Saint George’s Day, 23rd April A.D. 2007

Highlights from the 2007 meeting, which followed the Solemn Eucharist for St George's Day.
Follow the link below to access reports of the 2006 and 2005 meetings.

CLICK HERE  for 'Meeting People': a general introduction to the purpose and function of A.P.C.Ms in the Church

Review of the past year

The full PCC met four times during the year with an average attendance of 20 people.  A joint United Benefice PCC Away-day was held in May with an attendance of 15 people from St. Faith’s with a similar number from St. Mary’s.  At the Away-day Linda Jones, Leader of the Diocesan Church Growth and Ecumenism Team, spoke about the different types and styles of worship in her current parish, from children’s to traditional services, and asked those present to think about what they do well in their church.  A discussion on “A Healthy Church” was held in response to the Deanery Visitation.

2006 saw St. Faith’s fourth Holiday Club.  This again proved to be a great success and was oversubscribed.  

As well as the Children’s Holiday Club the first United Benefice Over 65s Holiday Club was held in June 2006 and was a resounding success. Over 20 people from both churches and other churches in the area enjoyed a week of activities and outings.  A second one is planned for 2007 and, following on the success of the first one, is expected to attract many more people.
The Saturday Lunchtime Recitals once again took place from Easter until the August Bank Holiday weekend and proved more popular than ever.

In July we said farewell to our Director of Music, Ged Callacher, who left us to take up a place at Ushaw Seminary to train for the Catholic Priesthood.  Our Assistant Organist, Stephen Hargreaves, took on the role of Acting Director of Music until January 2007 when our new Director of Music, Paul Burnett, started his duties following his appointment in September.

The Pantomime “Dick Whittington” played to full houses in February and auditions took place in the summer for the 2006 United Benefice Pantomime, “Cinderella”.  Rehearsals commenced in September with a talented cast.

The United Benefice Pilgrimage to Rome took place in October, with some 23 pilgrims travelling.  A varied programme had been arranged including a Papal Audience, visits to Assisi and Orvieto, as well as to St. Peter’s and other major basilicas.

September 2006 saw the appointment of the Fr. Neil as Diocesan Advisor on Liturgy and Worship, whilst continuing to serve the United Benefice.  As part of the Diocesan Plan, St Faith’s would become a “resource church” and this reflected credit on the way the United Benefice had evolved.  After long and careful thought, Fr. Mark has decided to seek a return to full-time ministry and is currently looking at possibilities within the Diocese and beyond.

The PCC agreed to the appointment of a Parish Administrator and it is intended to advertise for this post in early 2007.  The Administrator will work for the United Benefice and be based in an office at St. Mary’s.

Fr. Neil Kelley
For and on behalf of the PCC of St. Faith’s Church, Great Crosby

Church attendance

There are 143 people on the Church Electoral Roll, 87 of whom are not resident within the parish.  This is a decline of 4 from 2005, three people have died and one moved away.  


The average weekly attendance counted over seven weeks during May and June was 138 and average Sunday attendance during the same period was 101.  These figures do not include monthly baptism services at which attendance is 100+ and funerals, which average approximately 15 a year in church.  There were 3 weddings in St. Faith’s in 2006 with an average attendance of some 150+.

There is also a monthly Compline and Benediction service as well as a bi-monthly Healing Service. The Eucharist is celebrated, with the exception of Wednesdays, daily in St. Faith’s; attendance at these weekday Eucharists averages 8.

Plans for the future

In 2007, we intend to:

* Renew our Giving in Grace campaign
* Plan a series of fundraising events
* Take part in the Diocesan “Responding to the Call”
* Celebrate the Stations of the Resurrection during Eastertide
* Re-visit the Parish Survey and its recommendations
* Form a bereavement group
* Consider the formation of house meetings for small discussion groups
* Appoint a Development Administrator to maximise our resources

Church and Community Reports

Ministry Team

At the beginning of the year we were able to thank Miriam Jones and Mike Holland for their contribution to the team as they retired as churchwardens. In their place we welcomed Kari Dodson and Leo Appleton.

Much of our discussions have reflected the concerns of the parish and PCC over the future of our finances, church buildings and opportunities for mission. There has been unanimous support for the Giving in Grace campaign and we all pray for its success. We have also been considering the appointment of a part-time Parish Administrator to assist with bookings of our church buildings and the future use of our premises for outreach and income generation. A paid administrator could also assist Fr. Neil with some of the day to day tasks of running the two churches.

