Annual Report 2014
|INTRODUCTORY LETTER:||David Warren|
|KINGDOM KIDS:||Su Gill|
|PULSE:||Matt & Rachel Lewis|
|CITY CARE:||Dot Burnett|
|LIFE GROUPS:||Antony & Anushia Goodman|
|RELEASE LADIES CONFERENCE:||Jayne Warren|
|MINISTRY TEAM:||Steve & Therese Tinnion|
|CREATIVITY, MEDIA & COMMNUNICATIONS:||Phil Simpson|
|MANAGEMENT & TRUSTEES:||John Turner|
|FINANCE REPORT:||Rosi Conn|
|NOTES FROM FINANCE FIGURES:||David Warren|
|KINGDOM KIDS:||Su Gill|
Thank you so much for taking the time to read the St Paul’s Church, Worcester’s annual report for 2014.
I firstly want to thank all the contributors to this report as their contribution reflects many hours of fantastic service through the year. Without our amazing volunteers it would have been impossible to do all we have this past year. Thank you everyone.
Like any year 2014 has been a mix of joy and sadness. Even as I write I am reminded of dear people who are no longer with us and pray for those who continue to walk through health and other challenges. Through it all we have yet again experienced the grace and favour of God.
I would have liked to have been able to report many more baptisms. We continually seek to see many lives changed by the love of Jesus and expressed in baptism. We do have a baptismal service planned for February and I believe that this will be the start of a year filled with joy over new life in Christ.
We can however be very encouraged as the following report outlines stories of life, faith and hope and I just wanted to start by mentioning three key points of progress.
1. Vision Team: We have now established a clear team that together seeks to keep us all on track with our core vision and values. It is still early days but the sense of unity, honesty and integrity is hugely encouraging.
2. Finances, management and building: What a Vision Offering! Thank you so much. We have very nearly completed all the improvements we set out to make and we are pressing ahead with improvements to our office systems. I am delighted we now have a small but essential reserve fund but we still face a deficit between regular income and outgoings so please consider giving regularly and as generously as God leads. We have attached a simplified set of accounts to this report with the full accounts being placed on the Charity Commission website later in the year. Next year we will be closing our current trust and moving to a Charitable Company model. John Turner, Rob Swallow, David Warren and Gary Rucci will be our Trustee Directors.
3. Kingdom Kids: Su Gill will be joining the paid staff at St Paul’s for 2 days per week from February 1st 2015. This is a big step of faith for both Su and the church but it is an essential commitment if we are to begin to reach more children and families.
Next year the Vision Team will be seeking God regarding the future vision for St Paul’s. We must keep pressing forward and continue to believe that God will provide all that we need for all that He calls us to. We are convinced we need to focus our attention on the theme of FOLLOW ME with the aim of developing a community of disciples that make disciples. Everyone can be involved!
Thank you so much for all your love, support and encouragement and please read this report with faith and a growing expectation for a season of significant growth.
David and Jayne Warren.
It is with great joy we reflect on a wonderful year. We have seen changes in team members as people move on and we welcome new volunteers to the team and it is brilliant to have lots of junior team members learning and contributing to the life of Kingdom kids.
The groups have gone from strength to strength, discovering & growing in the fruits of the spirit over the summer term and exploring the 10 commandments this term. Watching the children learn and grow, enthusiastic to discover more about Kingdom values is truly a blessing.
Tiny Treasures has introduced messy play which is well loved by the toddlers.
Through “Serve The Church” projects the children are enjoying contributing to the life of the church, looking outwards to bless others and putting their faith into action. The Quest team plays an active leadership role in these sessions.
We introduced a specific Kid’s Reception area this autumn and it is working well welcoming families.
In the summer we formed a Quest Team which is made up of our older group who are learning to lead and serve and develop their gifts. They helped to run and prepare for our very successful F.R.O.G party and they serve on the kid’s reception and help to lead sessions.
Heading on into 2015 we will be getting to know Jesus and growing to be like him. Further into the year we will be encountering Jesus and discovering more of the Holy Spirit as we grow in our faith together. We also look forward to developing the work of Kingdom Kid’s termly projects and holiday activities with a missional focus to enable the children to reach out to their friends and giving them opportunities to invite them to join us and hear the good news.
It has been a blessed year at Fusion. We are thankful for the commitment of the young people and the leaders. It has been especially exciting to have new younger people become regulars; some who are only connected to the church via Fusion. This provides an excellent opportunity to encourage, inspire and challenge a new generation with the Good News!
