A.P.C.M. Archive
 






A.P.C.M.2006: Saint George came too!

Monday, April 24th, 2006 was marked by the blessing of our new statue of  Saint George, Patron of England, during a service to mark his day. As in recent years, the service was followed by our Annual Parochial
Church Meeting.


Chairman's Report

I would like to begin my report by firstly pausing for a moment to remember those of our church family who have passed away since the last APCM - Gordon Slater, John Goodwin and Betty Winsor. We thank God for their fellowship in the household of faith and pray that they may rest in peace. 

Like many other churches in this Diocese and throughout the Church of England we face challenging times.

I hear so many people saying that the Church of England is in a mess and that it is all falling apart at the seems. Certainly that is the way some people choose to look at it. However, most of the time I spend with people leads me to believe otherwise. Most of the people I come into contact with during the week aren’t regular members of the church; yet the church provides for them and we must never overlook that fact and privilege. The real needs of people to don’t disappear just because buildings do; the ministry of the church will always be needed which is why we are here.

As a result of the Diocesan Review many churches are engaging in the formation of a five-year plan. We will start to think about this at our joint PCCs away-day. It is a good exercise to engage with. We need to know what we think we are about and where we think we are going.

‘If you don’t know where you’re going you’re sure to end up somewhere else’

At a meeting some weeks ago I heard of one parish who had said that one of their priorities was to lower the average of churchwardens and PCC members by 25 years! Great stuff if they can do it. It is not about being politically correct and ignoring the contribution made by more established members of our congregations but a real sense that unless we involve a younger generation in the regular and routine running of our churches we have no firm foundation for the future.

It is one of the main priorities of the Mission Group to seek to involve and include younger people more in all aspects of our church life. In that light I am delighted to welcome on board today Leo, Kari and Judith, three younger members of our congregation who are taking on roles of responsibility within our community together with Rosie, who is standing again as deputy warden, and members of the PCC. I hope that those elected to serve as wardens and deputy wardens, and all the PCC can count on your full support at all times. I for one think this is an exciting example of the growth and new life we say we pray for.

I am delighted too that Emily wants to serve as a sidesperson. How good it is to have a young member of the church offering to do this – here’s to more please!

I am grateful as ever for the hard work and commitment of so many during the past year: particularly to Miriam and Michael who have served as Wardens and Leo and Rosie who have served as deputy wardens.

We thank too Angie Price, Mary Crooke, Jill Deeprose, Elaine Jones and Geoff Moss for their three-year term on PCC.

Thanks must also be recorded to Joan Tudhope for her work as my P.A. and to Fiona who has served for a number of years now as PCC Secretary. And can I please thank also those whose hard work is recorded in the reports section of tonight’s meeting? To name everyone would be not only an impossible task but to neglect those whose prayerful support cannot be easily documented and that is no less important than other ‘up-front’ tasks.

My thanks to many priests who have provided cover when none of our ministry team has been available. And of course my grateful thanks to the ministry team for their support and hard work.

It was with much sadness that we heard Ged will be leaving us in the summer in order to train for the priesthood. Although we will miss him we wish him well. We have certainly been very fortunate in having him as director of music for the past ten years.

Both the Holiday Club and Pantomime engage us with younger people… it is worth remembering that apart from the uniformed organisations the Pantomime and Holiday Club are the only things we do, outside of Sunday School, for the young people of our parish. Thanks to Leo and all the pantomime team, and to Joan Tudhope and all the holiday club team.

Ministry of Welcome. We need to encourage people to take this more seriously. Sidespeople act on the Bishops’ behalf – that is why they are admitted to the office at the Visitation Service. We will talk more about this at the next PCC meeting.

All Age Mass.
As you know, the PCC agreed to a one year experiment in setting up a monthly service which would try to cater for a wider range of ages and different approaches to Christian worship than our regular Sunday morning mass. We felt that we needed to have a good run at this prior to a full review later on this year.

In trying to design and implement such a new service it is inevitable that there are going to be ‘glitches’ from time to time. The new service requires a considerable amount of resources to stage – particularly in terms of people’s time. The mission group, and its all-age worship sub-group, are keenly aware of this. They are in the process of reorganising the whole process of planning to try to ensure that in future such ‘glitches’ might be better anticipated.

