Annual Report for 2021

Administrative Information
The Parish is part of the Diocese of Blackburn within the Church of England. The Parochial Church Council (PCC) is a registered charity, number 1131531 and the official title is “The Parochial Church Council of the Ecclesiastical Parish of St Chad, Poulton-le-Fylde”.
The Parish is a United Benefice with St Anne’s, Singleton.
 
Places of Worship
   St. Chad’s Church, Market Place, Poulton-le-Fylde
   St. Martin’s and St. Hilda’s Church, Fleetwood Road, Carleton
 
Address for Correspondence - Rev. Canon M. Keighley, The Vicarage, Vicarage Road,
Poulton-le-Fylde, FY6 7BE
 
The Parochial Church Council – Membership
   PCC members who have served from 1 January 2021 until the date this report was approved are:-
 
   Incumbent               The Rev.Canon Martin Keighley (Chairman), who is responsible for the
                                   day-to-day running of the parish.
   Asst. Curate             The Rev. Lois Ward
                                   
   Readers                   Mr Phil Deegan
                      
   Churchwardens       Miss Lynne Brackpool
                                   Mrs. Joan Swan
                                   Miss Geraldene Greenhalgh
                                                                                
   Deputy                    Mrs Susan Hanson-Scobie
   Churchwardens      Mr Richard Underwood
                                   
           
   Representatives on Deanery Synod
                                    Miss Lynne Brackpool
                                    Mrs. Dorothy Griffith
                                    Ms Lindsay Mason
                                    Ms Penny Waters                  
                                   
                                 
 
  Elected and Co-opted Members
          Mrs Karen Bradley, Mrs Dorothy Griffith,  Mrs Elizabeth Harrison,  Mrs Susan Hanson-Scobie, 
          Ms Lindsay Mason,  Mrs Jeanette Norman,  Mrs Sarah Keighley,  Mrs Barbara Schofield, 
          Mr Andrew Brownbridge,  Mr John Fisher,  Mr Tony  Raymer,   Mr Richard Underwood.
          Mrs. L Foley (until May 2021) Mrs S Todman (to May 2021)
         
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Structure, governance and management
 
The method of appointment of PCC members is set out in the Church Representation Rules.  All
Church attendees are encouraged to register on the Electoral Roll and stand for election to the PCC.
 
The PCC has a number of committees which meet as necessary and report to the PCC regularly.
 
 
Finance and Standing Committee:   Oversees financial affairs and advises the Vicar and
PCC.  Prepares the PCC agendas and takes necessary decisions between PCC meetings.
Fabric:   Oversees the care and maintenance of the parish church, with the advice of the Architect
when required.
Outreach and Worship: Helps to plan the implementation of the wider mission of the Church.
Makes recommendations about the liturgy and organisation of services.
Resources:    Concerned with all aspects of Stewardship.
Flöthe: To foster our link with the parish of Flöthe in Braunschweig, Germany.
 
There is a Representative on Poulton and Carleton Churches Together to act for the Church on the local Ecumenical Committee and report on ecumenical events.
 
There is a Parish Safeguarding Officer (Miss Lynne Brackpool ) who oversees the implementation of the Parish Policy on work with children and young people, reporting regularly to the PCC and bringing matters to the PCC for their approval.  The Policy is reviewed regularly.  Miss Brackpool also fulfils the role of Vulnerable Adults Officer. 
 
A Health and Safety Officer (Mr Tony Raymer) who oversees the implementation of the Health and Safety Policy and reports Health and Safety Matters to the PCC.
 
The PCC is represented on the Poulton Partnership and receives a report on its work and events planned for the benefit of the community.
 
Objectives and activities
 
Mission Statement
   In the years that lie before us, we, the people of God in the parish of St. Chad, Poulton-le-Fylde,
   will seek to:-
Place worship and prayer at the heart of our life together as an expression of our
love of God in Christ Jesus
Grow in Christian love one for another
Grow in the love and knowledge of Christ as he is revealed in the Gospels
Through outreach and pastoral care carry the love and knowledge of the Christ
revealed in the Gospels into our wider community.
 
 
Public Benefit Statement
The PCC is aware of the Charity Commission’s guidance on public benefit in the ‘The Advancement of Religion for the Public Benefit’ and have regard to it in their administration of the parish. The PCC believes that, by fulfilling its responsibility to work together with the incumbent and to co-operate in all matters of concern and importance for the promotion of the whole mission of the Church, pastoral, evangelistic, social and ecumenical, it provides benefit to the public by:
 
Providing resources and facilities for public worship, pastoral care and spiritual, moral and intellectual development, both for its members and for anyone who wishes to benefit from what the Church offers;
Promoting Christian values, and service by members of the Church in the Parish to its community, to the benefit of individuals and society as a whole. 
 
 
Achievements and performance
 
Number on the Electoral Roll -  276  (as reported May 2021)
 
Regular Weekly Attendance  - 211 (175 from 2022) 
 
 
Review of the year
 
 
Statistics for occasional offices                  2021                                      
Funerals in Church*                                           32                                            
Funerals at Crematorium or Cemetery             62                                            
Weddings and Blessings                                   15                     
(1 Thanksgiving after Civil Marriage)            
Baptisms*                                                           44                                        
*St Chad’s and St Hilda’s together
 
 
Again, due to the Covid 19 Pandemic, 2021 has been a very different year for everyone and this applies also to the Church, the Clergy and parishioners of St. Chad’s and St. Hilda’s.
 
