2007 ANNUAL PAROCHIAL
George’s Day, 23rd April A.D. 2007
Highlights from the 2007 meeting,
which followed the Solemn Eucharist for St George's Day.
Follow the link below to access
reports of the 2006 and 2005 meetings.
HERE for 'Meeting
People': a general introduction to the purpose and function of A.P.C.Ms
in the Church
Review of the past year
The full PCC met four times during the year with an average attendance
of 20 people. A joint United Benefice PCC Away-day was held in
May with an attendance of 15 people from St. Faith’s with a similar
number from St. Mary’s. At the Away-day Linda Jones, Leader of
the Diocesan Church Growth and Ecumenism Team, spoke about the
different types and styles of worship in her current parish, from
children’s to traditional services, and asked those present to think
about what they do well in their church. A discussion on “A
Healthy Church” was held in response to the Deanery Visitation.
2006 saw St. Faith’s fourth Holiday Club. This again proved to be
a great success and was oversubscribed.
As well as the Children’s Holiday Club the first United Benefice Over
65s Holiday Club was held in June 2006 and was a resounding success.
Over 20 people from both churches and other churches in the area
enjoyed a week of activities and outings. A second one is planned
for 2007 and, following on the success of the first one, is expected to
attract many more people.
The Saturday Lunchtime Recitals once again took place from Easter until
the August Bank Holiday weekend and proved more popular than ever.
In July we said farewell to our Director of Music, Ged Callacher, who
left us to take up a place at Ushaw Seminary to train for the Catholic
Priesthood. Our Assistant Organist, Stephen Hargreaves, took on
the role of Acting Director of Music until January 2007 when our new
Director of Music, Paul Burnett, started his duties following his
appointment in September.
The Pantomime “Dick Whittington” played to full houses in February and
auditions took place in the summer for the 2006 United Benefice
Pantomime, “Cinderella”. Rehearsals commenced in September with a
The United Benefice Pilgrimage to Rome took place in October, with some
23 pilgrims travelling. A varied programme had been arranged
including a Papal Audience, visits to Assisi and Orvieto, as well as to
St. Peter’s and other major basilicas.
September 2006 saw the appointment of the Fr. Neil as Diocesan Advisor
on Liturgy and Worship, whilst continuing to serve the United
Benefice. As part of the Diocesan Plan, St Faith’s would become a
“resource church” and this reflected credit on the way the United
Benefice had evolved. After long and careful thought, Fr. Mark
has decided to seek a return to full-time ministry and is currently
looking at possibilities within the Diocese and beyond.
The PCC agreed to the appointment of a Parish Administrator and it is
intended to advertise for this post in early 2007. The
Administrator will work for the United Benefice and be based in an
office at St. Mary’s.
Fr. Neil Kelley
For and on behalf of the PCC of St.
Faith’s Church, Great Crosby
There are 143 people on the Church Electoral Roll, 87 of whom are not
resident within the parish. This is a decline of 4 from 2005,
people have died and one moved away.
The average weekly attendance counted over seven weeks during May and
June was 138 and average Sunday attendance during the same period was
101. These figures do not include monthly baptism services at
attendance is 100+ and funerals, which average approximately 15 a year
in church. There were 3 weddings in St. Faith’s in 2006 with an
average attendance of some 150+.
There is also a monthly Compline and Benediction service as well as a
bi-monthly Healing Service. The Eucharist is celebrated, with the
exception of Wednesdays, daily in St. Faith’s; attendance at these
weekday Eucharists averages 8.
Plans for the future
In 2007, we intend
* Renew our Giving in Grace campaign
* Plan a series of fundraising events
* Take part in the Diocesan “Responding to the Call”
* Celebrate the Stations of the Resurrection during Eastertide
* Re-visit the Parish Survey and its recommendations
* Form a bereavement group
* Consider the formation of house meetings for small discussion groups
* Appoint a Development Administrator to maximise our resources
and Community Reports
At the beginning of the year we were able to thank Miriam Jones
and Mike Holland for their contribution to the team as they retired as
churchwardens. In their place we welcomed Kari Dodson and Leo Appleton.
Much of our discussions have reflected the concerns of the parish and
PCC over the future of our finances, church buildings and opportunities
for mission. There has been unanimous support for the Giving in Grace
campaign and we all pray for its success. We have also been considering
the appointment of a part-time Parish Administrator to assist with
bookings of our church buildings and the future use of our premises for
outreach and income generation. A paid administrator could also assist
Fr. Neil with some of the day to day tasks of running the two churches.