It is also inevitable that in trying to design something new our pattern of worship will be different and probably a bit less comfortable. So I think it is important to remember that all-age worship happens just once a month – three services out of four on Sunday mornings are just as they always have been. Also, even on the occasions of our all-age worship services, the general pattern of the eucharist is as always – although the feel of it might be a bit different. If we are serious about trying to attract more people to St Faith’s then we will all at times need to make some sacrifices in terms of what happens to suit us individually. Are we here primarily for ourselves or for others?

Please pray for those engaged in this work.

At the PCC away-day, as you will see from tonight’s papers, the PCC will be considering what our ministry is, and should be, to this community and what our priorities should be for the next five years. This will be no easy task but I am sure that with everyone pulling together and working for the common good we will try to work out how to be an effective 21st century congregation.

All in all there is much to thank God for as we reflect on the year that is past, and much to look forward to in the 12 months ahead of us.

Fr Neil
24th April 2006



Church and Community Reports


Ministry Team


At the beginning of the year we were able to thank Dora Whitehead and Margaret Davies for their contribution to the team as they retired as churchwardens in the United Benefice. In their place we welcomed Miriam Jones and Doreen Whitlow. The highlights of the year have undoubtedly been the licensing of Father Mark as NSM to the benefice last July and the more recent licensing of Cynthia Johnson as Reader. We wish them well in their respective ministries.

The team meets regularly, usually once a month, and we discuss a very wide variety of parish business including both practical matters and pastoral concerns. We are keen that our two PCCs should also play a full part in responsibility and decision making, and we are looking into the training possibilities for PCC members.

Much of our time has been taken up with outreach initiatives. The new arrangements for baptisms are working well but parish visitors need more support and training in the pastoral and faith-sharing aspects of their role. We are also looking at ministry to the housebound including communion at home: ideally our Eucharistic ministers could take the sacrament to the housebound after Mass on a Sunday morning.  We would like to make experience of prayer and bible study more accessible and to increase the opportunities for church members and newcomers to meet one another in the context of Faith. Looking at the formation of new groups for these activities will be part of our task for next year. This year the ‘Walsingham Circle’ which unites both parishes has provided a new focus for prayer and spirituality.

Finally, we are looking forward to the PCC away-day where we will all be considering our strategy for the next five years. Our thanks to Father Neil for his expert chairmanship, and also for entertaining us all so generously with a very convivial Christmas meal at the Red Squirrel back in December!     
       
Fred Nye

Premises

The Premises Committee met at regular intervals throughout the year. Maintenance work has continued to grounds, church and church hall. The appearance of the grounds is tidy.  Security lighting on Vicarage wall facing the church has been mended.

Acts of vandalism this year have been less, but damage to wall outside hall on Milton Rd. needs repairing. Faulty lighting in church has been repaired. New cupboard in Vestry made. Improvements in the church hall are constantly being undertaken. Cleaning of all external guttering and repairing where appropriate. A new dishwasher in the kitchen is now functioning (cost largely raised by Table Sales ). New chairs and tables also purchased in like manner. Heater boiler in old kitchen now partitioned off (fire regulations ). Floor surface in upper room improved and room decorated.

Estimates obtained for following major works: New heating in church; Eradication of Dry Rot in Sacristy; New electric switchboard in church. Replacing electric wiring in hall. Other major work to be considered. Disabled access to church and hall and toilet facilities in hall. (Awaiting architect to produce plans.)  Repair work required to church roof and above kitchen and toilets in hall.

Michael Holland

Serving Team

Since the last year’s report the serving team now stands at 16 and we will soon be welcoming back Rebecca Waters. We have two new members of the team Jose Appleton and Emily Lee.

We are now able to have full teams for Sunday services and enlarged teams for special services. Kevin and I have started to give extended training to younger members who are now undertaking more adult serving roles.

I would like to thank all the serving team for all their hard work and dedication.    Geoff Moss

Sunday School

First of all, I would like to thank the small nucleus of regular children who come to Junior Church, and also the equally small and gallant band of helpers who teach and support them. At the moment we have 18 children on the books, but rarely see more than half that number in church on a Sunday. We enjoy showing the congregation our learning and creative work when we come into church. The indoor and outdoor parties as usual attract far more children but are great fun.  We would all like to thank Fr Neil for making the Chapel of the Cross such an attractive Children’s Corner where we can hide away.  We would as always be very grateful for more helpers to spread the load.              

