Reporting the Life of St Mary's 2014-2015





    Agenda                                                         Page     2          

    Minutes of Previous APCM                             Pages    3 - 7                         

  1. Vicar’s Report                                               Pages    8 - 10
  2. PCC Secretary’s Report                                  Pages   11 - 12
  3. Finance Group Report                                    Pages   13 - 14
  4. Trustee Report                                              Pages   15 - 23
  5. Church Wardens’ Report                                Pages   24 - 28   
  6. Local Ministry Development Team Report       Page    29  
  7. Safeguarding Report                                     Page    29
  8. Statistics for 2013                                         Page    30


  1. Worship & Spirituality                                   Pages   31 - 34
    1. Chalice Administrators
    2. Servers         
    3. Music                                      
    4. Young Notes                          
    5. Sanctuary Guild                      


  1. Welcoming, Integrating & Caring              Pages  35 - 36   
    1. Sidespersons                         
    2. Baptism Support Group            


  1. Learning, Living & Sharing                        Pages  37 - 39
  1. Godly Play     
  2. Links with Schools          


  1. Making Connections                                  Pages  40 - 44   
  1. Justice & Peace                              
  2. Badminton                                                     
  3. MU@2                                  
  4. MU@8  
  5. Rainbows                                                                     
  6. Brownies                                       
  7. 6th Whitley Bay Scout Group                             


  1. Building Resources                                   Pages  45 - 47           
  1. Church Hall                                                    
  2. Gardeners                                     
  3. Parish Office


  1.  Accounts                      Yellow supplement   Pages    1 – 11


  1. “We Remember”                                   Inside back cover










The Meeting will begin at 11.15 am in Church




Appointment of Secretary for the Meeting of Parishioners for the election of Churchwardens and  the Annual Parochial Meeting:-




For the election of Churchwardens (legal)


Nominations:                               Proposer:                         Seconder:

Judy Ross                                   Grace Morgan                    Jane Walker            

Bryan Morgan                             Jane Walker                      William Walker


For the elction of Churchwardens (pastoral)


Nominations:                               Proposer                           Seconder:

Marion Oakes                              Kate Stobart                      Grace Morgan

Richard Hart                               Grace Morgan                    Kate Stobart




  1. Present:


  1. Apologies for Absence:


  1. Minutes of APCM, 23rd March 2014.


  1. Matters Arising


  1. Appointment of Tellers.


  1. Appointment of five members to the Parochial Church Council:


          Nominations to date: Ruth Blake, Dorothy Daniels, Craig Pemblington, 


  1. Vicar’s Report.


  1. Electoral Roll Report.


  1. Secretary’s Report.


  1. (a) Treasurer’s Report and Adoption of Accounts.


          (b) Investment Strategy.


  1. Appointment of Independent Examiner for Accounts.


  1. Annual Fabric Report by Churchwardens.


  1. Churchwardens’ Report.


  1. Deanery Synod Report.


  1. Group Reports:

Worship and Spirituality

Welcoming, Integrating and Caring

          Learning, Living and Sharing.

          Making Connections.

          Building Resources


  1. Renewal of Child Protection Policy.


  1. Appointment of Sidesmen/women.


  1.  Any other business (to be notified to chair before meeting).


  1.  Closing Prayers






The meeting commenced at 11.25 a.m. with a welcome from Kate Stobart, Vice Chair.


No. of Parishioners present: 64




As there was no election for Legal Churchwardens to be undertaken this year, proceedings continued straight into the Annual Parochial Church Meeting, with tacit consent to Grace Morgan being appointed Secretary.




  1. Apologies for Absence:


Rick Channing, Dot Clarke, Ann Otter, Tom and Cheryl Savage, Helen Matthews and Heather Rivers.


  1. Minutes of the 2013 APCM:


As there were no amendments, the Minutes were signed as a true and accurate copy.


        Proposer: Nicola Denyer       Seconder: Margaret Campbell.


  1. Matters of Record:




  1. Matters Arising:




  1. Appointment of Tellers:


        Richard Hart and Sue Johnson.


  1. Election of members to the Parochial Church Council.


NOMINEE:                PROPOSER:                      SECONDER:


Clare Connors                     Katy Bell                    Grace Morgan

Bryan Morgan                     Katy Bell                    David Tompkins

Neill Porter                         Katy Bell                    Grace Morgan

Ann Dodgson                      Kate Stobart               David Tompkins

Dorothy Pickering                Bryan Morgan             David Tompkins

Patrick Pratt                        David Tompkin            Grace Morgan

Joanna Porter                     Katy Bell                    Jane Walker.


There being no further nominations, the above-named were duly elected.

All in favour.


There is still 1 casual vacancy for 1 year.




        7. The Quad Report                                  


Questions and observations invited.                        Accepted as read.


Proposer:   Judy Ross                           Seconder: Alison Stroud.


         8. Electoral Roll Report 2013/2014:


Rosie Tate gave details of eligibility for entry onto Electoral Roll.   A new Electoral Roll was undertaken last year showing a total of 208 members.    5 members have since joined and 10 have been removed, having either passed away or moved to worship elsewhere, leaving a current total of 203.


Report accepted:

Proposer: Canon Sue Hart                             Seconder:  Jane Walker.


        9. (a) Treasurer’s Report and Adoption of Accounts:


Neill Porter specifically expressed gratitude to Jeff Pickering, Rosie Tate, Alan Wolf, Ron Noble and Mike Stoker, (who sadly passed away last year), for their support in the administration of Church finances over the past 12 months. Referring to St Mary’s as a “Church of Achievement”, he thanked the congregation for their brilliance over the last year, enabling the Parish Share to be paid in full, Alms Giving to be donated in full, alongside meeting the operational expenses of the Church and continuation of the redevelopment programme, with the installation of a new ramp, refurbishment of the Church Bell and Lady Chapel.  The financial challenges continue, with the increased cost of energy (the electricity contract is due for renewal in 2014), photocopying, maintenance etc. The excellent Stewardship campaign by Katy Bell and David Tompkins (Legal Churchwardens), in 2013, resulted in extra income, which will go some way to offset the increase in the Parish Share this year.


If and when the Curate’s house in Queens Road is sold, the Church will lose rental income of £2,000 p.a.  In line with Church policy, the responsibility for the housing of future Curates sits with the Diocese, at which time Church House will enter into a rental tenancy agreement with a local landlord.


With the approval of the PCC, the proceeds of the 2013 Autumn Fayre, (as advertised), were classified as “unrestricted”, and placed in Church funds, to assist with essential operating costs.   This policy will continue for the foreseeable future.

In response to questions raised, Neill qualified the classification of unrestricted/restricted funds, confirming that donations given for specific purposes, would only be used as designated.


(b) Investment Strategy.


Neill Porter advised that following a visit to St Mary’s by The Venerable Prue O’Donovan, Archdeacon and Ministry Development Officer in Willochra, Australia, who reported that her Diocese was largely funded from investments, the PCC decided that, in order to meet our forthcoming challenges and any shortfall in Stewardship, alternative ways of generating income should be investigated.    After consulting, Trevor Hogg (Auditor), who is also a Church and Charities Financial Advisor, to ascertain whether as a registered charity we were lawfully permitted to use our assets in this way, the PCC approved an initial investment of £6,000 in ethical unit trusts.   Acknowledging that investments can rise as well as fall, controls were put in place to ensure that should any investment fall by 10%, it would be exited immediately and moved accordingly.   At the end of 2013, a 20% return on our original investment, was evident.   It was decided to increase our holdings to £18,000, and in order to balance this with our Mission, a similar amount was invested in a local Credit Union, to assist them in their important work.   The Assistant Treasurer has put in place daily monitoring procedures to track the performance of the investments, with findings being reported to the Treasurer on a weekly basis.  The PCC is updated at its monthly meetings.


Neill Porter and the Finance Team were warmly applauded for their commitment and dedication in the administration of the Church finances. 


Proposer: Ruth Wolf                                     Seconder: Derek Hayes.


        10. Appointment of Independent Examiner for Accounts:


Trevor Hogg of TPA Accountancy Services, South Shields.


Proposer: Neill Porter                                   Seconder: Nicola Denyer.


        11. Churchwardens’ Report:                      Pages 24- 27.


Accepted as read.


Proposer: Thelma Gilhespy                            Seconder: Carole Lax



        12. MAP Presentation:


Kate Stobart (Lay Chair) gave a PowerPoint demonstration and brief outline of the work of the Core Groups and acknowledged the energy and commitment of all involved, especially during The Vacancy.


Group Reports:

Worship and Spirituality                                Pages 32 – 35

Welcoming, Integrating and Caring                 Pages 36 – 37

Learning, Living and Sharing                          Pages 38 – 39

Making Connections                                     Pages 40 – 49

Building Resources                                       Pages 50 – 54


Accepted as read.

Proposer: Joanna Porter                               Seconder: Jane Walker


        13. Renewal of Child Protection Policy:     


Malcolm Macdonald invited parishioners to read his written report, following which  any queries should be raised directly with him.  In the next three months, the PCC will be given full details of planned policy changes and the effects on the work undertaken within St Mary’s


Proposer: Canon Sue Hart                             Seconder: Nicola Denyer.


        14. Deanery Synod Report:                        (See Making Connections).


Accepted as read.


Proposer: David Tompkins                             Seconder: Jane Walker.


        15. Election of Deanery Synod Representatives:


NOMINATION           PROPOSER                SECONDER


Margaret Campbell               Kate Stobart               Katy Bell

Kate Stobart                       Grace Morgan             Katy Bell

Nicola Denyer                     Susana Moran             Katy Bell

Canon Sue Hart                   Kate Stobart               Grace Morgan


3 year term.

As there were no further nominations, the above were elected nem com.


Proposer: Judith Cure                                   Seconder: Martin Cooper


        16. Appointment of Sidesmen/Sideswomen:  Page 36.


Detailed list accepted.


Proposer: Nicola Denyer                               Seconder: Alison Stroud.

All in favour.



  1. The Quad.   Gratitude was expressed to The Quad, Clergy, Churchwardens and everyone involved in St Mary’s, for all the work undertaken in 2013.
  2. Installation of solar panels on Church Hall.   To be considered at a later date.




In conducting the closing prayers, Canon Sue Hart, mentioned by name, all those who had passed away during the last 12 months, remembering also their families and friends.



Accepted as a true and accurate copy.




Chair……………………………….                      Secretary…………………….




Proposer…………………………….                   Seconder……………………..
























Vicar’s Report- St Mary the Virgin, Monkseaton         2014 -2015


I can write from personal experience for about half the period of time covered in this report, but as I glance back over the months before Yvonne and I moved to St Mary’s Vicarage, I have to rely on what others have told me and please forgive me if I inadvertently overlook items of importance. Fortunately, others will write about the rich life of our Parish and will almost certainly fill in any gaps. I am grateful, therefore, to the many people who contribute their reports in this information pack - all telling the story of a Church that is at work making the presence of Christ known. Thank you to all the contributors and to the many other people whose efforts make each of the attached reports a living reality.