We give thanks for all these blessings:
- Young people growing in relationship with each other.
- Young people coming to know Christ better.
- Some excellent times with some guest speakers as well as some of our own!
- Some of the young people now have mentors which I believe will be a great blessing to all involved.
Please pray for:
- Our timing in all things to be in step with God.
- Us as we head off to the New Day camp in August 2015. Please pray for all the preparation for that to go well.
- Us to recognise and respond to the needs of the young people.
- God to shape the future and format of Fusion.
- Spiritual growth of our young people and leaders.
This year in Pulse has been great; relationships have really grown to a place where we are being accountable with each other. We have been looking at big life issues and discussing them as a group and look forward to this continuing into the New Year.
We have a committed core of people who love to meet together, challenge each other, study scripture together, worship together, pray for each other and do life together. Due to our age group some members have now moved on to the next stage of their lives. It is exciting to be part of their journey and to pray for them.
We are now moving into a new season as a life group where we hope to develop as a community, loving and following Jesus. We are also praying for more people to be part of the life group. We aim to provide a safe environment for development of leaders and to provide opportunities to see God’s gifts increase within the life group and ultimately ton see a multiplication of the group.
Little Oaks: Little Oaks Toddlers meets twice weekly and Little Oaks Babies once weekly during school term time. We have an amazing team of volunteers who serve on teas, coffees, hot chocolates, toast, fresh fruit and cakes, art and craft activities and singing times, push chair parking attendant and the list goes on! We would be lost without them. 50% team members attend church 50% are community volunteers and 1 community member is now attending church regularly. At present there over 350 adults and children attending Little Oaks regularly, in any one week approximately 200/250 attend.
‘I started going to Little Oaks baby group in January and I was made to feel so very welcome by everyone there. The team goes out of their way to welcome all mums, and provide an incredible service – the baby group is extremely well-equipped and the toys and activities are always perfectly targeted towards the 0-1 age range. The wonderful ladies supply the tired new mums with so much and a listening ear or a pair of welcome arms to snuggle the babies to give them 5 minutes rest. I made sure I never missed a session. Then my little one reached 1 year old and graduated to LO toddlers. We started toddlers the day it opened this September and Rosie just loves it. It’s incredibly well organised and well equipped. It’s such a welcoming and supportive environment where the little ones are guaranteed of a fun time in a safe place, and the mums can meet and mingle, and everyone is so friendly. I’ve had nothing but good things said about it by all my friends who attend, and have met lots of lovely ladies there. It’s more than just a toddler group, it’s just wonderful. Such an appreciated and valued resource, I don’t think the ladies who run it truly realise just how important it is to us mums to have somewhere like it to go. There is a truly diverse mix of mums who attend, as well, which is another lovely point. Little Oaks are doing a brilliant job, they deserve a medal’. Parent.
Food parcels: Throughout the year there has been a steady flow of requests for food parcels, mainly from Children’s Services. A recent decrease of requests in November has been followed by over 20 parcels going out in the run up to Christmas. Denise Addison does a fantastic work keeping the food cupboard in order and packing up the parcels as requests come in.
TLG (Transforming Lives for Good): TLG trains volunteers as Behaviour Coaches to go into schools and support primary aged children through issues which are often outside their control, such as family breakdown and bullying. Over the past year 3 of our own volunteers have trained as behaviour coaches and started in a local primary school this term.
“It’s a real privilege to be a TLG Coach. I’m enjoying being in school working with a pupil on a one to one basis. I’ve found the experience both rewarding and fun.” Maggie Nash
‘’The school has been very welcoming and the staff are helpful and supportive, including the head. My child and I seem to be getting along well – it is lovely to see his face light up when he sees me. A great start after what seemed to be a very long wait, but God’s timing is always perfect.’’ Jayne Warren
‘’It is amazing what God is able to do! 6 years ago I was given the burden to help children in school who were struggling to fit in and now I am doing it through TLG’’ Hayley Bennett
Teaching English as a foreign language: Doreen Porter completed her TEFL qualification this year and assisted by volunteer Roy Smallwood, English classes have begun. ‘The TEFL classes started on 1st October. We meet on Tuesdays between 1.30 pm and 2.45 pm. At the moment there are 3 regular attenders and they are all making good progress. The classes are informal and fun, with a learning theme.’’ Doreen Porter.