Angie Price

Churches Together in Waterloo

The group has organised inter-church services during the year, a Christian Aid service at St Faith's in May and a service of lessons and carols in December also at St Faith's.  Representatives from the churches also attended the Merseyside region ecumenical service at Christ Church Ellesmere Port to mark the week of prayer for Christian Unity in January. The proposed debate between the local Members of Parliament during One World Week had to be cancelled because of failure to secure the attendance of all the MPs.

The group organised the distribution of leaflets to all houses in the area for Christmas and Easter and was also responsible for the Christian Aid house to house collection throughout the parishes in May. The committee was sorry to lose its chair Mr Joe Kendall who has begun his training to be a priest away from the area, and are grateful for his hard work on behalf of the group.                                       

Kathleen Zimak
                   
Catering Team

Events this past year have been very successful despite the reduced numbers in the team, and fewer people available to help on some occasions, for a variety of reasons. With fewer commitments this year hopefully we can re-vitalise for the future. Thanks to all those outside the catering team who gave generously of their time and cooking skills when help was requested. Also to all who helped in any way toward the table sales, which were a great success, and raised enough capital to purchase new chairs for the hall, and a dishwasher for the kitchen.  Looking forward to continued success this year and a happy sunny summer.

Ruth Winder

Pram Club


Regrettably due to dramatically falling numbers pram club has been closed. Playschool has suffered a similar fate, but a need was identified in the mornings for a parent & toddler group, therefore, playschool has re-formed to fulfil this need on a two mornings per week basis for a trial period.  

Christine Spence

Eucharistic Ministers

At the present time we have 16 Eucharistic Ministers, including two Readers, licensed by the Bishop to assist in the Eucharist with the administration of the Host and Chalice.  They may also administer the Reserved Sacrament to the sick and house bound.                                     

Eric Salisbury

S. Faith’s Brownies


We currently have 13 Brownies registered with 2 girls on our waiting list who should be joining us next term and possibly 3 or 4 Rainbows who are now old enough to move up. Last September we visited Crosby Fire Station where the girls were presented with a Fire Safety Badge at the end of a very interesting and informative evening.

In November we welcomed a lady from the Freshfield Animal Rescue Centre who brought along a furry friend. The girls enjoyed the evening and our visitor was delighted with the generous donations of cat and dog food the girls gave as a thank you. We have since been invited to visit the rescue centre.

We made more beautiful hand-made Christmas cards in December with our expert, Jenny Moss, we thank her sincerely for her continued support. We finished the term with an 'Oscars Night' which Fr Neil was able to attend and present some awards. The girls thoroughly enjoyed the evening and we thank Fr Neil for his support.

Sue Walsh and Mary McFadyen   

St. Faith’s Rainbows


Numbers are increasing. We currently have 18 Rainbows registered with us but 4 girls should be moving up to Brownies soon. We have had a busy year continuing the new Rainbow programme. Due to increased work commitments, Claire Hockney, has been unable to assist on a regular basis and we are currently depending on the help of Sue Walsh and Mary McFayden, we would welcome any assistance.                   

Geraldine Forshaw

10th Crosby & District Scout Group


Another full year of activities for our Group! The Scout Section, led by George McInnis, have worked on a series of skills over the year in preparation for weekend challenges – orienteering, map-work, and camp programme/planning etc. They have also taken part in District-led activities such as 5 a side football, swimming and challenge camps.

The 2 Cub packs, led by Alan Jones and Mike Carr, continue with badge-work activities and have been on several weekend camps over the year. Camps, which are well attended and greatly enjoyed by all, have included themes such as ‘Marooned’ (a desert island survival camp); ‘Who Dares, Wins’ (adventurous activities including canoeing, archery, climbing etc); ‘Hogwarts’ (fun themed camp) and others. This year, Cubs have their 90th anniversary and will be celebrating at District camp in June.

Beavers go from strength to strength, have attended sleepovers and day trips and continue with their badge-work.

The Group is strong and all sections are growing – a tribute to the commitment and hard work that is put in by all the leaders who help run the Group.

