(L to R: Juliet, Fiona, Margaret, Andrew)
We are delighted to have a Churchwardens’ Team this year, with Margaret Johnston and Fiona Cornish as our church wardens, assisted by Juliet Jackson and Andrew Watson. Churchwardens are the senior laypeople in the parish and make a vital contribution to its health and well-being. They have certain specific responsibilities, in relation to the day-to-day functioning of church life, buildings and worship. This also includes their role as ‘officers of the bishop’, working closely with the archdeacon. They also take a lead in cooperating with the vicar and other clergy in matters that concern the smooth running of the church and its worship.In a large church like Great St Mary’s, the introduction of Assistant Church Wardens provides an opportunity to share the load and the tasks, to offer support to one another and more engagement with the congregation. With their knowledge and experience of the church, the congregation, the university, the city and the diocese, they will be key people supporting the new vicar as he or she settles in and gets to know the church.
Last week, we had our first PCC (Parochial Church Council) meeting following the APCM, and took the opportunity to remind ourselves of the role and responsibilities of the PCC . The PCC is a charity, and its members are charity trustees. It is a legal body, made up of the people who have legal responsibility for the parish church, the churchyard (in our case, the City Council has taken over much of that responsibility) and for the church’s money. The PCC employs staff – we have 19 at present, among whom Richard, our operations manager, plays a key role. The PCC’s responsibility is to ensure the church is well led and that everyone is represented. It works in partnership with the vicar, the clergy and the staff, furthering the whole mission of the church, especially it’s pastoral, evangelistic, social and ecumenical dimensions. As well as fulfilling their responsibility as trustees, PCC members are exploring how they can take an active part in contributing to all these areas of church life, working alongside the vicar and clergy, enabling members of the congregation to be involved and contribute their gifts and talents, building a flourishing community that serves each other and looks outward to serving the wider community around us.
On Sunday 25June, we will formally commission the PCC at the 10 am Eucharist. Please, pray for the churchwardens’ team and the PCC who have an important role to play in the life of our church, giving thanks for their willingness to offer their talents and time in the service of Great St Mary’s.
With all good wishes and prayers,