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Parish of St. Paul, Oldham

Annual Report 2018

Annual Report 2018

Annual Report 2018

Administrative Information

The Church of St. Paul 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 West, in the Diocese of Manchester.

The parish forms part of the United Benefice of Oldham and Werneth, and a Mission Partnership with the parish of St. Thomas, Werneth. It is part of a Mission Unit with Holy Trinity, Coldhurst, St Stephen & All Martyrs, Oldham, and Oldham Parish Church.

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.

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.

A number of new homes have been built in the parish.

With regards to the Index of Multiple Deprivation, the parish straddles 6 LSOAs. A "Lower Super Output Area" is the smallest geographical unit for which demographic data is produced. Oldham 024B is ranked 1,003, and Oldham O29A is ranked 321 out of 32,844 LSOAs across the country. In the 3% and 1% most deprived, respectively. The immediate area around St. Paul's, and the top end of Hathershaw, respectively.

There is a mix of religious and ethnic communities in the parish: British, Asian, and Eastern European. The parish also plays host to a Methodist Church, 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 Hathershaw College of Technology and Sport.

Vicar's Report

This year, I have to confess that a lot of my energy has gone into the major project of reordering St. Thomas' Church. The project has sadly had a number of complications and adjustments (including tackling the problem of dry rot). So, on one level, things at St. Paul's have been "ticking over" this year. For this you will either be glad, or sad. I have always stated that I never regarded myself as working 50:50 in each parish, but as doing what needs to be done, in response to the needs of each. The reordering project should finish in April 2019. I will then be turning my attention to certain issues at St. Paul's that need to be addressed, including a time of reflection on the building and how well it meets our needs, and how we can make gentle changes to help us grow as a church.

Nevertheless, we have revised our Mission Action Plan this year, and made some progress towards delivering the objectives that we have set ourselves, although these changes are often hard won.

On one level, a Mission Action Plan is about changing the culture of the church, and ensuring that we are all pulling in the same direction, in order that we can grow as a church, proclaiming and discovering in word and deed God's presence here in Hathershaw. The opposite would be a situation where we all pull in different directions and actually cancel each other's efforts out.

I would like to refer you to the Mission Action Plan to see what we are trying to acheive, and what progress has been made over the last year. Things completed are coloured green!

Highlights of the year:

  • The number of volunteers coming forward to close the church after it has been used by groups in the evenings. These efforts are much appreciated, as they allow us to serve the community by providing space in the community room. They also minimise the costs of doing so, increasing our revenues, and allowing us to plough money back into the building, improving our offering to the parish, and enriching our own life as a church.
  • New doors to the main entrance which look welcoming and inviting. (I hope that our teething problems with the door entry system will soon be resolved.)
  • Developing a way of adding new music to enrich our worship: the number and variety of our Morning Prayer Service books allows us to vary and expand the range of music we sing, incorporating music that is not in our hymn books.
  • A new Authorised Lay Minister in training in the area of Ecology and Creation; and then working with a group to help us take small but significant steps to help us become more environmentally friendly.
  • The number of people who have come forward to help with the forthcoming "Homeless Shelter" that St. Paul's will be hosting one night a week: new people getting involved; over 30 different people involved; new combinations of volunteers, so that people are getting to know others that they did not know previously; that the project clearly shows the benefits of our collaborations with other parishes (we would not be in a position to do it by ourselves).
  • The progress we are making in building relationships with other parishes through the Mission Unit - St. Thomas, St. Mary, Holy Trinity and St. Steven & All Martyrs - that will increase what we are able to offer our congregation, and our parish in mission and service.
  • While work towards the organ restoration has been delayed, we are encouraged by grants awarded by the War Memorials Trust (£30,000) and ON Organ (£3,500). Adding this to the money already in the account, £5,828, means we have now raised £39,328. We have also been successful in our application to have the organ "listed" by the British Institute of Organ Studies.

I would like to note that Revd. David Quarmby moved on to pastures new in April this year, with Sally, and I would like to record our thanks for David's ministry in the parish over a number of years, if not decades.

Finally, I would like to thank you all for all that you do. Once again, it is a pleasure to be a part of a church that is welcoming, and positive in its outlook - albeit in the midst of quite substantial changes in church and community life. (Revd. Nick Andrewes)

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. Thus 4 were elected in 2012 (when there were more numbers on the role); 3 each year. In addition, there are ex officio members: 3 Deanery Synod Representatives; 2 Church Wardens, the Vicar, and the Hon. Assistant Priest.

