St. Michael’s, Bray with Braywood
Welcoming All in Faith, Hope and Love
Annual Parochial Church Meeting Papers 22nd April 2018

The Treasurer's Report
The Church Teas Report
The Online Report
Report on the Fabric, Goods and Ornaments of the Church
Report of the activities of the Deanery Synod
Report on The Tower
Report on The Friends of St Michael’s
Financial Statements Year Ending 31st December 2017
St. Michael’s, Bray with Braywood
Welcoming All in Faith, Hope and Love
Notice of two meetings to be held in St. Michael’s Church at 11.30am on Sunday 22nd April 2018
Apologies for absence:- Lesley Burch
First Meeting - Election of Churchwardens
Second Meeting - Annual Parochial Church Meeting
**Minutes of the Meetings held on 30th April 2017 and matters arising therefrom.
Election of up to 12 members of the Parochial Church Council
Election of up to 12 members of the Parochial Church Council (re- commitment to annual election).
  Election of Sidespersons
The Electoral Roll of the Parish
Report on the proceedings of the Council and of the Church’s life up to 31st December 2017
Presentation of the Financial Statement for the year to 31st  December 2017
10   The Children’s Society Report
The Church Teas Report
The Online Report
13   The Social Events Report
The Young Church
Report on St Michael’s Mission Plan
16   Report on the Music of the Church and Music at Bray
17   Report on the Fabric, Goods and Ornaments of the Church
Report on the Deanery Synod
Report on The Tower Bellringers
Report on the Friends of St Michael’s
Independent Examiner
Date of the next Annual Parochial Church Meeting (Sunday 28th April 2019)
Any Other Business

St. Michael’s, Bray with Braywood
Welcoming All in Faith, Hope and Love
Minutes of the Annual Parochial Church Meeting held on 30th April 2017
Rev Cowles, Lesley Burch, Linda Shepherd, Penny Murray, John Seymour, Susan Seymour,
Jasvir Banks, Pam Woodruff, Ian  Murray,  Basil Clare, Anne Clare, Natasha Teeder, Brenda Gardner, Roy Gardner, Audrey Ashby, Ken Amery, Wenda Fowles, Derek Fowles, Sheila Taylor, Graham Chamberlain, Jim Tucker, Bill Banks, Trevor Gould, Jackie Tucker, Judith Riley, Edna Wood,
Oliver Gooch.
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE: Graham Firman, Helen Pearson, Tony Ellison
The current church wardens agreed to stand again.  Linda Shepherd was proposed by Ken Amery and seconded by Natasha Teeder. Penny Murray was  proposed by  Pamela Robotham  and seconded by Jo Risely. Their reappointment was greeted with pleasure and agreed by all. The Rev.Cowles expressed his personal thanks to the wardens for all their hard work and support.  He also stated that he felt they were well qualified to lead during the interregnum.
The Minutes of the APCM  held on 17th April 2016 were amended.  The spelling of the Sidesperson, Anne Claire on the first page was changed to read Anne Clare. The acceptance of the minutes as a true record was proposed by Ken Amery and seconded by Lynda Jones and passed without dissent. The chairman therefore signed the minutes, and there were no matters arising.
Jim Tucker is already a member of the Diocesan Synod and thus did not need to be elected. Natasha Teeder and Penny Murray were then duly elected to join Jim as our representatives on the Deanery Synod.
The election of Helen Pearson, proposed by Penny Murray and seconded by Linda Shepherd  and those of the past PCC who wished to stand were elected en bloc without dissent. Those elected were: Kenneth Amery, Audrey Ashby, Jasvir Banks, Lesley Burch, Graham Firman, Oliver Gooch, Lynda Jones, John Seymour, Pam Woodruff and Helen Pearson.
In addition to those listed above, the Incumbent and the following members will serve on the PCC      

Linda Shepherd 
Penny Murray
Jim Tucker 
Natasha Teeder 
(Churchwarden)(Deanery Synod)
(Deanery Synod)
(Deanery Synod)

Thanks were expressed to Tony Ellison for his service to the PCC over many years.  The Rev Cowles pointed out how grateful we were that he had agreed to continue his work with the collection and recording of Gift aid.

The chairman explained to the meeting that the default position on the election to the council was that members be elected for three years. We choose to elect members every year, which was allowed under the rules. This was agreed without dissent.
The following had been nominated as sidesmen, and were approved unanimously by the meeting.

