Annual Report 2022

Administrative Information

St. Paul's church is situated at the corner of Broadway Street and Ashton Road, Hathershaw, Oldham. The correspondence address is St. Paul’s Vicarage, 55 Belgrave Road, Oldham OL8 1LU.

The parish is in the Deanery of Oldham and Ashton, and the Diocese of Manchester.

The parish is part of:

  • a United Benefice of Oldham and Werneth.
  • a Mission Partnership with the parish of St. Thomas, Werneth.
  • a Mission Community with the above parishes, and also St. John, Failsworth, Christ Church, Chadderton, and St. Mary, Balderstone.

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

The Parish Bank Account is with HSBC. The Insurers of the Parish are EIG.

PCC Object

The Parochial Church Council has the responsibility, according to law:

To cooperate with the minister in promoting in the parish the whole mission of the church, pastoral, evangelistic, social, and ecumenical.

The Parish

The parish contains a variety of property which includes owner occupier, rented, council houses, apartments and sheltered housing. There are terraced houses, a legacy of the cotton industry, and a mix of semi and detached houses.


The population of the parish is 11590.
It ranks 452 out of 12382 parishes for overall deprivation, where 1 is the most deprived parish.
It is among the 3.65% most deprived parishes in England.

The parish is straddles 7 "Lower Super Output Areas".

A "Lower Super Output Area" is the smallest geographical unit for which demographic data is produced:

LSOAarearank out of 32,844 LSOAs in England
rank out of 32,844 LSOAs in England
Oldham 024BN. end of parish,
along Ashton Road,
up into town centre.
Oldham 024C 
around Copster Hill Road
but mainly towards Coppice
Oldham O29AE. side of Ashton Road below St. Paul's
as far as Park Cake bakery
and behind.
Oldham 029D 
N. end of Fitton Hill
up to Thatcher St.
0ldham 029EN. and S. of E. end of Hollins Road4,5525,927
Oldham 030E 
N. and S. of Hollins Road
mainly Garden Suburb
Oldham 035ACoppice
S. of Chamber Road

We make the following observations:

  • These LSOAs are in the 0.6%, 1.25%, 1.7%, 13.9%, 14.2%, and 20.25%, and 34.25% most deprived LSOAs in the country.
  • While there are some areas of relative affluence, many who live in the parish are extremely deprived, when a national comparison is made.
  • The immediate area around St. Paul's, and the top end of Hathershaw, respectively are the extremely deprived.
  • All the LSOAs in the parish have become more deprived, many of them quite significantly, relative to the national average, over the last five years (2015-2019).


There is a mix of religious and ethnic communities in the parish: British, Asian, African and European. The parish also plays host to Romanian Roma Churches, a Spiritualist Church, Jehovah’s Witnesses, a Mormon Temple, two Hindu Temples and several Mosques.

There are a number of schools in the Parish: Coppice and Broadfield (Primary); Hulme Grammar; and the Hathershaw College.

PCC Structure & Governance

The method of appointment of PCC members is broadly as set out in the Church Representation Rules, with one exception: Church Wardens may be elected for an unlimited number of consecutive periods of office. The Hon. Assistant Priest is also an ex-officio member of the PCC.

Thus the PCC currently consists of 9 elected members, depending on numbers on the Electoral Roll: 3 each year. In addition, there are ex officio members: 3 Deanery Synod Representatives; 2 Church Wardens, the Vicar, the Assistant Curate, and the Hon. Assistant Priest.

All who attend Church are encouraged to register on the Electoral Roll and stand for election to the PCC.

Electoral Roll Officer's Report

Following the recent revision of the electoral roll there are now 66 names on the roll.

A copy of the roll (names only) can be found on the notice board in the porch.