At the beginning of the year there was the difficult task of keeping the Church open for parishioners and the community. We maintained our pattern of services, despite much reduced attendances.
 
This has continued to impact on finances, though there has been some recovery in collections and fee income from 2020.  The PCC again records its thanks for the continued support of those in our Stewardship scheme, which has ensured stewardship income was not adversely affected.
 
The revised Parish Share assessment led to a 10% increased in our payments in 2020 and 2021.  However, following a meeting with members of the Diocesan Board of Finance it was agreed there would be an adjustment made to the Regular Weekly Attendance figures and the result will be a reduction for St. Chad’s and Singleton, with effect from 2022.
 
The above factors, along with our continued support for St. Nicholas’, Fleetwood, had led to a substantial deficit in our General Account, but this will be eased as the assistance to Fleetwood ended by mutual agreement in December 2021. From May 2021 the church magazine – The New Sentinel is now produced in house and emailed or delivered bi-monthly and this had resulted in savings.
 
There have been no major building projects or fabric repairs in 2021 but Wyre Borough have completed repairs to the churchyard wall to a high standard.
 
Three members of the congregation were Licenced as Authorized Lay Ministers in Blackburn Cathedral, following successful completion of the MPower Course. As part of the course, they organized a Prayer Stall outside St Chad’s on Easter Eve and in December they helped to organize a very successful Angel Festival.
 
Social events, study groups, Mothers’ Union meetings and other gatherings have again been limited in 2021 because of the pandemic.  Five PCC meetings took place, along with the Annual Parochial Church Meeting, in May.  The Standing Committee oversaw matters in between.
 
With the assistance of Revd Lois Ward we have continued to livestream a service each week, usually from St Hilda’s. We are continuing to explore the installation of wifi at St Chad’s, which would allow regular streaming of services going forward. We continue to make use of Facebook and have refreshed our website design and provision. 
A weekly newsletter continues to be delivered to parishioners from St. Hilda’s, Carleton.
 
Our work with Young People has continued to be impacted, with visits to school limited for large portions of the year, though the clergy have continued to provide recorded worship when requested. In April we were able to hold a Confirmation Service for nine candidates, some of whom had been prepared for the Confirmation postponed in 2020. Little Gang, Junior Church and Youth Club resumed in September.  All Age Worship continued throughout the year and has proved popular with children and young families.  At St. Hilda’s it was not possible for the regular Messy Church sessions to continue. We have been invited to join “Inspiring Youth – A Diocesan Learning Community” to further develop our provision for young people and share insights and ideas with others.
 
Personnel
 
Our Vicar, Revd. Martin Keighley continues to undertake a very substantial workload with the large number of services, particularly Weddings and Funerals, not only at St Chad’s and St Hilda’s but at St Anne’s Singleton as well, which is part of the United Benefice. 
Revd. Lois Ward our Curate is coming to the end of her curacy but continues to support our Vicar in the busy parish and to take leadership responsibility at Carleton.
The Ven Colin Williams, a former Vicar of the Parish, has retired locally and has given invaluable assistance through the leading of services across the benefice.
Mr Phil Deegan our Licensed Lay Minister has continued to assist, particularly at St Hilda’s, as well as editing The New Sentinel. In December he began a three-month placement at St Nicholas Fleetwood.
 
 
Buildings
 
St Chad’s Church is a grade 2* listed building most of which dates from a reconstruction which took place in 1751.  It forms the centrepiece of Poulton-le-Fylde and is much admired by our many visitors, particularly during February or March when there is a magnificent display of crocus in the Churchyard. 
 
The Church building at Carleton is owned by the Roman Catholic Church and the Church Hall is owned jointly. Both are administered by a Joint Council drawn from St Hilda’s and St Martin’s congregations.  Running costs are shared between the two churches, and both the Church and Hall are maintained in good order.
 
St Chad’s Church Hall on Vicarage Road dating from 1925 is now leased to the Vicarage Park Community Centre and following refurbishment is now fully operational; used by the Church for Junior Church on Sunday morning and Little Gang, which meets each Friday morning during term time.
The land adjoining the Church Hall which is owned by the PCC is let to St Chad’s Tennis Club on a short term non-renewable lease.
 
The clergy house at Roylen Avenue in Carleton is rented by the Diocese and is now occupied by our Curate, Rev. Lois Ward. 
 
Future Plans
 
We continue to seek ways to draw people back into the worshipping life of the Church as we emerge from the pandemic and where possible to engage with the community in new ways.
The monthly non-Eucharistic services have been well received by the majority of our congregation and some new faces have been seen, especially young families. Through the Learning Community we continue to explore ways to connect with young people of upper primary and secondary school age
Social media engagement and online provision have proved excellent initiatives and continue to be a priority.
 
The Diocese launched Vision 2026 - "Healthy Churches transforming Communities", the overall objective is to extend outreach to those who presently do not come to Church.  At a Parish level we have a particular need to encourage lay people to become Church Officers and take on responsibilities for the running of our Churches.