Community Coffee Morning: ‘It has been a real blessing working with such a wonderful team serving both our Church family and local community in such a simple way. It is lovely to see people coming in each week; we have our ‘regulars’ who we really miss when they are not with us, people coming in from around meeting up for a chat. Often we see people doing church business. The feedback we get really encourages us as we endeavour to provide an ambience of peace and love where people can feel comfortable if they are going through times of joy or sorrow. Of course we now have the added privilege of serving little oaks baby group and they keep us on our toes! Great cake, great coffee, great company and a great atmosphere – that’s Friday Coffee Morning’ Barbara Reeves
Silverliners: We have moved the meeting into the main part of the church building which the Silverliners have embraced well. Most weeks 40+ Silverliners meet for a hot lunch, friendship and a short ‘God slot’ (for want of a better description); though 51 attended the recent Christmas lunch trip out. This year we have also enjoyed a day trip to Bourton on the Water and a trip to this year’s pantomime at the Swan theatre. This group is in desperate need of more volunteers to help cook, serve and wash up each week. We are hoping to organise a holiday in 2015.
Mental Health Support: Although we set up a friendship group at the beginning of this year for those struggling with mental health it quickly became apparent that we had done this too quickly so the group was closed. However, through an amazing set of circumstances, we are at present in conversation with ACCEPT (a national Christian charity with a new model of friendship groups) and professionals from the Studdert-Kennedy Centre in Worcester, with a view to facilitating a new friendship group for those with mental health under Citycare. Very exciting!
Life Groups were launched at St Paul’s nearly two years ago in February 2013. We initially started with 14 groups attended by a 140 people. We currently have 21 groups attended by about 160 -170 people.
Successes: Life Groups have proved to be an excellent vehicle to help build an effective caring community and a sense of belonging within the church. It is a great way to share life, to pray for and practically help disciple one another. There continues to be a diversity of groups meeting on different days and times, catering for various groups of people. One of the highlights this year is the Barbourne Life Group (supported by others groups) running the Alpha Course. Life Groups continue to be an amazing vehicle in which people support each other through life events like weddings, births, illness and challenging circumstances. Places of friendship, relationship and discipleship.
A recent quote from a church partner “The Life Group system worked for us with practical help, support and prayer through a very testing time”.
Challenges: Whilst we celebrate the good things, we all desire to improve and become more effective. As God leads us into new things in 2015 we need to catch His vision and be prepared to adapt and develop our life groups. Multiplication and change increasingly need to be part of the DNA of a growing church so that we can make space for newcomers to quickly find a place within a Life Group.
- In 2015 we will start a season of teaching on discipleship and the Life Groups will be a vital element in developing effective caring discipleship.
- We all need to regularly check ourselves against becoming too insular. Life Groups need to be outward looking. Regular life group socials provide great opportunities to invite neighbours and friends. It is by developing relationships with new people that we can most effectively share our faith as they see the Gospel in action.
- There is a need for more Life Group Leaders and deputy leaders. Some people may think they could never take on such a task but with God’s grace and support, it is possible to grow into new responsibilities for the Kingdom. We look to Life Group leaders to identify and encourage new group leaders.
- In the coming year Life Group overseers will focus more on supporting individual Life Group Leaders.
ReLease Ladies Conference
We had a great time with Mihaela from Romania who shared some of her story with us over cake and coffee. A couple of our ladies also spoke of their journeys – it was a great time of sharing and encouraging one another. Nikki Rucci blessed us so much again at our ReLeased conference. Her prophetic words touched people individually and corporately. I am so pleased that Nikki and her husband Gary will continue to have links with St Paul’s. We have a number of events planned for next year, and I am looking forward to doing life with all the amazing women at St Paul’s. If anyone is interested in organising any events please let me know!
In 2014 we had the pleasure of hosting our first Men’s Conference with guest speaker, Paddy Venner. About 80 men attended and went away, challenged, encouraged and inspired. We also had men’s breakfast and two Thursday evenings together as The Hub. We currently have 2 men’s life groups.
In 2015 our Men’s Conference guest will be Kirk McAtear from Connect Church, Birmingham. Over the coming season we would like to establish a new team of men to head up the event planning and management.
September 2014 was the launch of the new ‘Prayer Ministry Team’ which consists of 9 people.