Jill Platt

PCC Membership

Vicar: Revd. Nick Andrewes (Chair)
Curate: Revd. Cath Hewison (to October)
Churchwardens: vacant, vacant
Deanery Synod Representatives: Colin Platt, Megan Locklin, vacant
(2 years to serve):
Jane McColgan, Lynne Street (Secretary) (Treasurer), vacant
(1 year to serve):
Lita Zolmane-Dzeksone, vacant, vacant
(0 year to serve):
Norah Baxendale, Auriel Hopkinson, Andrea Marshall
Safeguarding Officer: Andrea Marshall
Independent Examiner: Danny Stone
  • With over 50, but fewer than 100 members on the Electoral Roll, we elect 3 PCC members for a term of office of 3 years at each APCM.
  • PCC members (except for Treasurer and Secretary) cannot stand for a year after their 3 year term of office is completed unless there are no other candidates.


Church Attendance 2022

YEAR 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017
aged 16 and over (including baptisms) 58 27 - 43 45 53
aged 16 and over (who attend less than 12 times per year) - 7 - 8 7 11
aged 16 and over (who attend more than 12 times per year) - 20 - 35 38 42
aged 16 and under 13 8 - 16 15 19

Due to difficulties in collecting data during the COVID-19 pandemic, no attendance data was collected in 2020 across the Diocese.

(Addendum: please note that these figures are the figures from our October Attendance Census.)

Vicar's Report

This last year has been one of transition and rebuilding.

Firstly, we said goodbye to Revd. Cath Hewison in October. She's been a great asset and servant of the parishes over her two years with us. Richard McEwan was accepted for training as an Ordained Local Minister across the two parishes. It is anticipated that he begins as Curate in July 2024. And we were joined by Zahra Jahandar in December on placement before she begins as Curate in July 2023. To accommodate these changes, the rotas have been re-jigged to create space to support them both in their ministries among us. This will pay dividends in the future. Unlike Cath, who was already a priest when she started, both Zahra and Richard start with us before they become Deacons.

Secondly, the parish has continued to rebound from Covid-19. The accounts for this year don't lie: our turnover is down 20% on the year before Covid-19. However, there are positive signs already in 2023 that things are continuing to rebound: we have three new weekly sessions booked in the Community Room. Church attendance continues to increase, it is lovely to see new faces in the congregation. It is of course lovely to see familiar faces, as well! We are looking forward to some confirmations after Easter.

Thirdly, we have continued to embed the changes to our music on a Sunday morning. The choir have started singing again, at Holy Communion, and this has required an investment of time to put together hymn-videos both with singing and without. This has made our music more diverse and enriching on a Sunday morning. Thanks also to those who help with the technology on a Sunday morning!

Finally, it has been encouraging to have so many volunteers returning to action in the life of the church. While numbers are still down compared to before, there are encouraging signs that people are increasingly participating in Parish Life. I've been encouraged by the energy now going into keeping the church grounds looking nice - and making them look even better!

I have no doubt that this time invested in putting down good foundations as we move forward will pay dividends in the future.

All in all, it feels like the spark is coming back to St. Paul's. This gives us a much more solid base from which to serve the community, and to plan and fundraise for the future, given the challenges that the building is giving us. On the subject of the community, I note that the latest data shows that all areas of the Parish have become more deprived over the last five years, relative to the country.

Beyond the parish, we look forward to working increasingly with other parishes in our Mission Community to tackle the challenges that face us. I have enjoyed serving as ex officio governor at St. Martin's CofE Primary School in the absence of an incumbent in the parish of Holy Trinity, Bardsley.

Thanks again

  • to you all for all your hard work, positivity and support in many and varied ways over 2022;
  • to our Office Holders actually, let's be frank, it's Lynne who holds three Offices (Gift Aid Secretary, PCC Treasurer, and PCC Secretary);
  • to our ALMs (Megan, Norah, Colin, Auriel, and Gina);
  • to Richard McEwan;
  • to Revd. Judith, and to Revd. Cath.

I would especially like to thank everyone for stepping up while I was on Sabbatical in May, June and July.

Finally, I would like to express my thanks and appreciation to you all for all that you do in the life of the church, and to express the joy and privilege of being Vicar here at St. Paul's.

Revd. Nick Andrewes

PCC Secretary's Report

During 2022 we managed 7 PCC meetings, all of which was on Zoom. The meetings were well attended. Cath took over as Chair during Nick’s sabbatical. The major area for discussion were recovering from the pandemic, the “Millstone or Springboard” questionnaire and results and the new Mission Communities.