In September we started a new arrangement for meetings. In addition to our usual monthly meetings, we now gather for half an hour most Monday mornings at 7.30 am. We have a short time of prayer, reflect on the previous week and Sunday morning services, identify parishioners who might be sick or unable to come to church,  discuss any visits that are needed, and deal with any other urgent matters. Although challenging for those of us who are not ‘morning people’(!), these Monday meetings have proved very valuable for working together as a team, especially when it comes to pastoral care.
We look forward to the challenges the next year will bring. We are likely to see one or two changes – and in particular we have Fr. Mark in our prayers as he explores the possibility of returning to parish ministry on a full-time basis.

Finally, our thanks to Fr. Neil for his leadership, guidance and spiritual care. 
Fred Nye


The Premises Committee have met at regular intervals throughout the year, and thanks to the legacy left by the late John Taylor have been able to make considerable progress in some of the church's more urgent premises requirements.

From a routine and operational stance general maintenance has continued to be carried out to the church and hall, and the appearance of the buildings and grounds is generally tidy. we have had continual trouble with church windows being broken due to vandalism, but these have continued to be fixed through our insurance claims.
The larger jobs that the premises committee have co-ordinated over the past year are as follows:

* Replacement and rewiring of electrics in the church hall
* Electrical switch board and safety check of the church.
* Repair of the security light on the bell tower
* Replacement of lightening conductor on the bell tower
* Elimination of dry rot in the sacristy, and sanding and treatment of sacristy floor
* Removal and treatment of pigeon excrement from inside the church hall roof

At the time of writing several significant premises jobs are in progress:
* A faculty is in place for approval of our wishes to replace the church heating. This work will commence  on Tuesday April 24th 2007. The replacement of the church heating system is one of the larger jobs that the premises committee has been involved with recently, and we thank everybody who has been involved.

* A roofing contractor has been booked to commence urgent repairs to the church hall roof, and this is scheduled to commence during late March 2007
* The premises committee is still seeking appropriate quotes and contractors for the work which is required to achieve DDA compliance (i.e. access to church and hall, and provision of disabled toilets.           
Leo Appleton

Music and Choir

There is a Chinese proverb which says, “May you live in interesting times.” In fact there is some debate as to whether this is a proverb or a curse, something I and most members of the choir I suspect, would undoubtedly agree with.

2006 was a year of conflicting emotions for the choir. We were all delighted to hear of Ged’s acceptance for training for the Roman Catholic priesthood, though, of course, distraught at the thought of losing him after so many happy and productive years here, where we were not simply Director and Choir, but a close and supportive group of friends. Many things have rightly been said both publicly and privately to Ged about the amazing contribution he made to the worship and fellowship of our church, and his unfailing commitment to our church family. All of the things we loved so much about him -  his humour, his understanding, his patience, his talent, his energy and his love – are, of course, all the things which make him so wonderfully suited for the priesthood. Our loss is indeed the Roman Catholic priesthood’s gain.

Another packed year of weekly sung services, High Masses, Evensongs, recitals, concerts and cathedral visits has kept the choir as busy as ever, firstly under Ged’s direction, and then with his eminently capable, albeit temporary, successor, Stephen Hargreaves who took over the directorship until Christmas. Times of change are rarely comfortable, but Stephen’s professionalism and musicianship, coupled with the choir’s determination to move forward under his leadership meant that the transition was as seamless as possible and everyone worked together to continue the unique musical tradition for which our church is noted, and of which are justly proud. Highlights of our year have been the concert given in the presence of the Archbishop of York on his first visit to Merseyside, and our Sunday at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King, which was Ged’s final service as Director.

Unfortunately, life’s rich pattern means that the highs are often balanced out by lows, and here in St Faith’s we are not an exception. Most of you will undoubtedly be aware that we have parted company with our recently appointed Director of Music, Paul Burnett. This has been a difficult time for the choir, as you can imagine, but they have coped with remarkable resilience both individually and collectively in their commitment to the choir and their support of each other and of the church. We are immensely grateful to Stephen for stepping into the breach once again, and we particularly value his support at a difficult time. We have also been ably supported by Fr Neil, the Ministry Team, PCC and congregation, and I would like to thank them all on the choir’s behalf.

