Progressing our plans for the Next Minister

MARY MCKENNA Convener of Council reports

The AGM provided a good opportunity for everyone to come together to consider how we go about finding a new Minister. We know this will be a hard job for many reasons, and the Search Committee will take forward the task of identifying a suitable candidate.  Members will have the final decision on the appointment of the next minister at a Special General Meeting. Brian Robertson outlined some of the financial challenges he forecasts in the coming years with the current level of giving. The small group discussions confirmed the preference to appoint a full time Minister, though caution was expressed about the costs involved.

The new Council met and considered the long termfinancial implications of appointing a full time minister.  We reviewed the assumptions made about future costs, and reduced some of the provision we had made for accommodation of a future minister. Some of the financial challenges which were predicted will emerge after 2018, and Council agreed some fundraising initiatives to increase the regular giving to address this future funding gap. These include:

  • Encouraging all members to make regular contributions through Standing Orders
  • Encouraging members and friends to review and increase their Standing Orders annually
  • Encouraging legacies, and asking members to consider St Mark’s in their will
  • Providing envelopes on pews for visitors to donate to St Mark’s.

You will be hearing more about these initiatives in the next few months. On the basis of our revised estimates and our plans to increase regular giving, Council is confident we can support a full time minister, and the Search Committee will proceed on that basis.

Also at the AGM, there was substantial agreement to proceed with plans to carpet the upper hall, with the aim of reducing the reverberated noise that is creating difficulties for some people. The Management Committee will take this forward, and would hope to have accurate costs and proposed carpet samples to share during the summer period.

Big thanks to all members of Council who serve us so well with their knowledge, skills and experience. Especial thanks to Rob Whiteman, who is leaving Council, and welcome to our new members, Jane Aaronson and Ida Silkenat. We do need to find a new
Treasurer by the autumn, and there will be more about this in future Waymarks.