One member stepped down due to personal reasons and one member was co-opted back onto the PCC.

There were 8 members of the PCC plus Cath Hewison, who left us in November.

The APCM was held on the 1st May 2022, 17 people attended. The meeting was held after the service in church so we could use the television for the visuals.

Lynne Street

Child Protection Report

There have been no reported incidents this year. Several DBS certificates are in the process of being applied for.

I have attended the Diocesan Training Course for Safeguarding.

Andrea Marshall

Health & Safety Report

As we emerge from the pandemic and slowly return to business as usual, we continue to provide sanitisers in order to enable the congregation to maintain the level of Covid-security which they require.

Members of the congregation did report Covid symptoms throughout the year, with no suggestion of anyone passing the virus on from one member of the church to another.

The health and safety policy has been reviewed and remains in place – copy on display on the porch noticeboard.

Informal safety inspections have been completed throughout the year. Liability insurance has been maintained and fire equipment has been serviced.

No health & safety incidents/accidents were reported during the year – please make sure these are reported if they occur.

If anyone has any suggestions for improvement relating to health & safety arrangements, please don’t hesitate to come forward.

Neil Marshall
Health & Safety Officer

Treasurer's Report

As we started 2022 it was hard to believe that we were still suffering the effects of the pandemic, but the good news that started the year was that we now had a vaccine.

The major factor for us all this year has been energy prices and our church is no exception. Our energy costs increased by approximately 264% from October 22.

Unfortunately, the PCC had to make the decision not to pay a quarter of the Parish Share, some £6885. This was to enable us to manage our money better and help with some small maintenance jobs. The results of our year end accounts show that this was the right decision.

Money in the Organ Fund was transferred into a Building Fund. This was because the PCC, with a heavy heart, judged that any work on the Organ would be jeopardised by the deteriorating fabric of the building, the roof in particular.

Thank you to the people who manage to continue their planned giving each month and to those people who were able to make a one-off donation to support us during the year.

Thanks also to Nick who applied for and was awarded grants toward expenses and an energy grant to help with gas and electric.

We made charitable donations to:

the DEC Afgan appeal:£175.00
the DEC Ukraine appeal:  £120.00
the Children's Society:£114.00

We approach 2023 with hope, confidence and in prayer for guidance to make the right decisions for our church.

Lynne Street

PCC Reserves Policy

  • The parish acknowledges the principles of Jesus’ teachings, and also of good governance: that money should only be kept in reserve for specific purposes, or spent, to further the objects of the PCC—not hoarded for a rainy day. These objects are listed above.
  • The Parish identifies particular risks in its situation. The Parish is grateful for the work of those who make the Community Room available to the Community. This brings significant income into the parish. However the parish is also realistic about the potential risks associated with its dependence on this form of income.
  • The Parish recognises that there is also a considerable backlog of building work that needs to be undertaken. Immediate priorities were indicated in the Quinquennial Inspection Report (2018). The most significant of these is the need to make provision for re-roofing the church (£300,000). In addition to this a number of smaller and larger improvements and repairs are needed to improve the fabric of church and community room.
  • Therefore the Parish aims for its level of reserves to approximately match 4 months of annual Current Account payments, at current levels this roughly equates to £11,000

Planned Giving & Gift Aid

Planned Giving: Weekly Envelopes

It was decided not re-order the printed envelopes for the 22-23 year. Anyone that had envelopes from previous years could use them if they wished.

A number of people that donated via the envelope scheme moved over to monthly standing order through the bank during the covid years.

Planned Giving: Direct into the bank account

At the Start of 2022 there were 28 people donating by monthly direct debit into our bank account.
By the end of 2022 there were 30 people donating via the bank.

Gift Aid recovered from the HMRC was £5245.17, this was for a 13-month period as the diocese has included December 22 in the figures. This was on donations given by people who pay income tax and allow us to reclaim the tax they have paid from the HMRC.