Clearly, during a period of vacancy, extra work is carried out by staff, wardens, and many others in the congregation. St Mary’s experienced a long period without a vicar and you all deserve recognition for how well the worshipping and witnessing life of the Church continued. The Quad were some key people, lay and licensed, who were asked by the congregation to hold the ‘vicar-shaped space’. The two legal wardens, Katy Bell and David Tompkins, the lay chair, Kate Stobart, Rev Benjamin Carter and Canon Sue Hart carried out these additional responsibilities with care and diligence and I know that the Church was most grateful for their wise leadership during the vacancy. I am also deeply grateful that when I arrived on the scene, I was handed a Church in good shape and good heart. With much relief on their part after work well done, The Quad was disbanded in the autumn.


Sticking to the theme of people, it is possible to say that since last year’s report, there has been the story of priests and deacons. This began at Petertide with the return to St Mary’s after three years of study and periods on placement of Rev Dr Pat Moran. She was ordained deacon and welcomed back to St Mary’s in her new role as a non-stipendiary curate. Pat is well into her first year of curacy and plans are now made for her service of ordination to the priesthood at Newcastle Cathedral on 5th July 2015 and her celebration for the first time of Holy Communion later that day at St Mary’s.


Then the Church said goodbye in September to Rev Benjamin Carter and his family after their four years or so at St Mary’s. Benjamin was a hardworking and well-liked member of the staff team and it was with joy and confidence that many of us attended his licensing service to new responsibilities at Hayden Bridge.


October 2nd 2014 was an important day for Yvonne and I, and also a special day in the life of St Mary’s Church. We gathered together with Bishop Frank, Archdeacon Geoff and many guests to celebrate the start of my ministry here as vicar. It was a great occasion and a wonderful way for Yvonne and I to experience the warmth of welcome from you all at St Mary’s. When I started work, Rev Eileen Noble was with us on staff team and she has consistently offered me strong support and wise advice. So it has been with some trepidation, but also great joy, to see her take a well-earned rest from active ministry on her retirement in January, and we look forward now to her return to a ministry in retirement at Pentecost. The present Staff Group of Nicola Denyer, Sue Hart, Yvonne Knibbs, John McDermott, and Pat Moran continue to offer me support and advice.


The Church should also note with pride the recent honour awarded to Roger Windass in March when he was made a Lay Canon of St Nicholas Cathedral. He joins colleague Canons Tony Garland, Sue Hart and Eileen Noble and few congregations in the Diocese can boast of four Canons.  Reward and recognition for service to the wider Church and community.


Sadly, during 2014 and early 2015, there have been a number of deaths of members of our Church family. Quoting a song from Les Miserables


“There's a grief that can't be spoken.

There's a pain goes on and on.

Empty chairs at empty tables

Now my friends are dead and gone.”


Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with those among us who grieve.

However, the Christian message is one of hope and resilience even through such times, and Yvonne and I sensed great optimism when we arrived, experienced our first Harvest Service, and then the other services leading up through Advent to Christmas. Energy and creativity flowed from so many people offering their particular gifts in the worship of God and the service of the local community. A time of excitement for me personally as I started to get to know people and how things mesh together at St Mary’s. It has been such an encouragement to join with nearly seventy people at Lent Groups, studying and discussing the Creeds, those core statements of our shared belief, helped by Pilgrim Course resources published and promoted by the National Church. As I write, we await Holy Week and Easter with excitement.


To help in this process of ‘getting to know’, the Parochial Church Council and the Staff Group supported me in a desire to hold an ‘Open Forum’ early in January. This event was interesting and helpful. Over sixty five people attended for all or part of the day that took the shape of a protracted communion service, punctuated by input from myself and several workshops and plenary discussions. Workshops contributed by updating ‘Mission Action Plans’ and in gathering suggestions for possible future initiatives. Plenary sessions and a ‘post-it’ note exercise also allowed people to comment both on those things they like about St Mary’s and also to comment on ‘niggles’. Both notice boards were busy with comment and these have been collated offering helpful signals for me as I begin my work as vicar.


The positive comments were full of remarks about the loving care and support in the life of St Mary’s. The variety of types of service; the range of styles offered by the staff group; collaboration and inclusivity; witness through awareness of justice and peace issues; were among the things applauded by respondents.

The niggles were also helpful in offering constructive criticism about things that frustrate, annoy, or could perhaps be improved upon. The two most common themes were ongoing frustration with the sound system, that sometimes works well but this can be variable; and comments about the chairs in Church. Other comments list across three sides of A4 paper, but most are views of individuals rather than common themes and I am studying all of these, to ensure that wherever possible, these frustrations can be addressed, or at least acknowledged.


In 2014, we started to enjoy the new multi-purpose, ‘Gathering Space’. Soon now, a major focus of attention for St Mary’s will be the work of the next phase of internal re-ordering. It is anticipated that from June through to September, we shall be worshiping in the Church Hall as the inside of St Mary’s becomes a ‘hard hat’ area. A joyful return to the newly decorated, carpeted worship space, with improved lighting and electrical provision, as well as the planned changes in lay-out should inspire us all.


However, it is my hope and prayer that such inspiration will lead us to look outwards towards a community of local people who seem unaware of God’s love or disinterested in the Church. There are challenges for us to ensure that we have contemporary relevance to those generations largely absent from our regular worshipping family. We are called by the Diocese to be generous in the way we live out of lives of faith, being good news to our local community and engaging freely with others as we share the good news we proclaim. Called also to be open and inclusive so that all will feel welcome by the family of God we call St Mary’s Church.


The Church of England nationally and locally faces many challenges as numbers decline and society seems less and less interested. But I have faith that here in Monkseaton we shall be able, with God’s help, to play our part in the centuries old commission to make disciples and baptize people in the names of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. St Paul ends his great poem on love in 1 Corinthians 13 saying that “faith, hope and love remain and the greatest of these is love”. So may we model a way of living that is faithful, hopeful and full of love, as we journey together through 2015.                                                                                                             (Peter Knibbs, Lent 2015)
















The Parochial Church Council has held eleven meetings since the AGM on the 23rd March, 2014.    Members have been diligent in their attendance and commitment to the many discussions/debates, undertaken during this period.  Each meeting is opened with a prayer, asking God to guide us in our deliberations and decision-making.


During the Interregnum, the PCC frequently expressed its appreciation for the dedicated work undertaken by The Quad over many months.


2014 saw the Church saying farewell to Curate, The Rev Dr Benjamin Carter, his wife Steph and baby daughter, Elizabeth, as they left to take up their new life at Haydon Bridge, following Benjamin’s appointment as Vicar.  The PCC took time at its September meeting, to pay tribute to the huge contribution Benjamin had made to our Church life and to the local community. The Rev Dr Pat Moran was ordained at Newcastle Cathedral on the 29th June and on 2nd October, a service conducted by The Right Rev Frank White and the Archdeacon of Northumberland, The Venerable Geoff Miller, marked the licensing of our new Incumbent, The Rev Dr Peter Knibbs.  In January, the PCC said “au revoir” to Canon Eileen Noble and showed its appreciation for her many years of devoted service.


The PCC endorsed the setting up of a group to oversee and co-ordinate plans for the final stages of the Church refurbishment.   


Management of Church finances continued to receive the full attention of the PCC, with gratitude being expressed to the Finance Team, headed by Treasurer, Neill Porter, for the clarity of their reporting and commitment to this important area of work.  Income and expenditure has been carefully monitored to ensure the viability of the Church financial position, whilst at the same time, endeavouring to meet our charitable aspirations.


Charitable work continued throughout the year, with Christian Aid Week being launched in May, with a special service and video presentation in Church by Kerry Crellin, detailing some of the wonderful projects undertaken.  At the end of 2014, the PCC was able to sanction Charitable Giving of £5,000 to 5 nominated charities, i.e. PIC, Christians Against Poverty Debt Advisory Service, Holy Land Trust, Prison Fellowship and US.   Christmas cash collections totalling £1,093.84, were again divided equally between DePaul UK Whitley Bay and Camfed.


In order to recognise the work of the many groups involved in the life of the Church, the PCC has invited co-ordinators, in turn, to address the committee to detail their aims and achievements.  This also offers an opportunity for groups to register any concerns and suggest ways in which help can be forthcoming.  During the year, The Sanctuary Guild, The Lent Group, Baptism Group, and Godly Play have given presentations and it is the PCC’s intention to welcome others over the next 12 months.

Work in the community has continued, especially involvement with Whitley Lodge Community Spirit and the work with local schools through the Godly Play Project. 



Bishop Frank attended St Mary’s Church on the 17th August 2014, in order to receive Clare Connors into the Church of England and to dedicate the new meeting room and the refurbished Church bell.


The 2014 Autumn Fayre was a great success and the PCC again thanked all the volunteers who worked so tirelessly to ensure this important community and fundraising event took place.   


On the 15th October, the PCC unanimously passed a Resolution for Yvonne Knibbs to continue her Reader Training at St Mary the Virgin Monkseaton,


There were three resignations from the Committee during the year.   Nominations registered will be approved at the APCM on the 19th April. 


PCC meetings are conducted under five main headings (a) Worship and Spirituality, (b) Building Resources, (c) Welcoming, Integrating and Caring, (d) Learning, Living and Sharing and (c) Making Connections.   Individual reports by these Groups will be detailed separately.


Business undertaken by the PCC is contained in the Minutes, which are exhibited on the Church Notice Board, ratified copies of which are held on file in the Church Office.


Whilst recognising a lengthy period of disruption to Church routine during the final stages of essential refurbishment work, the PCC looks forward to reaching out to the wider community, to offer a warm, caring and spiritual environment in which all ages are encouraged to worship. We will continue to pray and work towards our mission of “Making Christ Known through the Building of his Church”.


GRACE MORGAN                                                 APRIL 2015












Finance Group Report for activities

Jan to Dec 2014


The role of the group in the ongoing life and mission of St Mary’s


There are costs associated to St Mary’s achieving its mission. The Finance Team are responsible for receipts and payments, and to record all transactions to allow public accountability within context of PCC and Charity Commission obligations.

We ensure that our Charitable Commitments are met, Parish Share is achieved, employees and monies due to suppliers are paid in full on time.

We maintain accounting records that demonstrate funds given for a specific purpose (also referred to as “Restricted”) are spent in accordance with the donor’s wishes.

Our record keeping is summarised in the Annual Finance Report, which is provided to audit through Independent Financial Assessment.


The Finance Team work closely with the Planned Giving Secretary to encourage regular giving; in this way we can prepare a budget where operating expense balances with likely income.

We always give thanks for the generosity of the congregation and friends of St. Mary’s, whether through regular giving or support for fund raising events.

We also give thanks to all that give their time co-ordinating finances and financial reporting; and of course to those that co-ordinate fund raising initiatives, big and small.


























