Tuesday 22nd June 2021 

St Stephens PCC Minutes (Zoom meeting)


Present: Rev’d S Stacey (RSS), B Pollard (BP), A Dyer (AD), H Beaumont (HB), A Collins (AC), J Trevorrow (JT) and T Nichol (TN).


Apologies: L Clark (LC) and S Hammond (SH)


Reverend Shelagh opened the meeting with prayers


PCC minutes of 18th May  2021 were proposed as a true record by AD, seconded by HB, the PCC voted unanimously to accept them.

Standing Committee minutes of 27th May 2021 were proposed as a true record by AD, seconded by BP, members of the SC who attended the meeting voted unanimously to accept them


Action points from last meeting: 

BP circulated an information sheet to PCC members with factual information that did not require discussion. A copy is attached to the minutes.

New residence letter: AD and JT have compiled a letter. This has now to be circulated and approved.


Health & Safety 

Covid-19: the government relaxation of restrictions means that the numbers of people attending weddings and funerals is now only limited to those that can be accommodated in church while maintain 2m social distancing. PCC’s are now allowed to hold meetings in church.



On-line training: No progress with the remainder of people who need to complete the training.

Church keys: Key list to be revised. Suggested that those in possession of keys should sign for them.


Vicars Brief:  

Registration of weddings is to be done on-line in future. RSS is to visit Pontefract Registry Office to deposit one of our two wedding registers there (one is a copy) all blank certificates will be cancelled.  Green orders of service, RSS wants to insert more variety /choice of prayers. The PCC agreed.

Masons 12th September, 3-15pm, evening prayer service to be offered. 9am Eucharist to be held  also.


Emergence Questions: 

Fifteen people had completed the emergence questionnaire. BP collated the responses. In general these were: 

End: All the restrictions covid-19 has imposed.

Amplify: The only one with significant numbers was that 33% want to continue sharing the peace by holding up one hand.

Let Go: nothing in significant numbers

Restart: Singing hymns 80%. Refreshments after service 60%.  Receiving communion at the sanctuary rail 40%. Congregation doing readings 40%. Singing group 33%

New ideas: There were nine new ideas.


A discussion was had which polarized on whether or not to retain the forward altar. BP is to contact the DAC to ask if we can extend the archdeacons permission and what would be the options if we chose to retain the forward altar. Could the existing table be continued to be used or would we have to purchase a new portable, purpose built altar? Note! only 20% (3/15) of survey replies mentioned retaining this.




The treasurer put forward the above Reserves policy for the PCC to discuss (see below). AD proposed the PCC accept the policy, TN seconded, the PCC voted unanimously to accept it.

BP said that the policy still needed the investment policy attaching to it. JT will do this. 




‘It is good stewardship to ensure that the assets of the church are not hoarded but are used to gain maximum benefit for the parish as a whole in its pursuit of the whole mission of the church’.



  1. The promotion of the work of the Church in the Parish of St Stephen’s East Hardwick including church activities and the church building.

  2. The maintenance of reserve funds to be used in the event of exceptional expenditure.

  3. The establishment of a 6 month reserve to cover circumstances when income is restricted e.g. during a period of ‘lock down’.


At the end of the financial year The Parochial Church Council should:-

  1. Review church income, expenditure and commitments.

  2. Consider any future, major items of expenditure.

  3. Review our contribution to the Diocese.

  4. Transfer any surplus to ‘Reserves’. (Fabric & Facilities Fund or CCLI deposit account).

Ensure 6 month running costs reserve is maintained.


RSS said that St Michaels have been investigating digital giving. She will ask Natalie Vause to pass on details to the treasurer.



Roof: Paul Furniss will quote as soon as he clears his backlog of paperwork.

TN cleared (1) the blockage in the vestry drain down pipe that caused water leakage into the vestry (2) the drain channels on the bell tower roof that were causing water leakage into the bell tower  (3) unblocked three of the down spout drains.

A member of the choir who is a professional gardener has offered, for free, to spray and kill off the mares tail (a pernicious weed) growing on and around the graves on the east side of the church. The PCC accepted his offer



AD  proposed 7th August to hold a bring and buy sale + raffle in her garden assisted by her family. 

HB reported that £101 had been raised for the roof restoration fund from the sunflower competition.

All other events are on hold until further relaxation of covid-19 restrictions.



A letter has been received from the diocese thanking St Stephens for the parish share payment they made last year.

RSS had received a letter from St Barnabas’s asking for a real money donation for attending a virtual event. She thought this was a novel way of raising money from people who would normally attend functions but are unable to at present due to covid-19 restrictions. She asked the PCC to see if they could think of doing something similar. 


Cards and Flowers

HB sent three cards in May. JT sent one card of thanks for a donation received. 


Nordic walking group

TN asked if the Nordic walking group could have permission to meet each Monday at 1pm in the churchyard to start their walk. The PCC agreed, with the caveat that if there should a funeral or other service scheduled then the group would have to go elsewhere. 


Next meeting Monday 26th July at 5pm in church. If the  present covid-19 restrictions still apply PCC members will need to wear a mask during the meeting.  BP asked those who might need a drink to bring a flask with them.


The meeting ended with prayers.





Prayers for the PCC were given at the Eucharist service on Sunday 13th June.


Vicar’s reports to AGM  - Helen Beaumont has volunteered to type these up so that they can be placed in the archives.


Safeguarding self-declaration forms – Rev. Shelagh has received forms from all the PCC and churchwardens.  


Archdeacons’ Visitations  - because of Covid restrictions, only clergy and Churchwardens will be invited to attend.  


Lay Training opportunities – Trevor has circulated details of training offered by the Diocese. 


Disability Discrimination Rep  - St Stephen’s has no representative for disability issues.   Is anyone interested in taking on this role and developing it (or do you know of anyone who might)?


Lent collections  raised £19.50 for USPG and £20 for CMS.


Church cleaning – our new cleaners have started work on Wednesdays and are making a good job of keeping the church looking pristine.  DBS certificates are not required as they will not be working with children or vulnerable adults.


Bat survey – Robert Lee, a volunteer with the organisation Bats in Churches, will be visiting St Stephen’s on Thursday 8th July at 11 am.  He will be using specialised equipment to identify whether there are any bats in the building.  


Singing Group  - held its first live rehearsal on Thursday in St Stephen’s churchyard.  The risk assessment produced by Trevor Nichol for the Carol singing was used.  All went well, everyone followed the Covid guidelines and enjoyed being able to sing together for the first time since Covid.  Weather permitting, the group will rehearse weekly throughout the summer. 


Strategy Group  is still waiting for the third quote for the roof to apply for a faculty, which will allow us to apply for external funding.  


Parish Share –  Rev Shelagh has received a letter from the Diocese thanking us for paying what we could of our parish share in 2020 and a certificate showing how much we have contributed.  Both will be displayed on the noticeboard shortly.