St Michael's Bray

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APCM Papers

St. Michael’s Bray with Braywood

Welcoming all in Faith, Hope and Love

Annual Parochial Church Meeting Papers 28th April 2019


St. Michael’s Bray with Braywood
Notice of two meetings to be held in St. Michael’s Church at 11.30am on Sunday 28nd April 2019





Apologies for absence:- Anne Clare, Basil Clare, Ollie Gooch, Graham Firman



First Meeting - Election of Churchwardens



Second Meeting - Annual Parochial Church Meeting
**Minutes of the Meetings held on 22nd April 2018 and matters arising there from.



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



St Michael's Church Bray with Braywood Annual Report for 2018



Report on Church Life in 2018

10   Presentation of the Financial Statement for the year to 31st  December 2018
11   The Children’s Society Report

The Church Teas and Raffle Report



St Michael’s Online

14   The Social Events Report



The Young Church



St Michael’s Mission Plan

17   Report on the Music of the Church and Music at Bray
18   Fabric, Goods and Ornaments, St Michael’s Church and Church Hall



Maidenhead and Windsor Deanery Annual Report for 2018




Tower Captain’s Report




The Friends of St Michael’s




Independent Examiner



Date of the next Annual Parochial Church Meeting (Sunday 26th April 2020)



Any Other Business

Minutes of the Annual Parochial Church Meeting held on 22nd April 2018



John Seymour (Deputy Chairman of the PCC, in the chair), Jasvir Banks, Pam Woodruff, Linda Shepherd, Penny Murray, Susan Seymour, Ian  Murray,  Basil Clare, Anne Clare, Natasha Teeder, Brenda Gardner, Roy Gardner, Audrey Ashby, Ken Amery, Wenda Fowles, Derek Fowles, Sheila Taylor, Jim Tucker, Jackie Tucker, Edna Wood, Sian Adams, Lynda Jones, Chris Parmenter, Lyn Heiser, Vernon Webster, Andy Giles, Linda Ellison, Tony Ellison, Sandra Halliday, Sarah Pallot.

Had been received from Graham Firman, Helen Pearson, Lesley Burch and Oliver Gooch.

Linda Shepherd was not standing again, and a unanimous vote of thanks was passed for all her hard work as warden, particularly this last year during the interregnum. Penny Murray was proposed by Lynda Jones and seconded by Audrey Ashby. To take Linda’s place, Sian Adams was proposed by Sarah Pallot and seconded by Penny Murray. They were elected by acclaim.

The Minutes of the APCM  held on 30th April 2017 had been circulated, and were accepted as a true record. There being no matters arising, the Chairman signed the minutes

The churchwardens and Deanery Synod representatives (Natasha Teeder and Jim Tucker) are ex officio members of the PCC. The following elected members all offered themselves for re-election:
Kenneth Amery, Audrey Ashby, Jasvir Banks, Lesley Burch, Graham Firman, Oliver Gooch,
Lynda Jones, Helen Pearson, John Seymour and Pam Woodruff.
There were no other nominations, and all were duly re-elected.

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; Richard Smart, Anne Clare, Anna Frizzell, Tony Ellison and Katrin Brunning.
For the 10am Service; Dorothy Chappell, Clare Pishhorn, Kath Schofield, Lyn Richardson, Judith Riley, Tim Cook, Jackie Tucker, Sandra Halliday, Peter Sands, Ken Amery, Brenda Gardner, Roy Gardner, Sue Seymour, Sheila Fontaine, Gilly Blaxland, Edna Wood, Helen Pearson, Jilly Rothwell.

Wenda Fowles, the Electoral Roll Officer reported that during the year six names had been removed from the Electoral Roll, and three added, making the current total 131.
Wenda was thanked for her work on this.

John Seymour referred to his report, which had been circulated. He noted that at 10 months the duration of the current interregnum was going to be exactly the same as the previous one. John reiterated thanks to the wardens, Linda and Penny, for their huge efforts keeping things together during this period. Many other people had contributed a lot, especially Lynda Jones for funerals and other services, Jim Tucker for seeing the toilet project through to completion, and Ian Murray for looking after all the premises issues so well.

Pam Woodruff read the treasurer’s report, which 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, and congratulated her on the favourable financial outcome for the parish.

