Church reports for 2019
The Annual Parochial Church Meeting (APCM) has had to be postponed until at least October because of the Covid-19 pandemic, but it seems somewhat ridiculous not to report on 2019 until then.  Therefore the reports are shown below, although they cannot be formally adopted until the APCM.

Annual Report for APCM of St Giles Water Stratford 2020 - submitted April 2020
Two PCC meetings have taken place during the year.  The PCC consists of five members, Mike Edwards, Chris Hilsdon, Diana Ricketts, Nicky Godber and Guy Brogden.  We warmly welcome Diana and Nicky onto the PCC this year.

There were 13 services in 2019, with reasonable attendances on the whole.  One “normal” Holy Communion service was attended by 4 people in total, indicating the continuing decline for these types of service and the majority of the community not being interested in them.  The one Benefice Holy Communion service was attended by 28 people, including the choir (Palm Sunday), suggesting a similar trend.  The other services with attendances were (2018 figs in brackets): Plough 12(17); Candlemas 7(0); Rogation 14 (11); Trinity (Pimms and Hymns) 11 (10); Lammas 10 (10); Benefice Morning Worship 29(0); Harvest 15 (11); Remembrance 21 (31); Gordon Hutt Funeral 65(0); Carol Service 40 (40); Christmas Day Family Worship 54 (42).  In all, attendances for these “special services” were similar to 2018 services.

During the year, our Rector, Liz Simpson left (in August).  We thank her for her leadership, care and guidance during her long time with us and we wish her well with her new parish at Adderbury.  We thank our other priests and lay leaders for their preparation and administration of services during the year.  Sara Douglas, Pam Randle and others have played the piano/organ at a number of services and a special thanks goes to them.

As this report was prepared during the Covid-19 lockdown, we did not have access to the Visitors' Book and are therefore unable to report on the number of people who visited our church in 2019.

The cleaning of the church, flower arranging and delivery of The Link continue to be carried out by an extremely able group to whom we extend our thanks.  Sarah Willis continues to organise the church rota duties and Chris Hilsdon The Link delivery. The churchyard has been mown by a professional gardener organised by Mike Edwards.

Four successful village events were organised this year: a bridge evening (at Huntsmill Farm), a pub evening, a centenary night and a re-instituted duck race.  Special thanks to all those who helped organise these events.

Sara Edwards continues with her role of writing the entry for The Link and Tingewick & District News each month.  A special thanks to Sara and Mike Edwards for organising most of the special services this year.

Mike and Guy Brogden continue in their roles as Churchwardens and Guy continues in his role as PCC treasurer.  Deborah Wright is looking after bookings at the Old School Hall and special thanks to her for organising the choir who have used the hall regularly for practices.  She also facilitates the Pilates group who are now booking the hall regularly.  Mike continues to maintain the web site.

Guy Brogden, 23rd April 2020

Annual Report on the Fabric, Goods and Ornaments of the parish for the 2020 APCM
The existing (old) hedge at the Old School was removed during the year and no final decision has been taken on its replacement.  Various minor repairs were done to the church, including gutter/down-pipe maintenance, clearing the tower, repairing the notice board and replacing the outside light - special thanks to Chris Hilsdon for donating the latter and organising both of the last two items.  No other changes in 2019.
Guy Brogden, 23rd April 2020

Finance Report for the year ending 31st December 2019
Total funds at the end of the year stood at £5,768.90 compared with £3,722.14 last year.  The major spend this year was the removal of the hornbeam in the churchyard, for which we had a very successful fund raise.  We did not have to use any money this year from the deposit account. 

We had four successful fund raising events in the year; the bridge evening, the pub night, the centenary night and the duck race, raising over £2,500.

The OSH account is in credit largely due to increased use of the hall and the increased donation from the Parish Meeting this year (£650). As a result of the OSH accounts looking healthier, we should be able to reconsider what action we should take regarding reinstating a hedge/fence as soon as the development across the road is finished. We should also review (with the PM) the requirement to decorate the inside of the OSH.

We paid our Parish Share in full during the year. This is in large part thanks to the generous donations from various families in the village, especially around the time of the hornbeam removal.

2020 will be a very different year. At the time of writing this report the Church and Old School Hall were shut with the onset of Covid-19 and we should not expect much revenue to come in during the year.  We still have the overheads of running each building, so it would be prudent to only incur essential expenditure during the lockdown and recovery phases.  We ought to consider our position re paying the Parish Share earlier in the year than usual.

In the event of a continuing lockdown, I have assessed the ongoing costs for the remainder of 2020 as follows:

Church £850 (insurance, lighting, heating, fire precaution, other)

Old School Hall £775 (insurance, water/electricity, other)

I am comfortable that these costs can be covered from planned giving/donations, the PM contribution and the outstanding cash balances.
Guy Brogden, Treasurer, Water Stratford PCC, 21st April 2020