In September we started a new arrangement for meetings. In addition to
our usual monthly meetings, we now gather for half an hour most Monday
mornings at 7.30 am. We have a short time of prayer, reflect on the
previous week and Sunday morning services, identify parishioners who
might be sick or unable to come to church, discuss any visits
that are needed, and deal with any other urgent matters. Although
challenging for those of us who are not ‘morning people’(!), these
Monday meetings have proved very valuable for working together as a
team, especially when it comes to pastoral care.
We look forward to the challenges the next year will bring. We are
likely to see one or two changes – and in particular we have Fr. Mark
in our prayers as he explores the possibility of returning to parish
ministry on a full-time basis.
Finally, our thanks to Fr. Neil for his leadership, guidance and
The Premises Committee have met at regular intervals throughout
the year, and thanks to the legacy left by the late John Taylor have
been able to make considerable progress in some of the church's more
urgent premises requirements.
From a routine and operational stance general maintenance has continued
to be carried out to the church and hall, and the appearance of the
buildings and grounds is generally tidy. we have had continual trouble
with church windows being broken due to vandalism, but these have
continued to be fixed through our insurance claims.
The larger jobs that the premises committee have co-ordinated over the
past year are as follows:
* Replacement and rewiring of electrics in the church hall
* Electrical switch board and safety check of the church.
* Repair of the security light on the bell tower
* Replacement of lightening conductor on the bell tower
* Elimination of dry rot in the sacristy, and sanding and treatment of
* Removal and treatment of pigeon excrement from inside the church hall
At the time of writing several significant premises jobs are in
* A faculty is in place for approval of our wishes to replace the
church heating. This work will commence on Tuesday April 24th
2007. The replacement of the church heating system is one of the larger
jobs that the premises committee has been involved with recently, and
we thank everybody who has been involved.
* A roofing contractor has been booked to commence urgent repairs
to the church hall roof, and this is scheduled to commence during late
* The premises committee is still seeking appropriate quotes and
contractors for the work which is required to achieve DDA compliance
(i.e. access to church and hall, and provision of disabled
Music and Choir
There is a Chinese proverb which says, “May you live in interesting
times.” In fact there is some debate as to whether this is a proverb or
a curse, something I and most members of the choir I suspect, would
undoubtedly agree with.
2006 was a year of conflicting emotions for the choir. We were all
delighted to hear of Ged’s acceptance for training for the Roman
Catholic priesthood, though, of course, distraught at the thought of
losing him after so many happy and productive years here, where we were
not simply Director and Choir, but a close and supportive group of
friends. Many things have rightly been said both publicly and privately
to Ged about the amazing contribution he made to the worship and
fellowship of our church, and his unfailing commitment to our church
family. All of the things we loved so much about him - his
humour, his understanding, his patience, his talent, his energy and his
love – are, of course, all the things which make him so wonderfully
suited for the priesthood. Our loss is indeed the Roman Catholic
Another packed year of weekly sung services, High Masses, Evensongs,
recitals, concerts and cathedral visits has kept the choir as busy as
ever, firstly under Ged’s direction, and then with his eminently
capable, albeit temporary, successor, Stephen Hargreaves who took over
the directorship until Christmas. Times of change are rarely
comfortable, but Stephen’s professionalism and musicianship, coupled
with the choir’s determination to move forward under his leadership
meant that the transition was as seamless as possible and everyone
worked together to continue the unique musical tradition for which our
church is noted, and of which are justly proud. Highlights of our year
have been the concert given in the presence of the Archbishop of York
on his first visit to Merseyside, and our Sunday at the Metropolitan
Cathedral of Christ the King, which was Ged’s final service as Director.
Unfortunately, life’s rich pattern means that the highs are often
balanced out by lows, and here in St Faith’s we are not an exception.
Most of you will undoubtedly be aware that we have parted company with
our recently appointed Director of Music, Paul Burnett. This has been a
difficult time for the choir, as you can imagine, but they have coped
with remarkable resilience both individually and collectively in their
commitment to the choir and their support of each other and of the
church. We are immensely grateful to Stephen for stepping into the
breach once again, and we particularly value his support at a difficult
time. We have also been ably supported by Fr Neil, the Ministry Team,
PCC and congregation, and I would like to thank them all on the choir’s
I’d like to conclude by saying that the choir are in a positive and
optimistic mood about the future, and look forward to continuing our
fine musical tradition. I am pleased to report that, in musical terms,
we are all up-beat, in harmony and singing from the same hymn sheet.