Reports had been circulated in advance on each of the following:
  • The Children’s Society
  • Church Teas
  • Online activity
  • Social Committee
  • Young Church
  • St Michael’s Mission Plan
  • Music of the church and Music at Bray
  • Fabric of the Church
  • Deanery Synod
  • Tower Bell-ringers
  • Friends of St Michael’s
These were all taken as read, and there were no questions.

t was reported that Mrs Elaine Pleace was willing to be re-elected as the Independent Examiner. Tony Ellison proposed and Ian Murray seconded that Mrs Pleace be appointed, and all were in favour.  The chairman expressed his appreciation for all that she did for us.

This will be on Sunday 28 April 2019.
Penny Murray paid tribute to Linda Shepherd for her hard work while churchwarden, and her cooperative approach. She had managed to make the job fun.

Jim Tucker said that there had been many favourable comments, from within the parish and beyond, about the spirit shown at St Michael’s during the interregnum. This was thanks to many people, but he singled out Lynda Jones for the enormous responsibility she had accepted, and dealt with excellently, throughout this time.

The meeting closed at 11.52am. 

Annual Report for 2018 (Lesley Burch Hon. Sec. PCC)

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
The members of the Council are as follows;
Rev. A Swift Chairman

J. Seymour

Deputy Chairman (Acting Chairman during the interregnum)

P Murray Church Warden and Deanery Synod representative
S Adams Church Warden

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, Deanery Synod representative, and Young Person’s Advocate
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



Burial and interment in Braywick Cemetery



Burial and interment in Bray Parish Cemetery



Burial and interment in Oakley Green



Interment of cremated remains in St Michael’s churchyard



Average Sunday attendance was 91 (2017), 84 (2018)  adults and 7 (2017), 4.5 (2018) children
(aged under 16).

Major festivals: Easter 132 (communicants) and Christmas Eve and Christmas Day 212 (communicants).

The combined attendances at the school and civic services during Advent was 1,178.

Parish life in 2018 carried on much as usual, during the interregnum, for which we have to thank the hard work of The Wardens and Lynda Jones who between them ensured that our Church Services continued without interruption using the kind visits by guest clerics. Again I think that a special thanks should be expressed to the Rev. Alan Dibden who was so often helping us out both with weekly services as well as covering Holy Baptisms and Weddings.

The Rev. Ainsley Swift joined us on 12th July after an Induction Service officiated by Bishop Andrew and the Archdeacon of Berkshire, the Venerable Olivia Graham. Many members of our regular congregation attended the service and, after which light refreshments were provided.
The new toilets were completed and opened, a great ‘relief’ for all.

A Lent Course in the Pilgrim Series was held and was well attended.
The sun refused to shine upon us so the church was the venue for ‘The Jazz on the Vicarage Lawn’ which had us tapping our toes, eating cakes and smiling with enjoyment.
Holyport and Braywood Schools came to church for Easter and Christmas services, and their choirs performed at some of the 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 Caerphilly Castle (also dropping into visit Richard and Maureen), Normandy and a return visit to the Thursford Christmas Spectacular.

Ian Murray has continued as the lynch pin of all matters concerned with fabric and premises. After many years service, Anne Clare, has decided to hand over the arrangements for providing Tea and Coffee after the Parish Communion. Her work will be sorely missed.

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 2018.

Report on Church Life in 2018
(Acting Chairman of the PCC during the interregnum – John Seymour)

In July we were delighted to welcome Ainsley Swift as the 48th Vicar of Bray, together with his wife Jane and family.
Sian Adams was elected as a new church warden at last year’s APCM and has taken up her duties with enthusiasm.
Penny Murray retires as churchwarden at this meeting and we thank her for all her contribution, especially through the additional pressures of the interregnum.
We thank Lynda Jones for continuing to provide extra ministry on funerals and other services before Ainsley’s arrival.
We were very pleased to welcome Richard Severn as our first employed parish administrator.
We congratulate Ollie Gooch our director of music on his senior appointment with Imperial College, and are very happy that he is able to continue in his role with St Michaels.
We thank Robert Opoku our organ scholar for his music, and hope he might be able to return to us in future.
We congratulate Jim Tucker on his provisional authorized ministry to preach and are already enjoying his sermons.