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

PCC Membership

Vicar: Revd. Nick Andrewes (Chair)
Curate: Revd. Janet Pitman
Hon. Assistant Priest: Revd. David Quarmby (until April)
Church Wardens: vacant vacant
Deanery Synod Reps: Colin Platt (Vice-Chair) Megan Locklin vacant
PCC Members: Grace  2  Hamelton  2  Margaret Fogg  2 
Dave Street  1  Adrienne Williams  1  Eileen Cooper  0 
Auriel Hopkinson  0  Andrea Marshall  0  Bahati Kaunara  0 
PCC Treasurer: David Street
Safeguarding Officer: Carol Vaudrey
Independent Examiner: Danny Stone

Electoral Roll

A new Electoral Roll was prepared this year. There are 59 names on it. (Jill Platt)

PCC Secretary's Report

There have been 7 Meetings of the P.C.C. this year, all chaired by the vicar. The Council consists of members of the Deanery Synod, and 9 elected members from the congregation, 4 of whom will complete their term of office at the A.P.C.M and must stand down for one year before they can be re-elected. Average attendance at the meetings has been 60%, with three members achieving 100 % attendance.

It has been a busy year with much to discuss. Subjects include answering the Archdeacon’s Articles of Enquiry, storage of Archives, maintenance and improvements to the building and churchyard, reviewing our Mission Action Plan and considering our finances.

There will be much to consider during the coming year and new members from the congregation will be needed to replace those who have completed their term of office.

The meetings are bi- monthly and usually last for a couple of hours. On the second Wednesday of the month in the Community Room. (Eileen Cooper)

PCC Treasurer's Report

This year has seen us consolidate on the good results of 2017. i.e. our overall bank balance has improved by £600. We made a small overall surplus of £325 in our General account.

Major items of note are the front door/vestry steps improvements of £20,315 - all of which was paid for by grants barring £219 which came from our general fund.

Shop income remained stable at £6,000. Room Hire was up by £1,400 to £6,557. Clearly these are two very valuable sources of income and my thanks to everyone who facilitates these resources.

Christmas Fair net surplus remined stable at £1,350. The Annual concert raised £508. The Art Exhibition raised £662 and two new events ‘Auction of Promises’ and ‘Race Night’ raised £910 and £509 respectively. Many thanks to Carol and Adrienne who put many hours of their time in organising these events.

As usual, we managed to pay our Parish share of £27,349. We have managed to secure a slight reduction in the Parish Share for 2019 to £23,000. We gave £656 to 3 charities.

Maintenance costs were very reasonable for the year. Upkeep of Services was up, but this was down to the installation of the Sanctuary Lamp for which we received a donation for in 2017. Photocopying costs are now a lot lower thanks to the new refurbished photocopier installed in 2017.

Miscellaneous expenses were up, but did include 2 one-off payments of £1,100 to the shop accounts, and Architect's Fees of £462 for wall and fencing proposals.

So,as things stand at the end of 2018, we have £13,226 in the general account; £2,250 for the outside area project; and £5,828 in the organ fund (as well as some grants that have been awarded, but not paid).(David Street)

2018 Financial Statements

PCC Reserves Policy

  1. 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.
  2. The Parish identifies particular risks in its situation. The Parish is grateful for work of volunteers and organisers of the Parish Second Hand Shop; and for the work of those who make the Community Room available to the Community. Both of these bring significant income into the parish. However the parish is also realistic about the potential risks associated with its dependence on these forms of income.
  3. 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 (2012). Those not yet completed include redesigning the area around the cellar steps to make them safe. In addition to this a number of smaller and larger improvements and repairs are needed to improve the fabric of church and community room.
  4. Therefore the Parish aims for its level of reserves to approximately match 4 months of annual payments, at current levels this roughly equates to £17,300 (33% of £51,800). And the end of December 2017, our reserves stood at £13,120. It is important that we continue to increase our level of reserves to the target level, for the health and stability of the parish

Church Attendance

Average Sunday Attendance from October Census for recent years:

MEASURE 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014
aged 16 and over (including baptisms) 45 53 62 54 61
aged 16 and over (who attend less than 12 times per year) 7 12 17 14 6
aged 16 and over (who attend more than 12 times per year) 38 41 45 38 40
aged 16 and under 15 19 18 10 11

Safeguarding

The biggest change this year has been the Churches Child Protection Advisory Service (CCPAS) changing its name to Thirtyone:eight. This service not only scrutinises our DBS applications but offers child protection advice 24 hours 7 days a week. This new name reflects its commitment to protect vulnerable people and create safer places. The name comes from Proverbs “Open your mouth and speak up for the dumb, against the suit of any that oppose them.”

