Annual Report

The following is a summary of the Vicar’s Report which was recently presented at our Annual Meeting.

There is much to be thankful for in the life of our church. The church continues to grow, people are stepping into new roles, new initiatives have taken place such as Safe Sleep and LPA training – and the parish managed to purchase the Old Vicarage. Along with the new, St Johns also continues to be a welcoming, kind and generous church committed to growing in our faith and following Jesus. Thank you – and Praise God!

The following questions have been used at our last two annual meetings – and they remain pertinent questions for us in 2019.

How accessible are our Sunday services?

This year we want to reflect on our range of services and service pattern and continue to ask questions about how accessible, inclusive and engaging these services are. To help us think this through we’ll be seeking the views of the whole congregation – so watch this space!

How can we develop pathways into church and faith?

The most over-looked of all of the ‘Holy Habits’ we recently studied was that of making more disciples. We are not currently well set up for people who want to explore faith and so evangelism will be a top priority for us this year.

How can we be more fully open to God’s Word and Spirit?

The Holy Habit course made barely any reference to Signs and Wonders – yet it is clear from the New Testament that this was part of the early church’s life. This Habit was missing from the series – and I feel is largely missing from our shared life together too. I hope we can go on an adventure together as we look more closely at the example of Jesus and the early church in relation to the supernatural. I sense God has much to teach us – and gifts he longs to give to us.

How can we fruitfully use our fantastic building in serving God and our community?

The Old Vic somewhat derailed the Renewal Project – but this year we will continue to move forward with our plans for the re-ordering and renewal of the church building and grounds.

I finish with a huge word of thanks to everyone at St Johns. Thank you for all that you do and all that you pray for this community. We now look ahead – thankful for what God has done – and expectant for what he will do.

Yours in Christ

Update on the Old Vicarage

Following sterling work by a team of painters from St. John’s the Old Vic is now occupied by 2 tenants. Supreme Design are using one of the first floor offices and Weymouth Area Development Trust are using part of the ground and first floors as offices. This means we have revenue on stream and we can now plan the next part of the refurbishment.

Please pray for wisdom as to how God wants us to use the building in the future and to ensure we use the donated money to the greatest effect.

Tony Blackwell

Here I am

Like a piece of driftwood
Washed up on the shore
God swept me to Weymouth
Could I ask for more?

Sun dance on the water
See the crystal sea
God swept me to Weymouth
He loves you and me.

Now the bay protects me
From the most treacherous storms
Just like Jesus holds me
In His loving arms.

Lord I am so grateful
Praise you every day
Lord I am so grateful
You brought me this way.

Help me then to serve you
Show me what to do
Like the waves – you’re constant
In my whole life through.

They were here before me
And will be when I’ve gone
To be with You in Glory
Where the Son shines on.

Valerie Collings

(Val wrote this poem during the night when she was kept awake with a chesty cough. Is there anyone else who writes poetry? Do please share with us all)

Church finances

In March we had our Annual General Meeting and as part of that we reviewed the financial accounts for St John’s Church for 2018. This gives a snapshot of our financial position. The accounts and more details have been circulated but here is an overview.

We hold a number of specific funds which are generated from donations for specific purposes. The general account is the main funding for the church’s ongoing expenses and is the critical balance to take note of. In both 2017 and 2018 we received more income than we spent. This has helped to increase the balance and it is approaching a healthy level. Ideally this would be at about 3 months of expenditure (approaching £20k). The general balance was £18k at the end of the year. (It has since taken a hit in the New Year with the heating repair costs.)

Mission giving from St John’s Church has been held at a fixed amount for a number of years. Ongoing church income has contributed 10% and the excess has been met from a reserve created by specific donations. This reserve has now been used, mission giving has been reviewed and reduced and will now be limited to 10% of income plus any specific donations.

The accounts also show where the money comes from and how it is spent. (Pie charts are on the welcome desk). The level of income received as a refund of income tax is a significant help (nearly £12k). Thank you to those who have completed the relevant form to allow us to claim the tax back. If you are a tax payer and a regular giver to the church, I would be grateful if you would consider donating in this way. (Please give your form to Linda Miles who reclaims the tax on our behalf. Either Linda or I would be happy to discuss this if you have any concerns.)

Sian Dobson

St John’s Church Annual Meeting 2019

A Bring and Share lunch followed our morning worship service in March. It was a lovely opportunity to spend time with each other. This was followed by our annual church meeting which was attended by 49 members. It gave the opportunity to celebrate what God has done, to look to the future and to vote for leadership positions within our church.

After 20 years Dave Moore (Deputy Warden) retired. Michael Miles (Warden for 5 years) and Jill Flux (DCC member) also stepped down. Jill will continue as coordinator for the Mission Committee. Grateful thanks and appreciation was given for their faithful service over many years.

David Boyd and Bev Williams were newly elected to the DCC (District Church Council). John Horrell, Mike Lidstone and Tony Blackwell were elected as Deputy Wardens. Churchwardens are elected on an annual basis. Les Mould and Roger Welch were elected to this position. They will also serve on the DCC (District Church Council) and PCC (Parochial Church Council). The positions of Churchwarden will be ratified at the PCC Annual Meeting in April.

On behalf of the congregation, Dave Moore thanked Tom and Susie for their care and their leadership.