A new parish office was set up in St Michael’s Hall, and we thank Pam Woodruff, Jasvira Banks, Mike Henley and the working party for their effort on this project.
Our architects made their five yearly “quinquennial report” on church fabric this year. This showed a need for significant expenditure on walls and stained glass windows. We thank Ian Murray for all his effort in relation to premises issues.
It was timely that in February we prayed for Margaret Horn under the terms of the newly received Margaret Horn Memorial Fund which is designated for the maintenance of the fabric of the church.
For the coming year 2019 Pam Woodruff compiled our first budget under the new procedure for church accounting, and did this very effectively.
The parish decided to join the new Planned Giving Scheme and a stewardship campaign was launched as part of this implementation, with the objective of making up a forecast deficit in our income.

Ainsley and Lynda Jones reviewed our Mission Action Plan and have slightly revised the format.
Under the heading of “Nurture and Discipleship” a Lent course was held on Church and Kingdom in the Pilgrim series, and also a course on Mindfulness and Christian Spirituality.
The Christian Aid Week collection in May raised £1055. We thank Jim Tucker who has coordinated this for 15 years. This role will be taken over by Natasha Teeder..
The parish continued to support the Balfours’ mission in Guatemala.
All members of the PCC have undergone online training in safeguarding.

Last March a production of All the King’s Men brought many children into church under Ollie’s leadership.
Holyport Primary School choir sang at Harvest Festival and the offering was given to Maidenhead Food Share.
Scouts and Guides attended Remembrance Sunday and the collection was given to the British Legion.
Carol services were held for Braywood First and Holyport Primary Schools.
In June the Harvard Radcliffe Collegium Choir returned to St Michael’s for a concert on the 25th anniversary of its previous visit.
In July there was a “Gardens in Words and Music” concert as part of Bray open gardens day.
In November the congregation was invited to a Roman Evening dinner at Caldesi in Campagna.
In December there was another successful production of the children’s opera Amhal and the Night Visitors.
This Easter we were stirred by a production of St John Passion.
The social committee organized a “Tea with the Vicar” trip to Caerphilly and another successful visit to the Thursford Christmas Spectacular.

Anne Clare retires from organizing the coffee rota for many years, and Judith Riley retires from organizing toilet cleaning.
Many thanks to both for carrying out these valuable behind the scene roles. Chris Parmenter has taken responsibility for toilet cleaning.

There are very many people beside those mentioned in this report, far too many to name individually, who keep the life of St Michael’s running as a welcoming community. Thanks are due to all of them.

Tower Captain’s Report (Katharine Firman)

Sunday morning ringing continues to be at a good standard, and it is pleasing that we manage to ring all 8 bells most weeks. We have an enviably large band with 21 ringers ‘on the books’, but for various reasons not all these are in a position to support Sunday morning ringing and we are grateful to the loyal commitment from those who do.

Evensong ringing. After experimenting with various methods for deciding whether we would ring or not each week, we found it was becoming increasingly difficult to get enough to commit. We now use the Evensong ringing slot for occasional quarter peals, and have had a successful series of these being rung for special occasions.

Practice nights. Numbers have varied considerably, reaching into the twenties on occasions. Our repertoire has covered a range of methods on 6, 7 and 8 and recently we have introduced some new Surprise methods. It is an honour for us to be a tower that visitors like to come to, but it can impose organisational challenges when numbers are at the high end and means less rope time for our own ringers. However, this is all very much in the spirit of how ringing works, and many of us do also take opportunities to go elsewhere to enhance our progress and interest.

The pub. How lovely it has been to finally settle down to adjourning to the Cricket Club for our post-ringing refreshment and socialising.  It is an excellent venue, with lots more space compared with all the local pubs we have tried.

Striking competitions. We entered 2 bands into the Lorna Newton knockout competition – the Grenfells and Crowns (named after our now abandoned pubs!). We could be considered to have been rather unlucky in the 2nd round, with the Crowns losing to Cookham on their own turf and the Grenfells losing to Amersham, who eventually won in the final round. Both teams certainly rang well enough to be in the final and congratulations to all those who took part.

Other events. We took part in the National Armistice Day ringing event with ringing at 12noon, followed by a local band quarter. In December our bells were out of action due to repair work on the tower, and we held a practice at Cookham instead. Many thanks to the Gladwyns for hosting another Christmas party for us. As usual we rang in the New Year and were very pleased to be joined by the Vicar, who recorded us for the church Facebook page to be appreciated by a wider audience!