Sunday Specials

During 2005 the Sunday Specials were not able to meet as regularly as previously due to Susie’s commitments to members of her family.  It is unlikely therefore that they will meet during 2006.

Susie Greenwood

Communications

In an age increasingly relying on effective communications, the St Faith’s Communications Department (one-man!) has been kept as busy as ever. Weekly liturgy notices and occasional service orders roll off the presses, with the New Worship booklets in glorious technicolor. Newslink runs to 24 or more pages, with lots of colour photographs. I print 375 copies, over 120 of which go out by post. Photographic displays also add colour to the back of church.

The church website is going strong, with several updates most weeks and lots of photographs and animations. There is now a comprehensive index to keep track of what is effectively a parish archive since 1997, and also a page of religious jokes, many in good taste. The site registers upwards of 50 ‘hits’ most days and some 51,000 total visits; many visitors are from well beyond the parish confines and some from remote parts of the globe.       

Chris Price

Mission Group

This year the Mission group was asked by the PCC to implement some of the suggestions for improved outreach which had been highlighted by the Parish Survey. We met on five occasions. Our work has centred on three aspects of church life: the new ‘all-age’ service, our ministry to newcomers particularly baptism families, and opportunities for people to meet together to study and share their faith.

 A planning sub-group was set up to organise the all-age services. Five services have been held so far:- they  have been welcomed by many, particularly children. Following criticisms of the ‘Environment’ service in March the planning group membership has been widened and a preparation timetable implemented. We are anxious that the S. Faith’s congregation as a whole should ‘own’ these services, and that the worship should be welcoming and accessible to those who are ‘un-churched’. It would also be good if in future we could take part in the Diocesan ‘Child Friendly Church’ scheme. Baptism visiting is now carried out entirely by a lay team, and families are welcomed at the all-age service preceding the baptism. Finally, Father Mark organised two highly successful and well attended study groups, one on ‘Questions of Faith’ and a Lent Group on the idea of sacrifice.                           

Fred Nye


Walsingham Circle

During last year’s Parish Pilgrimage to Walsingham, a group of people from our United Benefice were accepted as new members to the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham. As there were 10 of us (5 from S. Faith’s and 5 from S. Mary’s), we were able to form what is termed by the Shrine a ‘Local Cell’, of which Fr Neil is the Local Superior, being a Priest Associate of the Holy House. The requirement for forming a cell is that members meet on a regular basis, observing feast days relating to Our Lady, and the individuals are to say The Angelus each day. An annual membership fee is payable to help support the Shrine. We have named our cell ‘The Walsingham Circle’, indicating by it’s name that it encompasses all, and everyone is welcome. The mass held on the last Saturday morning of each month and the intercessions offered are dedicated to Our Lady of Walsingham.  From time to time, there are informal meetings held after a mass, for instance, during Lent there was a talk by Fr Robert Hart, who is a member of the Church Liturgical Commission, about some of the history and ritual of Holy Week and Easter, followed by a Lenten Lunch. All services and meetings are open to everyone, and will be publicised on the weekly service sheet accordingly.                       

Miriam Jones

100 (plus) Club

The 100 club has continued to be successful for another year, celebrating its 5th birthday in November. Membership has recently dropped slightly, settling at around 140. In the last 12 months, the figure paid to church funds was around £4,500, bring the total raised since it started to about £25,000.  

Miriam Jones

Bootle Deanery Synod

There have to date been three meetings of the Deanery Synod. The PCC has been represented at two of these meetings: unfortunately, none of your representatives was free to attend the last meeting as there was insufficient notice of the date of the meeting.

At the first meeting, held in June 2005, Linda Tiongco from Christian Aid gave a talk on the work of various relief organizations who had gone to Sri Lanka following the Tsunami.(Many of the members of PCC will have heard her speak on this at the PCC Away Day.)

The formal business of the meeting followed, dealing first with the closure of S. Mary’s School, Bootle. The Chairman of Governors spoke feelingly and in some detail of the way in which the decision to close had been reached; it was clear that there had been considerable distress to both parents and teachers, though the local ministry and parish officials were praised for their support and assistance in a very difficult situation. After some discussion it was decided that a letter should be sent from the deanery meeting expressing disappointment at the lack of sensitivity and support, and asking what lessons could be learnt for the future handling of such a situation, should it arise.