The prayer ministry team is a humble, quiet ministry and at the heart is the vision to see people’s needs met through the power of Jesus in their lives, from healing to release, from receiving salvation to receiving His Holy Spirit and much more. As a team we are only the vessels through which the Holy Spirit works, guiding people to the cross, pointing the way to Jesus as it is He who each person needs to focus on to meet them where they are at.
We are seeing prayers answered in many ways and are excited for what lies ahead. The future of the Prayer Ministry Team is to be available for those who need support in prayer at the end of each service, but not only that, if at any time there is a need for prayer and we are notified, we as a team are available to stop right where we are and lift each person to the Lord. Life group leaders are now aware that if prayer is needed for any one of their group, that they can send a request via a text message to Steve and Therese which is treated in confidence and then deleted.
We are praying and looking out for others who God lays on our heart to join the team in the future.
We have established a small visiting team that is available to support the Pastoral Ministry of the church. Over the coming year we would like to add caring, supportive, encouraging people to this team.
If you feel able to help then please have a word with Peter or Connie Pickering.
Over the past year we have continued to help support Adi Popa in his key administrative role in Galati. It was a joy to welcome Ps Nelu and his family to St Paul’s this year. David Warren has travelled to both Galati and Constanta with the key event being a key regional leader’s conference with Ps Ken Harrison from New Zealand. St Paul’s has been able to send teams to both cities and is now committed to supporting a church planting project in the Henri Coanda district of Constanta.
In 2015 we are sending teams to both Galati and Constanta. We will again be helping to support and lead the regional training conference in Constanta.
Firstly, we are so thankful for Phil Simpson who has developed the team in the last few years and support Phil in his new role as head of Media and Communications.
It may be a surprise to you that leading musical worship is not simply a Sunday morning requirement. The team of around twenty people aged young and old, dedicate many more hours behind the scenes – we should be forever thankful for their commitment!
Over the past twelve months we have attempted to create an environment that everyone can worship God in and are beginning to introduce fresh songs, whilst continuing to incorporate ‘classics’ into our services.
Looking forward, we are going to focus on a number of key areas in 2015 in order to fulfill our worship mission statement:
“We are a community that serves the church by creating an atmosphere of passionate, intimate and accessible, spirit filled worship, to Glorify God. We support the vision of St Paul’s Church and endeavor to be part of a community that enjoys God’s Grace and extends His Glory.”
Creativity, Media and Communications
Some people might think that “Creativity” within the life of St Paul’s is limited to our times of worship on a Sunday. But a huge amount of time and effort, for example, goes into preparing publicity material and branding. We also aim to provide high-quality graphics and design for the pre-service notices, the weekly video notices and the website. And our dedicated tech team does a fantastic job operating the PA and the projection system at all our services and special events.
During the summer we had our big Tech Refurbishment as part of the wider improvement project. Moving the Tech Area back a few yards actually took a lot of hard work and we ended up having to do much of the installation work ourselves. Installing new HD screens above the two main offices on either side of the platform was a major challenge. There are going to be further improvements in the New Year when we install some new speakers. Please be patient and bear with us as we deal with configuration and setup issues and the inevitable “bugs” in the system.
Our Woodbine Willie events in October received extensive media coverage (including the Worcester news, Berrows Journal, local radio and the Church Times) and we hope to get more stories into the local papers during 2015.
We are currently looking to refresh the church website, and enhance our presence on social media. These are key tools to let people know about what is going on in the church and, more importantly, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Our main goal for 2015 is to continue to serve the church and help everyone communicate the great message of Salvation in a way that is contemporary, relevant and memorable.
Over the past two years we have set the general pattern of two devoted weeks of prayer each year and we have tried various times, places and styles. Some things have worked whilst others have not attracted the numbers we would have hoped.
One of our core values is to be a people who seek above all else the presence of God. Where He sends we go whatever the cost. To do this we must hear from God through scripture, advice, discussion and very importantly the prophetic. By the time you have read this report we would have had our January week of prayer that was focused on our first ever prophetic celebration. I trust we have heard from God and move ahead in the confidence that He is truly with us.
We also seek to have every group and ministry surrounded by praying people. Life Groups pray, Fusion prays, Kingdom Kids pray etc. Prayer is not to become a meeting for the super committed but a normal part of our everyday life together as a community enjoying the grace of God.