Thank you for all your support.
The year has been busy and I am happy to report that it has included
some memorable evenings and events. Several of our members are returned
to good health after a plethora of surgical interventions and our
membership is growing, at least round their waists!
I must start by thanking the loyal band
of teachers and helpers who, eek after week, provide fun and
imaginative lessons. Unfortunately it is still for so very few
children. We are delighted that these few are also very loyal and enjoy
coming to Junior Church and love showing their work at the end of the
service. The all-age services are a great attraction and the children
love taking part in them. The summer and Christmas parties, when we
join with St Mary's, still pull in the crowds!
A particular highlight was the Golden Anniversary of Fr Charles who,
after a weekend of public celebration spent a convivial evening with
the Group, where he extolled the benefits of a sober, religious and
celibate life, as opposed to that which some people follow.
Monthly house meetings are as popular as ever, with speciality meals
and drinks providing a focus for discussion and comparison. Once again
the group in the robust shapes of Geoff and Kevin ran a successful Quiz
Night which raised the money for the “Older Persons Christmas Meal”,
which this year hosted nearly 100 guests, some of whom were even older
than members of the Group!
As always, the retreat to Davids House in Yorkshire was a very special
time. Periods of frivolity and walking were interspersed with sessions
given over to serious debate, quiet contemplation and two memorable
services. Those readers with smoke alarms fitted in their house
(hopefully everyone) will appreciate the problems of incense in
confined spaces. As many members of the Pantomime cast were present Leo
even organised a rehearsal of Cinderella, although the usual cloak of
secrecy (and a small bribe) prevent me from revealing who took the
We visited the local church who had just begun what will be a testing
time for them as they become part of a large group of churches
supported by a team of priests. They were obviously missing the support
of their recently retired vicar, and were delighted when we suggested
that perhaps Fr Charles could lead a service next year. We always leave
copies of Newslink there, and they look forward to the annual visit of
distant friends from Crosby.
New members are always made welcome at our (nearly) monthly meetings –
just ask one of us for the list of dates.
Churches Together in Waterloo
In September 2006 the committee organised a coffee morning to
raise money to cover the costs of the various outreach activities of
the church’s year, notably the leaflets which are distributed at
Christmas and Easter to the homes of each parish. The coffee morning
generously hosted by the Waterloo United Free Church in their hall,
raised over £200 and was well attended by members of the public
and by members of the Waterloo churches. A Fair trade stall was also
very well patronised.
In October during One World Week the churches held an ecumenical
service in St Mary’s church in support of the Waterloo Partnership with
Sierra Leone. A FairTtrade stall was again well
patronised, with a Fair trade Christmas cake being raffled, and
notably staffed by students from St Michael’s CE High School, who also
took part in the service. The congregation generously donated
over £100 for the work of the Waterloo partnership.
At Easter the churches took part in the Procession of Witness to the
Civic Hall on Good Friday. We are exploring other ways of working
together as an ecumenical faith community. Regrettably on this occasion
it has not been possible to organise a joint pilgrimage to
Northumberland but we hope to explore other ideas in the future. We are
grateful for the leadership of Rev Alan Brooks through the year and for
his support and encouragement.
We have had fewer functions this past year but are still short of
people to help at the actual events. Despite this everything has
gone off in the usual efficient way, thanks to the dedicated members of
the team. My very grateful thanks to those who
have supported us this year, including those outside the
catering team who have stepped forward to help when
There are eighteen Eucharistic Ministers who are licensed to assist at
the Holy Eucharist. They are also available to administer Holy
Communion to the sick or housebound, and anyone who is sick and wishes
to receive Holy Communion at home should contact Fr. Neil or Joyce
As in previous years, there has been continuing, and even growing
activity on the communications front. Taking advantage of the
availability of very economical printing facility at the Image Press at
Merchant Taylors', a steady stream of service sheets, special liturgy
booklets, flyers and the like has been produced. Newslink, of which I currently
print 375 copies, runs to 24 or 28 pages, including full colour covers
and one or two sheets of photographs. However, this luxury is now no
longer be generally available, owing to the prohibitive cost of colour
printing equipment and consumables, so that the future use of full
(as opposed to spot) colour in St Faith's printed products is likely to
be very limited. The possibility of carrying advertising and seeking
sponsorship is being considered.
