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Annual Report

The Parochial Church Council of Compton Martin

Annual Report and Accounts

Year ended 31 December 2011





Trustees Report

Administrative information

St Michael the Archangel, Compton Martin is situated in the village of Compton Martin and is part of the Diocese of Bath & Wells within the Church of England.








The correspondence address is: - Starve Lark Cottage, Compton Martin Bristol BS40 6LJ.








The Parochial Church Council (PCC) is a charity excepted from registration with the Charity Commission













PCC members who have served from 1st January 2011 until the date this report was approved are:


Rector:                       Revd Jane Chamberlain (from13th July 2011)

Curate:                      Revd Jane Chamberlain (until 13th July 2011)


Elected Members:

Warden 1:                  James Bragg

Warden 2:                  Axel Palmer

Deanery Synod:        Rex Chapman                                       


Hon Treasurer:         Patti Simcock

Hon Secretary:         Dick Hyde     

Elected Members:     Helen Palmer, Andrew Owst, Lucy Hemsley, Jean Luckett & Jacqui Salter








BACKGROUND St Michael’s PCC has the responsibility of supporting the incumbent, Rev’d Jane Chamberlain, in the promotion of the whole mission of the Church, pastoral, evangelistic, social and ecumenical in the ecclesiastical parish.








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.

STANDING COMMITTEE:  Rector/Curate, Churchwardens, Treasurer, Secretary

This committee is required by law and empowered to transact the business of the PCC between its meetings, subject to any directions given by the PCC. It met about a week before each PCC meeting in 2011.









The churchwardens from each parish met with the Rector, to review church life and worship, and check the pattern of worship month by month.









There are 58 parishioners on the Church Electoral Roll at the end of 2011. The average Sunday attendance, counted during October 2011, was 17 , however this number increased at major festivals: 69 adults and 12 children on Easter Day,  and 28 adults and 9 children at Harvest Festival, 95 adults on Christmas Eve Midnight, and 43 adults and 2 children on Christmas Day.









The year began in a Vacancy and we benefitted from a variety of visiting clergy. Thanks are due to Churchwardens Axel Palmer and James Bragg for leading the parish through the vacancy.








A new Benefice Profile was created and adopted in connection with appointing our new Rector.













We welcomed Rev’d Jane Chamberlain as Rector on 13th July 2011 at a memorable and uplifting service in St Andrew’s, Blagdon.













During the Autumn we reviewed how we were ‘making God known and loved more fully’ in our community and decided to focus on five key areas:





  • Families and children, through our work with Little Angels we hope to form a Sunday School
    • Communication – to make better use of email and our website
  • Finance –to secure a stable financial future
  • Refreshments –to offer hospitality after every service
  • Sound system








Life of the church;





  • From Jan 2011 Lucy Hemsley, Helen Palmer and Jean Luckett took over the regular leadership of the monthly family service.
    • Coffee Drop-in run by Shirley and Mike Sinden is well attended and valued.
  • there were six weddings over the year and we welcomed Julie Weaver, Andrew Owst, Jacqui Salter and Dick Hyde to the team assisting with weddings.
  • An informal impromptu choir – ‘The Compton Irregulars’ came together from the village to sing at the Christmas Midnight service.
  • The Christmas Concert was a great success
  • The Crib Service was a wonderful occasion with many families and children.
  • We were very grateful to Peggy Bragg for organizing the Bridge tournament and supper which brought great enjoyment and welcome funds.
  • the Church and Village fete was held at the Ring o’ Bells and was a great occasion for the community
  • the Link continues to make a valued contribution to the village.








Life of the benefice





·      Rev’d Andrew Hemming was ordained in Wells Cathedral and preached at St Andrew’s. He is serving his curacy in Axbridge


·      Lent lunch was held at Charterhouse

·      Daytime Lent group was run in Blagdon and was well attended, an evening one was run in partnership with the Mendip Group and was less well attended

·      Benefice intercessions group meets each week in Ubley

·      Richard Saunders and Judith Longhurst began the Lay Worship Assistants course run by Rev’d Anita Thorne for the Mendip Group.








Thanks must be expressed to all those who give so much time and energy –cleaners, flower arrangers, singers, key holders, readers, sidesmen, altar guild, flower arrangers, coffee makers, washer-uppers, flag raisers, tower illuminators and all those unsung heroes who enable us to faithfully witness to the Gospel.