In December I attended a safeguarding update provided by the Diocese. Since then a new Parish Safeguarding Handbook has been produced and is designed to support the day to day work of the parishes in relation to safeguarding.

I call in Sunday School each week to ensure we have sufficient staff cover and I am quite happy to help if needed. Contact with the uniform leaders is regular, to ensure all the children attending our church, in whatever capacity, have the highest level of care and protection we can provide.

There have been no incidents recorded this year.

I would like to thank all the service leaders for their support, patience and time, given to our church children. (Carol A. Vaudrey - Safeguarding Officer)

Find out more

Health & Safety

The health and safety policy was re-issued in September 2018 following the PCC’s annual review - no changes were necessary.

Employers’ liability insurance is renewed annually.

The Health & Safety Law poster is on display and includes contact details for reporting accidents/incidents, or any potential health and safety related issues.

The fire evacuation procedure has been reviewed and is on display. An evacuation route plan is displayed in the porch, choir vestry and community room. The fire evacuation procedure will require testing during 2019.

Health & safety inspections have been carried out throughout the year – these inspections include:
Condition of ceilings and overhead fixtures, condition of floors and footpaths, storage of chemicals and cleaning materials, fire exit access, provision of fire extinguishers and fire blankets, availability of first aid kits, ladder condition checks, adequacy of lighting, heating boiler maintenance and electrical safety tests.

Two incidents/accidents were reported during the year – one cut reported at church in July 2018 and a trip and fall at the shop in January 2019. Three slips, trips and falls have been reported over the last 5 years and one cut. Whilst there is no trend in the cause of each of the trips/falls, the congregation is reminded to remove and report any objects which may present trip hazards. Please use handrails when climbing the church steps.

Risk assessment training was delivered to the PCC 14/11/18 during which items were identified for action - these are now being managed and implemented by the PCC. The church risk assessment has been updated following the review 14/11/18.

A safety inspection was carried out at the shop during 2018 – actions raised have been completed.

Should any member of the congregation have any concerns about health and safety arrangements in the church, please let the health and safety officer know so that improvements can be made. (Neil Marshall)

Deanery Synod

Area Dean: Rev. N Andrewes
Lay Chair: Barbara Micklethwaite

The Deanery has considered a number of issues over the last year at both the Deanery meetings and the Deanery Pastoral meetings.

A main issue has been the Deanery Mission Action Plan (MAP)

The aim of the plan was not to amalgamate the Parish MAPs , but rather to look at what can be done as a Deanery and focus on an area, not the sum of the parts.

Archdeacon Cherry has attended our meetings and she reminded us that the Church should set the MAP and that it is the congregation who should set the vision. The MAP should empower the congregation to look at their Parish vision.

Archdeacon Cherry recommended the document Setting Gods People Free to assist Parishes with setting their vision. She explained that the Fit For Mission Programme is asking Parishes to be proactive in determining their own future, and looking at how to draw communities into the life and fellowship of the church.

Themes for the Deanery:

Another issue was about the appointment of clergy and if the Deanery could set principles which may help in choosing which parishes should have new clergy.

We have had reports from : Oldham Interfaith Forum, the New Borough Dean Rev J Hurlston, General Synod, Diocesan Synod. And Diocesan Finance

Bishop of Bolton, Bishop Mark gave a presentation on a strategy for church growth and initiatives within the Diocese.

Discussions have also taken place around various issues, including:

  • What constituted a thriving parish: was it the attendance numbers or the work going on within the community?
  • Assessing where the growth is taking place. Extending the work of the Kingdom outside of the building and looking at the best way to do the work of the Kingdom.
  • Looking at the busyness of a church and whether it contributes to the growth of the church . (Colin Platt)

Planned Giving & Gift Aid

At the start of 2018, we had 18 people who took the Weekly Planned Giving Envelopes. During the year we have added one more donor to the envelope scheme, there is still one box waiting to be used if anyone would like to it for their giving, please see Lynne Street.