It is our desire that the administration at St Paul’s should deliver a standard of excellence, facilitate the efficient day-to-day running of the church and enable & release God’s people effectively across the church to reach the lost for Him.
We aim to be well-organised, to be efficient in communication, to develop the church’s administrative infrastructure, to maintain filing, to ensure that the main diary is up-to-date & facilitate forward-planning, and to be available & welcoming to visitors and anyone needing information about what is going on. As well as overseeing all the routine ‘housekeeping’ tasks associated with the building we assist with planning church events, managing rotas and records, maintaining the church diary/calendar, arranging necessary courses and generally working alongside the building users and various groups.
A requisition form is now available in the church office and should be completed before any purchase is made. If you are planning a church event you will also need to fill in a form to help us track who is responsible for what and help with the smooth running of activities. Forms are also available on the Welcome desk each Sunday to amend your contact details or set up a standing order payment to the church.
Please do inform us of any changes to your contact details because our database needs to be up-to-date and accurate. The office hours are 10am to 3pm daily. If you have any questions or queries we are available on the telephone, via email or just pop in and speak to us.
Finances: At the end of 2013 we held a very small surplus in our account, a quite remarkable achievement considering the majority of previous years showing a loss! 2014 looks as if it will end in a similar position and again careful management has achieved what is a positive position. Included in this statement is the magnificent Vision Offering which has enabled us to build the new café bar, cupboards to the lower meeting room, flooring to the café area, new TV screens and speakers and develop a small Reserve for the first time. We therefore end 2014 in a slightly stronger position than ever before.
2015 will be a major challenge for us. We are investing in the Vision for children’s work and in other areas in faith without immediately having funds available. The financial impact of the major building maintenance works and growing of the Vision will be a significant challenge to the church in the years to come.
As a church we need to encourage the raising of income levels in tithe’s and gifts; make various church activities self-funding; continue to develop appropriate financial reserves for the future, and pursue other Trust and Grant funding to supplement what has been our normal income levels.
Thank you to Rosi Conn who faithfully continues to manage our finances.
Human Resources: With the growing workload, new members of staff have been added to our team. We plan to increase Jo Simpson’s hours in administration and welcome Su Gill to the staff enabling her to develop her vision for the children’s work. In 2015 we will undertake a general review of all matters HR to ensure we are in good order. Our new externally supported IT infrastructure will help our staff to administer the church business and significantly improve our document security and recovery of information.
Building: Peter Boyd and his Maintenance Men continue to keep the building in good order and are doing a great job. On the larger scale works to roof, brickwork and stonework, we have just launched a very significant grant application for funding of the works. We will hear the result of this in March 2015. Please pray for the success of this application, which if forthcoming will enable us to carry out major external works to the building in the summer of 2016. We will not receive funding for the total amount required and should prepare for fund raising from other sources to make up the total.
St Paul’s Worcester Incorporation: The AOG has encouraged us to change St. Paul’s into a business with limited liability. In moving forward with this process over 2014, we have established a parallel business bank account with CAF Bank, and Charity. The new Trustees (Rob Swallow, David Warren, John Turner & Gary Rucci) Board meeting will be held at the end of January at which various formal matters will be concluded to enable us to seek Charity Commission permission to transfer everything from old to new. We hope to be able to complete this exercise in March of next year. Very little change will be observable, but St. Paul’s will be strengthened to move forward and grow the Vision before us.
Notes from Finance Figures
- Whilst Tithes and Offering are up slightly our regular giving does not cover the regular costs yet.
- The utilities increase relates to the old debt which has now been paid off and we are in a much better position going forward.
- Administration costs have increased with new hygiene services, increased cleaning costs, new printer / copier, new computer system set up.
- The cash in the bank includes £8000 we set aside from vision offering which includes a Reserve fund and a seed fund for new projects and also other restricted funds such as Romania.
- The Vision Offering is separate from Special Offerings so it looks like Special Offerings have significantly reduced.
Overall: We are in a much better position than we were this time last year. We can celebrate the fact that we have made significant investments into the building, increased our support staff and are able to employ Su Gill 2 days per week from February 2015 enabling her to focus on the great work she is doing with the children. The trustees and Vision Team would like to express their sincere thanks to you all.
- We need to continue to pray for and see an increase in regular tithes and offerings to cover the regular commitments.
- There remain challenges with keeping the building in reasonable repair. The trustees are looking at all the options and will share outcomes in the WHAT IF? Partners meetings in June.