The second item of business concerned plans for a Mission to children and young people. A variety of meetings were planned to take place in 2006, between Mothering Sunday and Passion Sunday, in an effort to attract youngsters into church.
At the end of this first meeting, the Revd. David Parry was formally thanked for all his work and support for the parishes and people of the Deanery, and he was presented with a farewell gift.

The main topic of the second meeting, held in February, 2006, was “Fresh Expressions of Church” and why we need them within this Deanery. Frances Shoesmith, who had been appointed to the Litherland and Netherton Group in October,2005, gave a presentation, the object of which was to encourage the Synod to explore what might be the implications of “Mission Shaped Church” for the Deanery as a whole, and what we need to do next. No particular conclusions appear to have been drawn from this meeting, though they may have become apparent at the third meeting which unfortunately your representatives were unable to attend. 

Margaret Davies

St. Faith's Men’s Group


Once again the Men’s Group have managed to cope with the problems of failing memory and held seven evening meetings and of course their retreat to Yorkshire.

The semi regular gatherings in each others houses are in some ways similar to the Parish Centre meetings, the Horsfall Ladies or even the ‘84 Group: although in other ways they are not similar. Certainly the camaraderie and hospitality is always there, and the meetings are part of the activities associated with S. Faiths.

The retreat this year was well attended with local plumbers featuring in the entertainment! The owner of the house organised central heating to be installed but had forgotten that we were there, and every room was missing either floorboards or carpets. The ensuing chaos needed patience and sacrifice to sort out, but with extra jumpers for outer warmth and a tot or two for inner warmth the usual mixture of fun, games and serious debate was never in doubt. Lead by Fr Charles, our Sunday Eucharist was as usual very moving and reminded us of our ‘home base’ at S. Faiths.

Sadly, the annual day trip to Chester in celebration of free bus passes failed to happen this year but is planned for 2006 when at least one further member will not have to pay for his ticket!

If you could buy a stick of Men’s Group rock, it would have St Faiths written all through it – the dozen or so members of the Group are currently involved with just about every activity at church from Pantomime to Serving, and includes congregation both past and present.                                

Rick Walker

Friends of S. Faith’s

The Friends group was re-launched in November 2005 and seeks its membership from those who wish to show their support for the church and for its contribution to the community.  Membership is open to all and Fr Peter Goodrich has agreed to chair the Friends.  It is intended to use any money raised for the maintenance and improvement of the church fabric.                                            

David Jones

S. Faith’s Holiday Club

August 2005 saw the third S. Faith’s Holiday Club, and although we received a lower grant from Sefton Council towards the running of the Club, thanks to the goodwill and hard work of all the helpers, the week was an enormous success.  Over 50 children attended each day and enjoyed a range of activities and outings.  

Joan Tudhope

S. Faith’s Choir
The Choir has continued to enhance and enrich the liturgy at S. Faith’s week by week. In addition, they gave a recital in the Saturday Series and sang the services in the Metropolitan Cathedral on the last Sunday in July. They will make a return visit on July 31st this year, and this will be my last Sunday as Director of Music at S. Faith’s. I would like to thank them for their friendship, commitment and hard work over the last ten or so years.      

Ged Callacher





THE A.P.C.M. 2005


Elected to Serve

At the Vestry Meeting Michael Holland and Miriam Jones, as the only two candidates for the office of Churchwarden,  were duly elected for the year. At the APCM, Leo Appleton and Rosie Walker, the only two candidates for the office of Deputy Churchwarden, were likewise duly elected.

There were six candidates for the three places as Deanery Synod representatives. Ken Bramwell, Margaret Davies and Joan Tudhope were elected by ballot and, as with Churchwardens and Deputy Churchwardens, became ex officio members of the Parochial Church Council. There then remained eleven candidates for the six vacant places on the PCC. Val Broom, Ged Callacher, John Knight, Gordon Slater, Sue Walsh and Ruth Winder were elected by ballot, completing the election process.
 



 

The Chairman's Report

The text of Fr Neil Kelley's 2005 'State of the Nation' report to the Annual Parochial Church Council Meeting on April 22nd

Tonight is our opportunity to give thanks to God for the life of the church in this parish, particularly all that has been achieved in the past year, and to seek his blessing for what we will try and do in the future.

