Minutes of the 2003 Annual General Meeting, and Matters Arising from the minutes
Hon President's report, followed by Questions to Honorary President
Hon Treasurer's report
Hon Secretary's report
Area Reports (Bilton; Starbeck & Woodlands; Town Centre; South West; Pannal; Lower Dale) - see Who's Who page
Election of Officers:
* Hon President: Neil Spencer
* Hon President elect: Rev Brian Hunt
* Hon Secretary: Humph Baker
* Hon Treasurer: Kath Plant
* Exec Committee: Rev Alan Bolton, Rev Paul Hooper, Ernest Stephens, David Henthorne and Paul Tennyson
* Retiring past President: Jo Grande
Election of Auditor - Bob Sayles
Meeting dates for 2004/5:
* Executive Committee: 13 July, 7:30pm, St Mark's vicarage
* Steering Council: to follow
Rev Paul Hooper expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to serve the wider church through this year as president of CT. He cited the various events of the year including the Good Friday acts of witness across the town - noting the Starbeck and Woodlands walk of witness as well as the Town Centre event.
He noted that Harrogate was seeing new members joining the churches through the website, and described how he had enjoyed developing stronger links with the many initiatives of CT over the decades, reconnecting with many of the roots of the ecumenical work.
He was grateful to Ernest Stephens and all involved with the Meals for the Homeless project and noted that further consultation was under way to examine the way forward for this work.
Paul reiterated his gratitude to all who had made the Annual Assembly a success, noting the contributions of Jean McQuarry, Rev John Carter and Phil Willis MP.
Kath Plant noted that income of £865 represented subscriptions [of £25 per church] for 30 churches and includes generations additions. The AGM was reminded that rebates are available Area Groups where all churches have paid their subs; only S&W and South Area have claimed a rebate. The meeting discussed the position of Area Councils claiming rebates from previous years with an agreed conclusion that Area Groups should claim within the financial year (1 April to 31 March). Area councils are to be invited to write and confirm that that their right for a rebate is to be waived if it is unclaimed during that time.
Any Area Groups wishing to claim their rebate (of £10 per church) should do so with notification of the bank account name, address and account number from the treasurer.
Thanks were expressed publicly for Bob Sayles generosity in auditing the accounts and a vote was duly taken to confirm CTH's desire for him to continue in this role.
The secretary reported that the constitutional meetings (Steering Councils, AGM and the Annual Assembly) had been held and that details of dates were listed on the Who's Who page of the website. To enable the 90% of Harrogate to discover more of what is going on in the churches, brochure detailing Services at Christmas and Easter were issued to hotels, Tourist Information Centres and many other public buildings; thanks were expressed to all for making these brochures possible.
The News and Events pages of the website were now detailing many more events and services enabling every church to find out and print off the latest details including contact info. While Mailings continue, they have reduced in number. Correspondence has now included emails - many asking for publicity for events, and much of this has been dealt with on receipt simply by adding the event to the website.
We now enjoy stronger ecumenical work in Harrogate through United Gigs (youth leaders working together to bring contemporary Christian music concerts to the town). Some events have seen hundred of our secondary school students screaming with delight at the opportunity to worship together.
Church Trails brochure is planned for development this summer.
The website now welcomes many visitors: 3000 hits since last year. News and Events pages regularly updated, and the many reports include the GM Debate, Dr Neil Richardson, Steve Chalke and, of course, the Lent lunch series. The Church and Service Lists have been upgraded with pics of each church in the area, and, with a new Regional map, there are links across North Yorkshire.
Issues requiring action or consultation included Software, DPA, Cyber insurance. CT has its own copy of Dreanmweaver, scanner and a memory stick for space efficient archiving. CT is understood not to need to register for Data Protection due to the avoidance of any records of a pastoral nature. Cyber insurance covers many issues but is understood to be unnecessary at this stage.
Development opportunities include a Members' area and search facilities (due to the growing wealth of information now available). Since the existing website runs as a sub-directory there is no easy possibility for a site search facility, so the web address "www.ctharrogate.org.uk" has been purchased with a view to investigating the possibility of a move at some point.
The regional links continue to grow, and with their being no umbrella website for the whole of North Yorkshire a second web address "www.ctny.org.uk" has been obtained. The secretary asked the AGM if this was a team opportunity - suggestions for those willing to catch the vision and form a working group would be most welcome.
Youth for Christ Report
We have had growing opportunities in schools, as well as new opportunities coming our way from secular youth agencies wanting us to bring a Spiritual dimension to their work.
New opportunities coming up will include a fairly in depth youth worker training programme, and as well as a training programme for young people to evangelise to their peers. We will also be examining our approach over coming months to the way in which we can support local Church youth work more effectively.
United Gigs is growing both in partnerships as well as the amount of gigs we put on. Ideas are always welcome as excitement for this project is growing rapidly.
We have currently stopped our monthly youth event (Ablaze @ HYPeR), but would like feedback on whether some form of termly youth event would be appreciated by local Churches.