ECUMENICAL REPORT - Group Member James Bragg

The annual service was held at St Bartholomew’s, Ubley, and raised over £350 for The Hope Christian Trust



Pupil Numbers: At the 1st of September there were 76 children on roll. This marks one of the highest numbers of children on roll in the School's history.








Staffing remains the same as last year. Mrs Jo Brady took maternity leave for the autumn term. Her work was covered by Mr Mark Rogers.













Governance: Mrs Jane Haley was re-elected Chair, with Mrs Ann Simnett as Vice Chair. Mrs Peggy Bragg resigned from the Governing body due to severe health problems. Mrs Sam O'Nians also resigned as a parent governor. Mrs Jackie Charter was elected in her place. The governors were pleased to welcome the return of Rev’d Jane Chamberlain as an ex officio member on her appointment as Rector of the Benefice.













Zambian Link: Bishop William and his wife visited and told the children about St Francis School in Msoro.  As a result the link was strengthened.













Collaboration: Due to the Local Authority moving from 'provision' to 'commissioning' of services, schools in the Chew Valley cluster agreed to develop their participation in this area. Governors have set up a working party to explore modes of collaboration in order to secure the future of Ubley School.













Standards: At the end of the academic year 2010/2011 SATS results at Key stage 1 and 2 showed above average achievement in all areas. Where any weakness was identified it figured in the School Development plan for 2011/2012.













Clubs: A range of after school clubs was on offer throughout the year. The BTT club did not continue into the new academic year, but was eventually replaced by a lunch time Bible club run by Richard Saunders and Lucy Hemsley.













2011 also saw the introduction of new play equipment and a more secure fence surrounding the School.













The increase in pupil numbers reflects the popularity of Ubley School, but it also brings new challenges which the dedicated Staff and Head Teacher have met with resilience and enthusiasm.
















CHOIR REPORT- Clare Day                                                    

The benefice choir is currently made up of 12 members and is managed jointly by Clare Day and Belinda May.  All voices are welcome, and we would particularly like additional tenors, basses and altos.  We rehearse twice a month and regularly perform once a month at the 10 am Service in St Andrews, Blagdon, and also as requested for special parish events, weddings and funerals.  The proximity of St Andrews to popular wedding reception venues has made the church an especial favourite with brides and we have so far this year 15 weddings proposed and generally average about 25 per annum in total.  








We enjoy singing at special events and are hoping to perform something special for the Jubilee thanksgiving service which non-choir members could take part in.  We are anticipating announcing this and the rehearsals for this event shortly.  In the Autumn we took part in a special Mendip Group churches service at East Harptree, and the East Harptree choir have swelled our ranks, notably at Jane's installation.  













The choir give up their time for free, and to thank them Belinda and Peter May hosted a party last autumn.  This was greatly enjoyed by all and our thanks are due to our hosts for a lovely evening.  













Paul Burnett who normally plays for the monthly choir service is a hugely talented musician and continues to challenge and stretch the choir to attempt interesting new pieces, but his location in London does cause problems with mid-week rehearsals.  To address this, we have recently recruited Paul Martin to come to assist with preparing new repertoire and we are hoping that he will help with some of the preparations for the Jubilee music. 













Although I have attempted to take a back seat with the choir this has not actually taken place.  However, I am hugely grateful to Belinda May who has volunteered to help me and has suggested some excellent new repertoire, organised rehearsals and been immensely supportive.  













Both Belinda and I would like to thank the choir for their continued hard work and support.  They hugely enhance our worship and the work of the Church in our benefice.  





































BBYT- Richard Saunders

 I have been with the Butcombe & Blagdon Youthwork Trust for two years and have prioritised my time helping the Trust establish a firm footing in these two villages. My work falls broadly into four areas:

1.     Schools work

2.     Community work (fete’s, Jubilee, Youth Week, supporting other orgs where we are able)

3.     Supporting and building existing projects and work (J-Team, BYG, Messy, Prayers & Bears)

4.     Supporting the life and role of the church in the community where we are able

New initiatives over the two years include:

·      Bedtime reading group in Butcombe for pre-schoolers

·      Work in Blagdon Primary School (BPS) reception/ Class One, Bible Club, Assemblies

·      Work in Ubley School (UPS) Bible Club

·      After School Club and Junior Church in Butcombe

A well established Trustee (Chair – Jonathan Hayward) and Management Group (Chair – Guy Walker) drive the work with guidance and ongoing training and support from Scripture Union.

The Trust is much strengthened by the presence of Jane Chamberlain and Gene Joyner, both residents of Compton Martin, as Trustees, Gene himself being the founder Chairman. We look forward to serving all the communities of the area as we seek to fulfil our calling to be  “ Local Christians for Local Youth “. 