Firstly though, we pause to remember those of our Christian family who have passed away since the last APCM took place: Betty Springett, Alistair Gardler, Aileen Dawber, John Taylor, and George Harrison. We give thanks for their commitment and witness to Christ in this House of Prayer. May they rest in peace.

Since we last met as an APCM we have received various gifts here at S. Faith’s. A set of red concelebration chasubles, worn for the first time on S. Faith’s Day, in memory of Ann Holland’s father, John Hargreaves. Also in memory of Aileen Dawber we have been given some new vestments and from the kind legacy given to the church in her memory new surplices for the choir have been ordered. We have received a legacy from the estate of Norah Gilmer and the gift of a new thurible in memory of Ian Ritson. We are at the moment trying to bring up to date a list of all gifts which have been given in memory, and as always are grateful when S. Faith’s is remembered in such a way. Whilst seeking to do this we need also to bear in mind that some people wish gifts to be completely anonymous.

The report which has been put together by the Mission Group will be published shortly we hope and will be a useful tool for looking to the future. Whilst it is important that all people feel they can have their say, such a report shouldn’t just be about saying what we don’t like about S. Faith’s or indeed the Vicar. We don’t need a report to tell us that!

It strikes me though that before we can begin to grapple with some of the issues raised we almost need a “back to basics” campaign. For example, some describe how they dislike the term “mass” being used, in a report which claims that S. Faith’s is an Anglo-catholic parish. I think we need to address and un-pack what we think our identity is first, as I think there are many areas people are uncertain about and we must seek to address them, not so that we all agree, but so that we can come to a common mind about what we think we are doing here, before we commend that faith to others.

Later this year I will be preaching a series of four sermons on the Eucharist. Many have suggested that it would be good from time to time to celebrate the Eucharist in different ways – the weekend school of prayer highlighted that.
Before we talk about the different ways it [the Eucharist] can be presented and celebrated, we need first to try and understand what it is we think we are doing when we come to break bread together. The sermons I will preach will be based upon the booklet entitled “The Eucharist: sacrament of Unity” published by the House of Bishops of the Church of England in 2001. These four sermons will be followed by an opportunity, for those who wish, to have a discussion afterwards.

But tonight, thanks are due! It is dangerous to name people because you run the risk of missing someone out!
I will take that risk. Thanks are due to

Margaret Davies for her service as Warden; Gordon and Denis for their service as deputy warden.
Joan Tudhope for her ongoing administrative help
Margaret Houghton for her work as treasurer.
George Smith who for many years has acted as Verger, especially for weddings and funerals.

Then of course our flower ladies, cleaners, printers, refreshment makers, choir, servers and all those who regularly contribute, often in ways which are unseen, to the worship and work of the church

There is much for us to do here at S. Faith’s. The Mission Group will be giving us much to think about. However, we can devise the most grandiose and exciting schemes, but if our work is not rooted in prayer and in bringing people to salvation through Jesus Christ, then we are not being true disciples.

Much is being said about new ways and fresh expressions of being church. Recently, in the journal called “Theology” the theologian Peter Doll argues that what we need to do is to:  “Re-order People rather than Churches – this is where we need to start”

Once we have our own lives in the right order and our own priorities in place, then, and only then, can we expect to see great things happening. That’s why prayer and worship has to be a first priority because if we don’t “plug in” to God in prayer we are fumbling about in the dark with no possible hope of doing His will.

The memorable pilgrimage to Conques last year made a deep and lasting impression on all who went – the benefits of that will stay with us I hope for a long while. Let’s hope that next year’s pilgrimage to Rome will be equally rewarding and uplifting though of course very different to the peace and quiet of Conques! Good to see so many signed already up for that.

It is a great credit to S. Faith’s that after a long detailed search throughout the churches of the North West the BBC decided to film two services here at S. Faith’s. We had hardly unpacked our suitcases from Conques when a lot of people were involved in a lot of hard work for a lot of hours. It showed S. Faith’s at its very best in terms of commitment and energy and I think the response we got, quite literally from all over the country, makes us realize that S. Faith’s is an exciting community to belong to and one we can be quite justifiably proud of. An early Lent brought us to an even earlier Easter so there’s not been much time to catch breath!

