Summary of possible changes regarding the 4 parishes
PCC’s have been discussing changes in the way our 4 parishes go forward following Cathy’s departure.
We have been advised that there is a severe shortage of Clergy nationally, guidelines now give the population for a full time priest as 10,400 and therefore we with a population of between 3-3.500 we are very far from qualifying.
The four parishes, at the moment, do everything individually, so all actions are multiplied by 4 and with an average of 6 PCC meetings a year that is 24! Also the need for PCC members and officers cannot always be met from small congregations.
The proposal is to unite the four parishes into one, with a draft name of the ‘Parish of the Cornilo Churches’
(Cornilo is the historic name of the ancient ‘hundred’ in which all the parishes sit. It was chosen so as not to give any parish prominence in the new name, and as there are other users of the name Cornilo to be clear that we are talking about churches)
One PCC, two churchwardens, one treasurer, secretary etc. The proposal is for each church to have a ‘deputy warden’ to cover the day to day running of the individual churches and to contribute members to the new PCC.
The new Parish would then need to join with another parish to form a new Benefice to attain the required population for a full- time priest. The proposal is to join with the parish of Walmer.
If Walmer and we, agree to the proposals a legal scheme will be drawn up, this will then be put forward with a time scale for completion, public notices will be displayed at each church, and anyone can object to the scheme at this point.
If, as the PCC’s hope, the scheme goes through, the current Vicar of Walmer (Revd Canon Seth Cooper) would become Rector of the benefice.
At this point, and not until then, we would be able to advertise for a part time Assistant Priest. Costs of this post would be met by ‘Cornilo’ Churches and day to day running of those churches would be vested in this priest.
One burning question is what happens to the money I contribute to my church, could it be spent on another church when we are one parish?
In theory yes, but monies already in restricted funds, that is money given or raised for a specific purpose cannot be shared but general funds could.
THIS DOES NOT INCLUDE WALMER WHICH IS A SEPARATE PARISH
Every one of the Cornilo churches is still expected to aim to meet its running costs, including part of the parish share and this is what money in the General Fund, the money you put in the collection or pay by BSO is mainly spent on, so although in theory it goes in one big pot, it is still needed to run the individual churches. We will be monitoring this for the time being and the treasurer will produce updates of how giving in an individual church is doing against their running costs.
What about gift aid? No new declarations will be needed as we will all be amalgamated into one, however those with standing orders are likely to be asked to change the bank details, as we will have only one current account.
The Believers Share Their Possessions
Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common.
If you have questions not covered by the attached documents please talk to your churchwardens.
For more details see the attached documents. If you wish to comment at this stage please pass them to your PCC either via the Churchwardens or PCC Secretary. These initial comments need to be made by 9th April