Individual achievements. Congratulations to Ben Gladwyn on his rapid advancement to become a competent ringer of various surprise major methods and on 10/12 bells. He has now rung 9 quarter peals and is likely to be ringing in the National Youth Contest at Liverpool in July. Five members of our band are members of the High Wycombe 12-bell squad and will be ringing in the National 12 Bell Competition.

Tower maintenance. John Payne led an intensive tower maintenance programme in the Spring. Together with a good clean-up led by Wenda Fowles, this enabled us to gain a Gold award in the Guild’s Tower Maintenance Scheme.

Recruitment and training. We are in the process of getting permission and funding for a dumb bell. Once installed, this should be a huge enhancement to our teaching and we will be better placed to engage potential recruits.

Management. At our AGM in March Maggie Ross replaced me as Tower Captain and I take up the Deputy Captain post vacated by Sam Maynard on his move to Suffolk.

The Friend’s of St Michael’s Bray (Lynda Jones)
(Registered Charity Number 1070040)

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.

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 2019 it has been agreed to support Music at Bray’s St. John Passion on Holy Saturday in memory of Pam Robotham who sadly died in 2018 and was a great supporter of Music at Bray and a committee member of The Friends.  The money is to come from Pam’s bequest to The Friends.  A much need repair to the Vicar’s green chasuble has been carried out and a new Altar cloth purchased.

In 2018 Graham Barker organized, with the help of Julie and Chris Graham, a very successful Bray Open Gardens event and concert which raised £2,000 for The Friends.

The Annual General Meeting of The Friends was held in church on the 13th May 2018.

At the Committee Meeting on 18th February 2019, Julie Graham was elected to the committee of The Friends and agreed to become Events Coordinator and Rev Ainsley Swift as ex-officio member.
The Committee currently comprises: Lynda Jones (Chair); Tony Ellison (Treasurer); Sarah Pallot (Secretary); Julie Graham (Events Coordinator) Graham Barker, Steve Adams and Rev Ainsley Swift
(ex officio member).

The Trustees of The Friends are Lynda Jones, Vernon Webster, John Blaxland, Tony Ellison and Graham Barker.

Children’s Society House Box Scheme (Helen Pearson)

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 that the contents can be counted and paid into the Children’s Society Account. There are currently 29 house box holders and the annual count held in February 2019 totalled £487.54 (plus gift aid). Since we began the scheme we have collected for the Children’s Society a total of £1,463.00 + gift aid.

Church Teas and Raffle Report (Penny Murray)

Church Teas were served in the church hall each Sunday afternoon during  July ,August and September.   (Apart from Sundays when concerts were held).  We gave the takings of the first event to Thames Hospice as it coincided with the Open Gardens day in Bray for this charity. Volunteers made up a different  team each week making  cakes, scones  and serving teas. With the arrival of the Reverend Ainsley Swift in July we had an invitation to use the Vicarage Lawn for two Sundays.  This proved a huge success. The teas made a grand total of £883 for church funds Plus a £100 made by the clothes rail and book stall sales that were organised by Pam Woodruff and Jilly Rothwell.
The Summer Raffle proved very popular especially with ‘ Lunch for four at Caldesi de Campagna‘ as first prize.  The tickets sold raised £786.   Half of this sum was given to Thames  Hospice.

Thanks to everyone who served teas, made cakes or simply came to enjoy.  Special thanks to Jane and Ainsley Swift who invited us to use the Vicarage lawn.

St Michael’s ‘on-line’ (Ken Amery)

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 increasingly becoming the way churches  communicate with their own congregation as well as those outside. Finally,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’ continues to grow. At the end of the year we had fifty-eight people linked to our page. They are not all from our congregation, many are from outside and some are from abroad, but they all share an interest in what is going on at St Michael’s. The difference between this and out website is that people can be more informal and can also exchange photos and comments about events in church now and in the past.

We also maintain a presence on the Church of England website, which, as the title suggests enables people to locate their nearest church. We help this search by updating our services and events on a regular basis.

Social Events (Ken Amery)

2018 was another busy year for social events with three extended visits. Our first was in May when we had a coach load of parishioners to visit Richard and Maureen in their new home in Caerphilly. It was lovely to see them enjoying their ‘retirement’. We also found time to  visit Caerphilly Castle. In November we visited Liseux in Normandy and used this as a base to visit the ‘D-day’ beaches as well as Pegasus Bridge. The first place liberated on  ‘D-day’. This was a busy visit as we also visited Honfleur. In December by popular demand we paid our third annual visit to Thursford for the Christmas Spectacular. Before we left the event we were being asked to return in 2019!

