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Minutes of the Annual General Meeting

Uppermill Methodist Church 16th June 2021

 held virtually over Zoom due to Covid-19 pandemic


Item 1 – Welcome and Opening Devotions

Ken opened the meeting with thoughts and a prayer.

Apologies  - Cathy Gould, Violet and Bert  Robertson, Margaret Haigh, Dorothy Roberts

Item  2– Minutes of last meeting /matters arising/declaration of AOB/ Correspondence

The minutes of 2019 AGM were agreed as an accurate record - they could not be signed today as this was a virtual meeting (Covid-19) - this was to be noted in the record book.  

There had not been an AGM in 2020 due to the covid-19 pandemic.

No matters arising/correspondence declared.

AOB – all taken in other items of agenda

Item 3 – Church Appointments

The current representatives are as follows and all are happy to continue:

Catherine Green, Jean Wales, Bert Robertson, Lucy Clarke

Thanks were expressed to Ken Goodwin for his counsel both as a preacher and council member / thanks were repeated (previously given at council) to Barrie Simpson for all his work on council / thanks also expressed for Michael Hall (with recognition of his continued work with the property committee) as all three have stepped down since the last AGM.  Discussion was held and agreed to advertise the need for replacements as well as approaching individuals to ask them to join.

Current stewards are as follows and all are happy to continue:

Dorothy Roberts

Kathryn Heathcote

Sylvia White

Margaret Nightingale

Neil Maiden – Ken was to discuss with Neil as he was not able to join the meeting today

Margaret Haigh- is stepping down from this role at this time

Ken thanked all above for their continued work and again plans made to advertise for more stewards as well as approaching individuals to discuss.

Ken also thanked Cathy and Roger Gould on behalf of UMC for all the work they have done for the church/circuit and CTiS in their many roles in the years they have been at UMC and wished them every success in their move.

Item 4 – Finance Update

Jim provided a finance report.  Monthly accounts have been provided to Church Council as is his standard practice.  Giving has continued at a steady rate anticipated to be close to £30,000 for year.  HMRC Gift Aid very similar to previous years (£750 to be transferred to Building Fund).  Income from lettings gradually increasing as tenants return.  Expenses (repairs to building and lift) have continued through the year.  Charity collections and payments to Christian Aid and Lifeshare total £3116. Church Project Fund: £6593 was paid in September for previous year’s Project Fund. This year £4,100 agreed total, £500 has already been allocated /paid (£300 CAP, £200 CRIBS). Leaving £1025 to each of Dr Kershaw’s, The Macular Society and For the Love of Learning in the Gambia, with £525 to be allocated before the end of August.  Energy costs for the year estimated at £2,200, compared to £5,500 last year (as not using building). Building Fund has increased due to donations and a legacy. It provided funds for new video system. Assessment payments to the circuit for next year unknown – but told no higher than this year. 1/9/20 to 21/8/21 completed accounts to be presented to Church Council at start of new church year. 

Item 5 –Property Update

Regular maintenance checks continued (lift/fire) repairs (roof/leaks) covid weekly running of taps etc. (M Hall) sanitizing set and maintenance. Weekly checks might not be needed soon as so many tenants now coming back to the building. Risk assessments – tenants need to abide by our generic policy as well as risk assess their own activity in light of Covid regulations. Cleaners to restart. New TV screens now installed to replace previous screen.  TCC plans to look at worship space was started with list of ecumenical architects – but this has been paused with the pandemic.  Still need plan to sort the roof of church and centre.

Item 6  –TCC Update

Ken feels churches were at level 1 before covid but with the joint services on zoom etc. have moved to level 2. Possibly look to signage to be Saddleworth Churches rather than 3 separate entities.  Overarching committee not yet been called – expected 3 reps from each church to meet quarterly and review progress. More live joint services hoped for with relaxation of restrictions.

Item 7 – Pastoral Update

Membership now 80 with the sad loss of Gillian Smith.  Need to recruit more pastoral visitors – have advertised so to follow up now with face to face discussions with possible recruits.

Item 8 – Safeguarding Update

Training did stall with Covid – J Ortiz now informing all of dates so easier to book. Ken due this week.

Item 9 – GDPR Update

District requested audit and this has now been completed by UMC and sent off following any actions needed

Item 10 – Learning and Caring Update

Prayer group (led by J Wales) has flourished during Covid and running well on Zoom. Suggestion another group could be started at a different time/day as 40 minute meeting means is free to run. Jean thanked all the group members for their contributions.

Fellowship group – Ken is planning to start these either on Zoom or in person

Young people – now only 2 children younger than the 11-18 group so looking at best provision for them

Uniformed organisations – thanks expressed to Erica and team who have maintained 3 weekly meetings for the groups which are now becoming outside meetings – a huge task this last year.


Monday @8 – this is to be reviewed by the leaders – obvious need for a group but is this best time/format


Communication – with success of emailed Keep in Touch – review planned of how UMC communicates with the church family and a plan will be taken to council


Tiddlers – interest expressed in when will restart – leaders to discuss how best to organise this safely

Item 11 – Social Justice Group Update

Thanks were expressed to Cathy who has been a stalwart of this group – notably for her work with One World Fair but many other activities.  2 successful Christian Aid weeks have been held since the last AGM with fundraising via an online quiz night.  Services have been led on themes of hands/food/Christian Aid and these have been positive for the group and the church family. Action for Climate Change week September 2021 – hope to link to Harvest Festival and a Harvest Supper the evening before based on the food services and looking at using local/homemade food.

Item 12 – Church Life Committee Update

The social activities led by this group have been severely restricted as a result of the Covid 19 environment and now wish to look at activities in the church and trips out. As we look to the future, we will pull together a group of Church Members who will start to introduce some events where members will feel able to safely get involved. 


Next event is the Summer Music Festival 10-16 July and planning is taking place to comply with Covid restrictions – calendar of events to be circulated in the news-sheet.  Men’s group has successfully moved to Tuesday morning on Zoom under Roger and Ian’s organisation.


Wed morning coffee and chat on Zoom is felt to be coming to an end and may return to Methodist Centre when plans in place for safety – to be discussed for best option.

Item 13 – Worship Group Update

Ken has proposed a move to more topical preaching on Sundays with the more systematic expository preaching being reserved for a midweek service that might be on Zoom or rotating round the churches.  Plans for TCC – see above in TCC and property. Thanks expressed to the tech team and others who have contributed to the online services and the live team for the recent services in the Church.

Item 14 – Circuit Update

Suva is joining the circuit from September to replace Nat. Supernumeraries have been covering for Ian’s vacant post and will continue to do so for this coming year. 


Circuit joins with Royton and Shaw circuit from September with Adrian as superintendent for this new circuit. 


Sale of Honeywell Lane monies are to be used to reduce the assessment costs for the churches.

Item 15  – AOB

Ken repeated his invitation to the Manse Garden Parties in July.

Service 27th June at Greenfield to celebrate 100 years of their commemorative windows – will be bringing cadets and period uniforms from Bristol – reading of letters from young men at the front to their homes in Greenfield will form part of the service – which is to be recorded for others to view.

Item 16 – Closing Prayer

Ken closed the meeting with prayer.

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