Your Churches

Your Church in Powick - St Peters

IMPORTANT NOTICE -  the toilet is out of action at St Peter's for the foreseeable future.  On occasions, portaloos are installed for key Christian Holy Times and for concerts or Life Events, where possible)

 

This Grade 1 listed building has a rural location and overlooks the flood plain at the confluence of the Rivers Teme and Severn. The church has a long history stretching back to the 12th Century. Both the church and Powick village have associations with the English Civil War which started with the Battle of Powick Bridge and ended with the Battle of Worcester.​

We have started work on a project to fund repairs to the building including a new roof for the South aisle and repairs to the Bell Tower. This project also includes exciting plans to create a Visitor Centre within St Peter’s Church, focused on the Battle of Worcester and other important community heritage of the local area. We anticipate gaining clearance from the Heritage Letter Fund to make a first stage application in March 2020 and a project team is hard at work taking this forward.​

The church has very fine pews with oak ends, a decorated chancel and a number of beautiful stained-glass windows. Many improvements have been made to the building in the last 20 or so years e.g.: re-hanging the peel of 6 bells, installing a kitchen, toilet and new vestry, removing pews from the rear to give circulation space, creating a Celebration path from the Lychgate to the Church Door, improved lighting and a raised platform at the central crossing. It can, on a good day , seat up to 250 people. ​Unfortunately,  DeathWatch Beetles have taken some of the pews out of action but there is still plenty of room.

Services are held every Sunday.  Communions take the form of  BCP (twice a month, currently) and Common Worship Holy Communion , including our new services - Living Communion. Non Communion services include our new Sunday worship,  Forgiven Loved and Free.

 Available and extremely popular for Baptisms, Funerals and Weddings

To learn more about St Peter's heritage visit here.

Your Church in Callow End - St James

The church in Callow end reopened on the 9th February 2020 after a significant five figure sum spent on new flooring, carpeting etc.  Also, after receiving a kind donation from the family of a churchgoer,  a new altar kneeler was installed.  The bench outside the church was also refurbished.  It looks great!  The new Bishop of Dudley will be visiting St James in April to give thanks for the work and the church's role in Your Village.  Keep an eye on the Home Page for further details.  

St James' is also the base for our popular Cafe Church services which consider discussion topics and presentations from local charities.  Look at the Services information on the Home Page and Calendar for the next one. 

The Church was built as a chapel of ease ('daughter' or supporting church) to Powick Church in 1888 and is located  on the B4424 Powick to Upton-upon-Severn road next to Callow End C of E Primary School. The school regularly use our large open plan space and we envisage greater use by the community in time, to supplement the very popular local village hall (a base for a weekly coffee/chat afternoon, supported by the community for the community)

Some stained-glass windows rescued from the former Powick Psychiatric Hospital chapel have been installed in the original building.

The church seats around 80 using comfortable modern chairs which give great flexibility in usage. The church also has a small meeting room, kitchen and toilet facilities.

Services are held every Sunday (two Holy Communions a month , including our new Living Communion, and two Sunday Worship services, including Forgiven Loved and Free).

St James' Callow End will be the launch church for our new dedicated Family Service -  Lord's Alive.... yes,  that name will be refreshed for a new era.  Fresh approach to family worship gauranteed.  A church service with new hymns and songs that you will keep humming all week,  activities and -  food.  First service touches down on Sunday 8th March at 4pm .  Keep an eye on the Home page and social Media (FaceBook LordAlive) for more information. 

Rev Gary has changed the policy as regards baptisms , funerals and weddings. If you live in the village it have good links with the village, please use St James for your life events.  Your Church is open and available for "births, deaths and marriages regardless of what you thought, remembered or heard in the past. Please use Your Church.

Your Church in Guarlford - St Marys

WANTED -   APPLY TO THE VICAR

I really need a reliable and methodical person to be the Church Warden of this church.  For many years a local couple have been looking after the church.  They are now into their eighties and although still wishing to play an active part in their church,  why can't they hand over to the next generation?    After all, Guarlfordians,  St Mary's is YOUR CHURCH.  Please contact The Vicar if you are interested.    Rev Gary Crellin -  The Vicar

 

The Church was consecrated as a chapel of ease ('daughter' or supporting church) in 1844 working originally with Malvern Priory and became a Parish Church in 1866. It is located on the B4211 Malvern to Upton- upon-Severn Road. It is a Grade II listed building.

The Church consists of  peered nave with original Malvern gas light fittings ( converted to electricity). There is no toilet or kitchen, although Guarlford village hall is nearby.  In time, perhaps the church will get the facilities it needs. At present it is a delightful small church with great views of the Malvern Hills. 