For the 8am Service
R Smart, A Clare, A Frizzell, T Ellison

For the 10am Service
D Chappell, C Pishhorn, K Schofield, L Richardson, J Riley, T Cook, Jackie Tucker, S Halliday, P Sands, K Amery, B Gardner, R Gardner, S Seymour, S Fontaine, G Blaxland, E Wood, H Pearson, J Rothwell.

The chairman thanked those who had volunteered and emphasised that Welcoming was an important part of our mission and that our sidespeople are on the front line.

Wenda Fowles, the Electoral Roll Officer reported that The Electoral Roll had been revised, two names being added and 5 deleted during the year, so that the total on the roll was now 134. 
The chairman thanked Wenda for her work with the electoral roll.  He also explained to the meeting that Wenda was now standing down from some of her numerous tasks. He was very grateful for all her work producing the pew sheets, filling in the registers and doing certificates. She would be continuing her work with The Parish Magazine.   The meeting expressed huge thanks to her for all her care and dedication.
The treasurer’s report had been circulated beforehand with the financial statements and approved by the PCC.  She then invited questions. There were no questions. The chairman thanked Pam for all her work.
Church, St Michael’s Mission Plan, The Music of the church and Music at Bray, The Fabric of the Church, The Deanery Synod, The Tower Bell-ringers, and The Friends of St Michael’s were all circulated in advance and agreed without dissent.
Elaine Pleace had expressed her willingness to be re-elected as the Independent Examiner. Jim Tucker proposed and Ken Amery seconded the appointment of Elaine Pleace as Independent Examiner, and all were in favour.  The chairman thanked her for her work
This was scheduled for Sunday 22nd April 2018. 
Jim Tucker’s report on the work of the Deanery Synod had been included with the church papers. There were no questions or comments.
I hope that you have all had a chance to read the Annual Report which contains an account of what the PCC deems to be the significant happenings in church life over the calendar year of 2016.
I hope also that you will agree that these reports are comprehensive and leave very little for me to say in addition. 
It is good to recall the special occasions which brighten up the year such as the Flower Festival and the celebrations of PM’s birthday, the musical productions and events.  Nevertheless, the life of a parish church is seen at its truest in the regular weekly worship of God which happens Sunday by Sunday, throughout the year.  According to the BCP, Anglican worship is characterised by “decency and good order”.  That we are able to aspire to these ideals is determined by the efforts a number of people week in and week out.  One of the strengths of this church is the teamwork and it is a strength that will of course continue to be exercised through this coming year.    I am grateful to all those who contribute in so many different ways to the life of St Michael’s. 
And so I should like to thank, in no particular order:
The Revd. John Copping, who has continued to celebrate and preach regularly and whose ministry is much appreciated by all; Canon Peter Johnson, The Revds. Alan Dibden & Derek Barnes have also been generous in their offers of help.
The Wardens I have already thanked.  Linda Shepherd’s administrative support and her work with both baptism visiting and also marriage preparation should not go unrecorded. Neither should Penny Murray’s initiative in setting up the Summer Teas and liaising with the schools to get their choirs along to our all-age services
The Deputy Wardens of the PCC, including Jim Tucker for his fund raising for the toilets, and as Deanery Treasurer
The Officers of the PCC, Secretary Lesley Burch & Treasurer Pam Woodruff
Deputy Chairman of the PCC, John Seymour for his work in this regard and other matters
The Fabric Officer, Ian Murray and those who join his ‘working parties’.  For all the many practical tasks undertaken around the church and hall, saving us a fortune on ‘handyman’ fees
Lynda Jones, Lay Funeral Minister whose work in this regard and in that as Sacristan and taking house communion around the parish is much appreciated.  Also as lead person on the Mission Plan and production of the Mission Newsletter
Audrey Ashby as Verger, and for organising the evensong readers and the church cleaning, for playing the organ and piano respectively at Jesus Hospital and Holyport Lodge 
Wenda Fowles I have already thanked.
Derek Fowles for the Parish Newsletter
Fees treasurer, Jasvir Banks
Elaine Pleace our independent examiner of accounts
Trevor Gould for his beautiful and eye-catching posters
Judith Riley & Sue Seymour for the loos
Our team of sidesmen and sideswomen
Chalice assistants, mentioning Richard Smart in particular for his regular help at the 8.00 a.m.  
Ollie Gooch Director of Music for his expertise and enthusiasm, and for Music at Bray, and indeed all those involved with MatB organisation.
Deputy Organist Lesley Burch for her time generously given
Choir for their contribution to our worship and the concerts
Maggie Jans and the flower ladies esp. for Easter
The church cleaners – comments from visitors church well cared for
The Social Committee, Roy & Brenda Gardner, Ken Amery, for the events and visits, so much enjoyed and appreciated
Katherine (& Graham) Firman and the dedicated band of ringers
Tony Ellison, Planned Giving Secretary, and the team of counters
Ken Amery and the team of Church Watchers who enable the church to be open to visitors.  Also for developing our Facebook presence.  Incidentally I was recently informed that a neighbouring parish’s services were now available on YouTube – a challenge perhaps for us there!
Natasha Teeder, for her work with the children
Helen Pearson our Children’s Society Rep
Beryl Maw, for leading the courses so capably, together with Lynda Jones, Pam Woodruff and Jim Tucker.  There have regularly been no less than 20 people attending
Lesley Burch and Jonathan House, Child Protection Representatives
Anne Clare and the team of refreshment providers who man the Hall after every 10 o’clock service and on other occasions
Sue Seymour and those who do the same after the Sunday Music at Bray concerts
The summer teas teams The Henley family
Bill Allan for his work on the St Michael’s website
The Friends of St Michael’s     Sarah Pallot Golf day
The Jumble Sale organisers and helpers, Pam Woodruff
Those members of the congregation who sit as governors on the boards of our two parish church schools
All who take part in all our Sunday services, including the 8 am. and 6.30 pm. services as readers or intercessors or chalice assistants.
All who support St Michael’s financially
I regret that it is not feasible to mention everyone by name and if I have left anyone out then I apologise for my oversight.
As we look back over the last year I hope that we realise that there is much for which to give thanks to God, and as we look forward let us do so in faith and hope that He will continue to bless us.
Although there are four months to go before I make my final farewells, this is of course my last APCM.  As I conclude my 9th annual report, I should like to say that it has always been a huge honour and  privilege to serve as your vicar.  The psalmist says “The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage.” And I can sincerely echo his thankfulness – I have been truly fortunate in being able to serve in the pleasant places of the parish of Bray with Braywood.
I know that Maureen will want to join me in wishing to express our sincere gratitude for the personal support shown to us over the last nine years.
This Holy Week & Easter was particularly significant for me, being the last time that Iwould share the journey with you, from Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday to Easter Day.  But it was brought home to me that here is the heart of our faith: Jesus Christ crucified; Jesus Christ the risen Lord.  We are an Easter people.  Alleluia.
Linda Shepherd spoke in reply of our thanks and gratitude for all the kindness  Richard and Maureen had given to the parish and all the guidance given freely to those who asked. It has been an honour and privilege to have Richard serve us as our vicar for the last 9 years.

