Annual Report 2016

St Matthew with St Jude. Vicar’s Report 2016
Worshipping Community
Congregational life has gone from strength to strength with adult attendance at Sunday worship at eight and ten a.m. regularly exceeding 65. St Matthews continues to be a growing church. Mid-week worship has been well supported and we have benefitted from the ministries of Revd Alice Hole, Janice Daley, and Reader in training Sarah Corlett in enriching our Sunday morning and seasonal worship as a congregation. My thanks to all who read, administer communion, lead intercessions, welcome and generally make the key activities of our worship possible week by week. The children in our community have been blessed by the care and attention of Sarah Fielding and Alex Bousoulengas in our Sunday school and the contribution of younger members to our life has been one of the highlights of the year. Rosy Skinner has continued to contribute to the ministry of preaching for which we thank her. Our worship continues to evolve and presently comprises both active and contemplative dimensions. We continue to be enriched by the music of Francis Reneau and the choir. My thanks to John Atterbury-Davies for his support of the 8 am congregation. Financial giving to the church has risen this year for which we are very grateful.

A large group of us enjoyed a parish retreat at Glastonbury Abbey at which Barbara Wilson from Corpus Christi RC church led us in exercises influenced by the tradition of St Ignatius. St Matthew’s seeks to be a church that encourages a life long journey of faith. We welcome the searcher, the agnostic, the atheist, the doubter, as well as those who have come to a faith in Christ in which the hope that everything that is broken can be fixed has becomes the bed rock of their lives. We aim in future years to extend the availability of instruction, spiritual disciplines, and resources and opportunities for living into the fullness that Christ offers us, and growing in depth as a community in which joy, compassion, and justice, are shown.

Church Officers and other highly important people
We have been faithfully served by our Churchwardens Pam Venture and Annette Miller-Walcott and the PCC has been ably served by its Secretary Julia Murray, Treasurer Tom Catchpole, and Electoral Roll officer Sandra Layne. Cynthia Delahaye has continued to provide essential services to our practical life together as a community, as has Pam Venture in organising our weekly rota .

The Mothers Union continues to offer prayer and encouragement to family life and to raise funds for the work of the church. We thank Jean Neumann for her organisational support and for leading our PCC day in February and we thank Neil Gilchrist for helping us to see the future.

Parish school of St Jude
We thank head teacher Alex New and her staff at the school for their work, Liz Bracken as the chair of governors, and the other foundation governors provided by the congregation, Tamsin, Tom, Mark, Catherine. We also thank Revd Alice Hole for her ministry in deepening the connections between the parish church and school. The number of visits to St Matthews by the school has increased this year.

Back to the Future
2015-16 has turned out to be a pivotal year for the work of the PCC and for the future of the St Matthews community. In 1975 the church began a forty year period in which its building was not, like nearly all other parish churches, run directly by the Vicar and the church council (PCC). For twenty years following the internal reordering of the building in 1975, the congregation at St Matthews moved around inside the building until finally coming to rest in the centre of worship we now occupy. Yet the congregation settled as a tenant in a building which was by then legally governed by a charity distinct from the PCC. The PCC decided in March this year to restore the Vicar and PCC’s traditional relationship towards the governance and care of the St Matthews building. The Brix at St Matthews, the charitable company that has governed the church building since 1994 is to be dissolved in late September 2016. We thank the Brix for their work and in particular for the service to the building offered by the Brix’s two chairs during this period, Martin Williams and Caroline Clark.

The St Matthews community now finds itself at the start of a new chapter in its life together in a building it has worshiped in since 1824. As Vicar, my hope and prayer is that many of you will want to take part in writing the next chapter in the history of St Matthew’s Brixton in the coming years, and it is to that joyful call and challenge that I commend you today.
May the Easter God continue to fill you with Resurrection life
Revd Dr Stephen Sichel
Vicar, Parish of Brixton, St Matthew with St Jude
24th April 2016

Church Electoral Roll Officer Report 2015-2016
The Electoral Roll for St Matthews with St Jude for 2015-2016 totals 119 members of the congregation. This is the same number of members as last year. 10 members were added, and 10 members were deleted this financial year.
Sandra Layne
Church Electoral Roll Officer
24 April 2016

Churchwardens report 24th April 2016
Our Church has had another very productive year and we continue our growth as a congregation and keep on moving step by step towards our ultimate goal of independence.
We also continue to let our light shine through serving, praising and loving each other as Christ loves us.
We have always had a fantastic foundation of love within our congregation – which is manifested though our caring and love for each other – regardless of life’s challenges and many obstacles which we face along life’s pathway.
We, as Churchwardens and members of this congregation felt this love and care during a period of personal challenges for both of us, when other members stepped in – whether they were asked to do so, or helped voluntarily – to assist with the setting up of the Church for worship and supporting our Clergy in our absence.
We thank you Stephen, Alice and the entire congregation for your support and continued prayers during this time and always – we extend our gratitude and blessings to you all – we truly appreciate you.
We have however, both stepped down as Churchwardens, and we need to say that this was a blessing and an honour to be asked to be Churchwardens and to serve Christ in this way, through serving the Church and our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.
We sincerely pray and hope that other members will step forward to stand as Churchwardens and we would also like to reassure those who are interested – that they will have the full help, guidance and support in thisrole from both of us and our Clergy.

We would also like to thank Frank and the Choir for the lovely music, John for our floral arrangements and those who contribute to this, Inez and Cynthia for assisting us in taking care of the Church’s laundry, Janice for leading our pre-service Worship sessions, Mary, Sarah B, Cathy, Sandra, Avis, Titi, and all others who do the ushering during communion, those who help to take up the gifts for communion and everyone on our worship team (those named on the worship rota or who simply volunteer) – Richard Salisbury-Jones and other parents/carers who help with tidying away the Crèche area, after service and everyone else who help in any other way to make our worship here more enjoyable! THANK YOU!
Our Annual Inspection was held on Saturday 05th March and it was very good. The Diocese now has a new method for carrying out the Inspections, and it was a learning curve for everyone involved.
There are areas where the process seemed more relaxed and conversational and any required information was easily pinpointed as always – and such tasks and information will be discussed with our Clergy and submitted to the Diocese in due course.
Our Church is preparing for our Spring Dinner hosted by the Mother’s Union and it should be another joyous occasion where we come together to share a meal in good company!
As we move forward, our prayer is that well keep working towards better communication, more effective worship, and a new sense of purpose which allows us to embrace our future here with a sense of deeper pride and our firm belief in Our Lord and Saviour.

Once again, we thank God and we thank you.
Pam Venture and Annette Miller-Walcott