At the end of 2018 there were 26 people donating monthly direct into our bank account.

Overall, at the end of the year we had 41 people actively donating to church funds via the Planned Giving scheme, either by weekly envelope or bank transfer, 3 people use both.

Including the people who Gift Aid their Planned Giving and people who have given one-off donations the total amount of Gift Aid recovered from the HMRC this year is £ 4,621.62

From the 6th April 2013 the HMRC introduced a scheme called the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme or GASDS for short. This enables us to claim the basic rate of income tax on our loose plate collections and on non-gift aided planned giving. As one would expect there are restrictions, we cannot claim on donations made by cheque or for donations of over £20.00. In the year 2018 GASDS has provided us with an extra £774.12 in Gift Aid from the HMRC. (Lynne Street)

Community Development Manager

This year has been very busy one, with lots going on in both Parishes.

The re-order at St Thomas’ will very soon be complete but the journey seems to have been very long.

I have worked with STRIVE (a community group make up of of Coppice residents) which is still meeting weekly at the school – an important line of communication with the community on the Coppice, and which is really excited about the future of the church and the opening of the community building, which we hope will happen at the celebration on 27th April, with stalls to rent, lots of food stations, dancing, music, arts and crafts and so much more. Please advise myself or Nick if there is anyone you think should be formally invited.

If you know anyone who would like to rent a stall for £15 to sell anything but food and drinks please let me know.

Other activities have included:

  • Working as part of the Mayor’s Charity Committee, raising money for the five chosen charities (which includes the fund to reorder St. Thomas’ Church).
  • Working with and supporting the asylum seekers through the range of issues they face. These men and women are a pleasure to work with and support. We all enjoyed attending a 12 week Conflict Resolution Course with the Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Peace Foundation, and then going on a weekend in Warrington for a weekend of fun, food, classes and walks. An example of my work has included supporting a young man who gained Refugee Status, employment on an apprenticeship at a local school teaching football, and also setting up his own Football Academy. Another volunteer has now got a job teaching at Oldham College.
  • Teaching an accredited course on Thursday mornings at St. Paul's, training volunteers to teach English at a range of levels. I support them as they gain experience doing so in the lunchtime class, working with asylum seekers, and members of the local community in small groups. A lot of learning takes place, on all sides.
  • Liaising with Chorley Community Education, who will be delivering accredited courses at St. Paul’s and St. Thomas’ from May 2019: English, Maths, ICT, Childcare, Teaching Assistant courses, Interpreter courses etc.
  • Attending training in a range of areas, liaised with a range of agencies, worked on funding applications; arranged the distribution of Christmas toys and jumpers.

In short, I have been working to build relationships between a range of individuals, groups and organisations, hopefully releasing synergies and creating pathways that enable all to better themselves within the extremely deprived and varied communities of Hathershaw and Coppice. (Julie Stones)

Social Committee

Once again our first event in 2018 which drew people together from the church and community was our 'Hi De Hi' performance in which anyone with talent can perform to our appreciative audiences. All acts were greeting with great applause and everyone enjoyed the home made potato pies, provided by members of the cast. Unfortunately this year (2019), for a variety of reasons, was our last concert. It will be sadly missed.

An Auction of Promises with entertainment was held in March, with a wide range of promises, showing the talents of our church members. Although the weather was bad with many people being snowed in, this did not affect the bidding. The entertainment, hot buffet food and company was great. The evening,despite the weather, was a huge success.

In May a group of us enjoyed a modern version of G&S's 'Patience' at Woodhouses, which as usual featured an excellent principal part played by one of our choir! We had all enjoyed an evening meal together beforehand.

In June we repeated our 'Picnic in the Park' where we were treated once more to a delicious bean stew, made by Amelia and transported with all necessary extras by Grace and Hamelton. We enjoyed our walk, searched for the answers to our observational quiz and played (or watched) a great game of football with the Farsi lads from St Thomas'.

At the end of June we organised a Race Night. This event also had it's weather challenges as the weather was so hot it was difficult to keep the buffet food fresh. Everyone appeared to enjoy themselves and we raised a lot more money for church than we expected.

In August the unpredictable weather eventually beat us as we had to cancel the very popular bowls afternoon due to heavy rain. It was especially sad as we had a new winner's trophy to present, in memory of Peter Waters from St Thomas' (who had actually won in 2017 with vicar Nick) donated by his daughter, Janet Campbell.

