Stewards’ Annual Report (February 2019)

As Kate and I come to the end of our current three year term as Church Stewards we reflect on the last year.

We were very pleased that we were able to have three new stewards joining the team last year: Lesley Wheaton, Christine Morgan and Margaret Wells, all of whom have settled well into the role.

We also have a strong team of Welcome Stewards who help with handing out notices and collection bags but are principally there to greet people as they arrive for the service.  There is also a team who count the offertory each week.  These tasks may seem small but they are very important in allowing the Church Stewards who are on duty to be available to talk to people in the church, especially any newcomers, and be available for anyone who wants to discuss church matters or concerns.  Thank you to all those people who volunteer to be Welcome Stewards or Offertory counters. If anyone else would like to volunteer to join these teams please speak to one of the Church Stewards.

During the last year we have had a very successful Holiday Bible Club, a Harvest Lunch and a thoughtful and thought-provoking display of poppies for the Remembrance Sunday and First World War commemorations.  Thank you to all those who organised and participated in these events.

We did not have a Christmas Tree festival this year as we had hoped to have an event that would coincide with the opening of Peach Place.  You will recall that the original opening date for this was last November!  Our fish sculpture has been fully funded by Church members and we are looking forward to it being installed in March.  This will be a stunning display and will, we think, be a distinct feature in Peach Place.  Thank you to all those involved in this especially Jane Bonney who has seen it through from the beginning and all those who have generously donated.

Being a Church Steward is a privilege.  Yes, in practical terms it means giving up extra time on a Sunday to open and prepare the church and lock up after everyone else has left; it means attending Church Council and at least one of the other church committees; it means a Stewards' Meeting every six weeks or so, but it also means being involved in almost every aspect of the Church and its ministry.  The Church Steward is there to support the minister, get to know the congregation and listen to the suggestions, concerns and sometimes personal problems of the members, and consider the overall worship and mission of the Church.  It does not mean that the Church Steward has to become the bearer of all these but is the conduit to the minister or appropriate committee who will take the matters forward.

Kate and I have enjoyed our time as stewards and pray for God's blessing on the continuing work of the team and the wider church.

Malcolm Souter