselves and outlined what they hope to bring to the PCC.

Independent Examiner - Joanne Lake has agreed to continue as our Independent Examiner.

Headsidesman – Catherine Webster explained that under the new Church Representation Rules this role is now appointed by the PCC at the PCC meeting, but noted that Janet Kish has kindly offered to step into the role temporarily.

Catherine Webster noted that because the number of candidates does not exceed the number of seats to be filled, each candidate will be declared elected.


There being no other nominations, Helen Buswell and Alison Stretton were elected to act as Churchwardens for the coming year.


  1. Apologies for absence. Received from Bethany Harrison, Margaret Cooke, Stephen and Janet Murdoch.
  2. Minutes of the last Annual Meeting. These were unanimously agreed.
  3. Matters arising. There were no matters arising.
  4. Electoral Roll. The report was unanimously approved.
  5. Annual Reports. These were unanimously approved.
  6. Elections: With the number of candidates not exceeding the number of seats to be filled, each candidate was declared elected to the positions of the Deanery Synod, PCC and Independent Examiner.
  7. Any Other Business. There were no items raised.

There being no other business the meetings closed.