The church website continues to expand, and to reach a wider
audience, with 'hits' averaging some 50 a day, and sometimes
twice as many people 'tuning in', both locally and more
widely. The site, which is updated several times a week, can carry
up to date reports, news, notices and as much colour as may be desired,
and at practically no cost. The site reproduces more or less
everything that appears in Newslink
- and is possibly now seen by more people than read the magazine. The
implications of these facts may give food for thought in the
We have recently had the opportunity of reviewing the recommendations
we made to the PCC in 2005. On the subject of the Family Eucharist
(formerly ‘All-Age Service’), the formal feed-back in October was
almost universally encouraging. We have reaffirmed the importance of
these services in encouraging participation in worship, especially by
young people; and we should certainly not be distracted if they do not
attract many new church members.
We have been much encouraged by the growth of study and prayer groups,
especially the courses organised by Fr. Mark, and the opportunities for
developing spirituality provided by the Walsingham Circle. We feel that
there is also a need for an ‘open’ and informal prayer group which
could welcome newcomers, and where people could get to know each other
and learn confidence in prayer. We will be taking this idea further
Perhaps we need reminding from time to time that our church members put
much of their energy and resources into ‘outreach’ activities of all
kinds. These include the Holiday Clubs for children and the over 65s,
the Craft Days, the Sunday School parties, the Saturday Concerts, the
Songs of Praise ‘bring a friend’ services, and the Parish Newsletter.
We are all extremely grateful to those who work so hard to make these
and other similar activities a success. If St. Faith’s has been thought
to be inward-looking, the Holy Spirit seems intent on making this
reputation a thing of the past!
The Circle continues to gather for the Mass on Saturday, followed by a
short meeting discussing various topics and sometimes a light lunch.
The recent meetings have focussed on how ‘Finding Sanctuary’ may be
possible for all of us in our busy daily lives. The source of
inspiration was the book of the same name, written by Abbot Christopher
Jamison from Worth Abbey, as featured in television’s ‘The Monastery’.
Martin Jones prepared the meetings, setting ‘homework’ in the form of
reading certain parts of the book over several weeks, and trying to
apply the principles to our own circumstances. Such meetings and
discussions are informal, informative and most enjoyable, and everyone
is encouraged to join the Circle. Following my departure in July, Lynne
Connolly from St Mary’s will be undertaking the role of Circle
100 (plus) Club
The last 12 months of the 100 club have continued to be successful as a
money-spinner for both the church and its winners. Altogether there
were forty-eight winners, pocketing a total of £4,400, with the
same amount going to church funds. As at the end of October 2006 (the
end of the 100 club year) a total of £52,530 has been split
between the church and the 288 lucky winners over the 6 years that the
club has been running, so it is still proving to be a worthwhile
As you know, Martin and I will no longer be around on a weekly basis
from July and Shelagh Mulholland has kindly agreed to handle the 100
club from now on and I trust she will have the same help and support
that I have had from everyone.
We are looking to increase the membership from the current 140, however
a recent ‘BOGOF marketing campaign’ in the Parish Magazine has failed
to tempt any further applicants! It’s not too late – remember, you’ve
got to be in it to win it! (and yes, I did come up with that before
S. Faith’s Holiday Club
August 2006 saw the fourth S. Faith’s Holiday Club, once again we
received a grant from Sefton Council towards the running of the club
and from St. Christopher’s Home Trust, which enabled the children to
have a great week. The club was over subscribed and unfortunately
we were unable to accommodate all those children who wished to attend,
however over 50 children attended each day and enjoyed a range of
activities and outings. Thanks must go to all those who helped in any
way to make the week such a success.
United Benefice Over 65’s Holiday Club
The first Over 65’s Holiday Club was held this year in S. Mary’s Church
Hall. The format followed that of the Children’s Holiday Club in
that there were activities each day with a half day out to the Candle
Factory in Cheshire and a full day out to Blackpool, including a
delicious fish and chip lunch. The week was a tremendous success
and a second one is planned for 2007.
about the 2006 and 2005 A.P.C.Ms
to the 'Meeting People' page (with links to subsequent APCM reports)
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