The schools work is going well. The schools in the villages have been open to our working alongside them and with the existing work that the churches have been doing for many years the local church is embedded in the spiritual life of the children. BBYT is playing an important role in liaising between BPS and community groups and I have been taking numerous groups of children exploring underground. The Ubley School Bible Club is drawing in anything up to 25 children during their lunch time. Key to our success has been drawing in adults to help with the work that get excited by it and actively look forward to working with children and young people. Jane and Wezley Massam, have joined the team and are helping in Blagdon and Butcombe. Lucy and Judith have been key to the success in Ubley School, and we at BBYT look forward to furthering our relationship with the school and village.

BBYT has reached an exciting time, and we look forward with a view to continuing to underpin our existing work as well as seek God’s will for our future direction.











 Lucy and I can be found on Monday lunchtimes in Ubley School armed with Bible stories, craft and our Wall of Cool (with apologies to Top Gear).

Numbers attending fluctuate from around a dozen up to around twenty five. Around 70% attending are girls and a similar percentage are from the younger school ages.

The nature of lunchtimes at the school require Lucy and I to run fairly open sessions so we get used to the comings and goings of children around the eating of their lunch.

We have been looking at a different Bible Character each week (starting in Genesis and ending with Revelation) and seeing what they can teach us about ourselves as well as the nature of God. We usually tell the story for the day, offer the children a short craft activity and then the children vote on ‘how cool’ the character is. This usually ends up with older children being able to name a favourite character and why as well as being able to recite the story. The story of Rahab has been a particular favourite with one or two of the girls.

In my opinion, the sessions are working well and are well attended given that this is free time for the children. Denise and I are planning to meet and think about what more can be done within the school to compliment our Monday session. 

My thanks to Lucy and to Judith who has stepped in to help out when need has arisen. And many thanks to Richard who does all the preparation.




















Synod met three times during 2011

March – a presentation and discussion prior to a Deanery vote on the motion for the consecration and ordination of women to the episcopate which was carried on a majority vote.

June – the first meeting of the new triennium was held at St Hugh Charterhouse and included Holy Communion and the appointment of officers

October – a presentation was given by Isobel Chapman on the impact of Common Tenure



On 16 April 2011 the Safeguarding Officer, Patti Simcock, attended a diocesan course on safeguarding.  During the year we have completed the recruitment procedure through to successful CRB checks for 7 parishioners working with children.

In July 2011 the Diocese published its Safeguarding Children, Young People and Vulnerable Adults Policy after it had been adopted by the Bishops Council.  The new policy is comprehensive and covers all aspects of safeguarding.












The Christmas Concert featuring The St Michaels Singers led by Simon Goodman and The Bristol Brass Consort, generously sponsored by Peter and Megan Watson Liddell, raised £1000.

The monthly drop-in coffee mornings run by Michael and Shirley Sinden raised regular donations and are very popular events.









There was no activity during the year as we thought it right to stand back to allow other fund raising groups in the village to raise money.








THE FETE - James Bragg

The church and village fete held in June 2011 raised over £3500 which was shared equally between the Church and the Village Hall Kitchen Renovation Fund and again represented a good result in view of the continuing recession







FABRIC,GOODS & ORNAMENTS - Churchwarden James Bragg

The terrier was checked and completed on 4 April 2012



Church Room Structure

The repairs which have been carried out to the windows and porch over the last three years are continuing to hold up well and therefore no major expenditure is envisaged in the foreseeable future.  The gutters and downpipes to the church room are regularly cleared throughout the year mainly at the Saturday “tidy up” sessions.  Various maintenance works have been efficiently carried out by Thomas Sumpter as part of his Duke of Edinburgh award project with David Hart and Axel Palmer supervising.











The rainwater heads and downpipes have been regularly cleared of leaves and twigs at the Saturday maintenance sessions.  During the year the lead to the roof of the porch has been replaced following the theft of the original lead.  The PCC are currently obtaining quotations for suitable surveillance systems in order to minimise a repeat of the thieving.










Health and Safety

The risk assessments, fire risk assessments and safety policy are ready for review for both the Church and Church Room by myself.  I am seeking quotes for PAT testing of appliances from specialists as I now no longer have access to the equipment to carry out the work personally.
















BELL TOWER REPORT- Richard Curry                     





In the last year we have continued to ring for Sunday services, Friday practices, Weddings and funerals, when requested. Annual servicing work has been carried out this year, with only the ropes showing signs of wear, but are still serviceable.