The meeting closed at 12.15pm

Signed …………………..

Date ……………………..


St. Michael’s, Bray with Braywood
Welcoming All in Faith, Hope and Love
Annual Report for 2017

There are eleven elected members of the PCC. In addition there are unelected members who are on the council because of their roles in the church and parish. These are the incumbent (when in post), the churchwardens and members of the deanery synod.  The PCC meets regularly and has met seven times during this Church year to discuss the regular business of the church. The Standing Committee meets regularly between the full meetings and has met on six occasions to plan agendas for the full meetings and to discuss matters of urgency that cannot wait until the full meeting.

The members of the Council are as follows;

J. Seymour
Deputy Chairman
L. Shepherd
Church Warden
P Murray Church Warden and Deanery Synod representative
L Burch
Secretary, Safeguarding/verifier and pew sheets
P Woodruff    
J. Banks Fees Treasurer
L. Jones Sacristan, Lay Funeral Minister
A. Ashby Verger
N. Teeder Young Church and Deanery Synod representative
O. Gooch Musical Director
K Amery
Face book page contact and Church watch organiser
Bell tower
H Pearson Children’s Society representative
J Tucker Deanery Synod representative

The vicar, when in post, will automatically be a member of the Deanery Synod. Our lay representatives are Natasha Teeder, Jim Tucker and Penny Murray.

From the Registers

Thanksgiving for the gift of a child
Celebrations of Marriage
Blessings of Marriage
Funerals of parishioners in church
Funerals of parishioners in crematorium
Memorial services in church
Burial and interment in Touchen End churchyard
Burial and interment in Braywood churchyard
Interment of cremated remains in St Michael’s churchyard

Average Sunday attendance was  91 adults and  7 children (aged under 16).
Major festivals: Easter 184 (153 communicants) and Christmas Eve and Christmas Day 298 ( 214 communicants).