Guarlford church also has access  to its old registers - by old, we mean back to the 1860’s. Handy if  you are researching your family tree. Contact us for more information,

Services are held every Sunday (BCP and Common Worship, including our new services - Living Communion and Forgiven Loved and Free. Taize, in conjunction with Hanley Castle's St Mary's Church, is being piloted. And Songs of Praise have been tried to respond to a calling to diversify our worship. 

The church attendance is small - often out numbered by the bats in the rafters -  but this delightful village church is available for all of your life events and of course Sunday Worship. 

Your Church in Madresfield with Newland - St Marys

The church at Madresfield has records of Vicars dating back to the early 13th Century. The first and second church buildings were in the grounds of Madresfield Court, the ancestral home of the Earls Beauchamp (the Lygon family). However, the present church was a gift of the 5th Earl Beauchamp and was consecrated in 1867. So it looks old, but in fact it is only just over 150 years old.

The church, a Grade II Listed Building, has magnificent stained-glass windows particularly in the East and West; it has an organ built by Nicholsons and a tower and spire which houses a peal of 6 bells cast by Taylor of Loughborough. Memorials to members of the Lygon family adorn the walls and the church is beautifully decorated.  If you are a Brideshead Revisited fan, you must visit!  However, at present,  there is no toilet or kitchen but for baptisms, weddings and funerals, arrangements for the use of kitchen and especially toilet facilities can be made with a nearby Nursery.

Currently we are seeking funding and permissions to convert the bell tower for an accessible toilet, kitchenette and a raised bell ringing floor. Perhaps you can help us with our plans, and fundraising?  Use the contact us form if that interests you.

The church is in the centre of Madresfield village directly opposite Madresfield C of E Primary School and around the corner from the Madresfield Club and Madresfield Early Years Centre.  A monthly Story Telling Church Service happens for Preschoolers and their parents and carers,  please check the diary on line or the home page for more details.  Crafty Church activities also occur, coinciding with core Christian festivals and Holy seasons.  Again, please check the diary and home pages for details.

Services are held every Sunday (Common Worship based Holy Communions, including our Communion service - Living Communion.  Non eucharistic/communion services include our new Sunday worship, Forgiven Loved and Free.

If you have questions about your Faith or want to understand it better,  come to the Seeker's Service on the first Sunday of the month.  An informal act of worship with conversation and discussion over coffee. Join us.  

Available for Baptisms, Funerals and Weddings.  Come and have your memorable day photographed with our famous well as a backcloth.

CHURCH GOVERNANCE -  A BRIEF GUIDE FOR THE REALLY INTERESTED

Although the vast majority of this website is tasked to promote the four churches in our benefice,  questions regularly are received about the bigger things -  not necessarily the God Question, which is really interesting and easy to answer,  but more difficult to explain is how does the Church work?  Who runs the Church?  How can I get involved?  This short guide should help with such questions 

The church is open to all.  For some people ,  their vocation and mission is to help run the churches.  So,  a good place to start is an understanding of PCC’s -  the building block of Church of England Governance.

THE PAROCHIAL CHURCH COUNCIL (PCC)


Are you a newly appointed member of a PCC, or someone who is considering standing for election but would like to know more about the roles and responsibilities of membership?


If the answer to either question is yes, then we hope that this guide will answer any questions or concerns you might have, and help you to enjoy your time as a member.


This guide is intended to be an introduction to membership, and a source of guidance.  The Vicar will be able to provide further guidance or, if you are looking for more detail on the workings of the PCC, you will find some suggestions for further reading at the end of the guide.

WHAT IS THE PCC?


The Parochial Church Council is the governing body of a parish church, or a group of churches.  There are TWO PCC’s in the Benefice (Old Hills Group of Churches:

Powick PCC -  covering St Peter’s Powick and St James’ – Callow End


Guarlford & Madresfield with Newland -  covering, not unsurprisingly the two churches/three communities covered by that parish.

A PCC with an annual income of more than £100,000 must be registered with the Charity Commissioners; those with an income below this threshold, whilst not currently required to register, must comply with all other charity laws. Therefore, those sitting on each PCCs are Trustees.

The PCC has legal status and the Church Representation Rules apply [see appendix a]

WHAT DOES THE PCC DO?


The PCC is a team made up of members of clergy and lay members of the church. Together they are responsible for the overall wellbeing, practical as well as spiritual, of their church, the church members, and the church buildings. The PCC also has a duty to promote the mission of the church within the wider community. Some of the responsibilities are devolved to the Vicar and Churchwardens but to quote from the Parochial Church Council (Powers) Measure 1956 section 2 ‘It shall be the duty of the Vicar and the PCC to consult together on matters of general concern and importance to the parish’. Members of the PCC have the right to be consulted, to know what is proposed, and to have the opportunity to express an opinion on it.

