The annual general meeting took place at Holy Trinity Dunfermline on the 4th December. You can read the reports through the full AGM papers, some of which we will highlighted as separate articles on our website.
HTD Rector’s Warden
This past year has been for me one of the busiest periods that I can recall since being appointed by Revd Kenny in November 2019. My primary focus has been four-fold:
|1) Ensuring that Holy Trinity has cover for each of the Sunday Eucharists. I must thank Eleanor McGourty who has done a superb job at Diocesan Office in scouting around for cover each month since Revd Kenny was taken ill in April 2021. |
It has become a ritual and we have had a few laughs along the way when diaries have caused challenges, but invariably these have been overcome one way or another. My sincere thanks also to Fr Ross and Prof Canon Oliver who have both stepped up at short notice when external cover has proved impossible to obtain. Thanks also to Brendan and Ross for presiding at alternate midweek services throughout the past twenty months.
We have been blessed with excellent cover from a variety of visiting ‘retired’ (!) clergy during the interregnum including – Revd Cn Richard Grosse, Revd Sheila Cameron, Revd Peter Davey, Revd Jim Thompson, Revd Hogg, Revd Peter Bellenes, Revd Sam Ferguson, Revd Denise Herbert, Revd Val Nellist, Lis Burke – apologies if I have unintentionally missed anyone!
2) Completing the updated Parish Profile which involved hard work from Linda, Fiona and Vestry members to ensure that it captured the range of interests and viewpoints that exist within the congregation. The final version was duly submitted to the Bishop and Dean on Christmas Eve 2021 (!) and an advertisement for the Vacancy was passed to the Diocesan technical team on 28th December.
3) Liaising with the Diocese as we waited for the flood of applicants for the vacancy! Just back-tracking a bit, we needed to set up an interview panel and at the first Vestry meeting in 2022 it was decided that Linda Sherwood, Richard Peat and Andrew Wedge would constitute the panel with Jim Myles as alternate. They duly had an online meeting with the Dean on 25th January to discuss the questions that would be put to candidates at interview. Rolling forward a few months and on 1st April I was advised that the Diocese had received two applications. Interviews were conducted on 30th April with Bishop Ian and Dean Graham presiding. It was quite a long day for everyone concerned and at the end of the process an offer was made to one of the candidates.
That individual requested 24 hours grace to think it through and the following morning accepted the offer. We were all delighted at the prospect of an imminent appointment, but when I received a call from Bishop Ian the next day saying that the candidate had reversed her decision I felt absolutely devastated and drained – feelings felt by Linda and the Vestry as a whole.
4) Looking Forward – it was a long summer with absolutely no sign of any interest in the vacancy but neither Linda nor I became downhearted. We continued to receive great cover from visiting clergy and encouragingly, congregation attendance at the two services was stable and increasing. During the Pilgrimage walk from Culross to Dunfermline in late August I learned from Bishop Ian that there were signs of renewed interest in various vacancies around the Province.
At the end of September I was advised that four applications had been received by the Diocese. Saturday 15th October was duly set for interviews and it was another very long day in the hall for the interview panel – Linda Sherwood, Linda Brownlieand Richard Peat. Three of the applicants possessed attributes and skillsets that would fit with our broad church and it was by no means an easy job to separate them. Many thanks to +Ian, Dean Graham and the HT interview panel, with Fiona and James, for their patience during what became a very elongated decision process involving conference calls over several days.
At the time of writing this report we were patiently waiting for PVG checks and satisfactory references to be completed by the Diocese and Scottish Government. I would love to say that a new Rector might be in place before Christmas, but realistically it will most likely be in the New Year. With your permission I will remain in post until a new Rector has been installed. David
(editor: luckily our new rector is now in place under David’s guidance and support to settle into the role with his help for the foreseeable future.)
Last AGM we had said goodbye to Kenny and Ruth and now we have high hopes of a new Rector to take us forward sometime in the New Year, exciting times ahead.
Our congregational numbers have not returned to pre-pandemic levels but we are getting into the low 40s most Sundays and quite a number of people are still watching online.