The combined attendances at the school and civic services during Advent was 730.

The major event for us in 2017 was Richard’s retirement after nine years of much valued service to the parish.

This triggered the process for finding a new vicar which begins with writing a parish profile. The profile describes the nature and needs of the parish, the job for the new incumbent, and the sort of person the job requires.

Catherine Morris the parish development advisor helped us with this, and all the members of the PCC involved in the process found it a useful and rewarding exercise.

Our advert attracted seven applicants, and we finished with a shortlist of two strong candidates.

Penny Murray and Jim Tucker who were our representatives on the selection panel were very pleased with the choice of the Revd Ainsley Swift the Team Rector from New Windsor.

Richard and Maureen will be much missed, but Ainsley and his wife Jane will be able to build on all the good things we already have and to move us forward.

Parish life in 2017 carried on as usual with many of these good things.

Several new activities were initiated under our Mission Action Plan which is described in Lynda’s report.

A Lent Course in the Pilgrim Series was held on the Bible and was well attended.

There was a most enjoyable farewell concert for Richard and Maureen and a lively community carol concert at Christmas.

Jazz on the vicarage lawn had us tapping our toes.

Holyport and Braywood Schools came to church for Easter and Christmas services, and their choirs performed at All Age services.

It was good to see uniformed scouts and guides parading on Remembrance Sunday.

Christingle for the young was as usual almost the best attended service of the year.

At the other end of life we remembered the departed at All Souls.

Our social committee organised successful outings to Westminster Abbey and to the Thursford Christmas Spectacular.

Volunteer working parties tidied up the church building and surrounds.

The new toilets were completed, giving us splendid modern facilities.

Our charitable donations included £500 to support the Balfour’s mission in Guatemala City, £750 raised by the Carol Concert for the Alexander Devine Hospice, and £468 from collecting boxes for the Children’s Society.

There are very many people who keep our church running successfully who should be acknowledged for their contribution, but in the interregnum there are some who should be specially mentioned.

Firstly the main responsibility lies with the churchwardens Linda and Penny, who have kept things going seamlessly. Linda Shepherd retires at this meeting and we thank her for all her contribution.

Lynda Jones our sacristan and Lay Funeral Minister conducted many more services than would normally be expected and has done this with distinction.

Jim Tucker successfully delivered the new toilet block, and Ian Murray has continued as the lynchpin of all matters concerned with fabric and premises.

We are most grateful to all the clergy who have helped with our services, and especially the Revd Alan Dibden who has taken most of them.

Finally thanks are due to all the other people, too many to list, who kept the life of our church flourishing in many different ways through 2017.


We continue to have a strong band of bellringers at St Michael’s, with over 20 ringers ‘on the books’ and often seeing even greater numbers than this as visitors from neighbouring towers come to join us. We have rung for all Sunday morning 10am services and weddings, quite a few Sunday evensong services, as well as our usual Thursday evening practices.
As a band we have made considerable advances in method repertoire and have now risen to ringing a range of Surprise Major methods on a regular basis, including Bristol. Our youngest (15 year old Ben Gladwyn) has been invited to be a member of the branch and Oxford Diocesan youth bands, and he rang his first quarter peal at Bray during the year. At the other end of the spectrum our nonagenarian, Derek Fowles, still manages to climb the steps and ring advanced methods. A nice characteristic of ringing is that it can embrace a wide range of ages and our band demonstrates this rather well!

In terms of special events we rang quarter peals to mark the retirement of Richard as Vicar, and for the centenary of 2 Bray ringers who died in action in WW1.  In September we rang a full peal (over 3 hours ringing)  arranged specially for the day of Derek and Wenda Fowles’ Golden Wedding Anniversary; coincidentally this also marked their 50 years of ringing at Bray.  This was the first peal rung by an entirely local band for many years, and the first ever of surprise major, so an achievement of which we felt justly pleased.

This year Bray won the local branch knock-out striking competition, and some of our members have taken part in ringing events across the country, including ringing for London teams and High Wycombe in the National 12-bell competition.