In September we were entertained to a very enjoyable musical evening, presented by Andrea and friends, singing a varied and popular programme based on shows in which they had performed.

October saw, what has become, the annual 2 day Art Exhibition. Once again we had lots of exhibits, including for the first time Broadfield School pupils' work. The pupils came in firsts thing Friday morning in stages to see the exhibition. The feedback from the pupils and teachers was very encouraging. We had lots of wonderful talent on show and a lovely exhibit from our Sunday School,which is still hanging in church.

All our Christmas events were well supported and appreciated; the chocolate coffee morning,the Victorian Christmas Market and the Christmas meals for men and women respectively.

Our events are shared jointly with St Thomas' and are well advertised on the church web site,notice boards, magazine,in the local press and in the Charity Shop to encourage anyone in the community to join us and enjoy the fun.

A great big thank you to everyone who gave their time and energy to help organise the different events, who donated in any way and above all attended the events, without you all the events would have not been the successes they were.

Anyone who has an idea for an event which they would like to be included or to organise do make contact. We are always keen to enjoy new ideas.

Thank you. (Adrienne, Barbara and the Social Committee)

Sunday School

This year 22 children have accessed the Sunday school between the ages of 3 and 14 years. Each Sunday there is on average a group of 14 children.

Sally, Amy and Gina, the Sunday school leaders continue to meet regularly to plan a rich and enjoyable curriculum, in particular looking at how we celebrate Holy Communion together at St Pauls. Activities have included: making banners and headdresses for the Whit Walks; building a Noah’s Ark and presenting to the church congregation; taking part in the church art exhibition showing, stain glass effect mobiles; cooking and sharing food is always popular and very much enjoying presenting our nativity play 'Jesus’ Christmas Party’ with the grumpy inn keeper.

Increasingly Sunday school children are more confident to show, tell and present what is important to them in church.

Please look at our display board for what we have been learning about recently.

If any adult members of the congregation would be interested to work with and alongside our enthusiastic young people please talk to a Sunday school leader. (Sally, Amy & Gina)

Find out more

10th Oldham Guides

January - We made up dances to Walking on Sunshine & In the Summertime. They also read 2 poems about the the seasons & the weather for Church Show.

February - Made pancakes & Performing Arts badge

Mothers' Day - cards, decorated candles

April/May - Plastic Free Planet challenge badge. what is plastic, how to recycle it. Made a bag by recycling a t-shirt, we made bird feeders from plastic bottles

June - Camp training ie pitching tents, putting up gadgets and bedding rolls. Decorated their own pillowcases and Partol Flags. They also practised camp fire stunts and songs.

Circus Skills Division Guide event - The guides learnt to juggle, spin plates, use a diablo and a unicycle along with making their own juggling balls. At the end of the session they put on a show of what they had learnt and all gained the Circus Skills interest badge.

July - Guys Farm Guide Campsite for our annual camp. Crate Challenge, Raft Building, Archery, Pedal Cars & we had a day out in Garstang with a visit to the park. Get Knotted & Escape Room Badges.

Mexico - Alex, Charlie, Faith & myself have been very lucky to be selected to go to the Guide house in Mexico in 2020. So we have attended a couple of weekends and started organising events to raise money for the trip. We had a table top sale and breakfast at the beginning of November then at the end we had a Body Shop party.

Christmas Fair - We ran 3 stalls at the Church Victorian Market Christmas Fair which the guides had made christmas cards, cork reindeer, xmas wreaths and gift boxes to sell.

December - We finished off the year with a trip to Hollywood Bowl and the Chinese Buffet. (Hayley Cowling)

Scouts

Numbers are down, but we still meet fortnightly on a Friday night, due to a leader's shifts. We are looking for new leaders to share the duties, so that we can carry on.

We went to the Red Rose in the Lake District - a camp that takes place every four years, in association with St. Margaret's Church: Mountain Biking, Canoeing, Climbing, Low level hiking, High-level hiking, crafts, wood-turning, woodmanship, axe throwing, a silent disco, among other activities.

Recent activities include the mechanics badge, and food preparation (Pizzas, burgers, pancakes, biscuits, croissants, etc - cooked from ingredents rather than packets to encourage healthy eating!).