2022 has shown some improvement than in the previous year/s. We are thankful to those people who were able to continue to support us via the planned giving scheme and to those people who have been in the position to make one-off donations.

Lynne Street

Pastoral Care

COVID restrictions have continue to limit the level of pastoral care we have been able to provide - albeit increasingly less so.

Care Home visits have resumed, with Nick and Cath, alternately, offering a Service of Holy Communion, across both the parish of St Paul and the parish of St Thomas, each Tuesday of the month.

  • The Coppice
  • Park Hills
  • Tree Tops
  • Chamber Mount

Likewise, Holy Communion at home is available, to those unable to attend a service in church due to infirmity.

Thanks to Norah Baxendale for her support with funerals and visiting; to our volunteers who maintain regular contact with those who can no longer come to church; and to Cath for her ministry, including while Nick was on Sabbatical.

Megan Locklin

Social Committee

Unfortunately, we do not have an active Social Committee at the moment.

We have managed to organise monthly coffee mornings, run by teams of two, on the first Saturday of each month. These are now becoming quite well attended.

It was hoped to attract people passing by to drop in and join us but not many have responded to the invite. The December coffee morning included the sale of cakes and chutney and crafts made by the Stitch and Share group. Anyone wishing to join the rota to run one of these mornings will be made very welcome.

We did arrange a Picnic in the Park, but it was poorly attended.

If you have any good ideas for a social event, or want to be involved, please sign up to get the committee back off the ground.

Lynne Street

Deanery Synod

The Deanery Synod is now led by Rev Daniel Ramble who is the Area Dean for the Oldham and Ashton Deanery. The deanery is large with parishes which fall in the Borough of Oldham, these include the Saddleworth Parishes and also parishes from Ashton which border Oldham.

The meetings have been held on Zoom, this is an experience with about 50 – 60 people participating, of course in reality we hear mainly from the officers and those leading development programmes.

Topics have covered, the Deanery Mission Action Plan which embraces what each Mission Community was doing and their vision for Growing, Nurturing and Serving. We also have a regular update on ‘Eco Church’ progress and there is a Deanery Champion who can offer advice. As a Deanery we have updates from Mission Communities on their progress towards working together. We are a Bronze Eco Church!

Finance has a regular slot with advice on saving energy and changes to Parish share, this linked to training offered on ‘Generosity and Thankfulness’.

Importantly we were reminded of opportunities for people to explore their vocation and calling through the Foundation for Ministry courses.

We look forward to the next meeting which will be in person, nice to see people from other churches.

Colin Platt

Sunday School

During 2022 Sunday school has had a consistent core group of 6 children. Some older children attend the main service. We are a much younger group with age range between 3 to 9 years (average age of 5 years) with some younger siblings joining too with their parents.

As a smaller group we have been getting to know each other more through games, listening and acting out stories from the bible and crafting activities.

Between May and August Gina was away and Amy with support of two other parents expertly guided the group. In the autumn term we experience a lot of flu so each week welcomed those who were well enough to attend.

The year ended with a Christmas nativity photo montage with readings .

Many thanks for the support from all families that attend.

Gina Andrewes & Amy Holt

Community Room

Use of the community room has steadily increased as we move forward from the Covid-19 lockdowns. It's good to have Pop In, Stitch & Share, Guides, and Bethel Church regularly using the space - now twice a week at the time of writing, along with Rugul Aprins Oldham.

We have regrettably raised our prices, particularly for one-off users of the Community Room: letting groups in and out for one-off parties on a Saturday night was putting a strain on clergy and volunteers.

Thanks to those who have supported making this space available for the community.

Nick Andrewes


It is pleasing to report that the choir are now involved in leading our communion services. You will probably have noticed them sitting robed in the choir stalls.

We would welcome anyone who enjoys singing to join them and especially men.

If you ask any member of the choir they will explain the commitment required.

Colin Platt

Pop In

A chance remark at church recently led to confirmation of the fact that Pop In will celebrate our 25th anniversary in May this year - and one of our founder members is still a regular on Tuesday afternoons!