I’d like to conclude by saying that the choir are in a positive and optimistic mood about the future, and look forward to continuing our fine musical tradition. I am pleased to report that, in musical terms, we are all up-beat, in harmony and singing from the same hymn sheet. Thank you for all your support.
Kari Dodson

Sunday School

I must start by thanking the loyal band of teachers and helpers who, eek after week, provide fun and imaginative lessons. Unfortunately it is still for so very few children. We are delighted that these few are also very loyal and enjoy coming to Junior Church and love showing their work at the end of the service. The all-age services are a great attraction and the children love taking part in them. The summer and Christmas parties, when we join with St Mary's, still pull in the crowds!
Angie Price

Men’s Group
The year has been busy and I am happy to report that it has included some memorable evenings and events. Several of our members are returned to good health after a plethora of surgical interventions and our membership is growing, at least round their waists!

A particular highlight was the Golden Anniversary of Fr Charles who, after a weekend of public celebration spent a convivial evening with the Group, where he extolled the benefits of a sober, religious and celibate life, as opposed to that which some people follow.

Monthly house meetings are as popular as ever, with speciality meals and drinks providing a focus for discussion and comparison. Once again the group in the robust shapes of Geoff and Kevin ran a successful Quiz Night which raised the money for the “Older Persons Christmas Meal”, which this year hosted nearly 100 guests, some of whom were even older than members of the Group!

As always, the retreat to Davids House in Yorkshire was a very special time. Periods of frivolity and walking were interspersed with sessions given over to serious debate, quiet contemplation and two memorable services. Those readers with smoke alarms fitted in their house (hopefully everyone) will appreciate the problems of incense in confined spaces. As many members of the Pantomime cast were present Leo even organised a rehearsal of Cinderella, although the usual cloak of secrecy (and a small bribe) prevent me from revealing who took the title role.

We visited the local church who had just begun what will be a testing time for them as they become part of a large group of churches supported by a team of priests. They were obviously missing the support of their recently retired vicar, and were delighted when we suggested that perhaps Fr Charles could lead a service next year. We always leave copies of Newslink there, and they look forward to the annual visit of distant friends from Crosby.

New members are always made welcome at our (nearly) monthly meetings – just ask one of us for the list of dates.                                                    
Rick Walker
Churches Together in Waterloo

In September 2006 the committee organised a  coffee morning to raise money to cover the costs of the various outreach activities of the church’s year, notably the leaflets which are distributed at Christmas and Easter to the homes of each parish. The coffee morning generously hosted by the Waterloo United Free Church in their hall, raised over £200 and was well attended by members of the public and by members of the Waterloo churches. A Fair trade stall was also very well patronised.

In October during One World Week the churches held an ecumenical service in St Mary’s church in support of the Waterloo Partnership with Sierra Leone.   A FairTtrade stall was again well patronised,  with a Fair trade Christmas cake being raffled, and notably staffed by students from St Michael’s CE High School, who also took part in the service.  The congregation generously donated over £100 for the work of the Waterloo partnership.

At Easter the churches took part in the Procession of Witness to the Civic Hall on Good Friday. We are exploring other ways of working together as an ecumenical faith community. Regrettably on this occasion it has not been possible to organise a joint pilgrimage to Northumberland but we hope to explore other ideas in the future. We are grateful for the leadership of Rev Alan Brooks through the year and for his support and encouragement.               
Kathleen Zimak
Catering Team
We have had fewer functions this past year but are still short of people to help at the actual events. Despite this everything has gone off in the usual efficient way, thanks to the dedicated members of the team. My very grateful thanks to those who have supported us this year, including those outside the catering team who have stepped forward to help when necessary.                           
Ruth Winder

Eucharistic Ministers
There are eighteen Eucharistic Ministers who are licensed to assist at the Holy Eucharist.  They are also available to administer Holy Communion to the sick or housebound, and anyone who is sick and wishes to receive Holy Communion at home should contact Fr. Neil or Joyce Green.       
Eric Salisbury