Do also please visit our website, which is still in production stage at: http://harrogateyfc.tripod.com. Any comments, suggestions and feedback always welcome. Andy Wilson
See also: www.YfCHarrogate.org.uk
Praise God for His oversight of this important project. The last twelve months has seen a very considerable growth in the number of young people using HYPeR. We have seen the same faces many times and so are beginning to relate to the young regulars. They come from nearly all the schools in Harrogate and the Army Foundation College including a large number from Granby High School.
Many times we have had over 100 on a Saturday evening and this has led us to implement the membership scheme originally planned. It has also put our volunteer team under pressure as these numbers really need a minimum of seven staff to function on a disco evening.
Thanks are due to the volunteers who come from most if not all the church streams in Churches Together. They do wonderful work and really are grateful for your prayers. Thanks are also due to those congregations who consistently pray and give towards HYPeR. Prayers and giving from churches underpins our work. The church based giving actually pays our rent and some of the running costs. Other income comes from rent paid by other people serving organisations and a small profit from sales. This latter money is often used to update our CD collection.
Salaries are now becoming a major part of our needs. We are grateful for gifts from Groundlevel Churches and York and North Yorkshire Community Foundation. These have enabled us to pay session workers during the school holidays and will contribute to regular session workers. Our aim is to employ full time staff but will have to wait for more money.
We are employing Jo Nevett part time in a strictly admin role. She continues her fantastic work as a volunteer. Indeed all the volunteers are fantastic and if you want to join us please let us know. The work is hard but really rewarding when you begin to see these young people as individuals not just a large mass of teenagers.
Recently we have had training to equip some of our volunteer staff with food hygiene certification and all our current volunteers have or are being police checked. We hope to arrange more training for staff
Your prayers are very highly valued for HYPeR. We need The Lord's enabling as we work with these young people, most of whom have no Christian understanding at all. We need more volunteers, money and energy. We need wisdom as we appoint paid staff.
Thank you for your consistent and substantial support for what, while being vulnerable to availability of staff and cash and the unpredictable nature of working with young people, can only be described as a success in The Lord. David Henthorne, on behalf of the executive.
Harrogate and Knaresborough Jubilee Debt Campaign
About a year ago, as the G8 gathered for their annual forum, a small group out of Harrogate Churches met in Wesley Chapel for reflection and prayer, focussing on poverty, unsustainable debt, injustice, wealth, responsibility and God's will.
At our Autumn AGM, Rev. Tim Hurren was elected as our new Chairman, with an enlarged Working Group and a recognition of our Knaresborough wing in our title. A showing of a video, 'A Day to Remember' followed. (This is available to borrow)
Our third set of postcards this year, has just been distributed for signing, to make a 'CALL for CHANGE' to Gordon Brown. I am assured postcards ARE effective.
A number of people have sent e-mails and letters throughout the year to UK and other World leaders. Such pressure has recently prevented certain powerful nations blocking a measure of cancellation for Niger and Mozambique. Thanks to those who have acted faithfully in all these ways, and for the responses we have received.
The President of Tanzania has recently sent greetings in a spirit of both 'gratitude' and 'solidarity', recognising the value of JDC's work and explaining in detail how resources set free by a measure of debt cancellation have been used to improve Health facilities, also to build Primary schools and train teachers. Vastly more children are being offered a basic Primary education now. However, he emphasises that so much more could be done to reach Millennium Development goals with 100% debt cancellation.
Links were kept with the wider campaign through our Co-ordinator who attended an Autumn Speaker tour in Darlington, as well as the JDC London AGM and information day.
Plans - World Debt Day, Sunday 16 May is almost here, with a request for prayer around the churches regarding debt justice and related issues. There is to be a JDC stand at Knaresborough Spring Fayre. (Green Dragon Yard)
On Saturday 15 May campaigning is being planned outside St. Peter's Church, with drama and displays inside. As well sending off cards, we shall join the US/UK photo campaign inviting people, garlanded with red chains, to send photos and letters to Tony Blair and George Bush. Beryl Tierney (Co-ordinator) .
... were pleased to open their Dementia Wing in December 2003. A new Brochure produced and Heath Lodge will shortly have a page on this CT website
Bible Society Action Group
In addition to the key events of the last year, many churches have made good use of the Bible Society Faith through Learning materials - highly commended to the AGM.
Thursday Evening Meals for the Homeless and Needy
Following consultation with those involved with the Meals for the Homeless work and the Homeless Project, a small group from the CT Exec are seeking options for the future development of this good work. All thoughts are welcome; each of the groups involved with the meals is being invited to provide their thoughts, concerns and suggestions during June 2004.
Lent Lunches this year followed the theme of the Lord's prayer. Full report available on this website. £267 was sent for Christian Aid. It is hoped to repeat the event in 2004 with the theme 'the Practice of Prayer'.
Local Strategic Partnership
The recent update includes notes on a presentation given by Dr Albert Day on Harrogate Health Care Trust's bid for Foundation Status. A full report is available on the LSP page of the CTH website.
Church restructuring within Harrogate
Following the St Peter's Lent Lunches this year the secretary has received requests from church leaders for some form of in depth conference for them to work through the issues facing many of the individual churches and denominations. Several are considering expensive development projects and others are exploring closer ties or the merging of congregations. The AGM approved the go-ahead of further planning to facilitate such an event ['WydaleI'].