The format remains the same: to enjoy each other’s company. Quizzes ,play games and once a month enjoy a hot meal in the Community Room as well as Afternoon Teas and the occasional visit to a restaurant in Saddleworth.

Our numbers are much lower that in previous years and we would welcome anyone.

with an afternoon free to come and see what we do.

Eileen Cooper

Church Flowers

If you would like to have flowers in church in someone’s memory or for a special family celebration, please put your name on the flower rota, on the notice board, next to the Sunday of your choice, and speak to me with regard to a suitable donation.

Traditionally we do not have flowers in church during Lent and Advent but donations are always welcome to celebrate Easter and Christmas.

The “flower girls“ Andrea, Eileen , Margaret Burston and myself are looking forward to creating lovely displays once again.

Thank you.

Jill Platt

Eco Church Report

This year, St. Paul's, was awarded the Bronze Eco-Church Certificate. This is a significant achievement in challenging times. We mustn't let up now, but we must continue the push for silver:

Bronze Eco Church Certificate
  • The PCC has committed to reducing the Parish's carbon footprint year on year by 10% - using the 2022 figuge, below, as a baseline.

We have completed the Energy Footprint Tool:

Energy Footprint Tool Result
  • A comparison with last year is hard to make, given that in 2021 the building was closed for a large part of the year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • While our overall CO2 footprint doesn't compare well with other churches, once this is adjusted for total use of the building, you can see we do much better compared to other churches.

We are continuing to use the Eco Church Audit which is an online survey which asks us how we care for God’s earth. We are currently at the following levels:

  • Worship and teaching: GOLD
  • Buildings: BRONZE
  • Land: BRONZE
  • Community: BRONZE
  • Lifestyle: BRONZE

The PCC will consider the next steps in each of these areas over the coming year. For the sake of our Common Home, we need to continue to strive to reduce our negative impact on the planet.

Gina Andrewes

Stitch & Share

Stitch & Share continues to meet on Wednesdays 10am to 1pm. In 2022 post pandemic we had a consistent core group of 12 members with an average attendance of 14 people per session. Across the year 37 people have accessed the group. We have a diversity of cultures attending for example from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iran, Afghanistan, Romania and white English.

Our main activities have been making garments from patterns, garment alterations and mending. Donated fabrics are made into cushions, aprons, soft toys, curtains and bags. In addition embroidery, crochet and knitting also take place. The skills base of this group is high with specific talents shared amongst the group.

The group expenses are kept to a minimum through making good use of resource donations and covering the cost of the room hire.

Most importantly the group recognises that not only do we sew and share but we also support, meet and accompany each other through life’s ups and downs.


Donations442.28Room Hire1,080.00
Bank Charges (reimbursed)26.70Bank Charges20.20
Opening Balance
(1 Jan 2022)
1,427.62Closing Balance
(31 Dec 2022)

Gina Andrewes & Auriel Hopkinson

Unit Report: 10th Oldham St Paul’s Guides

This year as usual we have completed a number of skills builders, challenges, cratfs and played lots of games. We have celebrated Chinese New Year, Valentines Day, Pancake Day, Thinking Day and Mothers Day.

We helped to organise the Table Top Sale to raise some much needed funds for both Guides and Church.

In June we attanded the division Jubilee party were the Guides joined other Rainbows, Brownies & Guides from all over Oldham West. It was so nice to see all the girls throughly enjoying themselves and take part in such a special event.

Some of the leadership team volunteered at Lancshire South East county events Cinema Under the Stars and Guides and Glowsticks both held at Ashworth Valley Rochdale.

At the end of July we went on camp to Guys Farm, Lancaster were our theme was emoji's. During the week the guides slept in tents and cooked outside. We went climbing, raft building, paddle boarding and played archery along with generally enjoying the out of doors

We were very lucky to get some apples and plums from the vicarge garden so we made jam, apple flapjack and apple and blackberry traybake mmmmmm!

We ended the year by going to Oldham Coliseum to watch Robin Hood where a brilliant night was had by all!

Hayley Cowling


Church of England Logo
Bronze EcoChurch Award
Diocese of Manchester Logo