WARDENS’ REPORT TO VESTRY
11 MARCH 2018
PARISH OF KIRBY-HILTON
Our introductory remarks to this year’s Wardens’ Report will prove to be very similar to those of 2017. We are truly blessed to have the council members that we do, given their exceptional range of skills and competencies. We have been fortunate to be able to welcome Redvers Lee to council, and are very fortunate to have someone with his depth of legal insight as part of the team.
We offer our thanks to Church Council, and particularly to Paul and John and their families for the support they have offered us as your Wardens.
A The Past Year – Looking back:
- Property maintenance:
- a) We have had an unusually busy year with regard to repairs and maintenance to the Church property. A drainage issue made it necessary to build a soak-away pit to move rainwater away from the east corner of the Church near the car park. This was a somewhat disruptive construction project, and one further step remains to effect a permanent remedy to the original problem.
- b) Rezoning of the Church Properties – Following extensive consultations by Bronwyn Mackenzie and Frances Brombacher, and latterly by Redvers Lee, we are now close to achieving the registration of a Notarial Deed of Consolidation. The aim of this Notarial Deed is to link the car park plots to the plots containing the Church and the Rectory. The nett result of this consolidation will be that we will no longer be required to pay assessment rates
on the car park plots, thus making a significant monthly saving on expenditure.
- c) A further upgrade to the Church sound system was effected thanks to the generosity of Peter Wyngaard, who made available an even more sophisticated mixing desk to accommodate the more technical needs of our growing Music Groups.
- d) The rectory septic tank system failed in October last year and had to be completely replaced.
- e) An air conditioner has just been installed in John Alexander’s office to make it more habitable during the summer months.
- f) A wheelchair ramp was installed to improve access to the Church. This has subsequently seen the addition of non-slip strips to prevent accidents during wet weather.
- g) A fixed palisade fence section was installed at the car park end of the grassed walkway running between the Admin Office block and St. Annes. In addition, a palisade gate was fitted to the top end of this walkway to facilitate entry to the storage area behind the kitchen, and to the generator cable near the Garden of Remem-brance. The primary motivation for this development was to improve security at the back of the office area, following repeated visits by an unwelcome vagrant.
- h) The wooden arch leading to the car park, outside the Hall doors was also repaired.
2) Fun Raising activities:
- a) Fellowship activities have included two very successful quiz evenings, and a wine auction organized by Craig Elstob. The latter raised a significant amount for the Church.
- b) Our Ascension Brunch organized by Mike and Leanne Fradd and John and Ann Alexander was a roaring success. Roma Pridmore also contributed sweet treats to the morning’s festivities. This event was also a celebration of the 110th anniversary of our beloved Church.
- c) A recent choral evensong and an opera concert by Emma Farquharson were also very well attended and these events raised funds for the Church.
- d) We had a visit from St. Peter’s Anglican Cathedral in Adelaide, Australia. They really enjoyed the evening of fellowship with us in September, and raised R1500 for the purchase of plastic push tricycles for Never-Never Land Crèche. They followed this up with an undertaking to remain involved with this outreach program.
- e) Following on from work done some time ago by two parishioners on the place of bequests to the Church or to the Anglican Diocese of KZN, a series of stewardship workshops were run by Paul and John Alexander. In addition, a stewardship brochure was produced, which contained important information on such bequests. Parishioners with queries were referred to Greg Edwards and Sven Jager.
3) Visioning Workshop: Jeremy Farquharson, Sue van Niekerk, Bev Haddad and Rory Mackenzie attended a very intensive work shop in Ladysmith. The purpose of the workshop was to brain storm ideas for the implementation of Bishop Dino’s Diocesan Vision for KZN. It was attended by a wide spectrum of parish leadership from central and southern KZN.
4) Wardens and Treasurers Workshop: A very informative workshop was run at the Cathedral in Pmb for Wardens and Treasurers. The sessions were led by Peter Wyngaard, and a lot of in-depth back-ground information was made available. Paull and the two Wardens attended this event.
5) Financial Update: Frances Brombacher will provide a more detailed financial analysis as part of the Vestry Report, but as Wardens, we felt that it was important for us to flag a number of important financial trends. On the positive side, we are delighted to report that there has been an increase in the number of people attending our services, and we welcome all who are newcomers to our Church. However, during Council meetings over the past year, we have noted a decrease in the funding that stems from planned giving from our congregation. .
As Planned Giving is the central source around which we establish our annual budget, this is a worrying trend. We appeal to all parishioners to consider becoming planned givers, and for those who are already part of the planned giving system, to ensure that the requisite payment options such as stop orders are renewed each year.
B Looking Forward:
1 Property maintenance:
- a) We have just obtained a number of quotations for the installation of fans in the Church, three down the center aisle and two beneath the organ loft. The fans will help to reduce the heat in the Church during our busier services.
- b) Roofing issues: The parapet roof over the main entrance door and the cry room needs urgent attention following storm damage. Some slate tiles have come loose and we are currently examining options for this repair. The repairs are likely to be expensive, and part of the consultation process is with the AMAFA heritage buildings organization, given that a change in the type of roofing may be required. Roofing repairs are also required on the bell tower. A full assessment of the condition of the main roof is also planned and if work is required, the requisite quotes will be obtained.
- c) Sound system in Cry Room: Upgrades are planned for the future and quotes will be obtained.
- d) Children’s Play Area: John and Ann Alexander are looking at plans to improve the children’s play area in order to make the Church even more attractive to families with young children. There appears to be a gap in our ministry, with toddlers who are too old for the cry room and too young for Sunday School not having a place of their own. John and Ann are looking to create a facility to accommodate these young people and their parents.
- e) Shade Tree: We are exceptionally blessed to have a really competent team in charge of our gardens, and plans are under way to source and plant a shade tree outside the door of the Church Hall.
- f) Rectory Repainting: Plans have been set in motion to repaint the Rectory inside and out as part of our ongoing maintenance programme. The process will begin soon, with work to begin on the exterior of the buildings.
- g) Rectory Gardens: The rectory garden needs attention in terms of containing rapid tree growth. Quotations are currently being obtained in this regard, as well as for the removal of an old refuse pile.
In conclusion, we need to offer our sincere thanks as Wardens to Paul and Rae, to John and Ann, and to our fellow Council members, who all ensure the efficient running of our Parish. Our thanks must also be offered to the teams leading our many outreach programmes, and very importantly, to our office team of Julia and Heather, and to Mdu along with our temporary staff. All of these people do so much to ensure the wellbeing and growth of our Church, and we greatly appreciate all that they do.
Greg Edwards Jeremy Farquharson