Finance Committee Meeting Minutes 1 November 2018

Attendees:           Father Pat, Jenny Lysons, Arnie McConnell, Nick Williams, Felix Desira

Apologies:          Moira White, Ella James

Notes:                  Chrissie Baldwin

 1.  Opening Prayer

Father Pat opened the meeting with a prayer

 2. Welcome to new faces - Jenny Lysons, welcomed Fr Pat and Chrissie Baldwin

 3.  Election of Chair - Finance Committee

Jenny nominated Nick Williams - proposed by Arnie and seconded by Felix, all agreed

 4.  Defing/redfining the roles and responsibilities of the finance committee going forward -

Start of a new way forward

Nick reminded all that we have the book of rules (from the diocese) which defines how we should be operating.  Fr Pat said feels that the purpose of the committee is to look after the finances wisely as a committee, this is not about hiding finance but helping everyone in the parish to understand the finances, having transparency in what we do to show that funds are used wisely.  It is about working as a team to support and advise collectively.

 The committee thanked Arnie - for steering the ship in what has been a turbulent sea in the past, also the committee noted thanks to both Moira and Arnie - for creating the community kitchen.  The refurbishment of the once storage space into the kitchen has transformed the space, and was brought in under budget (£20k).  Arnie confirmed that the community kitchen will be starting this coming Tuesday morning. 

 5.  Treasurer’s report - Arnie gave a verbal report:

 •  Parish account is £6519.16 as of 15th September this is after transferred £5k to savings

 •  Gift aid bonus £7025.80 of which:

Wymondham      £6242

Attleborough.       £ 783.80

All cash in the plate can now be put forward under the current gift arrangements up to certain limits, which is why careful record keeping is essential. Attleborough falls beneath the limit so all cash there can be claimed for, Wymondham exceeds it.

 Savings:

Remuneration for Fr Pat - Fr Pat aims to work without parish assistance this will be an annual £5k saving to the parish (based on recommended rates from diocese for salary and housekeeping)

 General finance

•  Year to date in terms of income to forecast is about on par with last year. 

Action - Arnie to circulate actual figures

 •  To grow and be financially secure into the future, we need to have a strategy to grow the church by not cutting back but sensibly investing to create a church that is there 7 days a week for the community.  Examples of this are the food bank and community kitchen (which will be self funding).  Wym TC and Lions will be helping to fund. 

 •  Arnie feels that we are not set up as financially astutely as we could be, an example of this is the way in which Wymondham Abby attracted funding for building and development of the church.  They attracted this funding as they have separate committee (friends) for the building which attracts funding and grants not available to religious organisations or for religious purposes.    We need to consider this option ourselves to maximise funding and grant options.    The community kitchen is one area that is benefiting from funding by being set up separately and not part of the church.  The Community kitchen is to be self funding, Lidl and M&S Norwich are donating food for free and Arnie is looking for contributions from both inside and out of the Wymondham area as the community stretches wider than just Wymondham.   Arnie will continue to build links with the business community to bring funds for our activities. It was agreed that we need to investigate a friends group so that they can make applications for grants etc...

Action -  Nick to look into issues around this and ways to progress

 •  Nick is concerned that Arnie is doing this on his own without support, and the committee recognised the hard work that Arnie is putting into this, and we need to consider future support as the kitchen becomes more successful. 

 •  Payments - The website that we have at the moment is fairly basic in terms of its technical capabilities, it was agreed that an enhanced site enabling PayPal and Visa donations to be made should be investigated all agreed that we could contact John Pitt to look at implications and potential benefits and issues around this.   We are being encouraged to have a Facebook and Twitter account to buffer us against how people give in the future.  Gifts made in this way could be ring fenced.  Funds donated to the Kitchen project will be restricted to kitchen project accounts only (running at a cost neutral basis) with website donations coming to the church

Action - Nick

 •  A kind benefactor has offered a donation to the community kitchen £2.5k not sure if this is a legacy

Action - Arnie

 The next stage of the community kitchen is to establish an umbrella org pulling in those groups that can help.  Arnie doing a press release and communicating across both Wym and Attleborough

Action - Arnie

 We currently have a bid in with Waitrose for a meal in February

Action - Arnie to communicate message, put in newsletter

 6. Buildings maintenance Officer report

Arnie gave a building maintenance report:

 •  Landlords electrical check has been carried out in the presbytery with the following actions;

         new oven required in kitchen

         2 lights in en suite that need to be replaced, 

         Jeremy Neave to give a quote looking at costs of around £1k

Action: Moira

 Action taken

•  Fr Pat Fence fixed - £25.