In September 2011, after discussions with the Ringing Master, the Rector and Churchwardens took the decision that the ringing at Compton Martin should be run on a professional and progressive basis i.e. a teaching tower. This has brought a number of benefits, we now have a band that totals 26 regular ringers, which includes no less than 3 other Ringing Masters from other towers, who bring with them other learners and their own skills. This in turn creates a larger pool of ringers for weddings and funerals.













It also means that the standard of ringing has improved greatly, a larger number of methods rung and the quality of striking has improved. The more complex ringing of semi sliced doubles and minor methods can now be rung, with the return to method ringing on Sundays most welcome.













We welcome new ringers of all abilities, with Friday practice starting at 7 pm and finishing at 9 pm, beginners starting at 7 pm, 7 with more complex ringing towards the end.













Anyone known to express an interest in ringing is encouraged to attend the practice on Friday evenings, or contact the Ringing Master on 07973662451.













THE LINK PARISH MAGAZINE ( serving Compton Martin and Ubley )      Lucy Hemsley

Two meeting were held during the year, 20 May at the Ring O’Bells and the Annual General Meeting on 24 November.

2011 has been a very successful year for the Link; it has been well received and favourable comments have been made on the covers, which feature local photographs, as well as on the content, especially on the longer articles featuring Edith Cranfield, Jane Chamberlain, Ubley Pre-School and the Compton Martin Players. There is also plenty of what’s on information, stories on local events and a major central section on church news and services. 

 The magazine generally runs at 36 pages and 280 issues are printed each month.  Advertising rates went up from between 20-25% in 2011 and there was a small profit, so the committee has given £100 to each PC, in line with the Link’s constitution. The Christmas greeting subscriptions has gone to the Women’s Refuge as it did last year.


Current committee stands as follows (changes in bold):

Rev. Jane Chamberlain (Chair)

Claire Pearson (Treasurer)

Katie Hyde (Secretary)

Sharon Blanchard (Editor & Publisher)

David Hart (Distributor, Compton Martin)

Jean Holbrooke (Distributor, Ubley)

Lucy Hemsley (PC Representative, Compton Martin)

Mary Serle (PC Representative, Ubley)



CHURCHWARDENS’ REPORT - James Bragg & Axel Palmer

In July our new Rector, Jane Chamberlain, was installed and since then she has reinvigorated our Parish and Benefice and the PCC. The Little Angels Group has gone from strength to strength and there is now a new Sunday School led by Helen Palmer, who together with Jean Luckett and  Lucy Hemsley, have organised various children’s services, including the ever popular Christmas Eve Crib Service.








As in the past, the Churchwardens are very grateful for the support of their Deputies, David Hart, Andrew Owst, Helen Palmer and Patti Simcock.

Rex Chapman continues to be responsible for opening and closing the Church, as well as being Deanery Synod Representative. He is also a regular member of the churchyard ‘tidy-up’ team ably led by David Hart, which includes Dick Hyde and Andrew Owst, who continues to monitor Health and Safety issues; Robert Lovegrove has provided great assistance with repairing damaged pews. Tommy Sumpter has been an invaluable member of the Church yard team as part of his Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme (Gold Award) and his contribution deserves a special mention.

The Church Workers Drinks Party proved a popular event, giving much deserved recognition to those who help behind the scenes.

Richard Curry continues as Tower Captain and we are very grateful to him and his team of ringers.

The Altar Guild led by Mavis Hart  and Sue Owst, together with Flower Rota ladies, gave vital support.

Charmain Perry and Jean Luckett have rendered valuable service as organists.

A welcome innovation this year was the wedding team of Julie Weaver, Andrew Owst, Jacqui Salter and Dick Hyde who have all given vital help to the Churchwardens in the extra demand for weddings arising from Jane’s welcome efforts in this area.

We gratefully acknowledge the vital assistance rendered by Derrick Teague and our Readers, Gerald Coles, Gene Joyner and Lucy Hemsley, but above all our heartfelt thanks go to our Rector Jane.

We have also continued to work closely with our fellow Churchwardens Colin, Chris and Penny at Blagdon and Jonathan and Ann at Ubley





We are very sadly to report that since the end of 2011 we have seen the passing of three stalwart supporters of our church namely Peggy Bragg, Mavis Hart and Rosemary Preston and we sadly acknowledge the enormous contribution they collectively made to the life of our Church and village.


Dick Hyde as Secretary and Patti Simcock as Treasurer continue to give your Churchwardens the greatest support.