St Michael & All Angels

Sharing God's Love

From the Vicar

May 2018

Dear All

By the time you read this, we will have enjoyed our Annual Parochial Church Meeting and may have some newly elected officers and PCC members.  As always, I and the Church community are indebted to those who give their time and energy into the governance of the Church, and this month I would particularly like to thank them by highlighting some of the tasks that they undertake behind the scenes - there is structure behind the face that is seen on a Sunday and never more so than now in 2018.  It often feels as though we are struggling against an ever growing set of inhibitors to the ministry and mission of the Church; of Jesus simply telling disciples to ‘go and tell’, so I am deeply grateful to all those who work to assist with the changes asked of us over the years and of all the compliance that is now needed.

I can remember when the computer chip was hailed as being the thing that would ease communication and facilitate the use of less time and paper.  That might have been the case once, but now we find that everything must be evidenced permanently for the safety of ourselves and others.  

The Churchwardens (Graham and Carol) are always available with knowledge, keys and kindness, attending meetings and writing reports, alongside all the practical things they undertake.  The PCC also, attend meetings, read and recommend how we should be in the future.  Judy the Administrator works way beyond the hours for which we pay her, dedicating her time to good communication through, phone, email, website and facebook always ensuring that anyone who ‘needs to know’ does know.  The sound team work tirelessly during the week trying to keep ageing equipment working and ready for use on a Sunday.  Musicians and singers practise; dusters are waved, flowers arranged, cakes are made, meals are cooked, the hall is kept fully functional, children are educated and nurtured etc, and behind all these we have a Safeguarding team ensuring that we are always as safe as we can possibly be – a Safeguarding officer who checks and processes all DBS applications and two co-ordinators (one for children, one for vulnerable adults).  I am delighted that we have so far managed to comply and have over 50 people in the Church with a current DBS – a sign of a busy and vibrant church.  We couldn’t be this way without all the people who ensure this for us.  For Jesus – who simply said ‘Go and tell’.  

Now we have a new ‘hurdle’ – one that is again designed to help us all in the long run.  GDPR.  General Data Protection Regulations as specified by Government.  We must now put in place some structures and codes of practice to protect and ensure privacy.  As a Church, we are somewhat of a special case in that we are mostly volunteers working with the community.  However GDPR is important and a necessary requirement.  

May I take this opportunity to apologise to you in advance if you are asked again to sign a permission slip for something you did some time back.  Everything needs to be revisited and if you feel frustrated, please give a thought to those who are giving their voluntary time to ensure that we comply and are as safe as we can possibly be.

Jesus said ‘Go and tell’ and at Marden Church we are trying to do this as safely as possible.

With love

Alison.