Whilst we consider ourselves to be well endowed with ringers at the moment, we know how quickly things can change. At our recent AGM we decided that we should start to explore ways of finding new recruits and invest in some modern teaching aids which should help learners to progress more quickly.
I greatly appreciate the hard work of our Officers to ensure the smooth running of the tower -  Sam Maynard (Deputy Captain); Wenda Fowles (Secretary);  Mary Cross (Treasurer) and John Payne (Steeplekeeper). 

Katharine Firman (Tower Captain)


The Friends of St. Michael’s Bray was formed in 1998 with the objective of raising funds to support the church, the church hall and churchyard.

In 2017 £1094 was donated for gutter cleaning equipment and £79,000 for the new toilets which was a legacy to The Friends from the estate of Peter Northall Laurie. 

Since formation of the charity a total of £163,000 has been donated by The Friends for items in the church and church hall and support for Music at Bray.   In addition a further £319,000 was raised through the Emergency Appeal principally for major repairs to the tower, windows and North Wall.

Sadly in the last year  two members of the Committee have died – Pam Robotham and Sandy Baillie-Hamilton.  They both made a great contribution to the committee with time, effort and wisdom and will be sorely missed.  We are currently trying to attract new members of the Committee, so far without success.

Fund raising activities in 2017 included Ride and Stride sponsorship; a Walk in Burnham Beeches and a donation from the Fisheries Residents Association Carol Service.

The Committee currently comprises: Lynda Jones (Chair); Tony Ellison (Treasurer); Sarah Pallot (Secretary); Graham Barker and Steve Adams.


We started the Children’s Society House Box Scheme in February 2016. The aim of the scheme is for box holders to put odd bits of change into their boxes and these are recalled annually so they can be opened, the contents counted and paid into the Children’s Society Account. There are currently 27 house box holders and the annual count held in February 2018 totalled £467.98 which was paid to the Children’s Society.


Church Teas were served in the church hall each Sunday afternoon during June, July and August . (Apart from Sundays when concerts were held).  Volunteers made up a different  team each week to make cakes, scones  and serve teas.  They made a grand total of £1,014,00. for church funds. This included over £100 made by the clothes rail sales that was organised by Pam Woodruff and Jilly Rothwell.
The Summer Raffle proved very popular especially with ‘ Lunch for two at The Waterside ‘ as first prize.  The tickets sold raised £1.338.00.  Half of this sum was given to Thames Valley Hospice.


The well-established St Michael’s website  is where many people go to first for their first contact with our church and who to contact for weddings and baptisms. Contact is then made through the website by e-mail. The website is a window into our activities, not just for those from outside our church, but also for members of our own congregation. Here you can find accounts of our social events, details of church personnel as well as our Parish News, which is reproduced in full on the site. It is also useful for ‘stop press’ information between the publication dates of our Parish News, which still performs a valuable service. An on-line presence is becoming increasingly the way church communicate. We owe a great deal of thanks to our ‘webmaster’ Bill Allan who enthusiastically puts everything together for us.

Our Facebook page ‘St Michael’s Church Bray’ is also increasing the number of members; at the end of the year we had thirty-nine people linked to our page. Not everybody reading our page is from our congregation; many people are from outside the church but are interested in what is going on at St Michael’s. The difference between this and our website is that people can be more informal and can also exchange photos and comments about events in church now and in the past.


Once again it has been a busy social year at St Michael’s. There were a total of four trips during the year. In February we visited Westminster Abbey, in May we visited Kelmscott Manor and Buscot Park and in September – Hatfield House. November found us returning to the Thursford Christmas Spectacular.

As well as these outings, nearer home  we had a garden party on the vicarage lawn and later in the year a gathering to mark Richard and Maureen’s departure. There was also a ‘ploughman’s lunch’ to raise money for Macmillan Cancercare.


This year, the number of children who regularly attend has continued to drop. Sadly, often it is just Percy who is present. Once again letters have been sent home to the pupils of the Church schools to invite them to attend. A few have shown interest.

As we do every year we have covered many topics, some lessons are based on the reading you’ll hear in church others on the basic principles of Christianity. 

The All-age services continues to draw in new faces, recently some have expressed an interested in joining us. I have also had interest from those who attended the Candlemas Service. So if the sermons are too much do come and join us! 

See you soon, with love and prayers.


St Michael’s Church & Church Hall
The Report on the Fabric, Goods and Ornaments April 2018

Work on the new toilet block dominated the years activities; commencing in May and lasting through until late November.

