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Vicar's Musings for Ordinary Sunday 16

20 July, 2014

The Vicar's Musings today are a summary of some of the key issues discussed at the Parish Council meeting this week. The Parish Council's monthly minutes are available for any parishioner to view on request, through the parish office.

Parish Governance Act 2013: This month the Parish Governance Act 2013, that was passed at Synod last year, comes into play. The changes are not huge, and the Act is essentially a long-overdue update of our parish legislation. But as one member of Synod said to me last year: "Halleluiah! At last the church is moving into the 21st Century." One of the changes you will notice immediately is that "Vestry" is now called "Parish Council." The first task our Parish Council is undertaking this year, is to establish a Constitution for St Peter's. The Act sets out a clear process for doing this and the Parish Council will bring a draft of our new Constitution to the General Meeting in November. If you would like to read more about the Act, there is a plain-English summary on our website Click to download...

Treasurer's Report: Our Treasurer's Report this month was both encouraging and sobering. The encouraging news first: our income is tracking well, year-to-date, with offertory slightly up on budget by $2,730.85 (2.45%). Thank you to all our parishioners and supporters who contribute so generously to the parish; it is not an easy financial environment presently for so many people and organisations. Due to careful management by the various committees and staff, and under the strong leadership of the Treasurer, our total income is also modestly up on budget (4.68%) and our total expenses have come in at $489.53 under budget year-to-date. Now for the sobering news: the budget we passed at last year's General Meeting was a deficit one, and the Treasurer reported this week that the 2014/15 budget she is working on at the moment is very likely to be in deficit again. We are blessed at St Peter's by faithful parishioners who have left generous bequests in the past; but clearly it is not good stewardship to rely overly on such generosity year by year. The Parish Council are praying and working hard on your behalf to find a long-term solution to this dilemma. Please pray for us, as we pray for you.

Ministry of Ordained Women at St Peter's: A Parish Council report is nearing completion: "The Question of Ordained Women's Ministry at St Peter's Eastern Hill." The Report will publish the notes taken from our seven Congregational Meetings that took place between Sunday 23rd March and Sunday 25th May, as well as making recommendations that emerged from the process. There will be a Parish Meeting on Sunday 31st August after the 11am High Mass to discuss the report, and then a proposed ballot at all the Sunday services the following week.

The Rev'd Dr Hugh Kempster

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