With extra volunteers, we would hope to open a Cubs group on a Friday night - we have keen young leaders, who would gain confidence and experience..

Community Room

The community room continues to be well used by the local community. As ever we seek to operate on a "WIN-WIN" basis: the church and community both benefit from use of the Community Room.

We have had a process of bedding in for the new door. The fob system adds an extra level of convenience and security to our management of the space. We only need to give out a small number of keys to the front door. The team of volunteers who lock the door every night don't have to go immediately a group finishes, or meet the group when they start. This makes it much easier on the volunteers who give of their own time to make the space available - and it also means that we don't have to pay someone to fulfil this role - and this enables us to continue to provide cheap meeting space for members of our extremely deprived local community, and particularly for minority ethnic groups.

The Community Room will also come into its own on the night we open for the homeless: we can offer a secure and comfortable space, with flexible heating, and serviceable kitchen.

Timetable of Regular Activities

Choir

The choir is a strong group of people who love music and enjoy enhancing worship.

It is pleasing to note that the choir numbers are growing and we all notice that many young people who act as servers have lovely voices.

However it would be nice to see a few men joining the choir and enhancing the harmonies, you don’t have to read music, just follow the black dots and sing higher when they go up and lower when they go down! and just enjoy singing!

Our thanks to our IT organist, Nigel for his weekly production of our backing music and to David Brocklehurst for his playing on the backing tracks.

I think we are fortunate to have music in our worship and a strong choir to lead the singing.

To quote from another church, ‘Come and join us’. (Colin Platt)

Charity Shop

Our Church Charity Shop is continuing to provide a service to the community, and to generate income for our Church. However it has been a difficult and challenging year from a staffing point of view. Carol organises the Staffing Rota and there have been many occasions when she has considered closing the shop for a day or half a day, because there were not two people available to volunteer. We are very lucky because we have a number of volunteers from within the local community who often are on duty for half a day each week and then offer to cover for absences on other days.

We need more people to volunteer to help in the shop.

What does this mean?
It means, offer to be in shop alongside someone else for 3 or 4 hours on one day each week or fortnight. There are some volunteers who, as we have said, are able and willing to work in the shop on a weekly basis, others work on a fortnightly basis and we are grateful for all the time they give. We are grateful to all the volunteers who keep the shop open for over 30 hours each week.

What do the volunteers have to do?
Working in the shop is not just simply serving customers. It also involves sorting clothing donations into acceptable and nonacceptable, sizing all clothing, hanging up in storage and then selecting items to be put out on display. So our volunteers are kept busy at all times and it is thanks to them that we were able to generate £6000 in the last year after all costs.

The Customers
Many of the people living in our community arrive in the area with little and I am sure they appreciate, not only the value of goods they purchase but also the kind and thoughtful manner in which they are treated.

Thank you
Many thanks to everyone involved, especially to Carol Vaudrey who prepares our monthly rotas and chases up all our volunteers to ensure that the shop is open when it should be. Thanks also to the Coopers who look after our finances and to all our regular volunteers, and those who often come into the shop to cover for absences, and of course to all the people who bring clothing and goods into the shop.

Clothing
We welcome all donations of clean clothing. It is only through the generous donations that we are able to offer a wide variety and styles of Children’s, Ladies and Men’s clothes.

A last plea
If anyone feels that they can offer a few hours volunteering then please contact Colin, Jill or Carol. (Colin Platt)

Find out more

Stitch & Share

We have been running the Textiles and Sewing Groups on a Wednesday in term time between 10 am and 12 noon, and 1pm and 3pm, respectively.

We were very pleased to have been awarded a grant from Ambition for Ageing for £2000. In addition the group also raised almost £600 through donations from members and for the first time selling products at the Oldham Parish Church Christmas Tree Festival. This income pays for the hire of the community room, a tutor and resources.

The ethos of the groups is to share and learn new skills while making new friendships that stretch right across the community and embrace all kinds of differences. Belonging to the group also combats loneliness and isolation, and has a positive effect on mental and physical well-being. Some of our skills were exhibited in the St Pauls Art exhibition and The Remembrance Poppy Display across the church pulpit.