It is a cause of great rejoicing that so many good and positive things are happening here.

I don’t recall a time when we have ever had so many altar servers
We have good cross-section of people who have joined the Mission Group
We have an excellent number of people volunteering to help run the Holiday Club, now to enter its third year
Plans for our next parish pantomime are well underway; this is an event which fosters most importantly a good relationship between our two parishes.
We have a Hall whose bookings are now full to overflowing
We have a premises group who are finally winning the battle with the repairs and renovations which need to be done to the Church and Hall
We have a good number of people offering to serve on the Deanery Synod and PCC. There are so many parishes longing to have enough people to have a vote for anything!

We talk about involvement in the community. The one thing which we all have to take on board is that it is impossible to know the full extent of our influence beyond these four walls.

For example, we are receiving more and more requests for prayer through the internet.

We have received a tremendous amount of thanks from people who attended the mass for the Pope. Similar events have been staged after September 11th [and on that first anniversary], after the death of the Queen Mother, when the two young girls Holly and Jessica were murdered. With good publicity, all of these have brought people “in” to S Faith’s and we have given them something they have appreciated. It is a reminder that pleasing other people is actually more important than pleasing ourselves.

Our Monthly Healing Services are meeting a real need – one young man of 35 started coming to them last summer when he knew he had terminal cancer. As he approached his death in October, he was forever grateful for all that the Ministry of Healing had given to him, and those close to him as he died. We are grateful for a generous donation made to S. Faith’s in thanksgiving for all the care and support he received before he died.

Only the other day, someone from South Liverpool had traveled on the bus to come and collect a poster for our Saturday concerts. He explained to me how his son committed suicide last year; his wife died this year and in the last few years he had also lost his mother and sister. He said that classical music has kept him sane. What a privilege it is to be able to be part of something that can help people like that, without knowing it.

Lastly thanks to the Ministry Team and to everyone for the support and encouragement people give to me. As I come to the 6th anniversary of my induction next week, I am very conscious of what has been achieved, and even more conscious of work still to be done. But I am deeply grateful to God for the opportunity of serving Him in this place. My thanks to God for the last six years here, and here’s to the next six years!
 

Fr Neil Kelley


The Reports
 

Ministry Team
The Ministry Team continues to meet on the last Tuesday of each month.  Membership of the Team comprises of : Fr. Neil, Fr. Dennis, Fr. Mark, Fr. Peter, Jackie Parry, Fred Nye, Cynthia Johnson and the wardens of St. Faith’s and St. Mary’s, which this year have been Jill McElroy, Dora Whitehead, Margaret Davies and Michael Holland.  Worship has been high on the Agenda and this year saw the Pastoral Link scheme put into operation.  At a Team Awayday at CHET he report Mission throughout the church was discussed.  Other items on the agenda have been Eucharistic Ministers, Fair Trade and the possibility of a series of talks on the Eucharist.

Premises
The Premises Committee met at regular intervals throughout the year. Maintenance work to both the church and the hall has been carried out.  Security and vandalism are constant problems and discussions have taken place with the Police and the Council.  Facilities for disabled people are an urgent requirement and work in this area is ongoing.  The heating system is a constant worry and the lighting and wiring sockets require professional inspection.  The block floor in the church hall has been repaired and new cupboards built.  Thanks to all who give freely of their time and energy in order to maintain the fabric of our premises.    Michael Holland

Serving Team
Since the last report the serving team has grown to 17 and we have welcomed Paul Jones, Leo Appleton, Judith Skinner, Joan Bowling and Philippa Scott. We are now able to have full teams for Sunday services and enlarged teams for special services. Kevin and I have started to give extended training to Chelsea Jones and Grace Walsh who are preparing to undertake more adult serving roles. I would like to thank all the serving team for all their hard work and dedication and to Martin Jones who, having trained Kevin and myself, is now able to take a back seat from the serving team and concentrate on his studies. Geoff Moss

Sunday School
Numbers on the register are much the same as last year’s total, standing currently at 21. It’s sad that the number of children actually attending on Sunday is usually in single figures and on occasion no-one turns up at all. The teachers and helpers remain constant and I am very grateful to them for all their hard work. We have had successful summer and Christmas parties and these have been very well attended. Several of us have been to two meetings to hear how to teach children and how not to abuse them, but no-one as yet has been able to tell us how to attract more children to Junior Church. Angie Price