The five year electrics inspection took place in May. There were a number of code 2 & 3 items reported in both the church and the hall but, fortunately, no code 1 items. All of the defects reported have been actioned and cleared with the exception of some minor code 3 items in the church. This work included the installation of a new consumer unit in the hall in anticipation of an electrics connection from the hall to supply the new toilet block.

An additional surge arrester has been included in the north-aisle electrical supply. This was as advised in the previous lightening conductor inspection report.

Further repairs were necessary to the flashing and fillets on the east end of the north aisle roof due to the minor ingress of rainwater over the chancel area. This completes the replacement of fillets at the east end of that valley.

The hall boiler failed and it was decided to replace the old, air blast boiler with a new condensing boiler which has proved more efficient, quieter and more responsive.

Work commenced on the refurbishment of the Braywood, Lychgate. The roof had deteriorated to a point where loose tiles were likely to become a danger to pedestrians. A grant of £3500 has been approved, by the Bray Parish Council, toward the total cost of £7500.

Emergency lights have now been installed over the South and West doors in the church.
The quinquennial inspection was started in January and we await the report.

Lightening conductor testing, fire-extinguisher inspections and gas boiler maintenance has been routinely carried out.

Three very productive working party days were ‘enjoyed’ by an ever increasing number of helpers during the year – my thanks to all of them. 


The Parish representatives on Maidenhead & Windsor Deanery Synod are Penny Murray, Natasha Teeder and Jim Tucker, who is the Deanery Treasurer. Synod met three times in 2017. The main topics at the meetings were as follows: -

Wednesday 22 March at St Stephen’s, Windsor
Presentation by Julie Dzeigel, General Synod member, on the work of the General Synod and the Renewal and Reform programme.
Presentation and approval of the 2016 accounts

Wednesday 24th May at St Peter’s, Furze Platt, Maidenhead
First meeting of the newly elected Synod. Deanery officers and Standing Committee elected. There was a presentation on the Deanery Plan and its progress to date. Members held a number of discussions on what they would like to see at synod meetings over the next 3 years.

Thursday 17th October at St Mary’s, Maidenhead
Presentation by Shula Tajima, coordinator of Windsor and Maidenhead Youth
and Children’s Counselling Service, on mental health issue for young people. Simon Eves, Youth Worker at St Mary’s also spoke of his experiences in this area.
There was an update from General Synod and on the Church Commissioner’s
rejection of the scheme for St Mary’s and the Walthams.

Bishop Steven’s Visit – 6th June
Bishop Steven visited the deanery as part of his tour of the diocese. Several members of our congregation were in attendance that evening, when he outlined his thinking on his emerging vision for the diocese at an open meeting at St Stephen’s, Windsor.


This report is being written with mixed emotions. Everything is set for two performances of Richard Rodney Bennett’s All the King’s Men, eagerly anticipated by us all. But we are saddened by the passing of Pam Robotham, who was always one of Music at Bray’s staunchest supporters.

The church choir has had another eventful year. Its stalwart members continued to lead the singing of hymns and psalms week by week, as well as performing a wide repertoire of anthems and special services. They joined Music at Bray for three concerts in 2017; Durufle’s beautiful Requiem in April, a most enjoyable farewell concert for Richard and Maureen Cowles in September, and our annual Community Carol Concert in December.

St Michael’s Singers – folk who sing regularly but not in St Michael’s – took part in the first two, and St Michael’s Community Choir – folk who don’t sing regularly, but like to – the second two.  We particularly appreciated the support for the Carol concert, which raised £750 for the Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service.

We have welcomed two new singers to the church choir this year. Alex Cope joined the ranks of the sopranos, and not even the birth of baby Edward was allowed to restrict her attendance. The tenors now have Robert Opoku as one of their number; Robert has also become the first recipient of the Music at Bray Organ Scholarship, and is already helping out with services. Sean Douglas continues as our Choral Scholar. His excellent progress is evident as he is taking a leading role in All the King’s Men.

The regular Sunday afternoon recitals have continued throughout the year, an opportunity for our faithful regular audience to hear music of many different types, but all of the highest quality. The series was capped by the annual Jazz at the Vicarage afternoon, with a record attendance of more than 100. Thanks are due to all who provide the teas on these occasions.


