Chair’s Update Oct 2010

Chair, John Churcher, with news of PCN Britain’s activities

1st October 2010

Here are the main points from the meeting of the Management Committee / Trustees held at St James’s Piccadilly on 25th September. Nine Management Committee / Trustee members were present with two apologies. The Admin Assistant was also present.

The Minutes of the previous meeting [July 17th 2010] were accepted and signed. Matters Arising included progress on the Joint Publication Project [more details to follow when the first publication date is confirmed]; Greenbelt had been a successful first presence and plans are now under way for an even greater presence in 2011, hopefully with other progressive Christian groups, [Sonya Brown one of our new committee members is leading on this, sonya.brown@pcnbritain.org.uk ]; the appointment of the new DVD librarian, Jess Lee from Ruislip, noting that already 6 loan requests for various titles had been received. jess.lee@pcnbritain.org.uk

In relation to the new DVD library it was noted that one of our original copies of Living the Questions, borrowed well over a year ago, is missing. If you have it, please return it to the PCN office in Newnham as soon as possible as there is a waiting list! [26 High Street, Newnham, GL14 1BB]

Feedback on the Marcus Borg weekend in Edinburgh [10th -12th September 2010] was positive and those attending agreed that it had been very successful. A number of points were noted to help planners of future events to learn from the experience.

Arrangements for the Group Convenor Gatherings were confirmed [October 9th, Windermere; October 16th, Nottingham; October 30th, London]. All Group Convenors have been invited. These meetings will help identity local group needs and ways in which the Management Committee can further facilitate and support development work in the groups and regions. If any Group Convenors have not received details, please check your SPAM folders and if still no delivery then please contact Mary McMahon mary.mcmahon@pcnbritain.org.uk or me.

St Deiniol’s Residential in 2011 is proving to be difficult to arrange as our preferred dates are not available. Further details will be provided once a date, speaker, or even alternative venues have been agreed. A number of potential residential members have expressed a wish for an alternative venue ‘down south’ and it might be possible to consider two such residentials in 2011, each drawing 25 people. Watch this space… Other possible speakers and national / regional conferences were also discussed, and again more details will be available as soon as we have confirmation of events, etc. Plans are underway to work with other partner organisations to deliver a major joint conference with a top headline speaker during 2012.

Recently we have been operating without a Secretary but an offer from a member has led to a co-option to fill the role. More details will be available in the near future. Constitutionally it was necessary to elect the Officers at this, the first meeting after the AGM. Now that both the membership and the number of groups have been growing rapidly over recent months, and ‘new and younger blood’ has been voted / co-opted onto the Management Committee / Trustees, I think that the time has come for effective succession planning. In this context, but not wanting to twist voting arms[!] I announced to the Management Committee that I think it important that after 3 years in the Chair a new Chair should be appointed following the 2011 AGM. With this in mind the Management Committee voted me to continue for my third and final year as Chair. Also, Mary McMahon was re-elected as Vice Chair and Terence Cooper as Treasurer. On behalf of the officers I thank the Management Committee and wider membership for the support and confidence placed in us. We will continue to serve the membership to the best of our abilities.

As more local and regional groups undertake the planning and delivery of their own conferences a revised policy for underwriting events organised by PCN Britain groups was agreed. Details of this new policy will be made available to Group Convenors in the near future.

The Treasurer’s financial update stated that nine months into the year income was £800 below expenditure. This reflects the growth in support activities [e.g. the new enlarged DVD library] and the Treasurer said that as there are more standing orders to come the balance should improve. At present there are sufficient reserves to cover this shortfall.

There is a list available on the website of churches that are happy to be known as ‘progressive’. It was agreed to review this list and to encourage members to discuss new listings with the leaders of their own churches, if appropriate. Approval was also given to a new PCN Britain “welcome” poster for progressive churches and this will be available soon for download from our website. It was also noted that the new advertising leaflet has been well received and copies are available for local group and church distribution. Please contact Andy Vivian. andy.vivian@pcnbritain.org.uk

It was also agreed to continue plans to improve the current website. To this end we are forming a small sub-committee and we would welcome the participation of members who have some experience in this field. Please contact Andy Vivian or me if you can help.

Finally, one of our new committee members, Angela Smith, is to become PCN’s collector and publisher of progressive liturgy. She will be assisted by a small sub-committee. The aim is to learn what is being used by progressive congregations and to share it through the website and other outlets. So please contact Angela if this is an area where you can contribute. angela.smith@pcnbritain.org.uk .

Future Management Committee / Trustee Meetings are planned as follows:
November 20/21st: Guy Chester House, Muswell Hill, London [the annual Management Committee / Trustees 24 hour residential]
January 8th: St Columba’s York
March 5th: London St James’s Piccadilly
May 7th: AGM and committee in London.
July 9th: Provisionally in Leicester
Sept 17th: St Columba’s, York

If you have any comments, suggestions or questions please send them to our admin assistant, Andy Vivian, for forwarding to the relevant committee members. Thank you for both your continued support of PCN Britain and your enthusiasm for progressive Christianity!

John Churcher john.churcher@pcnbritain.org.uk

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