1. Welcome & Opening Prayer:
Rev. Sally Boothey opened the meeting with a Synod prayer at 8.00 pm.

 2. Present: Rev Sally Boothey, John Stammers, Keith Schier, Brian Devenish, Norma Shepherd, Nola Smith, Beverley Leaf, Mary Muntz, Judith James, Wendy Watson, and Lou Hamon.

3. Apologies: Rob Elliott.

 4. Minutes of Previous Meeting:
Motion: ‘That the minutes of the Parish Council held 18th June 2015 be confirmed as a true and correct record.’
Moved: J Stammers, seconded K Schier Agreed

5. Business Arising:

1. Antique Roadshow. Follow up with Cobram contact
2. Open Garden fundraiser: In hand.
3. Source of jars for preserves: $200 has been donated for jars, Sally will follow up a contact.
4. Film Night 22nd July. Robyn Pendlebury organising.
5. Hall bookings to be made with Sally whilst Rob Elliott is away.
6. St Georges Fete to be on Saturday 31st October.

 6. Correspondence.

1. Bishop: Passing of Father Stuart Young.
2. Registrar: Financial Year End Change.
3. Holy Trinity Benalla Ladies Group: Luncheon 14th September.
4. Beechworth Memorial Proms September 5th.
5. Australia Post: ABN required for Business PO Box.
6. Registrar: Response to email from Rev. Sally.
7. Seafarers Mission/Belgrave Heights Convention.


1. Rev. Sally to Registrar re meeting.

Motion: ‘That the correspondence inward be accepted and the outwards be approved.’
Moved: M Muntz, seconded B Devenish. Agreed.

7 Rector’s Report:
A number of events and circumstances that have occurred in the past few months indicate that we need to alter our approach to our parish council meetings.
We use this time together to report on ‘what has been’ and that is good, but we need to spend most of our time on intentional ‘strategic planning’.
This realization comes from the Registrar’s visit, from our ongoing financial fragility, from reflection on the Christian imperative to ‘proclaim the gospel’ and from a Professional Development course on ‘governance’ that all members of the Cobram Anglican Grammar Council were required to attend.

The Governance course reveals that ‘consensus’ rather than voting on motions is the accepted contemporary practice. We seem to do this naturally and it makes the secretary’s job easier – so consensus it will be!

Each meeting has elements of past, present and future.
What is past is presented in the reports and, ideally, these should be circulated before the meeting so that members have read them and come prepared with any questions or comments. Clearly, this is not easy in our circumstances, but I should be able to circulate my report a week ahead. What is past is past and not much meeting time should be spent here, but things arise which impact on present and future. Past is also a firm grounding in the essential Christian nature of all we do as a parish, our lives together (including at Parish Council meetings), who and what we represent in our wider communities and our belonging to the Anglican Church, with its traditions and governance.
Present is ‘business arising’ and deals with what is currently in progress or needs to happen.
Future, for us, must become a bigger part of the agenda, and, at least for a while, the biggest part. Until we can be confident about what ‘present’ actions are most strategic for the future.

Although we are NOT a school council, I have ‘cut and pasted’ some of the more helpful/interesting parts of the presentation we were given, for councilors to look at. I found helpful guidance for myself as Chair.

From the Seven Principles of Good Governance, compliance, appointment of a ‘CEO’ and risk management are covered under the Parish Administration Act, Shire regulations and assorted directives from Synod. (Eg ‘Faithfulness in service’ and Safe ministry with children.)

Our mission/ethics/values should be clear to us all, but strategy, performance measurement and r relationships are still appropriate work for our Parish Council.

The Visit of the Registrar
Lou Hamon sent out an excellent summary of the meeting and the reality is pretty starkly spelled out.
There are financial problems and they are likely to become more serious with time. Some things we can do little about, but we have been encouraged to be strategic, not just about fundraising, but especially about increasing the number of people who attend church.

So, ‘God will provide’ is perhaps an expression of faith in extreme circumstances and for the ‘big picture’ (40 years in the wilderness), but ‘God helps those who help themselves’ is a reminder that we are the Body of Christ and that our genuine endeavours and actions, in the here and now, if dovetailing with God’s Kingdom, will be blessed with divine support.

Where to start?
Prayer – always and constantly. Be ‘in touch’ with God.
But don’t let every precious moment of life be blighted by our money worries. Of course, we need to pray for guidance, for faith, for strength to persevere, for a genuine love of others and for the capacity to go into perhaps new experiences, but mostly, our ‘time with God’ expresses our praise and thanksgiving.