•  Church hall - Leak in men’s toilets was replaced as this was incorrectly carried out last year - £125

 Recommend H&S capital expenditure:

•  Emergency lighting in sacristy - £1k

•  Sacristy door needs to be re hung - £0.5k - All agreed

•  Moira and Arnie investigated replacement of boilers with a likely replacement cost of £6k.   This is a maximum cost with an estimate that it will be more likely to be around 4k.  Moving to electrical boilers will keep the costs lower and incurs less H&S issues

Action - Moira/Arnie

 Amp in church is not working this has gone to be repaired estimated cost to be in region of £100

 Insurance for all properties - £1.6k 

 General fire security - we have a legal obligation to test the fire alarm system once a week, this is an essential task, Fr Pat is legally vulnerable if this is not carried out.  This needs to checked and recorded.  Chris Norris has agreed to take on the role carrying out and recording this.  Jenny asked if the play school, did a fire alarm treat frequently and Arnie confirmed that they did. 

Action - Chris Norris

 7. Gift aid report

Nick gave a gift aid report

 Nick highlighted that GAD income has dropped a bit and believes that this is in part to do with recent events.  We have not done an appeal re: gift aid for sometime and all present agreed that it would be a good thing to do again.    The timing is important, agreed to do it at financial year end. January

Action - Nick

 All parish priest’s funds for Christmas and Easter can be used to claim gift aid.  This is quite a lot of work for a very small contribution to funds.  All present agreed that we will not do this as not worth the significant effort required but we will put something in the newsletter. 

Action - Nick

 We have to declare the number of parishioners attending mass.  Agreed that Felix will ensure that the numbers are updated at Attleborough. 

Action - Felix

 8.  Future capital investment project e.g. the sound system; cctv

 Sound system

The quotes for a proposed sound system had been previously circulated and varied in costs from £10 - £21k.  These quotes have also been circulated to the music group for consideration.  All present considered the quotes taking on board the musicians comments whose preference is the most expensive.  Arnie tabled a breakdown for the committee to discuss.  It was agreed that if we are to update the sound system it needs to be a quality system that is fit for both now and the future needs of the church community. It was agreed by all present that we should go for the expensive (but most versatile option for the church communities needs).

 Issues considered

1.    Right quote - all agreed that consensus of parishioners is important element. Arnie suggested that we need to confirm with the contractors as soon as possible -A decision needs to go the parish.

2.     Need to get approval from 8.9 in parish financial procedures from the diocese.   Fr Pat to speak at mass in Mid November and ask for feedback.

3.    Are we willing to spend 20k spread over 2-year period?

4.    Cash flow would mean that we would need to dip into reserves.

5.    Consultation with the parish -consider the opportunity to recognise both Tony Press and Mick Rogerson’s contribution who were so stalwart in the parish.  Fr Pat/ Nick to have a quiet word with their wives to check that they are happy with the idea of dedicating the new system to them and then present to the church.  The system would be dedicated to both Tony and Mick. 

6.    Ideas for fundraising would be welcomed.  Musical event planned for 1st December £500 but already raised some funds for £400. 

7.    The savings already offered by Fr Pat and no Parish Assistant pays for the sound system over the 2 years. 

 We currently have Reserves - £121k and so can dip into these if required. 

 Payments -Would be interest free. The next window of opportunity to put in system would be mid February.  And the price includes b&b for 2 weeks for those installing the equipment.  The fine tuning would take place weekend of 16 and 17 February at masses, with the final fine tuning 24/25 Feb.   The first payment only takes place if everyone happy with the sound. 

 Roger for the music group  pointed out the operational drawbacks of other kit, which the committee took into consideration:

•  One quote would require a trolley to sit at the back of the church and would be practically unworkable. 