Young Church - St Michael’s Sunday School Report (Natasha Teeder)

Once again, I am saddened to write that, 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, but so far no one has come.

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.

Fabric, Goods and Ornament’s St Michael’s Church & Church Hall (Ian Murray)

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. 

Maidenhead and Windsor Deanery

The Maidenhead and Windsor Deanery comprises 14 parishes and benefices in a geographical area more or less corresponding to the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead. There are 23 churches serving a population of 110,400 (2011 Census), mainly in the two urban areas of Maidenhead and Windsor respectively, but with a strong presence in the more rural areas and villages surrounding the towns. Four parishes, St Mary’s Maidenhead, Bray, All Saints Boyne Hill and St Luke’s Maidenhead, are designated as P&E (Presence and Engagement), having a significant proportion (over 10%) of those practicing another faith. The combined Electoral Roll of the Deanery in 2018 was 2348 (2017:2279), however, this may not be accurate because two parishes did not complete their annual Statistics for Mission, and, therefore, the previous year’s number has been used for those parishes.

The Maidenhead and Windsor Deanery Synod comprises all the clergy in the deanery and Lay Representatives elected by their respective parishes in the deanery for a period of three years. Elections were held in 2017. There are 24 Clergy Members, 47 Lay Members and 7 lay vacancies. The elected lay representatives for Bray are Penny Murray, Natasha Teeder and Jim Tucker.
The Deanery Synod elects a Standing Committee to oversee and steer the activities of the Deanery. This consists of five clergy members and six lay members. The Synod also elects a Lay Co-chair, a Secretary and a Treasurer. The Area Dean and Associate Area Dean are appointed by the Bishop.
The Deanery Synod also elects representatives (who need not necessarily be members of the Deanery Synod itself) to Diocesan Synod. There are three Clergy Representatives and four Lay Representatives. These elections took place in 2018, see below.

The Deanery Synod members also elect representatives to the General Synod.
The Area Dean, Associate Area Dean and Lay Chair are members of the Archdeacon’s Standing and Pastoral Committee, which also includes the Bishop of Reading.
The Deanery has a Mission Action Plan which outlines its objectives and activities approved by the Archdeacon’s Pastoral Committee in June 2015. It is used by the Deanery Standing Committee as an operational framework for the Deanery. It is reviewed, developed and updated at each Standing Committee meeting.

Under the plan, the Standing Committee is, amongst other things, responsible for organizing and facilitating synod meetings. A pattern to Synod Meetings has emerged that puts a mission topic at the head of the agenda, for which there is a presentation either from within the deanery or by an external speaker. The formal “business” is then dealt with after the main topic.

The Deanery Synod met three times in 2018. The main topics at the meetings were as follows:

Thursday 15 March at St Agnes, Windsor

Presentations on Dementia. Tina English, who set up the charity Embracing Age, talked about supporting the frail elderly and those with dementia, both within the church and the local care home community; and Rev’d David Joynes talked about the Rendezvous Project in Cookham
    Presentation and approval of the 2017 accounts

Wednesday 13th June at All Saints’, Boyne Hill, Maidenhead

Jonathan Farnhill, the then Diocesan Generous Giving Advisor gave a presentation on the new Parish Giving Scheme.
    There was an update on progress of the pastoral scheme for St Mary’s and The Walthams.

Wednesday 10th October at St James the Less, Stubbings, Maidenhead

A number of the Clergy members of Synod presented their views and impressions from the Diocesan Clergy Conference that had been held over the summer.

Parish Share

Another excellent response from parishes enabled us to pay the 2018 share of £976,036 in full and on time, maintaining our excellent record in this area. The majority of parishes accepted our offer of adopting an increase of 2.5% and are paying the balance of 1.15% in 2019. Credit is due to Clewer, Dedworth and Waltham St Lawrence for electing to pay the full increase straightaway. For 2019, the base increase for the Diocese is 1.75%, but a robust level of fee income has restricted our underlying increase to 1.04%. This year, therefore, we are asked to pay £986,103, and are confident that we will. Whatever the precise amount of increase, the Deanery Standing Committee does not underestimate the commitment it takes to achieve this amount and extends its thanks to all our parishes.