Key results of our work in 2014-15

  • Income
    • Stewardship income £86,201. This has reduced since 2013 by nearly £2200. A major Stewardship renewal was achieved during the year.
    • Pledging and Large Donations income £27,769 towards Property Redevelopment.
    • Gift Aid; Almost 90% by value of Stewardship has a corresponding Gift Aid claim through HMRC, that allows >20% additional income. HMRC revenue achieved £20,485 income.
    • Curate’s Rental Income, net of expenses, £6200 retained to meet operating expense.
    • Hall revenue, income has improved to £6,340 this year, allowing hall income to now exceed payments.
    • Autumn Fayre, the major fund raising event of the year achieved £4011 revenue. This was unrestricted to meet Parish Share and other operating expense
  • Expense
    • Cost Avoidance, we have closed our NatWest Stewardship account, to avoid their £300 charge per annum for banking services. HSBC offer free banking for community accounts.
    • Parish Share £94,150 is our largest expenditure, and we celebrate that once again St Mary’s has met their calculated Parish Share in full.
    • Alms Giving; Stewardship and associated HMRC Gift Aid, allowed us to distribute £5000 of alms, meeting the 5% giving detailed in our Mission Statement.
    • The Natwest Account for Stewardship has been closed, avoiding £300 per year of banking fees.
  • Unrestricted funds, income exceeded payments £2,742.
  • Restricted funds, including Property Redevelopment, payments exceeded income (£4,753) with the completion of the Gathering Space, redevelopment of the Lady Chapel.


Overall resources, income and expenses saw a 2014 Expenditure of (£2,011)


It has been a key requirement for income to be unrestricted where-ever possible, to allow funds to flow freely to where they are most required.

We have continued to maintain 3 months unrestricted funds on hand (£35000) to be prepared for any variation in monthly income or other unbudgeted cost.


Key plans for development in 2015

  • Expense
    • Parish Share increases to £95,799, a 1.75% rise vs 2014.
    • Property Redevelopment will be a significant expense this year, and we will ensure we only contract for work with funds and contingency that maintain stable financial foundation for our Church.
  • Income
    • Stewardship – The standing order updated mandates co-ordinated through Rosie Tate indicates an additional £6,427 will be achieved during 2015. There needs to be some caution, as there is a wide range to giving, and if any high contributors leave Stewardship for any reason, income will again be a risk. The corresponding Gift Aid will always be claimed whenever possible.
    • We will also co-ordinate the annual stewardship renewal.
    • Hall revenue remains a focus area, to ensure we evolve financial plans that will support further re-development.
    • Income risk management, New revenue through improved returns on investments are planned through Unit Trust strategy. We will move our investments to our best performing funds, and continue to operate within the agreed framework.
  • Ethical Banking. PCC has agreed to hold half of unrestricted reserves in our new deposit account with Northern Oak Credit Union.
  • Property Development
    • Sale of 89 Queen’s Road and finalising funding for 2015 Redevelopment.


Where-ever possible we ask that fund raising be unrestricted, as costs continue to rise and income becomes less certain.

It continues to be critical to avoid non-essential expenditure.


Neill Porter (Treasurer), Patrick Pratt (Assistant Treasurer), Jeff Pickering (Assistant Treasurer), Trevor Hogg (Independent Financial Examiner); Rosie Tate (Planned Giving and Inland Revenue Secretary), Roland Tate (Trust and Grants Co-Ordinator); Bryan Morgan, William Walker, Ruth Blake (Property Development Fund Co-Ordinators); Many Other Fund Raising Co-Ordinators






2014 Trustee Report and Accounts for

the Parochial Church Council of St Mary the Virgin, Monkseaton


Name of PCC:

The Parochial Church Council of the Ecclesiastical Parish of St Mary the Virgin Monkseaton, Claremont Gardens, Whitley Bay, Tyne and Wear. NE26 3SF



Rev. Dr. Peter Knibbs from 5th Oct 2014


Previous period of vacancy, led by Legal Wardens (Katy Bell and David Tompkins), Curate (Revd Dr. Benjamin Carter) and Canon Sue Hart


PCC Members:

1st January 2014 – 31st December 2014

K. Bell (Church Warden), D. Tompkins (Church Warden),  S. Moran, Canon S. Hart (Deanery Synod), Canon E. Noble, M. Campbell (Deanery Synod), B. Morgan (Pastoral Warden), K. Stobart (Chairman), N. Porter (Treasurer), Revd J. McDermott, A. Dodgson, G. Morgan (PCC Secretary), Judy Ross (Pastoral Warden)


23rd March 2014 – 31st December 2014

Rick Channing, Clare Connors, Nicola Denyer (Deanery Synod), Joanna Porter, Patrick Pratt (Assistant Treasurer),


1st January 2014 – 22nd January 2014

V. Cowan


1st January 2014 – 23rd March 2014

J. Walker, M. Cooper, H. Matthews


1st January 2014 – 18th June 2014

K. Rees


1st January 2014 – 16th July 2014

Iain Lynn


1st January 2014 – 13th September 2014

Rev Dr Benjamin Carter (Curate)


23rd March 2014 – 16th July 2014

D. Pickering


June 2014 – 31st December 2014

P Moran (Curate)


5th October 2014 – 31st December 2014

Rev. Dr. Peter Knibbs (Incumbent)



i) NatWest PLC, 18 Park View, Whitley Bay, NE26 9UT

ii) HSBC Bank PLC, 279 Whitley Road Whitley Bay Tyne and Wear NE26 2SW


Independent Examiner

Trevor Hogg, TPA Accountancy Services, 38 Stanhope Road, South Shields, Tyne and Wear, NE33 4BT

Aims and Purposes:

St Mary’s Parochial Church Council (PCC) has the responsibility of co-operating with the incumbent, Reverend Peter Knibbs, in promoting in the ecclesiastical parish, the whole mission of the Church, pastoral, evangelistic, social and ecumenical. The PCC is also specifically responsible for the maintenance of the Church Building and Church Hall.


Structure Governance and Management

Day to day management of the parish is the responsibility of the Incumbent together with the two legal wardens supported by the Parochial Church Council.


The Parochial Church Council (PCC) is a corporate body established by the Church of England. The PCC operates under the Parochial Church Council Powers Measure. The PCC has no related trusts or charities.


The membership of the PCC is governed by the Church Representation Rules 2006. Any qualified person can stand for election. Candidates have to be proposed and seconded by members of the congregation entered on the electoral roll. Voting takes place at the Annual Parochial Church Meeting.


Training of PCC members is undertaken on an ad hoc basis, including training courses held by the Deanery or Diocese.


The PCC meets monthly on the third Wednesday of the month with the exception of August and December. If necessary, additional meetings can be convened. In accordance with church rules it appoints a Standing Committee. It has also appointed members to:

Worship and Spirituality Group

Welcome Integrating and Caring

Learning Living and Sharing

Making Connections

Building Resources.


The Parish is a Local Ministry Parish and the PCC has approved the appointment of a twelve strong Local Ministry Development Team.


The major risks to which the PCC is exposed are reviewed, and procedures are in place to manage those risks.


Risk Management:

The PCC considers risks, and how to manage them, to ensure that other organisational objectives can be achieved.

  • Responsibility to people, Statutory and Legal:

A member of the PCC has been appointed as Health and Safety Officer and is able to advise the PCC and thereafter monitor. This includes assessment to prevent personal injury while visiting the Church, Church Hall and site. This includes preventing accidents by reducing the probability that it will happen to as low as practically possible.

  • Child Protection and Vulnerable Adults:

The Annual Parochial Church Meeting approves a policy on Child Protection and Vulnerable Adults and the PCC is responsible for its implementation.

  • Equal opportunities:

The PCC are always mindful of equal opportunities (race, sex, sexuality, age, disability, religion) responsibilities.


  • Financial:

The Parish operates under the constraints of an annual budget agreed by the PCC in the November of the preceding year. The PCC is provided with quarterly management accounts showing actual income and expenditure set against budgetary provision.


The Finance Team, within the Building Resources Group, appointed by the PCC and confirmed each year, comprises the Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer and one other who maintain a computerised accounts package (Sage Instant Accounts), which provides monthly management accounts. Two back-up copies of the accounts package are maintained at all times. Given that our primary source of income is from parishioners under the “Stewardship Scheme”, attention is given to maintaining good contact with members and ensuring the parish claims Inland Revenue Gift Aid payments promptly.


Any special expenditure requiring a separate appeal for funds is recorded outside the budget and individually monitored.


These financial plans are designed to achieve the activities of the PCC.


  • Reputational:

It is recognised by the PCC that unwelcome publicity will hinder the mission of the Church. All Church sponsored events are considered for appropriateness to the Mission of the Congregation.


PCC members are also nominated and seconded with reputational risk of the PCC taken into account.


  • Operational:

The PCC seeks to reduce the consequence of accident and share the risk by maintaining a comprehensive insurance policy with the Ecclesiastical Insurance Company covering Church buildings, contents, employers liability and third party cover.


In the event of the main Church building being rendered unusable, services would be held in the separate Church Hall building.


Objectives and Activities:

Our Vision is to “Make Christ known through building His Church” and for the period 2011 to 2016 we will be focusing on Journeying On.


We are in a unique time in the journey of St. Mary’s; for 100 years there has been a place of worship on the site, for 80 years worship has taken place in the current building and we are currently continuing that journey by developing the way we use the building to meet the needs of the current generation of worshippers and make it fit for the next generation. Throughout the past 100 years, the buildings used on the site have been altered and changed to help the community grow in discipleship and understanding of God’s love and presence.


The Mission Action Plan sets out five key themes for development.


The five themes for the journey are:

Worship & Spirituality – To help the congregation grow in relationship with God

Welcoming, Integrating & Caring – To create an environment where newcomers, visitors and regular worshippers feel equally welcome and valued at St Mary’s; and to provide opportunities and encouragement for people to grow in the love of God and one another.

Learning, Living & Sharing – To lead and deliver discipleship and evangelizing strategies in accordance with our Mission to all ages across the parish

Making Connections – To develop effective and consistent ways of St. Mary’s connecting with the whole parish, wider community of Whitley Bay and within the congregation itself. Our messages should be clear and reach as wide an audience as possible; work with all parts of life of the parish to coordinate the work we do with people on the edge of our community; and reflect our understanding of our part in God’s mission.

Building Resources – To lead the project for refurbishing the church buildings through raising funds, negotiating with architects and contractors; supporting the PCC and the congregation as we resource the mission of the church through good stewardship of people, buildings and finance.


Throughout all the themes, the need to consider the needs of all ages in the community from the youngest to eldest must be considered, as does our desire to uphold the mission of Justice and Peace.


Worship and Spirituality

The PCC support the Liturgy Planning Group’s work to maintain the regular pattern of worship on Sundays, festivals and weekdays. Through this we have achieved the fostering of deeper personal relationships with God within the context of a community of mutual care as a sign of God’s Kingdom.


We continue to explore how the whole community- all ages, temperaments, stages of faith development are included, become participants and are offered opportunities for transformation. We make worship accessible to all in the parish, and something in which all can participate and be fed and challenged. We continue to deliver Lent, Advent and study groups by the laity. We explore creative use of worship space as redevelopment takes place and assist the community in recognising that redevelopment reflects something of what we are trying to embody as a community.


Achievements and Performance:


All are welcome to attend our regular services. At present there are 195 parishioners on the Church Electoral Roll.


1 new name was added during the year and 9 were removed either through death or because they moved away from the parish.


The average weekly attendance was 121 adults and 9 children, totalling 130.