The Vicar is the Chairman of each PCC in the benefice.  A Lay Chair (or vice-chair), a treasurer, and secretary will usually be elected to office at its first meeting after the Annual Parochial Church Meeting (APCM).

As the Vicar,  PCC Members should actively support the mission of the church and the Vicar.  That's not to say you cannot disagree with the Vicar, but we need to work together to further the Kingdom of God in these places.PCCs should be a place of discussion,  not rows -  they should be "can do" places,  not museum t the past.  If you want to live in a bygone age and cannot change or help others to change,  perhaps you need to pray -  is the PCC the place for me over the next few years?  

PRAYER AND WORSHIP


Prayer and Worship are at the heart of the work of the PCC. The PCC should ensure that appropriate arrangements are in place for public worship and provide an opportunity for people of all ages to meet for prayer and worship.

In practice this might mean agreeing on the format and timings of services that will meet the needs of the church members, providing facilities for younger members and families, or older people,  setting up Bible study or Prayer groups. We should strive to be as inclusive as possible.

MISSION AND OUTREACH


The PCC has an important part to play in promoting the mission of the church, amongst the congregation and in the wider community, and members of the PCC should demonstrate their commitment to the Christian ethos, through leadership, by example and by witness, in the parish.  

Each PCC is encouraged to participate in the Vicar’s Parish Review (instigated in July 2019), to review the life of the church and identify mission opportunities. It is hoped that every member of the PCC can support the ethos of the plan, in time facilitate its implementation, and place it under a regular review process.

PASTORAL CARE


The PCC and its members have a duty to support their Vicar, prayerfully and personally. They have a duty to support the members of the congregation and to extend a welcome to all who visit the church, to members of the church community and to those visiting the church at other times.  The church has a duty of pastoral care to all who live in our communities, whether members of the church or not, and PCC members are expected to take the lead in demonstrating that care.

FINANCE


The PCC will appoint a treasurer to manage the day to day finances of the parish. The treasurer does not need to be a qualified accountant.   He/She must understand how to maintain books, must have a good knowledge of the parish and the work of the church, and importantly must have the full confidence of the PCC membership. 
The treasurer will keep members informed on the financial situation and present a full report to each PCC meeting.  PCC members are Trustees of a charity and are responsible for managing the Church’s finances. They must ensure that all funds are properly accounted for,
the books properly maintained, and the PCC annual accounts inspected or audited, and formally approved by the PCC, prior to the APCM.

In law, the PCC is a body corporate. This means that it is a separate body from the people who serve on it so PCC members are not liable for any debts incurred by the PCC. However, the trustees do have certain responsibilities under the Charities Act and members should acquaint themselves with Trusteeship, an introduction for PCC members which provides more detailed guidance.

In the Church year 2019/20,  both of our treasurers are stepping down.  Is this YOUR time to gift some time to the churches to support their mission by becoming our treasurer(s)? If no one steps forward, the PCC will need to consider alternatives, such as hiring a paid book keeper which will understandably restrict what we can do with our income and investments, including commitments to the wider church.  Please Contact the Vicar if you can help. 

BUILDINGS


The PCC is responsible for the care and maintenance of the fabric of the church, and any other buildings owned by the church. The PCC members should be aware of any issues relating to the buildings and they have the responsibility of deciding on them and voting on items of expenditure.

THE PCC MEETING


The PCC is required by law to meet at least four times a year (one meeting may follow on from the APCM) though some PCCs may decide to meet more frequently.  Both PCCs,  given their size, have decided to ,meet four times a year. There is good practice to suggest a maximum two hours is timetabled for each meeting, as a general rule.

The PCC should take time at these meetings to consider and discuss, and if appropriate vote upon, matters concerning the Church of England arising at a higher synod or referred down to the PCC by the Bishop or by the deanery, diocesan or General Synod.

The PCC may also on occasion decide to send information, an opinion or a motion up to the deanery synod.  The PCC meeting should be a forum for open discussion with every member feeling able to ask a question or voice an opinion.

The PCC may support a request to form a Standing Committee to attend to matters arising from the PCC outside the scheduled meetings.  Such a Committee is chaired by the Vicar and membership comprises of the Churchwardens (where appointed),  the PCC Secretary and Treasurer and one Lay Member of the PCC.  Any actions from the Standing Committee are reported into the next possible PCC.  In this benefice, only one Standing Committee exists -  in Powick PCC.  GMN Parish decided to call additional meetings if required of the full PCC with due notice instead of creating a Standing Committee (July 2019 decision).

WHO CAN BE A MEMBER OF THE PCC?