Analysis of where the Parish is – We know our financial situation and we know now that the diocese will ‘cover us’ for all except the Ministry Fund if circumstances become dire – but only for a short period. We must meet our monthly commitment of $6443.64. We know that numbers coming to church are in slow decline and that this could easily be rapid decline because of the average age of our people. We cover fairly small towns, but, other churches are showing growth and population statistics are positive for Moira Shire (Cobram, Yarrawonga, Numurkah, Nathalia) with the population growing by 3,825 people between 2011 and 2030. In that same time frame, within the Diocese, Mitchell Shire, (Kilmore, Seymour/Broadford) will have an increase in people of 53,817, Shepparton 15, 931, Wodonga 15,119, Murrindindi Shire (Alexander/Yea), 3,677, Benalla 1016 and Wangaratta 2,479. The overall population growth is slow but steady in our shire. We do need to ensure that future Christians have churches – and the Anglican way is very appealing to many.

Planning and Strategy – At a clergy conference in 2013, we heard from Rev’d Howard Langmead (and others) who had ‘grown’ their congregations and the strategy they used was the 7 stage ‘Pathways’ plan. I think we need to re-visit ‘Pathways’ and see if we can’t find some way of using this strategy effectively. Tim Williams also suggested I speak to Revd’s Michael Jones (on Stewardship programs), Peter Tinney and Geoffrey Poliness (on Op Shops) and Des Potter on connecting with community. I don’t know what may come of these discussions, but I will certainly have them.

This is all I wanted to lay out at this stage. I have prepared a little ‘folder’ of handouts for you to take away and think about, with the expectation that we’ll make a start on the ideas, planning and strategy at our next meeting.

The head of Police Chaplaincy, Rev’d John Broughton, visited me last week and invited me to be Police Chaplain for the Numurkah-Nathalia District. This entails an informal visit to each station once per week with the aim of developing a friendly and supportive relationship with the police officers stationed there. My role would be of ‘ Christian support’ – (they have good professional support systems with counselors, etc) It seems to me that this is an ideal way for me to broaden our potential community engagement in both Nathalia and Numurkah and increase our profile in the community in general. I therefore seek Parish Council approval to accept this invitation.

St Paul’s Wakiti Creek: A service of Morning Prayer last Wednesday went very well with Wally Lord playing the organ that he and his brother donated to St Paul’s. It was another opportunity to express our thanks and there was a good gathering of about 15 people. The BBQ lunch prepared on an open campfire was enjoyed by all. Many thanks to Tony, Gilly, Margie and Joan for organizing and catering for this event.

Rev’d Sally Boothey
Parish Council agreed for Rev. Sally to be Police Chaplain.
Rectors Report read and accepted.

8 Financial Report.
Cheque Account $ 1378.04
Investment Account $ 2351.62
Holy Trinity Ladies Guild $ 1039.47
Holy Trinity Strawberry Festival $ 259.53
Holy Trinity Diocese Wangaratta $ 243.82
Betty Daniel Scholarship Term Deposit $ 8133.74
Offertory $ 4595.40
Accounts payable $ 160.006

Motion: ‘That the financial report be received and accounts passed for payment.’
Moved: W Watson, seconded Judy James. Agreed

9 GST Business
Catering: N. Leaf Funeral 22nd June.
Hall Hire:
Funerals: Neville Leaf 22nd June.

10. Churchwarden’s Reports.
St. George’s:
1. Thanks to Geoff and Nola for filling in as organist whilst Rob Elliott is away.
2. Roses pruned thanks to Michael and John

Holy Trinity:
1. White ant inspection: Need to shift cupboard and lift carpet to raise floorboards to spray under floor.
2. Strawberry Festival Meeting on 26th July.

11. Other Reports.

Holy Trinity Ladies Guild.
1. Blume’s Fashion on 10th September, 2 pm in Dancocks Room.
2. Entertaining the residents at Barwo Homestead on 21st September.
3. Coffee Morning 12th October.
Mothers Union.
1. Working on Overseas and Northern Outreach.

St George’s Ladies Guild.
1. Street stall to be held Friday 17th July.
2. Catering for funeral on Friday 17th July.

B Devenish reported that he raised $75 for ABM at a Mission Stall at the Lion’s Market.

 12 General Business:
1. Registrars visit last Sunday. Written report from secretary distributed to Parish Councillors.
2. Strategic planning to be on Agenda for next Parish Council.

Meeting closed at 9.10 pm with the Grace.

Minutes confirmed ……………………………………… Date ………