Men’s Group
The men's group continues to meet at members' houses once a month. Other meetings are also held throughout the year at various locations, places of interest etc. The annual retreat is still held at David's House, Marske-in-Swaledale, Yorkshire where deceased members are in our thoughts and prayers. Unfortunately we lost another member during the year with the sad demise of John Taylor. Kevin Walsh

Churches Together in Waterloo
The past year has seen much the same selection of shared services as the previous year, with events at the major festivals, using a variety of venues, including St. Faith’s. A new Chair of the group has been elected, Joe Kendall, from St. Edmund’s Roman Catholic Church – the first lay Chair for a while. We have started to look more closely at what response the local Churches can make to the difficulties faced by refugees and asylum seekers. This began with a discussion workshop during last week’s One World Week where we looked at some of the prevailing myths surrounding this subject and thought about how our own experiences of moving may help us to understand the decisions and experiences of asylum seekers. My own feeling is that ecumenical activity locally has become rather ‘tired’ and predictable, and any suggestions for more lively and impact-making events which local churches could be involved with together would be very welcome.  Mike Homfray

Catering Team
The Catering Team met during the year to plan the catering requirements for various social events, such as the Easter Party, S. Faith’s Day Patronal Festival, the Senior Citizens Christmas Lunch and other occasions.  The spirit of the Team is high and thanks to everyone who has played any part in providing fine food and service to members of the congregation and so contributing to the success of our social occasions.  Ruth Winder

Eucharistic Ministers
There are 17 Eucharistic Ministers authorized by the Bishop, which includes two Readers.  They assist in church and also in taking sick communions to people in their own homes.
Eric Salisbury

Pram Club
Pram Club is still open and ticking over.  We have about 10 regular mums this year, although numbers do go up and down.  This does mean about 14 children, which is a comfortable number to entertain and run around.  Hopefully mums will continue to come and feel comfortable and welcome. Christine Spence

Uniformed Organisations
Rainbows continues at St Faith's despite dwindling numbers last year when we thought the unit might have to close. We currently have 10 Rainbows on our books. We have had a busy year starting the new Rainbows programme. In February both our leaders, Geraldine Forshaw and Claire Hockney, were presented with 10 year, Long Service Awards here at St Faith's during our Thinking Day Service. Geraldine Forshaw & Claire Hockney

St Faith's Brownies
The Brownies have had another busy year. We attended an activity day in Scarisbrick, visited our local Plaza Cinema at Christmas to see 'Polar Express'. We have also managed to do some badge work, including our Craft Badge when a member of our congregation came along and made cards and presents for Mothering Sunday. The girls really enjoyed themselves and our sincere thanks go to Jenny Moss who was also later available to present the girls with their badges. In February we celebrated Thinking Day here at St Faith's and I, Sue Walsh, was presented with 5 and 10 year, Long Service Awards. We currently have 16 girls on our books as several of our older brownies left last summer. We do have some vacancies.
Sue Walsh & Mary McFadyen

Sunday Specials
The Sunday Specials continue to thrive and as in previous years we have new friends joining in the sharing on Sunday. All  donations  given by each person at a lunch, go towards projects as St. Faith’s, as do the proceeds of the Annual May Coffee Morning.

Communications Report
St Faith's parish magazine 'Newslink' is produced every month and has a current print run of 365 copies, of which something over 100 are sent outside the parish by post, with the remainder being delivered to members of the congregation and local friends of the church by a team of magazine deliverers, to whom our thanks are as always due. The magazine is produced and printed by the Image Press at Merchant Taylors' School and its production is funded as part of St Faith's printing budget arrangement with the school. Recent months have seen the introduction of colour printing and the regular inclusion of pages of photographs. The church website, set up at the end of 1997, continues to expand and is updated regularly, often several times a week. It is an archive of past events in words and plctures, a source of information about the church and its activities and an up-to-date access to what is happening at St Faith's and St Mary's. The site is now receiving between 40 and 50 'hits' daily; ideas for its further expansion and improvement are always welcome. 
Chris Price



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