The Thursday morning service still has between 15 and 20 people attending and, on their behalf, I would like to give my sincere thanks to Fr. Ross, Brendan and Roger. I think these services are really special and afterwards we linger over our coffee or tea socialising, so important to those who live alone.
The people working in the kitchen and on the baking stall have been taking the Level 1 Food Hygiene Course in line with SEC regulations and our certificates are displayed on the notice board. You will have noticed that we are only providing wrapped biscuits now and the dishwasher is used to make sure our crockery is properly cleaned. My thanks to all involved who have gone the extra mile for us.
My grateful thanks to David, Fiona and all those who help in any way to keep things running smoothly, too many to name individually but we all know who you are and without you I would not be able to do my job. New volunteers are always welcome in the team so come and talk to me if you would like to help.
Lay Representative Report for Holy Trinity
As with many other groups this last year has seen the Area Council meet both on Zoom and in person. In February, we met via Zoom and the speaker was Professor Ian Bradley and he spoke about the Fife Pilgrim Way about which he has written a very interesting book. He described the way in which the final route came in to being and the fact that a conscious decision was made for it to pass through some of the more deprived areas of West Fife. This was in an attempt to introduce tourists/pilgrims to less well-known areas of Fife.
Diocesan Synod was held as usual in March and the continuing theme through +Ian’s address was “connectedness” and that could loosely be seen running through Synod. Climate change came into the discussionsand it was also agreed that a central register for dissemination of resources would be very useful both at diocesan and provincial levels.
At the meeting in May, Ian Campbell gave an interesting presentation about the work of hospital chaplains focussing primarily on the hospitals in Fife.
There was no official Area Council service this year but in November St Margaret’s Rosyth is hold a Patronal Choral Eucharist on the 16th at which +Ian will celebrate and then Ross Stirling-Young will be speaking about his recent trip to the Holy Land at the meeting to be held afterwards.
My thanks go to Richard Peat for his support as my Alternate this last year.
I have continued in the role of PVG Coordinator for Holy Trinity Church throughout 2022, acting as the point of contact for any questions on safeguarding practice within the church and for any concerns that members of the congregation may have. The PVG Coordinator’s contact details and those of other related agencies are displayed on the notice board in the church hall.
My mobile number for any questions or concerns is 07764 654376.
I can report that I have not been contacted by any members of the congregation with any safeguarding concern since the 2021 AGM.
Records of those carrying out “Regulated Work” within the church have been maintained and the number of people registered at Holy Trinity is shown below. Numbers are unchanged from the 2021 report.
Regulated Work with Children 10
(Young Church & Youth Fellowship)
Pastoral Visitors/Work with Protected Adults16
It is the intention of the Provincial Office to undertake a full audit of those who have registered with the PVG scheme through the Scottish Episcopal Church but are no longer undertaking “Regulated Work”. This has not yet occurred but the Office hopes to undertake this task in the near future.
There have been no new applications to join the PVG Scheme since the 2021 AGM. Anyone who wishes to undertake “regulated work” with children and/or protected adults will need to apply to join the scheme and receive their certificate before taking part in these activities. Please contact me to obtain the online link and application procedures.
I recently contacted the Provincial Office for an update on proposed safeguarding training. It was the intention to provide some online training sessions in 2022 using the Zoom or Teams platforms but this has not been possible. However, the Province hopes to appoint a training officer in 2023 to develop both online and in-person courses. I will provide more details when I receive further information.
The Annual Congregational Safeguarding Checklist was completed and sent to the Diocese following the AGM in 2021 confirming that Holy Trinity has an appointed PVG Coordinator and that contact details are available to members of the congregation. I also confirmed that the Coordinator is aware of local police and social services contact details and the procedures to be followed should an incident be reported, or a concern raised. A copy of the safeguarding checklist was also sent to the Vestry Secretary.
I have also presented a safeguarding report to Vestry on two occasions in 2022.
Further details on Safeguarding within the Scottish Episcopal Church can be found at https://www.scotland.anglican.org/who-we-are/organisation/safeguarding/ which also includes a link to the Safeguarding Policy, revised in 2020.
PVG (Protection of Vulnerable Groups) Coordinator
PVG Coordinator, Holy Trinity, Dunfermline