As well as regular services, we enable our community to celebrate and thank God at the milestones of the journey through life. Through Baptism we thank God for the gift of life, in marriage public vows are exchanged with God’s blessing and through funeral services friends and family express their grief and give thanks for the life which is now complete in this world and to commend the person into God’s keeping.


We have celebrated 10 baptisms, 2 weddings and held 37 funerals in our church this year.



  • Special Services

Three special services were co-ordinated during 2014 (Something On Sunday). These are designed to support less regular Church attendees to feel comfortable in Church by not following the defined Order of Service.


Carol Services were co-ordinated with local schools at Christmas.



Welcoming, Integrating & Caring

PCC’s Welcoming Integrating and Caring (WIC) Group welcome and identify newcomers; to encourage them to join the Church community. To achieve this, more “welcomers” have been recruited and a welcome pack is made available.


The WIC group help worshippers to grow in their faith by making them aware of services, groups and courses that are available, and encouraging participation.


WIC also co-ordinate the pastoral care network, and maintain a recording system that is continually updated to “watch-out” for all members of St Mary’s.



Learning, Living & Sharing

Our group “Learning, Living & Sharing” leads and delivers discipleship and evangelizing strategies in accordance with our Mission to all ages across the Parish.


During 2014 leaders were developed to help the Baptism Group; The Baptism Group is in place to support families, and sponsor Baptism candidates to achieve lasting connections following the service.


The Lent Learning “Pay It Forward” was very successful, using film based learning.


Rev Peter Knibbs led the Advent 2014 course, which was a great way for our new incumbent to get to know members of the congregation.


Godly Play has achieved connections with local schools, with Southridge School afternoon classes now being held twice weekly.




Making Connections

Three editions of “St Mary’s Good News” Newsletter were prepared and distributed free of charge to every household in the Parish.


A new communications strategy has been prepared during 2014, to use social media (Church web-site and other social media platforms) more effectively.

Justice and Peace continues to be led by a dedicated group. Leading in to Prisons Week November 2014, J&P facilitated guest speaker led discussions to consider our response to prisoners, and provided great insight to prisoners own perspectives.


St Mary’s collects donations from the congregation of foodstuffs and essential toiletries, that are distributed to those directed to “The Bay Foodbank” for emergency immediate need supplies


  • St Mary’s has strong connections with the Parish retail centre at Whitley Lodge. We had a strong presence at the Summer Fayre 1st June 2014 and supporting Christmas events.


  • The Church Hall; The PCC re-iterates  that the Church Hall plays a vital part in the Church’s spiritual life and in it’s mission in the local community. Nearly 200 people use the Hall on a weekly basis, and it is a core part of St. Mary’s Mission. As a PCC we recognise the Hall as a place of welcome, especially for those on the edge of faith. Many of the Uniformed Groups leaders are members of St. Mary’s, and the Hall allows St Mary’s PCC to support them.


  • Ecumenical Relationships, St Mary’s is a member of the Whitley Bay Churches Together partnership


Building Resources

Special expenditure is identified for the Refurbishment and Redevelopment of St Mary’s. The faculty granted in 2010 is for a £580,000 project. Three phases of the project have been completed, (Kitchen, Heating System and Gathering Space) totalling £237,000.

To achieve funding, St Mary’s are operating a donation scheme alongside Stewardship, known as Pledging, which is anticipated will raise £123,000 by end 2015. The Redevelopment project also has a structured programme of applications to Trusts that may support Church redevelopment projects. The Curate’s house, 89 Queen’s Road, will be sold during 2015, and funds released will be used for the Church Redevelopment. There are fund raising events to reduce the remaining financial gap.


Thanks to the success of the Pledging Appeal to St Mary’s Parishioners, the positive responses we have received from Trusts and others for grants, and the decision to sell our Curate’s house, the whole funding to complete the Redevelopment will be in place. (Whole development cost £529,557 incl VAT).


  • 2011 and 2012 the Kitchen and Heating System were replaced (Combined cost £189,660 incl VAT).
  • 2013 the new meeting room for community, educational and church use was completed (£46,853).



The mission of Justice and Peace.

Our achievements with Charitable Activities:

  • Alms Giving                                                              £5000
    • Prison Fellowship                                             £1000
    • CAP                                                               £1000
    • Holy Land Trust                                               £1000
    • PICA                                                              £1000
    • US                                                                £1000

CAP - (Christians Against Poverty Debt Service)       

PICA - Partners in Community Action, Newcastle Diocese

US - United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel



  • Christmas Giving                                                       £1,092
  • DePaul UK                                                      £546
  • Camfed'                                                         £546



Deanery Synod

Seven members of the PCC sit on the Deanery Synod, comprised of all clergy and three elected lay representatives.


During 2014 the Deanery Synod focused attention on "God Calling Network", an initiative to encourage younger Christians between the ages of 18 years and 30 years. A trip to Taize is planned in late July and early August 2015.



Financial Review

We detail how St Mary’s has funded its Mission;

Total receipts on unrestricted funds were £141,745 of which £119,948 came from unrestricted voluntary donations, including £18,787 from Income Tax Gift Aid that now includes GASDS (Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme).


Restricted donations of £27,824 were also received, and are detailed in the Financial Statements.


The Curate’s house, 89 Queen’s Road secures a rental income of £9000, and net of expenses contributed £6,200 to St Mary’s operating expense. As the Curate’s house will be sold to provide remaining funding for Redevelopment of Church building during 2015, the need to compensate this loss of revenue in the future is recognised.


Planned giving through Stewardship decreased during 2014 by £5,630, with several high value contributors dying during the year. Stewardship renewal was held through autumn 2014, and Standing Order returns to our Stewardship Secretary indicate an additional £6427 (plus associated Gift Aid) will be secured during 2015.


The Autumn Fayre raised £4010, and as agreed through PCC proceeds were unrestricted, to general funds including Property Development.


£139,003 was spent from unrestricted funds to provide the ministry from St Mary’s Church, including the contribution to the diocesan parish share, £94150. That increased 2% in the year and has been met in full. Parish share largely provides the stipends and housing for the clergy.


The Hall had a better year financially during 2014, and achieved an operating surplus, £1,799. We need to nurture the hall, to maximise community use with bookings and associated income, so we can plan with greater confidence to consider redeveloping this facility for the future. This will require a continued structured approach to planning hall use with Hall Users, Hall Leaders and PCC.

The net result for the year was income £2,742 on unrestricted funds. Adding bank and deposit balances brought forward at the beginning of the year, the balances carried forward at 31st December 2014 on unrestricted funds totalled £127,902.


Investments held and objectives of these investments



  • Share of the Curate’s House, 89 Queens Road, detailed in accounts as £46,000
  • Legacies Fund £23,919 to be used for non-operational expenditure as approved by the PCC
  • General Fund £9,502 to be used to cover day to day working expenses
  • Hargreaves Lansdown £18,000 to be used to offset potential operating budget income expense deficits


Restricted Funds (Major Amounts):

  • George Priest Legacy £11,026 to be used for the sole benefit of St Mary’s Church and Parishioners, and not for projects schemes or other extraneous causes.
  • Property Development Fund £59,057 to be used to redevelop the Church building.
  • Pledging Account £27,985 to be used to redevelop the Church building.


Fixed Assets:

  • Church and Hall, with insurance replacement valuation at February 2012 of £3,281,250
  • 89 Queens Road, at valuation 1991 of £46,000 (PCC share of equity with Church Commissioners 60.53% / 39.47% respectively).


Reserves Policy

It is PCC policy to try to maintain a balance on unrestricted funds which equates to at least three months unrestricted payments. This is equivalent to £33,000. It is held to smooth out fluctuations in cash flow and to meet emergencies. The unrestricted cash balance at year end meets this target.


Funds in deficit, with steps being taken to eliminate the deficit:

  • Income Stewardship: 2014 Stewardship actual at £86,204 is below budget. In order to mitigate this risk the PCC has increased investments to £18000 during 2014 in Unit Trust investments, and developed an investment policy designed to offset the greatest risk of income shortfall. While the initial investments made an encouraging return in 2013, it must always be stated that this income cannot be guaranteed as investment value can go down as well as up. The treasury team decided it was not necessary to withdraw interest accrued on these funds, £759 at 31st December 2014.


  • Income Autumn Fayre: is a key fund raising event, and we are pleased that this event went ahead under a new leadership structure, achieving £4010 income. This is below budget, and we will work plans that maximise income opportunity of this event.


  • Expense Gas: actual at £5,279 is also operating at cost higher than budget, the savings anticipated with modern boilers has not emerged. Church Wardens will evolve daily timing to ensure we do not heat church when it is not in use, and 2015 budget is reset to reflect 2014 actuals, and ensure the temperature is comfortable.



Churchwarden’s report for APCM 2015


Katy and David have now been wardens for three years and the APCM marks the end of our term. It’s been an interesting, rewarding and sometimes challenging three years. Following a gentle start as we hid behind Jane and Vicky, we then found ourselves as the legal wardens facing a vacancy following Robin’s retirement. This was a big change, and a huge leap in responsibilities.

But of course, it didn’t simply fall onto our shoulders alone. Alongside us have been the Quad, office, fellow wardens, other staff and all those members of the congregation who quietly and efficiently undertake all the tasks that keep St Mary’s alive, breathing and indeed thriving.


Working as a warden and the Quad.

It’s been a year of two halves! The first half of the year while we were still in vacancy was very hectic; there was the process of appointing a new vicar including a parish visit day and a day of interviews. Following the news that Peter Knibbs was to be our new vicar there were preparations to be made for the induction service on 2 October. During this period we were also preparing for Benjamin to move on from St Mary’s to take up his first post as an incumbent.


During the vacancy the quad met approximately fortnightly with multiple email communication in between. There are many day to day decisions to be made in the running of the parish and from time to time a crisis arises. The quad enabled David and Katy as wardens to share this work and to have a forum for discussion about important decisions. Kate Stobart joined the quad and then Bryan and Judy as pastoral wardens so that eventually we were Quad + 3. During October we had a transition period of meeting with Peter to introduce him to what was happening at St Mary’s and how things were working.


Since November the role of warden has been dramatically quieter and calmer as Peter has taken on his leadership mantle; a return to a saner timetable of meetings, being on duty for services and being involved in email and face to face discussions about various matters. There are certain statutory requirements and communications with the diocese which fall to the wardens to organise. We are very grateful to Bryan Morgan for all his work in getting the Terrier (it’s not a dog) and the inventory up to date ahead of the Archdeacon’s visitation which took place on the 5 March. The parish has to submit statistics to the diocese about such things as service attendances, worshipping congregation numbers, baptisms, weddings and funerals - the annual parish return. Kate Stobart created a spreadsheet and a system to collect this information when she was warden and has very generously continued to deal with this.



During the vacancy we have been very fortunate to have the staff team and the Worship and Spirituality core group who together have ensured that our pattern of worship has continued and flourished. Worship is at the core of what we do, connecting us to God and to each other, sharing the Eucharist and learning more about God. While the main Sunday morning and weekday morning services provide the structure to our worshipping week we have continued to have variety and room for innovation and exploration of other forms of worship. Sunday afternoon family worship events and Good Friday all age worship provide a “fresh expression of church”; although these have been fewer in number than we have aspired to they have been much valued by those who have attended. They provide a place to worship for a group of people for whom more conventional worship might be difficult – for example, those with small children, those for whom the language and pattern of the Eucharist is foreign and hard to relate to, those for whom Sunday morning timing doesn’t work. Those who prepare for and host these events find that they deepen and learn more about their faith through the preparation of worship.