Our average attendance per session has increased to 12 for the textiles morning session and 15 for the sewing afternoon session. For this year 59 people mostly from the Hathershaw area and a few from Oldham wide have accessed the project. We work with Early Help and a Housing Association to refer people to the project and Action Together have supported in finding two new volunteers who bring extensive skill and experience to the groups. (Gina Andrewes & Auriel Hopkinson)

This year, Stitch and Share is run under the auspices of the PCC and so the accounts are presented below:

RECEIPTS EXPENDITURE
General Donations: £ 473.19 Resources: £ 286.02
Grants: £ 2,000.00 Refreshments: £ 37.49
Trading: £ 126.04 Room Hire: £ 1,980.00
Sewing Tutor: £ 600.00
TOTAL: £ 2,599.23 TOTAL: £ 2,903.51
Balance at 1 / 1 / 18: £ 2,959.56
Deficit: £ 304.28
Balance at 31 / 12/ 18: £ 2,655.38

Magazine

The magazine is published monthly and at the present time we have a steady sale of around 70 copies which brings in much needed income for Church, although the number of subscribers has dropped during the past year.

In spite of the rising cost of paper, ink etc. we have been able to maintain the price of the Magazine to £5 00 per year for eleven editions, one of which is the bigger edition published in December. Spare copies are available in the entrance porch at a cost of 50p.

Copy for the magazine is always welcome and items of interest can be left in the box at the back of Church or emailed to the address on the back page.. The editors are very grateful for these contributions and I should like to appeal on their behalf for more items to put in the magazine. Please consider whether you could offer something of interest for an edition of the magazine – it needn’t be original, maybe something you have read somewhere which amused you or gave you something to think about, which you could share with the people who read our publication.

As magazine secretary I should like to thank the Editors, the printing team, the distributors and anyone who has helped in any way to keep the magazine going and to remind you that if you have not paid for 2019 subs are due!

If you are not on the magazine list, please consider being added to it- you will be kept up to date with events at St. Paul’s as well as supporting us financially. (Eileen Cooper)

Pop In

It is hard to believe that at the end of May the Pop – In will have been meeting every Tuesday afternoon for 21 years. It all began when a questionnaire was given out to the congregation to ask for suggestions for activities for every age from 1 to 100. There were already various groups for the young people, but apart from the Thursday group, now sadly no longer in operation, very little for the (slightly!) older people. A meeting was held to talk about the sort of activities that would be suitable and a date fixed for the first meeting, which attracted an encouraging number of people.

Over the years we have had trips, speakers, beetle drives, quizzes, bingo sessions, meals and numerous parties (any excuse) and, thanks to grants and donations have provided church with a great deal of equipment. Quite a number of our members were here at the first meeting and are still coming. We have welcomed many new members and lost a few along the way, who are greatly missed. The door is open every Tuesday and all are welcome: try it- you may still be coming when we celebrate our Silver Anniversary! (Eileen Cooper)

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Oldham Community Night Shelter

This year the Oldham Parish Church did a pilot project over two weeks to explore the need of a night shelter. In November St Pauls made a commitment to be part of the Oldham Community Night Shelter. This will involve the church community room being made available one night a week providing a evening meal, a bed, breakfast and company to an increasing number of homeless men in Oldham. So far twelve church members have applied to be volunteers and will attend training in early January in preparation. The night shelter will operate in the cold nights between January and the end of March. (Gina Andrewes)

Eco Church Report

In September 2018 we signed up for the Eco Church Awards. We completed an online survey which asked us how we care for God’s earth through worship and teaching; buildings; land; community and personal engagement and lifestyle. Already we were close to achieving silver in worship and teaching and bronze in what we have changed in the church building. When the paved area behind the church is fenced off this will give us leverage to plant, compost, bug hotels etc, therefore improving how we look after the land around the church.

When I have completed the ALM training in Ecology and Creation (Sept 2019)I will be asking if anyone would like to be part of a group (including children and young people) particularly looking at areas of community and personal engagement and lifestyle. I am sure there are adjustments that are easily achievable and affordable. Others adjustments maybe more of a challenge but that is something to look forward to and hope at least we achieve before 2030! (Gina Andrewes)

Church Flowers

Once again, may I say a big thankyou to all who give so generously during the year towards the floral displays in church, especially at Easter, Harvest and Christmas.

During Lent and Advent we continue to observe the tradition of no flowers in church; however during the season of Advent we do have the Advent wreath with its holly and ivy and displays of greenery which can be very attractive too.

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.

Many thanks to my team, Andrea, Eileen and Margaret who create such lovely displays throughout the year. (Jill Platt)

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