unsplash-logoDavid Travis

Vicar's Report from the APCM on 14th May 2023

These notes formed the basis of the Vicar's Report at the APCM on Sunday 12th May 2024.


How was 2023? What are the plans for 2024 and beyond? Last year I stood here and said that I was looking to the future with joy and hope, with the great view to on the horizon, but not necessarily with clear waters ahead.

It’s much the same this year.

I’ve described where we are by using the picture of a pushing a boulder up a hill. It’s been hard work, and it feels like we’ve reached the top. Where will the boulder go next? I hope that we can push forward, and roll the boulder down the other side, and watch it pick up momentum.

I’m going to try to report on the church in three areas, last year, they all began with ‘F’ – this year, it’s the BBC.


Starting with St Thomas.

Monitoring the movement has continued during the year, and we are beginning to see some clarity about the next steps at St Thomas. The current plan is to underpin the north aisle, and then to lift it back up to where it should be, and then to repair the damage caused by both the subsidence, and lifting it back again.

The west window will almost certainly be removed, and stored in order to protect it. In terms of cost, we’re told to expect around £1 million.

My concern is that, in the mean time, the crack grows so as to make the building unsafe to use.

Shifting to St Andrew, there has been some work done, and still some work planned.

The walkway has been stripped back and resurfaced, and the long-standing leak into the Undercroft has gone. We’ve also recovered the office roof, to stop the leak into the office and toilet, and repaired the roof above the chapel.

In the Undercroft, the kitchen has been refurbished, repairing the water damage, and making it a nicer place to be.

Heating is the gift that keeps on giving. Having had guidance from the diocese, we were then told that our plans were not sufficiently green enough. However, we’ve been pointed to another option, which should pass the necessary requirements.

The PCC had a trial of an underfloor heating solution that seemed to work well. It’s still an underfloor solution, but one that is easier to install, and isn’t as thick. It’s still our intention to have it in place for this winter – although I appreciate that I’ve said that for the last few meetings!

Please would you continue to pray for us as we think about our buildings: for us to make wise decisions, to plan for the future, and to have the resources we need. Please also pray for God’s provision an additional churchwarden.


We do need to talk a little about finance. If you are already one of those who give to the church, let me begin by thanking you: without your giving, we would be unable to carry out what we currently do.

Roughly speaking, the church costs around £100,000 each year for its day-to-day running (that’s roughly £1,000/year or £83/month for each person on our Electoral Roll and Contact Database), and we receive in income roughly £85,000. For many years, this has resulted in a deficit each year, and the gradual reduction of our reserves. For 2023, we had a budgeted deficit of £18,500, and we ended the year with a deficit of around £20,000. There’s an asterisk there that I’ll come back to.

During 2023, unrestricted giving has increased by around £6,500, including Gift Aid, we are hugely grateful for that, and it starts to move us in the right direction financially.

That asterisk. In 2023, we were the beneficiary of an large bequest, which means that our unrestricted giving was boosted by around £100,000.

In terms of our expenditure, Undercroft income still hasn’t recovered to pre-covid levels, but with the walkway/roof repairs, and the kitchen refurbishment we hope to bring the income back up again.

Financially, our initial goal would be for our regular giving to cover the whole of our Parish Share request – that would need an increase of around £10,000 per year (or roughly £8/person/month).

Please would you pray for our finances, the Finance Committee, and the provision of a treasurer.


Our church family is one of the joys of being here.

We are a group of people who have been chosen and adopted by God, and then brought together. Like any family, we have our ups and downs but, in general, we live and work together, not for our individual good, but for the good of the whole church.

Our children’s church continues to grow and develop, with many children each Sunday. Our aim is for our young people to be a full part of our church family. During the year, we’ve had a confirmation service, where 3 of our young people, and one adult were confirmed.

One are we will need to look at in the coming year is the 9am service – does it still meet a need? Is it the most effective way of doing that?

The relationship with the school continues to grow and develop, with the Monday Morning Service

Our Monday Morning Service has continued to be a great success. Each week, the Northaw School community are invited to join us in St Thomas. It’s not just for children, although there are 100 of them there. I’d love for it to be another way for us to help build links between the school and the church.

Please pray for our church family. My regular prayers are that we would grow first in our knowledge and love of God, and that each week I would see someone new at our Sunday or Wednesday services, and that they would continue to meet with us. Will you pray that with me?

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