Worship refreshes us and builds us up to engage with our lives and the world outside the church building. We are very glad to have continued to be involved in various local outreach initiatives which connect us to the wider community. Whitley Lodge Community Spirit has continued to thrive initially under the leadership of Benjamin; since he left St Mary’s that role has fallen to Sue Hart with valuable input from others in the congregation. The Summer fair was a great success and provided an opportunity for St Mary’s to be “out and about” (as it says on the t-shirts), meeting with those who live in our parish. The craft activity was offered as a gift to those who participated but it also provided an opportunity for gentle evangelism, through demonstrating the care and love which is inspired by our relationship with God and doing that boldly in the name of the church. The switching on of the Christmas lights and carol singing before Christmas continued with that ministry.

The newsletter dropped through the door of every house in the parish continues to update people on what is happening at St Mary’s and we hope is a reminder that all are welcome to join us.


We continue to contribute to caring for some of the most vulnerable members of our local community through the local Food bank, through the Street Pastors and through De Paul U.K. Many members of the congregation give regularly and generously to the Food bank. Although we have no-one in the congregation who is a street pastor, we do have a prayer pastor, Ruth Blake, and we are committed to supporting the street pastors and to enabling anyone who feels called to undertake this ministry to do so.

The Justice and Peace group work is ongoing and they help to engage us and guide us in other charitable activities and donations which are detailed in their report.


Learning – Advent and Lent

Learning about our faith and our relationship with God is a lifelong process. Research has shown that we learn more effectively in groups and that churches which meet as small groups are more likely to be thriving. The Living, Learning and Sharing core group support us in making this happen at St Mary’s. Of particular note is the Lent course using Pilgrim course materials which has been taken up with enthusiasm by over 50 people. The Advent course which Peter ran using the York courses material provided a similar opportunity for learning about our faith with each other.

The number of groups which have contributed to this report is testament to our commitment to encourage the ministry of all the baptised.



Whenever St Mary’s holds an ‘event’ it is invariably well supported; parish meetings, the Autumn Fair, social gatherings and Whitley Lodge Community Spirit events are some examples.

It can be a challenge getting people to organise such events so we were very pleased at the great work of the “Hub” who organised the Autumn Fair led by Patrick Pratt. It was another wonderful event which gave us the opportunity to use our creative skills, invite into the church a huge number of people and of course raise a significant sum of money to support our ongoing mission at St Mary’s.



We have seen quite a change in staff over the past year or so.

Benjamin left us as curate to start his first incumbency in Haydon Bridge. His help, enthusiasm and energy contributed to us remaining sane – although it was sometimes difficult to get a word in!


Eileen has ‘retired’, but we look forward to welcoming her back at Pentecost. She gave us the benefit of her wisdom, experience and common sense, and particularly her knowledge of St Mary’s and our people, during the vacancy. Many of the congregation will know from personal experience how much she devoted herself to pastoral care.


We are delighted that others have arrived:

Pat is back with us, this time as curate. She is now a vital part of the team and we are delighted to see her establishing herself as a vital cog in our wheel, with an insider’s knowledge of our community.


We welcomed Yvonne as a trainee reader, and are delighted that she has been allowed to develop her ministry with us at St Mary’s.

And then there’s her husband, or Peter, our new vicar. We realised that it was vital that the parishioners make it clear to us what they wanted from a new incumbent. Robin brought us into the 21st century, but it was clear that most of us now wanted primarily a parish priest; a steady hand on the wheel to guide us through what may be choppy waters, while ensuring that we are all able to be the church rather than just attending church. And we wanted to make sure it was someone who embraced our ethos of ‘making Christ known through building his church’. Peter was welcomed enthusiastically on the 2nd October. He has spent the first few months memorising names, observing how we work and not treading on toes. We are starting to see some sensible and sensitive changes and look forward to a loving and supporting relationship with Peter as our Parish priest.


Office changes

The Parish office is central to the smooth running of St Mary’s.

Ruth Blake and Dot Clarke worked together in the office for 7 years and proved to be a dedicated, caring and efficient team. When Ruth decided (before meeting Peter!) it was time to retire it was typical of her consideration for others and the needs of the church that she gave us plenty of warning and timed her retirement to make it minimally disruptive for the life of the church, for us as churchwardens, and for Peter as he started his ministry with us. Ruth, being Ruth, understood that it would help our new vicar if she stayed on until Christmas. We, and Peter, are very grateful for that.

We are very fortunate that Carol Nesbitt was available and willing to step into Ruth’s place and form a new office team with Dot.


St Mary’s in the diocese and beyond

It is important to our life as a worshipping community that we are not insular or exclusive. Many of our congregation contribute to the life of the diocese, the locality and beyond. We are particularly pleased that the work of Roger Windass, who has used his professional expertise in the service of the diocese for many years, was recognised for this contribution by being made a lay Canon of the cathedral on 8 March. He joins 3 other Canons from St Mary’s congregation, Rev Eileen Noble, Sue Hart and Tony Garland.



Once again, St Mary’s fulfilled its pledge to meet its Parish share in full, and make charitable donations of at last 5% of stewardship income. This is something to be proud of, and we remain one of the biggest contributors of Parish Share in north east England. Every now and again, we hear rumours that we are in trouble, financially. We have no idea where these stories come from, but do read our treasurer’s report. Money is always tight, but we have our heads above the water.

The PCC agreed that the planned giving campaigns should be low key whilst the redevelopment was on-going. And our low key approach last year appeared to pay dividends initially, with a good increase in regular giving promised. But for a variety of reasons, not all the funds followed. This left us with a significant shortfall in income, but, as hinted above, other funds were given to the church to ‘plug the gap’. Once the redevelopment is completed later this year, we need to find the energy to once again raise the profile of stewardship.



As we write the report the redevelopment ‘crunch time’ is approaching. We await tenders for the work, and will then appoint the appropriate contractor. No matter what your opinion of the work which will be undertaken, we ask for your prayers for the team who have undertaken a huge amount of work to get us this far. In particular, the fund raisers, the original team who did the groundwork, and the present team who are responsible for the future of our buildings. And for the firm who will be undertaking the work. We’re delighted with the work undertaken so far, and truly believe that the next stage will provide us with a wonderful and inspirational environment in which to praise God and a base from which to take our faith into the community.


The Gathering Space

Last February saw the conversion of the former Side Chapel into a meeting room space. As we looked towards the official dedication of this room by Bishop Frank in August we needed to find a name that would reflect our aspirations for its use but not communicate limitations on that use for one purpose or another. After much discussion and canvassing of opinions the PCC agreed that it should be called “The Gathering Space”. It is in regular use on Sunday mornings for Godly play and has provided a beautiful and worshipful space for the children and adults who partake in that. The cabinets with the Godly play materials are left on display partly for practical reasons but also because they tell a story – go and have a look and see if you can follow it. The centrality of the Risen Christ and the Christ light also give a feeling of sanctity, of a chapel like space. The beauty of the cabinets is that they can be easily turned to conceal the contents if they are not appropriate to the purpose of others meeting there. Our commitment is that this space is available for use by the wider community. The Godly Play sessions for Southridge School and Christ Church School are one example of this use.

PCC also now uses The Gathering Space as its regular meeting place.

Bishop Frank blessed and dedicated The Gathering Space and the renovated church bell on 17 August.



The church hall continues to be well used by uniformed organisations, badminton club, art classes, toddlers dance sessions, toddler group, diet and fitness club, as well as for private parties. Hall management and organisation of bookings remains a challenge.  Attempts to have an individual responsible for the hall bookings led to duplication of work with the office so we are back to all bookings going through the office. We are fortunate that the scouts have decorated some areas of the hall. One of the challenges over the next few months will be making the hall a good place to worship during the church building work.

We want hall users to feel that they are part of our church community.  MU@8 provided pancakes for Shrove Tuesday (well actually a week before as Shrove Tuesday was during half term) for Young Notes, Beavers, leaders and parents. This was a great opportunity to invite these people into church and to offer food and conversation.

We are also hoping that a joint bid to the Wellesley trust which Peter is co-ordinating will be successful. This is for equipment which is needed by various hall users.



The newsletter has already been mentioned as a means of communicating with the people of the parish. The weekly newssheet also serves a valuable purpose in keeping people up to date with what is going on at St Mary’s. This year saw the production of the parish magazine halt after many years of serving as education, entertainment and communication about the life of St Mary’s. Helen and Michael Matthews have edited and produced the magazine for a number of years and we are very grateful to them for their creative and practical skills in doing so. Ill health dictated that they were not able to continue with production of the magazine and this prompted a review of communication. A new communications group will consider all the ways in which we share information with each other including the magazine. Methods of communication have changed dramatically over the last 10 years and for many the first point of call is the internet. For those involved in running the church, email is a much used resource. Many people looking to see what is going on at St Mary’s will turn first to the website. Websites need constant updating and during the vacancy some updating was done. Many thanks to Michael Oakes for keeping the photographic record up to date and for week to week updating of news sheets, newsletter and other news. Despite this some pages are out of date and one of the tasks of the newly formed communications group will be to oversee how the website might be used to its full potential.



We have had another year where we have lost many friends and parishioners. Our prayers are with the bereaved, that they may remember God’s loving presence in their time of loss and sadness.


Looking back and looking forward

As we get to the end of our tenure, it’s a relief to see that the church remains standing and in good shape spiritually and physically. We have had no ‘disasters’ this year. Some of our friends have moved onto pastures new, and we thank them for their contributions to St Mary’s. There have been just a few buckets in church, and only one small occurrence of vandalism. It’s very pleasing to see new faces in church, and great that the ‘old faces’ do everything to make our new friends welcome.


As Judy and Bryan take on the reigns as legal wardens, we would formally like to record our thanks to them for the increasing lead they have taken in the warden duties over the past few months.


We know that we leave the parish in good hands, but they will continue to need all the rest of us to do our bit, remembering that as baptised members of the church we all have a vocation and a part to play. We pray that all will continue to support them through whatever contribution each one of us can make to the life of St Mary’s

“For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another.” Romans 12, 4-6.





Local Ministry Development Team (LMDT) APCM 2015 Report


Since the last APCM the local ministry development team (LMDT) continued to meet monthly until November. LMDT has served to provide a confidential space for the discernment of the mission of St Mary’s with lay leaders working alongside staff team members. During the vacancy LMDT provided valuable support for the Quad and staff team. Of particular concern was succession planning for key roles in the church and encouraging all the people of St Mary’s to fulfil their own vocation. When we talk of vocation we mean this as each one of us fulfilling our individual potential and developing our God given gifts.


As we move forward with Peter as our vicar groups and leadership structures are evolving to suit the current needs of our church. The newly established joint meetings of all the Staff team and lay leaders (Churchwardens, PCC lay chair and treasurer) will serve the purpose which LMDT has had over the last 6 years and will be called the Local Ministry Development Group (LMDG).