•  A Box on the wall in 2nd quote would need to be so big is would block the passageway stopping flow for communion. 

•  The musicians consider that If we are not going for the most expensive option then it would be more suitable to do nothing as no other practicable working solution for them. 

 The committee discussed the possibility of taking some benches at the back and it was noted the the narthex allows us to take the glass out after a 10-year period which would extend the church into the Narthex if we wanted to. 

Action - Fr Pat to talk to Judith Press and Anne Rogerson.  Fr Pat to consult with congregation in mass mid November.  Arnie to contact supplier and put in order - unless there are any major concerns from the church community  

CCTV and security

CCTV £1.4k plus vat. - we are now leaving the church open everyday from morning mass through to dusk.  This is a conscious decision to open to anyone who wants to enter the church.  This always comes with a certain amount of risk, however Fr Pat said this is something we need to assess risk over and then plan to mitigate rather than stop us opening.  All agreed.

 CCTV which works though the internet was discussed and will be considered.  Would like images that can be discerned.   Maintenance on a yearly basis once installed is estimated at £70 plus vat per year the monitor is £xx considered in application

 Nick suggested we could get a 2nd quote but all considered that the quote is reasonable

 A simple but effective additional solution could be to install a Baby alarm to alert to increase security.  This was considered a good idea  Action - Arnie

 In the presbytery security for Fr Pat needs to be increased and agreed to install a spy hole in the door.  installation.  cost expected. - £70

 9.   Any other business

•  Alive in faith money - Arnie to check out what the money has been specified for.  This was the kitchen; the residue may well have been specified to go towards the widening of the church but this yet unknown.

Action - Arnie

 •  Cosmetic expenditure could be halted for a short period of time whilst the bigger expenses above are actioned - such as painting inside of the church

 •  Felix suggested that we have a 2nd collection every month.  Fr Pat suggest that we are sensitive to the number of 2nd collections.  All agreed to have a one off 2nd collection for the sound system.

 •  Thanks to Paul Hawkins and David Harrison and others who want to be anonymous who gave funds for the music event on Dec 1st

 •  It was agreed that the minutes to go on the website. 

 •  Fr Pat updated that shortly we are to go back to a weekly newsletter - the committee considered looking at a new photocopier.   Arnie to look for alternatives to report back at the next finance meeting.  To improve the quality of printing. 

Action - Arnie

 Moira was looking at moving the parish office, using it as a reconciliation room which may impact on CCTV equipment.   - This could be considered at a future meeting.  Consult with Moira on her return from holiday

Action - Moira/Arnie

 •  In consultation with regular weekly attendees it has been agreed to move the weekly Mass times to 10:00am and then coffee on Thursday rather than Friday.

 •  Fr Pat considered having an overhead projector in hall - do not have internet access currently.  Costings have been considered.  Arnie to cost up for next meeting for future consideration.  We do pay performing arts license.  Need to consider music licence for the meeting room.

Action - Arnie

 For next meeting - Marketing the hall to go on the agenda. 

Action - Nick

Hall - Looking for one person to coordinate hall bookings, hopefully an electronic booking system, Fr Pat, Arnie and Moira to view and person to book controls the electronic system

Interest from Wymondham Symphony interested in renting the hall. 

Jenny said that she now has some spare capacity and would welcome some ideas about how should could better contribute, Fr Pat suggested that she may like to take over recording in the parish registers, Jenny to take on this task.  Fr Pat and Jenny to coordinate this outside of the meeting. 

Action - Fr Pat and Jenny

Nick suggested Jenny could help with Arnie's workload. - To be considered outside of the meeting

Action - Jenny and Arnie

GDPR. Fr Pat attended a recent meeting where they had a PowerPoint for clergy to consider impact and we do need to be careful.  Need to consider having records here and locked for safe keeping.   Rebecca Anderson-Brown  is the Data protection officer. 

HSBC - moving towards electronic banking arranging for Fr Pat and Nick to have read only access.  So that they can view up to date info.  HSBC offered some remuneration for the inconvenience of the latest issues we have had with them

Action - Nick and Arnie

10 Date and time of next meeting - Wed 27 February at 7:30pm

Draft minutes to be circulated for comments and posted after the consultation regarding the sound system with the parish.