AGM Minutes



Minutes of the 20th Annual General Meeting held on Sunday 19th May 2019


Present: Committee members: Lynda Jones (chair) Tony Ellison (treasurer)  Julie Graham (Events Co-ordinator) Steve Adams; Chris Khoo; Rev’d Ainsley Swift; Graham Barker and 13 Members of The Friends 


Apologies for absence:  Glenda Radford; Ian Smith; Sue Wells; Joan Barwell; Sarah Pallot; Margaret Piercey


  1.  Minutes of the 19th AGM held on 13th May 2018: These were accepted as a true record of proceedings. Proposed by Ken Amery and seconded by Kath Schofield and all in favour.


  1.  Matters arising from these minutes There were no matters arising.


  1. Treasurer’s report


Tony Ellison presented the accounts which had been circulated beforehand and audited by Elaine Pleace,  We had two unexpected amounts from bequests - from the estate of Nancy Allen and Pam Robotham and donations from Sandy Baillie-Hamilton’s memorial service.  The Open Gardens  Event was a great success with monies raised being shared between The Friends and Thames Valley Hospice. Expenditure had been on the low side with a minimal request from funding from the PCC for cleaning equipment for the church. As such the charity funds stand at £51,936.25.  Two corrections to the accounts presented were noted – The Fisheries Residents Association Carols Evening was December 2017 and not December 2018 and under Net Movement in Funds in Year 2018, Chris Khoo pointed out that Excess of Expenditure over Income should read  Excess of Income over Expenditure.

Tony thanked Elaine Please for auditing the accounts and noted that with the onerous new regulations introduced by HMRC it may be that she will not continue with this task in the future.


  1.  Chair’s report

Lynda thanked all present for coming to the 20th AGM of The Friends and expressed a big thank you to all members for their membership and support  – without which we could not raise funds for the preservation, repair, restoration and improvement of St Michael’s Church, the churchyard the Hall and help to support the aims of the PCC  During these 20 years we have contributed over £163,000 towards projects at St. Michael’s. 


Membership of The Friends  is declining and currently stands at 68 members some being joint memberships.  We need to enrol new members and Members were asked for any help they can give in this regard which would be very much appreciated.


Since the last AGM the Committee has meet twice and two new committee members have been appointed – our Vicar Ainsley and Julie Graham.  Julie has taken on the role of Events Co-ordinator and her first event is a garden tea party for The Friends on the vicarage lawn – courtesy of Ainsley and Jane – on Saturday 20th July from 3:30 -5 p.m.  There will be no charge to Members and it is a thank you for their  membership and support.  Each member is encouraged to bring a guest – hopefully  someone who may be interested in joining The Friends.  An invitation will be emailed to Members shortly.


Events not only raise the profile of the Friends but also bring non-church goers into contact with the church and our wider activities so we are always looking at ways and ideas for fund raising and enrolling new members – Lynda asked if anyone had any ideas to contact Julie or herself.


We were very pleased to support the St. John Passion performance on Holy Saturday in memory of Pam Robotham, a long serving Committee Members of The Friends and also a great supporter of Music at Bray.  This funding came from the bequest that Pam made to The Friends in her Will and was warmly appreciated by her family.  


Ainsley has requested that we fund a new Altar cloth in purple for Lent and Advent and this had been agreed by the Committee.  A copy of the design was available for Members to look at after the meeting. Ainsley would also like to replace the communion set for home communions and this is being looked into.  Pam Robotham’s brother has asked if there could be a permanent memorial to Pam in the church and suggested new candle sticks which again we are looking into with regard to cost and design.  These new purchases will appear in the accounts to be presented at next year’s AGM.


Sadly our Treasurer, Tony, has said that he would like to step down from the post and also from the Committee.  Tony has been a great mainstay of The Friends since its inception and Lynda paid tribute to his friendship, long service and professionalism and said he is going to be a very hard act to follow.  We need to find someone to take over this important role and Members were asked to let Lynda know if they had any thoughts or suggestions on who might be approached.


Lynda concluded by thanking Members for their membership and support.


Jim Tucker, Kath Schofield and Graham Barker all proposed a vote of thanks to Tony for his professionalism and help.



  1. Election of committee


Lynda thanked all members of the Committee for their work and dedication to the Friends and the following committee members were re-elected:  Lynda Jones (chair) Tony Ellison (Treasurer – until a new appointment is made) Julie Graham (Events Co-ordinator) Sarah Pallot (Secretary) Steve Adams, Graham Barker, Chris Khoo, Rev’d Ainsley Swift.


  1.  Any other business


Ian Murray, Fabric Officer for the church addressed the meeting.  He said how important it is for churches to have a source of funding such as The Friends.  He noted that the church finances barely cover the cost of running the church and very little, if anything, is left for church and church hall repair funds.  He said that the PCC has therefore become dependent on either bequests or specific fund raising to carry out any serious maintenance on the church.  Ian commented that this year we are able to carry out long standing stonework repairs and window restoration that has been listed in our quinquennial reports since 2017 and this is all thanks to the Margaret Horne fund that has been accumulating over a number of years.  The cost of this work is £80,000-£85,000 for the stonework and a further £15,000 for the window restoration.  The Margaret Horne fund will cover costs up to a maximum of £72,000 so the stonework repairs will be spread over two working seasons in the hope that more funds will become available in the coming year to fund the second phase.  He noted that if we get the VAT back on the Listed Places of Worship Scheme and if the Horne fund gives us the expected £12,000 next year there will still be a shortage of between £5,000 and £10,000. 

He further noted that the conduit for fund raising has been The Friends and help from The Friends will be appreciated in the future.


There being no further business the meeting closed.