Katy Bell (on behalf of LMDT)



Safeguarding Report


The role of the Safeguarding in the ongoing life and mission of St Mary’s

  • To ensure that St. Mary’s Church is a safe community and that it complies with all relevant legislation in connection with vulnerable adults and young people.
  • To maintain a database of all church members who undertake work with these groups and, where appropriate, make the necessary arrangements for criminal record checks to be made
  • To inform the PCC of any changes in procedures, guidelines and advice and to draw to its attentions any areas of concern

Key results of our work in 2014-15

  • The ongoing Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) criminal record checks were updated as required
  • The appointment of a new Safeguarding Co-ordinator


Key plans for development in 2015 - 2016

  • Training of Safeguarding Co-ordinator in ‘Creating a Safe Space’, ‘Helping Others Create a Safe Space’ and ‘Refreshing Safeguarding Practices in Parishes’ commencing May 2015
  • To continue requesting DBS checks for those members who do valuable work with children and vulnerable adults within our church community
  • To update and amend policies and procedures in light of current legislation, once training has been received
  • To raise the profile of safeguarding within the wider church community including through photograph of coordinator on display board, face to face discussion and identifying badges
  • Any other matters of concern which may arise


Jacqueline (Jaki) L Brown      13 03 2015

Statistics for Past Three Years























Easter Attendance


Easter Attendance


Easter Attendance 


Easter Comm.


Easter Comm.


Easter Comm.          








Christmas Attendance  








Christmas Communicants








                  CHURCH ATTENDANCE












8 am Service



10 am Service



6 pm Service



6 pm Healing     



Crib Service



9.30am Wednesday Eucharist



Morning Prayer
















Worship and Spirituality Core Group Report


Vision of the Group


To help the congregation grow in relationship with God


Through 2014 the work of the Parish in areas of Worship and Spirituality has had four main focuses.


The Worship and Spirituality Core Group (now the Worship, Spirituality & Liturgy Group), together with the Liturgy Planning Group (now the Service Planning Group), seek to maintain the regular pattern of worship on Sundays, festivals and weekdays at St Mary’s, while exploring how the whole community - all ages, temperaments, stages of faith development can be included, become participants and can be offered opportunities for growth in faith and for deepening their relationship with the Lord.


One of the amazing aspects of our worshipping life together is the sheer number of people who are involved in all aspects of planning and organising worship. This is not simply through the staff team, but sacristans, servers, intercessors, readers, musicians, sidespeople, Wardens, flower arrangers, brass rubbers, and on and on – a real expression of how together we embody the Body of Christ.


Music has always been a central element of worship at St Mary’s and we have been blessed to have had two gifted musicians guiding us in this area.  The death of Stephen Pettitt has been an immense sadness to everyone at St Mary’s and we will miss not only his great musical gifts and talent, but his gentle encouragement and his knack of knowing how to draw out the best from people of all ages and musical abilities. We are also immensely grateful to Sue Morgan for shouldering all the responsibility for music in the immediate future.


A recent innovation has been a monthly Communion service at the new residential care home that has opened within the parish. Over the months, relationships have been built with both residents and staff. In December, a carol service was held for both staff and residents and with the participation of 15+ people from St Mary’s


2014 has seen many changes at St Mary’s with the departure of Benjamin and Steph to pastures new in Haydon Bridge, Pat’s ordination as deacon, Peter’s installation as our new Vicar, and Eileen’s retirement. Each of these changes was marked in our worshipping life, often with tears, laughter and food.


The series of ‘Something on Sunday’ services at 3pm on Sunday afternoon for families for whom traditional models of Church currently are not convenient have continued to run sporadically, but we now need to discern how to make what we offer both more sustainable so that we can offer younger families regular opportunities to worship and to explore where God might be for them.

Pat Moran & Carole Lax





Chalice Administrators Report


The role of the group in the ongoing life and mission of St Mary’s

  • To assist the clergy with the administration of Holy Communion within the church Eucharist and to the sick and housebound.
  • To ensure that any unused communion is disposed of properly

Key results of our work in 2014-15

  • We have an amazing 29 members of the congregation who are licensed to administer holy communion during the Eucharist
  • We have 7 parishioners who can administer to the sick and housebound


Key plans for development in 2015

  •  To ensure that we continue to appreciate the importance and solemnity of this role, whilst making sure we enjoy taking part in the service
  • To ensure that those who's licences will expire this year have them renewed to enable them to continue in this vital role


David Tompkins


Servers Group Report


The role of the group in the ongoing life and mission of St Mary’s

  • To provide a crucifer at each Eucharist service, and the occasional additional service.

Key results of our work in 2014-15

  • A small but reliable team continue to act as crucifers at the 08.00 and 10.00 services
  • We have recently had some volunteers to who will cover the 08.00 service in John Charlton’s occasional absence.
  • Three servers have left the rota and our thanks go to them for their service over the last few years.
  • Two new servers are being trained, and Rosie Tate has come back onto the rota

Key plans for development in 2015


  • To continue to provide  a presence at the altar during services
  • To recruit a few more crucifers over the next twelve months
  • Richard Hart and Claire Connors have agreed to take over as head servers, following Hannah Tompkins forthcoming departure to University.


David Tompkins





Music Group Report


The role of the group in the ongoing life and mission of St Mary’s


  • Our role is to provide music for worship that’s appropriate to all ages of our congregation.  We try very hard to provide both traditional and modern hymns to fit the theme of all of our services.

Key results of our work in 2014-15

  • Whilst the coordinator role changed a couple of times during this period, Sue and Stephen endeavoured to keep things running as smoothly as possible on the music front, thus making sure that the correct music was used at all times in our services.
  • Making sure that the practices for the singers was both fun, and challenging at times.
  • Encouraging the congregation to sing while trying at all times, to choose hymns that were well known, and in addition, introducing a new hymn/song now and again to keep the variety of music used interesting for our singers who come and sing each week, and the congregation who sing with great gusto now a lot of the time.  Thanks for this!
  • We use the piano a lot more when we sing during Communion these days.  The singers enjoy standing around it to sing, and this comes across to the congregation who have given encouraging feedback on this recently.


Key plans for development in 2015

This report has been written days after the sad and sudden death of Stephen Pettitt.  He will be missed by us all.

  • Sue and the singers will do their best to keep things moving on.  Stephen has left a huge hole in St Mary's music.  However, it’s very important that we introduce new music to our services where ever possible.  While, at the same time, making sure the congregation and our singers grow in confidence at singing the tunes they know and are familiar with.
  • The group of singers we have sing regularly.  Sue appreciates their commitment very much, and would love members of the congregation to join if they would like to.  Don’t be shy!
  • Music is a huge part of worship at St Mary’s.  Sue will continue to fit the correct music with the appropriate services.  This is very important, and a lot of time is spent on this.
  • Please keep singing vigorously, and we’ll do everything we can from the front to encourage this even more.  Thank you for reading this report.

Sue Morgan





Young Notes Group Report


The role of the group in the ongoing life and mission of St Mary’s

  • to continue to help children to explore and understand music, especially its role in worship and through this to grow in the Christian Faith
  • to encourage children, especially those on the fringes of St Mary's, to become involved in all aspects of life at St Mary's.


Key results of our work in 2014-15

  • Continuing to work with our small group - we have 6 very loyal members( We have lost one and gained one since last year) 
  • the original 5 members who have been with us for more than a year have all now gained their white award - the entry level of the RSCM, (Royal Schools of Church Music) Award Scheme.
  • I am writing this just after Stephen Pettitt's death.  Stephen offered to help with Young Notes as accompanist 5 years ago.  He was an inspiration to the children and they loved him.  We shall all miss him.

Key plans for development in 2015

  •  To carry on working with the children - Stephen would have wanted that. 


Carole Lax


Sanctuary Guild Group Report


The role of the group in the ongoing life and mission of St Mary’s

  • The groups of people who produce the beautiful flower arrangements, polish the brass, launder the table and altar linen, trim the candles, wash the vessels and set up everything for Sunday Worship , work under the heading of the Sanctuary Guild.
  • There are at this time 12 ladies on the Flower Rota, which gives each person 4 Sundays in the year for which to arrange flowers.  The Brass Cleaning team consists of 11 ladies and one gentleman!!  On this system each person takes a month in which to polish for every Sunday within the month.
  • The Saturday Teams consist of usually 3 people who deal with all things pertaining to the Eucharist preparation, laundering the linen and trimming the candles.  There are at present 16 people on this team
  • Anyone wishing to contribute to the work of any of these groups will be most welcome.

Key results of our work in 2014-15

  •  All sections of Sanctuary Guild have worked well during the year
  •  Thanks to the dedicated teams of people who carry out this work


Key plans for development in 2015

  • To maintain the high standards in all categories of Sanctuary Guild.
  • All we do is to the Glory of God

Thelma Gilhespy and Sheila Torrance




Welcoming, Integrating and Caring Core Group Report


The role of the group in the ongoing life and mission of St Mary’s


  • To create an environment where newcomers, visitors and regular worshippers feel welcome and valued at St Mary's and to provide opportunities and encouragement for people to grow in the love of God and one another.

Key results of our work in 2014-15


  • The welcome booklet is proving to be a useful resource. It is given out to new people when they have completed a welcome card. The booklet contains useful information about the type of community St Mary's is and some general and helpful pointers.
  • We continue to keep up with our stock of Prayer Shawls which are knitted by members of the congregation. These have been a great comfort to those who have received one.

Key plans for development in 2015

  • To continue to welcome, integrate and care for all St Mary's people


Jane Walker





Sidesmen/Sideswomen Group


The role of the group in the ongoing life and mission of St Mary’s

  • To distribute books, notice sheets and other documents to members of the congregation at the beginning of the core services, and to collect the books and other items after services.

Key results of our work in 2014-15

  • Group Members, February 2015:

B.Austoni, M.Campbell, E.Charlton, B.Cockburn, C.Connors, A.Crossfield, K.Gardner, S.Johnson, D.Lunn, M.Lunn, D.McDougle, S.McDougle, N.Porter, S.Torrance, J.Watling.


Thanks to all Group Members

Key plans for development in 2015

  • To continue to provide this essential service


Martin Lunn



Baptism Support Group


Vision for the  Group


To further develop the people of St Mary’s into becoming a ‘Baptising community’, with increasing participation of church members in the work of the Group and engagement of the baptism families in church activities.

Key results of our work in 2014-15

  • The rota for Baptism Visitors and Sponsors, which is held and administered by Dot Clarke in the office, continues to work well.
  • The new order for the Baptism service is working well.
  • The number of baptisms that took place last year resulted in each member of the Group having on average one family to visit and one new child to sponsor during the year, which did not prove a problem for individual members.
  • There were 10 baptisms last year, which was fewer than in 2013.      
  • The Baptism Banner beside the font continues to be a high profile visible statement of the importance attached to baptism in our church.
  • The St Mary’s Mothers Union continued to donate a Baptism Cube to each child at the end of their baptism, for which the Group are grateful as this gift is greatly appreciated by the child’s parents.
  • The St Mary’s Mothers Union Craft Group again made Christmas cards for the Baptism Sponsors to give to their Baptism families, with the card inners informing the children and parents of our family friendly services – which were welcomed both by the Sponsors and the families.  
  • Several members of the Group have worked with other children’s groups in the organisation and provision of special church services for young families.