Pastoral Developments

In 2018, the Deanery considered and participated in:

    Appointment of Rev’d Ainsley Swift as Vicar of St Michael’s, Bray, following the retirement of Rev’d Richard Cowles.
The proposed amalgamation of St Mary’s and St Andrew’s, Maidenhead with St Mary’s, White Waltham, and the proposed separation of Shottesbrooke from White Waltham and its amalgamation with Waltham St Lawrence. In connection with this, the Rev’d Dave Atallah was appointed as Priest-in-Charge of St. Mary’s White Waltham, following the resignation of Rev’d Dr. David Andrew.
    Appointment of Rev’d Nigel Richards as Vicar of All Saints, Dedworth, following the retirement of Rev’d Louise Brown.
    The consequential interregnums in New Windsor and All Saints’ Dedworth.
    Supporting parishes where there is little or no clergy resource over and above a single stipendiary post.

Parish Inspections

Six Parish Inspections were carried out on behalf of the Archdeacon in the year in order to maintain its 3-yearly cycle of inspections.

Deanery Officers and Standing Committee Members (with their respective parishes)

Area Dean Rev’d Ainsley Swift (St. Michael’s, Bray)

Associate Area Dean

Rev’d Sally Lynch (St Luke’s, Maidenhead)

Lay Chair John Sykes (The Cookhams)
Secretary Thomas Walton (St Andrew and St Mary Magdalene, Maidenhead)


Jim Tucker (St. Michael’s, Bray)


Rev’d Jeremy Harris (All Saints’, Boyne Hill, Maidenhead)

  Rod Broad (All Saints’, Boyne Hill, Maidenhead)
  Jane Burr (Clewer St Stephen and St Agnes)
  Martin Chandler (St. Andrew’s, Clewer)

Diocesan Synod Members

Rev’d Ainsley Swift (St Michael’s, Bray)
Rev’d Sally Lynch (St Luke’s, Maidenhead)
Rev’d Jeremy Harris (All Saints’, Boyne Hill, Maidenhead)
Rev’d Sam Allberry (St Andrew and St Mary Magdalene, Maidenhead) (ex-officio as General Synod member)
John Sykes (The Cookhams)
Thomas Walton (St Andrew and St Mary Magdalene, Maidenhead)
Rod Broad (All Saints’, Boyne Hill, Maidenhead)
Ralph Hinchcliffe (St Luke’s Maidenhead)

General Synod Member

Rev’d Sam Allberry (St Andrew and St Mary Magdalene, Maidenhead)

Music Report (Jim Tucker)

2018 was another busy year for the choir and Music at Bray. The early part of the year was taken up with rehearsals for All the King’s Men, and two good houses on 18 March – despite the snow! –were rewarded with an excellent performance, which was even a financial success. One of several stars was our own choral scholar Sean Douglas, giving another demonstration of just how talented he is.

Not wishing to rest on our laurels, in December we staged a reprise of the popular Menotti Christmas opera Amahl and the Night Visitors, this time with Christopher Douglas in the title role. It goes without saying that sister Josie was also in the cast of both productions. These two productions involved a great deal of work behind the scenes, and we are grateful to all concerned, especially Ian Murray for his amazing sets.

Robert Opoku completed his year as the Music at Bray organ scholar, developing into a very competent player. He is currently taking a break after his Royal College of Organists exams, but we are hoping to see more of him in the future.

The choir has continued to play a full part in church services throughout the year, and was delighted to feature in the service of induction and collation of Ainsley Swift as our new vicar. Sadly, Ollie Gooch was absent due to a prior commitment, but we appreciate Brian Henry standing in for him. Ollie’s new work commitments have kept him away more than he would have liked, but thanks are due to Lesley Burch for her unfailing support in deputising whenever required.

Music at Bray lost another devoted supporter with the passing of Eileen Walker. The Friends of St Michael’s were left a bequest by the late Pam Robotham, and we are delighted that this is to be put towards the cost of performing Bach’s St John Passion on the Saturday before Easter in Pam’s memory. 2018 saw another round of excellent recitals, although sadly bad weather meant that Jazz at the Vicarage became Jazz in the Church. We are grateful to Sue Seymour and her faithful helpers for again providing tea and cakes each time.