Communications Report
As in previous years, there has been continuing, and even growing activity on the communications front. Taking advantage of the availability of very economical printing facility at the Image Press at Merchant Taylors', a steady stream of service sheets, special liturgy booklets, flyers and the like has been produced. Newslink, of which I currently print 375 copies, runs to 24 or 28 pages, including full colour covers and one or two sheets of photographs. However, this luxury is now no longer be generally available, owing to the prohibitive cost of colour printing equipment and consumables, so that the future use of full (as opposed to spot) colour in St Faith's printed products is likely to be very limited. The possibility of carrying advertising and seeking sponsorship is being considered.
The church website continues to expand, and to reach a wider audience,  with 'hits' averaging some 50 a day, and sometimes twice as many people 'tuning in', both locally and more widely. The site, which is updated several times a week, can carry up to date reports, news, notices and as much colour as may be desired, and at practically no cost. The site reproduces more or less everything that appears in Newslink - and is possibly now seen by more people than read the magazine. The implications of these facts may give food for thought in the future.                       
Chris Price

Mission Group
We have recently had the opportunity of reviewing the recommendations we made to the PCC in 2005. On the subject of the Family Eucharist (formerly ‘All-Age Service’), the formal feed-back in October was almost universally encouraging. We have reaffirmed the importance of these services in encouraging participation in worship, especially by young people; and we should certainly not be distracted if they do not attract many new church members.
We have been much encouraged by the growth of study and prayer groups, especially the courses organised by Fr. Mark, and the opportunities for developing spirituality provided by the Walsingham Circle. We feel that there is also a need for an ‘open’ and informal prayer group which could welcome newcomers, and where people could get to know each other and learn confidence in prayer. We will be taking this idea further after Lent.
Perhaps we need reminding from time to time that our church members put much of their energy and resources into ‘outreach’ activities of all kinds. These include the Holiday Clubs for children and the over 65s, the Craft Days, the Sunday School parties, the Saturday Concerts, the Songs of Praise ‘bring a friend’ services, and the Parish Newsletter. We are all extremely grateful to those who work so hard to make these and other similar activities a success. If St. Faith’s has been thought to be inward-looking, the Holy Spirit seems intent on making this reputation a thing of the past!       
Fred Nye

Walsingham Circle
The Circle continues to gather for the Mass on Saturday, followed by a short meeting discussing various topics and sometimes a light lunch. The recent meetings have focussed on how ‘Finding Sanctuary’ may be possible for all of us in our busy daily lives. The source of inspiration was the book of the same name, written by Abbot Christopher Jamison from Worth Abbey, as featured in television’s ‘The Monastery’. Martin Jones prepared the meetings, setting ‘homework’ in the form of reading certain parts of the book over several weeks, and trying to apply the principles to our own circumstances. Such meetings and discussions are informal, informative and most enjoyable, and everyone is encouraged to join the Circle. Following my departure in July, Lynne Connolly from St Mary’s will be undertaking the role of Circle Secretary. 
Miriam Jones

100 (plus) Club
The last 12 months of the 100 club have continued to be successful as a money-spinner for both the church and its winners. Altogether there were forty-eight winners, pocketing a total of £4,400, with the same amount going to church funds. As at the end of October 2006 (the end of the 100 club year) a total of £52,530 has been split between the church and the 288 lucky winners over the 6 years that the club has been running, so it is still proving to be a worthwhile venture.

As you know, Martin and I will no longer be around on a weekly basis from July and Shelagh Mulholland has kindly agreed to handle the 100 club from now on and I trust she will have the same help and support that I have had from everyone.

We are looking to increase the membership from the current 140, however a recent ‘BOGOF marketing campaign’ in the Parish Magazine has failed to tempt any further applicants! It’s not too late – remember, you’ve got to be in it to win it! (and yes, I did come up with that before Dale Winton!)   
Miriam Jones

S. Faith’s Holiday Club
August 2006 saw the fourth S. Faith’s Holiday Club, once again we received a grant from Sefton Council towards the running of the club and from St. Christopher’s Home Trust, which enabled the children to have a great week.  The club was over subscribed and unfortunately we were unable to accommodate all those children who wished to attend, however over 50 children attended each day  and enjoyed a range of activities and outings. Thanks must go to all those who helped in any way to make the week such a success.       
Joan Tudhope

United Benefice Over 65’s Holiday Club
The first Over 65’s Holiday Club was held this year in S. Mary’s Church Hall.  The format followed that of the Children’s Holiday Club in that there were activities each day with a half day out to the Candle Factory in Cheshire and a full day out to Blackpool, including a delicious fish and chip lunch.  The week was a tremendous success and a second one is planned for 2007. 
Joan Tudhope

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