Key areas for development in 2015

  • To enable wider understanding within the church community of the opportunities for Christian engagement with young families through being a Baptism Sponsor. A presentation to the Mothers Union is planned for April.
  •  To increase the numbers of people becoming Baptism Sponsors and Visitors, in particular those members of our church with young families themselves, so as to provide an opportunity for Christian networking. 
  •  To improve communication with other St Mary’s children’s groups and with our baptism families.


Alan Furness











Learning, Living and Sharing Core Group Report


The role of the group in the ongoing life and mission of St Mary’s

The learning, living and sharing group is responsible for enabling us as a community to grow as disciples in our understanding and love of God.  We have tried to achieve this with an awareness of different age profiles and working patterns in our church and attempted to provide a range of activities to accommodate different learning styles to provide something for everyone.


The past year has been a period of reflection and change within the core group just as for the church as a whole, during the vacancy.   Whilst this meant scaling back projects planned by our newly developed ‘project team’ we continued to meet our objectives through small-group learning and engaging with young people.


As we welcome a new vicar who has a heart for evangelism we plan to reform as the Discipleship and Evangelism group adjusting our focus to include helping those beyond St. Mary’s, in our community, develop an awareness of the love of God.  We plan to continue to build on our strengths such as small group learning as well as consider fresh ways of working to meet our objectives to engage the community, grow disciples and share our learning throughout the parish.  We plan to use these broader objectives to allow greater flexibility for the types of projects used to meet these goals.   





Key results of our work in 2014-15


  • Adapted Pilgrim course for use in home-based study groups for Lent 2015.
  • ‘York Courses’ Advent course introducing Peter to the congregation through group learning.
  • Godly play continues to support children’s learning on Sunday
  • School visits and working with schools using Godly play
  • Engaging Eastbourne House through post-communion reflections and Lent 2015
  • Confirmation sessions with Peter

Key plans for development in 2015


  • GROW disciples and leaders

Learning in small groups using a range of resources developed or adapted by the learning project team and those working with our young people.  This may include Lent, Advent and film-based short courses and Godly play.

  • ENGAGE the wider community
    Learning in small groups of those new to the church who live in our community.  This may include parents and young family coffee mornings, links for young parents, or events at Eastbourne House.
  • SHARE more of what we do
    Making all aware of the discipleship growth opportunities available at St. Mary’s.  This may for example include building relationships with local schools

Craig Pemblington and Sue Hart


Godly Play Report


The role of the group in the ongoing life and mission of St Mary’s

  • To enable and nurture the ongoing spiritual development of young people and adults of all ages through the methods of Godly Play and use of the Godly Play materials within the Gathering Space.
  • For our children to be an integral part of our worshipping community.
  • To enable the development of the key skills necessary for our children to be part of our worshipping community.
  • To share Godly Play with the whole church community.
  • To use our Godly Play space to reach out into the community.

Key results of our work in 2014-15

  • Continuing to support and encourage the spiritual development of our children.
  • A large range of enthusiastic participants between the ages of 4 and 13 years.
  • Weekly sessions with classes from Christchurch Primary School and Southridge First School. (For more details of this see separate report from the St Mary's school links group)
  • Recruiting more adult helpers for our Sunday morning work with children.


Key plans for development in 2015

  • Continue to extend the range of material resources
  • Continue to welcome school children into our Godly Play space, and extend that invitation to other schools
  • Recruit and train more Godly Play Practitioners
  • Assess the interest/ take-up for a regular after school club and start to provide one.


Rachel Bainton and Mary Cooper

















St Mary’s Schools/Church Links Group


The role of the group in the ongoing life and mission of St Mary’s

  • Our aim is to support schools in their delivery of Christian aspects of Religious Education and in the spiritual development of the pupils
  • We welcome all schools into St Mary's, whenever they make a request, helping them to deliver the RE curriculum.
  • We are also ready to go into schools for assemblies and class visits when we are invited. 

Key results of our work in 2014-15

  • Excellent sessions with Whitley Lodge First School, Coquet Park First school and Marine Park First school, as Key stage 1 classes(aged 5-7 years) learned about the Church building, the Liturgical colours of the Church seasons, Baptism, and the parable of the loaves and fishes.  This was part of their work learning about Christianity. With many thanks to all those involved in any of these sessions which are much enjoyed and appreciated.
  • Carol Services were hosted in church for Whitley Lodge First and Valley Gardens Middle Schools
  • Visits into school  took place to lead assemblies and into classes to support R.E. lessons
  • The Godly Play Project with Schools continues to support schools in the nurture children's spirituality. Godly Play sessions with schools take place every Thursday in the Godly Play Space in the Gathering Space. They involve story- telling, open ended wondering, a creative response time and a feast. Responses of both pupils and staff have been very positive. Two reception classes from Southridge First School visit for sessions once every half term. Nursery, Reception, and Year 1 classes from Christ Church C. of E School, North Shields have taken up the remaining sessions. They bring packed lunch with them to enable them to participate in a full session without time restraints. Volunteers from St Mary's make coffee and chat to the parent helpers who accompany the children on all visits.

Deanery grant funding has been acquired to train more Godly Play practitioners to support this work.

  • Staff Training Sessions in Godly Play with local school staff.
  • Plans are underway to deliver assemblies based on the Open the Book Materials in Coquet Park First School.

Key plans for development in 2016

  • To continue to build up the Links we have with the First schools in our area.
  • Pursue further links with Middle and High schools
  • Re-establish ecumenical links for this school work
  • Continue to recruit Church members who wish to work with schools
  • Continue to offer staff training sessions in Godly Play to local schools.
  • Train volunteers to help in this school mission work.

Carole Lax, Rachel Bainton, Mary Cooper





Justice and Peace Group Report to APCM, April 2015


The role of the group in the ongoing life and mission of St Mary’s

The Justice and Peace Group attempts to support both the worshipping and the wider communities in responding to Jesus’ teachings about how we relate to one another and to the natural environment we inhabit, specifically in relation to:

  • Social justice and human rights at local, national and international levels
  • International peace
  • World development of the human community
  • Ecology and the integrity of creation

Key results of our work in 2014-15

  • Launch service and street collection for Christian Aid Week
  • Development of dialogue with Northern Oak Credit Union. Participation in ‘Credit Union Summit’ convened by North Tyneside Council. Facilitation of opening of new savings accounts for individual members of our own and other local churches. Deposit of limited PCC assets.
  • Write for rights campaign
  • Prayer Vigil for peace in the Middle East
  • Advent Carol Service, supporting Christian Aid’s Christmas appeal,
  • Regular Traidcraft stall at our own church and as opportunity arises elsewhere
  • Marking Prisons Sunday with an address by a Prison Chaplain
  • Convening, a pilot course comprising two sessions aimed at gaining a better understanding of the way prisons are run, noting the adverse effects of cuts in prison funding. Responding to the challenge ‘so what can you, as a community of Christian people, do to address some of the issues?’  This has involved preliminary exchanges with Prison Chaplains in Northumberland, to explore the potential for volunteering in such areas as restorative justice. 
  • Establishing a link with the Anglican Church of St Phillip, Nablus, in West Bank Palestine.
  • Framing recommendations to PCC for Christmas charitable giving.
  • Maintaining a link with the Bay Food Bank, and taking donated items from church to the new Foodbank premises

Key plans for development in 2015

  • Arranging Christian Aid Week door-to-door collection, 10-16 May
  • Gradual building up of closer relationship with St Phillips, Nablus
  • Identifying opportunities for volunteering in the Prisons context.
  • Making recommendations to PCC for charitable giving at Christmas
  • Supporting Christian Aid’s ‘Count your blessings’ project during Lent
  • Draft a schedule of ‘special days’ (eg Homelessness Sunday, World Environment Day, Prisons Week), with a view to marking at least some in sermons, prayers, intercessions

Rev’d John McDermott, Chair

St Mary’s Badminton Club


The role of the group in the ongoing life and mission of St Mary’s

  • To continue our Wednesday afternoon sessions of badminton in the church hall, playing from 2pm – 3.30pm each week throughout the year, except for six weeks during the summer holidays and a break between Christmas and New Year. 
  • To be welcoming to anyone wishing to join the group. 


Key results of our work in 2014-15

  • The badminton group continued to flourish during 2014 - 2015
  •  We are a mixed group which welcomes both men and women players.
  •  There are currently nine paid-up members; several other players come occasionally.

Key plans for development in 2015

  • To continue to make new players welcome among us. 
  • To come together – enjoying good play and laughter. 


Doreen Lunn








St Mary’s Mothers’ Union @2 Branch Committee Report


The role of the group in the ongoing life and mission of St Mary’s


  • to provide prayer and support for our members
  • to help with the worldwide vision of the Mothers’ Union
  • to provide fellowship at our monthly meetings
  • to raise funds for the work of the Mothers’ Union throughout the world

Key results of our work in 2014-15

  • we provided baptism cubes as a teaching aid for all the babies and children being baptised at St Mary’s
  • we raised money for diocesan projects n the area


Key plans for development in 2015

  • to support our members – now down to 58 in number
  • to continue to support the church staff
  • to continue fund raising for projects worldwide


Tina Tompkins on behalf of the MU Committee, March 2015




Mothers’ Union @8 Group Report


The role of the group in the ongoing life and mission of St Mary’s


  • to provide prayer and support and to help with the world wide vision of the Mothers’ Union
  • to offer the opportunity to explore faith in practical and spiritual ways

Key results of our work in 2014-15

  • we continue to support one another in our very busy family and working lives.
  • helping to improve our environment and community by a litter pick.
  • we shared food with our community by inviting the Beavers, their siblings and parents and Young Notes for Pancakes in Church.
  • In December the Toddler Carol Service was supported with music and by members.

Key plans for development in 2015

  • Continue developing the group in ways that reflect a spirituality in each individual member, who are all diverse in the way they express their faith
  • Being open to others who may need our prayer and support in their lives
  • Find ways to work together as a group for good

Judith Mill


1st Monkseaton Rainbows Group


The role of the group in the ongoing life and mission of St Mary’s

Fun, friendship, working together both in large and small groups, providing opportunities for learning and applying life skills, developing self-confidence and respect for others through building friendships, encouraging and developing interests.  

Key results of our work in 2014-15

  • Themed evenings – Italian Night, Scottish Dancing, Commonwealth Games, Chinese New Year, Easter, Burns Night, Mother’s Day and Red Nose Day. 
  • Crafts – We made Poppies for the Remembrance Service, Christmas Tree decorations, planted bulbs for Mother’s Day and decorated pots for the bulbs.
  • Trips –  Campfire at the Quarry Centre, Pirate afternoon at St Peters Monkseaton, Hot Potz in Whitley Bay and went to see the Pantomime at Whitley Bay Playhouse.
  • Participation in Church Events – Family afternoons, Autumn Fair, Harvest  Service and meeting Peter, Remembrance Service and Christingle Service 

Key plans for development in 2015

  • Continue to participate in Division and County events
  • Continue links with the Church 

Pam Rackham

4th & 12th Monkseaton Brownie Groups


The role of the group in the ongoing life and mission of St Mary’s

Fun, friendship, girls working together both in large and small groups, providing opportunities for learning and applying life skills, developing respect for others, encouraging and developing interests, encouraging faith.