Welcoming All in Faith, Hope and Love

“Welcoming All in Faith, Hope and Love”
The objective of the Mission Plan is “Going for Growth” under three main pillars of activity

  1. Nurture and Discipleship Courses with Jim Tucker as Lead Person
  2. Children and Young People with Penny Murray as Lead person
  3. Pastoral Care with Lynda Jones and Linda Shepherd as Lead Persons

During 2017 the following activities took place
Jumble sale at Holyport Primary School on the 18th March as part of outreach. Holyport Primary School is one of the two Church of England schools supported by St Michael’s Church. Although financially it was a success; a healthy sum of £381.03 was raised on the day plus subsequent donations totalling £130, it did not attract as many parents and children as was hoped.

Part of the problem is advertising and it was felt that younger people rely more on social media for organising their social activities rather than the traditional method of the local paper. It was decided not to repeat the event in 2018, instead hold a book sale in the church hall and to review this form of activity in 2019, making more use of online advertising to promote our events.

Lent Pilgrim course “The Bible” attended by an average of   20 members of the congregation
Newsletter sent to mailing list and email alerts re special events.

Choirs from Holyport School and Braywood School  sang at at All-Age Eucharists on a regular basis and Braywood choir sang at the Christingle Service.
One member of the congregation is now a member of the Holyport School Church Relations Group
and two further members have been invited to attend forthcoming Fellowship Breakfast when parents/grandparents attend with children.
Sunday teas well attended by congegation (see separate report).

Regular social committee outings for members of the congregation and friends to places of interest
Mission Prayer used regularly during Intercession Prayers – as was prayer for wisdom and guidance in seeking and appointing a new Vicar following Richard’s retirement.

Year Ended 31 December 2017

Financial Review General Fund: Income & Expenditure
Total receipts on unrestricted funds were £226,421 of which £127,584 was income allocated to the designated fund set up for building the new toilet block. Although Planned Giving through envelopes and bankers orders was up by just under 0.8%, it was good to see the use of gift aid envelopes increased. The church received a number of very generous donations throughout the year which contributed to a healthy overall income for 2017. The fees generated from weddings and funerals was up on last year by £318, rent for the school hall from Braywood CE First School generated a useful income and general church fund raising continues to make a valuable contribution. In summary, taking the total income but excluding funds designated for the toilet fund and donations, income for 2017 was up by £1,508 on 2016, which is very encouraging considering the current economic climate.

Apart from the payments for the new toilet block, the main expense for the church is the Parish Share (Diocesan Quota) which was £57,567 which largely provides the stipends and housing for clergy. The sum that the deanery has to find is shared between the churches, according to a formula that is based mainly on a head count of the congregation. The church running expenses includes the insurance renewal which was £6,210 and the utility bill total is slightly down on last year due to an electric rebate of £694 and a delay in receiving the gas bills. The maintenance figure is up on last year largely due to some maintenance work carried out on the stonework and an upgrade of the church electrics which was needed to accommodate work carried out in the new toilet block. If you take the total payment figure but deduct the new toilet block, payments for 2017 was only up by £659.

The net result for the year is an excess of receipts over payments of £12,246 on unrestricted funds, which is an excellent outcome.

Of the funds held in the CBF Church of England deposit accounts; only two have much activity. The proceeds of a jumble sale (as part of the Mission Plan) were deposited and £4,200 was transferred into our current account, to pay for a new central heating boiler in St Michael’s Hall.  Money for the toilet project from The Friends of St Michael’s totalling £79,840 was deposited together with another donation of £1000, and these were included in the total transfer of £119,440 from this fund to the current account. There will be a final payment to be made in 2018, hence the toilet fund account has not been closed.

The accounts have been reviewed by an Independent Examiner Mrs Elaine Pleace, and any recommended adjustments have made with the exception of the layout of the accounts. It has been brought to my attention that the format of our accounts is somewhat dated and this will be addressed in 2018.

My grateful thanks to all those who volunteer their time to assist in the financial function of St Michael’s; namely Mr Tony Ellison, Mrs Jasvir Banks, Mr Jim Tucker, Mrs Elaine Pleace and all those involved in the counting and banking of the weekly collections.




Financial Statement for Year Ended 31st December 2017

Created by the legacy of the late Miss E Heath in March 2000
Created by the lagacy of the late Mr J Holway in May 2002
In Memory of the Late Jennifer Muriel Boulton
Interest from Fund Created by Donation in August 2004 et seq
Created following the sale of the curate’s house
Transferred to local control in May 2009
Created December 2013 to fund toilet block adjacent to Church Hall
as at 31st December 2017