Statement of accounts for the year ended 31st December 2018


St Michael’s Mission Plan (Lynda Jones)

During the Interregnum many activities in the Mission Plan were put on hold to await the appointment and arrival of the new Vicar.
The Lent Pilgrim course was held and around 20 people attended each session.

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.
Sunday teas were well attended by members of the congregation and visitors to the church. (see separate report).

3 members of the congregation are members of the Holyport School Church Relations Group and attended and helped to organise a Fellowship Breakfast when parents/grandparents attended with children.
Regular social committee outings for members of the congregation and friends to places of interest have taken place.

With the arrival of Rev Ainsley Swift an updated Mission Plan has evolved which covers

    Nature and Discipleship Course
    Children and Young People
    Pastoral Care

A Mission Plan leaflet has also been produced to give an overview of the Mission Plan.
The underlying principles of the Mission Plan have been identified as:

    We welcome all in faith hope and love
    We are a community throughout the Parish of Bray with Braywood
    We aim to be a contemplative, courageous and compassionate church and community
    The areas of the Mission Plan should reflect the above to encourage an inclusive and
Christ-like community

The underlying principles of the Mission Plan have been identified as:
The Mission Plan will be reviewed at every PCC meeting.

For further information visit the Mission Plan webpage.

Treasurer’s Report
Year Ended 31 December 2018

This report is on the 2018 financial year for St Michael’s Bray with Braywood PCC and is based on the pre- independent examination figures as presented to the PCC.

Firstly I wish to record my thanks to those who assist me on a weekly basis and without whom I would find this task extremely difficult; Mrs Jasvir Banks, Mr Tony Ellison and Mr Jim Tucker. Also, thank you to all involved in the counting and banking of the weekly collections, which has proved more of a challenge since the recent closure of the local branch of Barclays Bank.


Total receipts on unrestricted funds were £78,415 of which £50,209 was unrestricted voluntary donations and a further £10,870 was from Gift Aid. Excluding the legacy and Toilet Fund Income, overall voluntary income was down by just over 25%. This is thought to be mainly due to a number of people having left the church for a variety of reasons and some no longer being able to continue their support due to financial constraints. It is hoped that the recently introduced Parish Giving Scheme will address this issue.

The financial burden of the recent quinquennial inspection has been substantially reduced due to the exceptional legacy of the late Margaret Horn. This fund has been transferred to a CBF Deposit account and will cover most of the repair work recommended in this report.

Fund raising and Fees continues to supply the church with a useful revenue, as does the rent for Braywood All Saints former church site, the 10 year lease for which expires in September 2020 and so this needs to be addressed by the PCC before next year. Other income includes £1,000 paid by Gower Films for a day’s filming in the church grounds for the upcoming Elton John biopic, Rocketman, due to be released in 2019.


Total expenditure for the year was £107,839, so therefore resulting in an excess of payments over receipts of £29,424. This result was largely anticipated due to the recent interregnum and the drop in voluntary income for the reasons given above. However, the brought forward surplus has enabled the church to commit fully to its financial obligations for 2018. With the help of a committed band of volunteers the new office was established at a minimal cost and this is now being used by the Parish Administrator. Due to a generous donation from the Parish Council of £3,400, the repairs to the Lych Gate at Braywood were just over £4,000. The Oxford Diocese gave a grant of £1,500 towards the church tower repairs, the balance being paid for from the Margaret Horn Fund and St Michael’s Hall had the guttering replaced. A further expansion of the payment breakdown can be found on the analysis sheet.
With the aim of keeping a tight control on spending for the coming year, the PCC has approved the budget for 2019 and this will be incorporated in next year’s accounts. In addition, the PCC have sight of quarterly accounts, so any matters arising can be promptly addressed.

We continue to receive support from the ‘Friends of St Michaels’ and we are very grateful for this. This year a light weight vacuum was purchased to assist with the church cleaning, which has proved most helpful.

Lastly, I would like to thank Mrs Elaine Pleace, our Independent Examiner, who the PCC have appointed to examine the records for 2018. The Charity Commission has implemented a compliance update to their 2015 publication and she will now have to navigate an 83 page document plus numerous checklists to ensure that there are no matters of material significance to report to the Commission. The PCC are extremely grateful to her for agreeing to do this on a voluntary basis.

Pam Woodruff
Honorary Treasurer St Michael’s Bray with Braywood PCC






Financial Statements for the year ended 31st December 2018


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