Key results of our work in 2014-15

  • 2014 was the year when the Brownies celebrated 100 years and celebrate we did!
  • We did The Big Brownie Birthday Challenge. The Brownies had to complete 9 challenges; they were themed around events of 21 of the last 100 years.
  • The challenges our units did included;

planting bulbs and decorating plant pots, planning a journey to any destination in the world of their choice and the activities when they arrived, working out a code of conduct for their own six, team building games and activities, learning about different insects and their homes, learning about children not as well off and with no schools to learn in, enjoying games and challenges of Brownies through the ages, celebrating Chinese New Year and ending with a birthday party.

  • We gained our Big Brownie Birthday Stay away badge joining the 12th Monkseaton Brownies on their PGL weekend which was a special all Brownie weekend. So much fun and lots for Brownies and leaders to do and try.
  • North East England Girlguiding organised the Big Brownie Birthday Starquest Event at Wetherby Racecourse 17th May. It was a cosmic adventure. Each Brownie had a made a Friendship Star and wand and had a Star Log. Lots of different activities and events on the stage.
  • Emma Surtees organised the Big Brownie Birthday Roller Disco for the Brownies in Monkseaton Division at the Parks Sports Centre in North Shields. The girls really enjoyed themselves as they skated and rode on their scooters around the main hall.  
  • In September new Brownies joined 4th Monkseaton and they now have 30 Brownies
  • We gained our Healthy Heart badge, which included a trip to Sainsburys - walking there and back from the church hall to look at all different kinds of foods; including foods for special diets and labelling of food. Brownies learnt about foods good and bad and about eating a balanced diet as well as about allergies and took part in an exercise evening.
  • Other badges include Crime Prevention, Hostess and Entertainer badge (with 4th Monkseaton putting on a Christmas Concert for parents).
  • Themed evenings: Easter, Chinese New Year, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Burn’s Night and Red Nose Day.
  • Craft activities: Easter crafts, Christmas crafts, Chinese New Year cotton wool sheep, Valentine’s Day Love Bug Magnets and Mother’s Day hand print frame. 
  • Cooking/ eating activities: Opportunities for girls to gain their Hostess badges, cooking bread on a campfire, firework breadsticks and prawn crackers and fortune cookies for Chinese New Year. 
  • Trips: Joint 4th and 12th Monkseaton pack holiday to PGL Activity Centre at Winmarleigh Hall in Preston and trip to Whitley Bay Pantomime to see Sleeping Beauty. 
  • Participation in Church activities: Something on Sunday afternoon events, Autumn Fair, Harvest (displays put up in church) and Remembrance Sunday.

Key plans for development in 2015

  • One of our Young Leaders is continuing to work towards her leadership qualification.  
  • 4th & 12th Monkseaton will be going on pack holiday at the beginning of April to Cheviot View, Girlguiding’s Residential Outdoor Activity Centre and campsite. 
  • Ensuring the programme continues to implement and advance our vision, aims and objectives
  • Participating in Division and County events
  • Strengthen and develop Church links                   Sue Johnson & Emma Surtees

6th Whitley Bay Scout Group - Beavers, Cubs and Scouts



The role of the group in the ongoing life and mission of St Mary’s


The Scout Association helps young people achieve their full physical, intellectual, social and spiritual potential as individuals, as responsible citizens and as members of their local, national and international communities.

Key results of our work in 2014-15

  • Provision of wide and varied activities aimed at supporting the beavers, cubs and scouts in their sections to learn new skills and develop existing ones.
  • The beavers have worked on a range of badges and activities from their creative challenge, Friendship challenge and disability awareness badge.
  • Beavers have also had a visit from guide dogs for the blind and cupcake design for mother’s day.
  • Cubs and Scouts have taken part in a camp in London visiting local attractions and even included a visit to Downing Street.
  • Cubs have taken part in a chef challenge for parents and also a mother day fun challenge.
  • Scouts have taken part in a sponsored stay-a-wake event raising money for charity.
  • Scouts have also worked on their Global, creative and adventure challenges and six Scouts have achieved the highest award for the section – namely their Chief Scout Gold Award.
  • During the Summer months all sections ran a range of activities, including get wet games night, beach night, cooking on BBQ’s, all to take advantage of the summer weather.

Key areas for development in 2015-16

  • Cub and Scout Camp in May 2015
  • Beaver indoor residential weekend.
  • Development of group executive further.
  • Progression of beavers, cubs and scouts to achieve their chief scout awards in 2015.


Scott Blackett, Acting Group Scout Leader

6th Whitley Bay Scout Group















St Mary’s Church Hall Report


The role of the group in the ongoing life and mission of St Mary’s


  • To ensure the Hall is fit for use
  • To try to maximise income from the hall
  • To raise its profile as a community resource

Key results of our work in 2014-15


  • There were 30 private bookings (such as children’s parties) in 2014
  • There are two (sometimes three) regular commercial bookings each week
  • Eight uniformed groups use the Hall
  • A new hall cleaner has made a noticeable difference in the standard of the hall environment
  • Generally, the hall remains in good condition. Our thanks in particular to John Charlton and Bryan Morgan for the work they do.
  • The stage is a lot less cluttered than it has been previously
  • Although far lower than we would like, hall income generally matches expenditure
  • There was one minor episode of vandalism inside the hall
  • We now have a banner outside the Hall, advertising its availability


Key plans for development in 2015


  • It is vital that we take the hall more seriously.
  • A new hall management team is needed
  • The office have taken the bookings over, but a new bookings officer would be a great help

David Tompkins






Gardening Group


The role of the group in the ongoing life and mission of St Mary’s


  • To keep church gardens in good order


Key results of our work in 2014-15

  • Our stout band of volunteer gardeners have managed to tidy and service the gardens all around the church buildings.  One of our long standing members Mary Rose has had to finally hand in her fork and secateurs and she will be sorely missed.
  •  Thelma Gilhespy organises the cutting of the hedges with the great help of Jeff Pickering, Bryan Morgan, John Charlton and Don McDougal and anyone else who can be persuaded.  This job has to be tackled twice a year and is a mammoth task and we are really grateful for the extra help.
  •  Cheryl and Tom Savage, Alison Stroud, William and Jane Walker, Thelma and Maureen try to keep on top of the rest of the gardens.
  • Bryan Morgan gamely took on the weeds which proliferated on the church hall car park and he also tackled some of the huge shrubs at the front.  Without his help the eastern aspect of the church grounds were looking extremely shabby.  An anonymous donation also paid for some more help cutting back big shrubs and the front beds started to look a lot tidier until a nest of ‘killer’ bees sent Maureen off to the doctor much stung and swelling alarmingly!  Oh, the joys of gardening!
  • The lawns are cut on a regular basis and we are very grateful that Robert Cure is able to continue to do this.

Key plans for development in 2015

  •  To find more volunteers to take on specific tasks, eg, The Easter Garden at the left of the front of the Church and the mainly shrubs area at the East end (facing the main road)


Maureen Roberts

















Parish Office Report


The role in the ongoing life and mission of St Mary’s

  • To provide a friendly, caring and competent reception area for the whole parish during the week and to be the centre though which most information about church life will pass. 
  • To provide a welcome for those who come into church either for their usual church chores and duties or to those that just come along to pray in peace and quiet.  To continue to value the role of being both that welcoming contact as well as a listening ear to those who need it
  • To achieve a high standard of administration in the church setting and to work with all the staff team.  We thank all the staff and wardens for their help during the year.  We thank our Friday Office helpers and our many other volunteers who help us from time to time.  We are especially grateful to Tina and Marjorie who cover the office on a Monday so allowing us a greater amount of flexibility in our working hours.

Key results of our work in 2014-15

  • 2014 proved to be a very busy period in the office with a reduced clergy team and a high number of funerals at one particular time increased the work load for us all.  Our priority was to support the staff team, Wardens and others as best we could during the period of the Vacancy and we hope we were able to help Peter as he began his ministry with us at St Mary's in October.
  • Keeping all Registers, Diocesan fees for funerals and weddings, Church and Hall hire payments and statistics up to date.
  • Producing Notice Sheets, lists, rotas, readings and service leaflets when required.
  • To be supportive and understanding to those who need to talk and to be a listening ear in a setting of confidentiality.
  • Provide secretarial services to the many St Mary’s groups when needed
  • Provide a welcoming service to the public for the booking of baptisms, weddings and funerals, dealing with church and hall bookings and providing general information where needed. 
  • September 2014 saw Ruth and I start our eighth year together as Parish Administrators and it was with a heavy heart we said farewell to that partnership as Ruth started her ‘retirement’ just as Christmas was upon us!  I thank Ruth for not only being a fantastic work colleague but also for her friendship, love and loyalty in our work together. In January this year Carol Nesbitt joined our team.  There is much for a “new girl” to learn and in welcoming Carol, we assure her of our support and friendship and hope she enjoys working in the office and becoming part of our church community.

Key plans for development in 2015

  • To build continuing relationships with those from the community and beyond who visit St Mary’s Parish office for a variety of reasons.
  • To continue to learn and improve the daily running of the office and all the administration that goes with it.
  • To continue the work of the office during the redevelopment period, anticipated to be between June and September, during which the office will need to be sited elsewhere.             Dot & Ruth, Parish Office 2014



In our Annual Report we remember by name those members of our church community who have died


In baptism each of us was given

our own place at God’s family table.

May our friends departed now claim

that promised place

at the wedding feast of heaven.


Christ is risen - the first fruits of all who have died!


God of our Life,

God of all our years,

God of our beginning,

hear us as we pray,

in a mixture of sadness, gratitude and hope,

for those who have died during our last year and

we pray for all who mourn.



William Fittzen MILLS          

Lilian Edna PREECE             

Desmond Percy Cedric FLETCHER

Geoffrey Brian SCARTH        

Joan Frances HEDLEY          

Andrea Louise SMITH          

Shirley Parker MILLER

Geoffrey NEEDHAM             

Norman Frederick OATES     

Marion ELLIOTT                  

John DILLON                      

Jean JOWETT                     

Kathleen Mary SCOTT          

Brenda BROWN                  

Andrew Joicey BEATTIE

Thomas William SMITH        

Derek HAYES                     

David HILL                        

Ella JOYCE                         

Irene FRECKLETON             

Winifred FINCH           

Norma WATSON                 

Kenneth HUMBLE                

Beryl HALL                        

Vera MARTIN                     

Raymond NESBITT      



Irene HILL



Geoffrey Carmichael MacKENZIE


Audrey HALL



William Robert TEASDALE

Stephen John PETTITT


Thomas BELL                                     Morris (Greg) GREGORY

Jeremy ANDERSEN                              Dorothy THIRLBY




Our times are in your hands Lord. Amen















































St Mary’s Parish Office, Claremont Gardens, Whitley Bay, NE26 3SF

(0191 251 4216            *

website:         Registered Charity No: - 1131532


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