If you are 16 years old or over, have been on the electoral roll of your parish for at least 6 months and are an actual communicant, YOU can stand for election to your PCC.

If you want to join your local PCC, Contact Us to be put in touch with your local PCC Electoral Roll Officer (the person delegated by each PCC to receive applications and administer the Church Membership/Electoral Roll).  Note – every SIX years, the roll has to be completed revisited and fresh applications are requested.  No carry over of the former rill membership is permitted.  This was last undertaken in 2019. 

Someone may ask - What skills do I need to be a member of the PCC? Skills may be too prescriptive, it is better perhaps to say that someone interested in becoming a member of the PCC will be:


· A committed member of the congregation
· Interested in and involved with the life of the church and the local community
· Willing to learn and to share ideas, experience and gifts
· Caring
· Able to listen to another’s point of view

Some golden rules of PCC membership
Do
· Attend meetings (and on time)
· Read the papers before the meeting, be prepared
· Ask if in doubt (especially important for new members)
· Try not to fall out with your fellow members
· Listen to all the arguments being put forward before making up your mind
· Enjoy being a member of the PCC!

Do not
· Volunteer for a task unless you are sure that you have the time to complete it

The PCC needs thinkers and doers, questioners and listeners but you do not have to be
· a saint
· a theologian
· an expert

 
THE PLACE OF THE PCC IN THE WIDER CHURCH


There are 169 parishes in the Diocese of  Worcester and each parish, and its PCC, fulfils an important role as one of the building blocks in the administrative structure of the Diocese, and ultimately the Church of England as a whole.

The Diocese of Worcester is one of 44 Dioceses in the Church of England.

Our 2 Archdeacons (of Worcester and of Dudley) have responsibility for helping clergy and parishes in the deaneries of their archdeaconries in a variety of ways: pastoral, administrative, legal and much else.
We have 14 Deaneries in the diocese. They are made up of a number of parishes and, functioning as a Deanery synod, they work to bring together the views of their parishes on common problems, to discuss and formulate common policies on these problems, to foster a sense of community and interdependence among those parishes, and generally to promote ‘the whole mission of the Church, pastoral, evangelistic, social and ecumenical.’ 

Each deanery has a Rural Dean who chairs the deanery synod in partnership with an elected lay co-chair. Synod membership comprises all licensed clergy in the deanery area, and lay members elected, triennially, by each parish. Deanery synod members themselves elect the clerical and lay members of Diocesan synod, triennially. 

Diocesan synod is the main governing body of the diocese.  Matters of mission, strategy, governance and, as the Board of finance, budgets and accounts are ultimately under the authority of the synod.

General Synod, the national governing body for all matters affecting the Church, comprises Bishops, and clergy and laity elected by deanery synod members every five years.

GOVERNANCE IN THE DIOCESE OF WORCESTER


The Worcester Diocesan Fund and Board of Finance (the DBF), is the financial executive of diocesan synod.  The DBF is subject to the Companies Acts and is responsible for the custody and management of diocesan funds, and the employment of all persons in receipt of salaries from those funds. 

APPENDICES


a) The Vicar has a copy of The Church Representation Rules (2020) or you may purchase a copy for yourself at the Lyttleton Well Book Shop in Malvern or on line.  It’s a fascinating read….
b) A guide, Trusteeship, an introduction for PCC members can be downloaded from the Parish Resources website at (www.parishresources.org.uk/charity/Trusteeship%2 0leaflet%208pp.pdf)


FURTHER READING


‘Practical Church Management’ [James Behrens, published by Gracewing]
‘A Churchwarden’s Handbook’ [MacMorran and Briden, published by Continuum]

Finally, some guidance from St Paul, writing to the Romans (JB Phillips – The New Testament in Modern English):

HINT -  DOES THIS APPLY TO US, AND TO OUR PCC?

‘I give this piece of advice to each one of you. Don’t cherish exaggerated ideas of yourself or your importance, but try to have a sane estimate of your capabilities by the light of the faith that God has given to you all. ........we, though many in number compose one body in Christ and are all members of one another.  Through the grace of God we have different gifts. If our gift is preaching, let us preach to the limit of our vision.  If it is serving others let us concentrate on our service;  If it is teaching let us give all that we have to our teaching; and if our gift be the stimulating of the faith of others let us set ourselves to it. Let those who are called to give, give freely; let the person who wields authority think of his responsibility; and let the person who feels sympathy for his fellows act cheerfully’

Remember -  St Paul wrote those wise words, not the Vicar.  Reflect upon them.

This article is largely based on a article from the Diocese of Peterborough and adapted for local use in the Old Hills Parishes.  With grateful thanks.