Before the meeting began, we stood in memory of Gale Salmon who had died on 24th April.
We began by exchanging news of the church family: Joanne Sleet, who had fallen and broken her hip, is in a care home in Theydon Bois and Irene Houstoun is now also in a care home and won’t be returning to her flat in The Green. Barbara Blossom had broken her wrist and sent her greetings to Church Meeting. Pam Wells is still suffering from sores on her legs and is finding it difficult to get around. Roger Neville’s great niece, Esther, had been born at the beginning of April. We had been pleased to see Judith Salmon at church that morning. She is receiving lots of help and support from carers and family and Deborah her daughter will come from Australia to visit her again in November.
Three Elders were elected during the course of the meeting, Louise Woodcock and Graham Halliday, to serve for a further three years and Margaret Minoletti was re-elected on to the Eldership after her sabbatical last year. We now have seven Elders and give thanks for all the work they do to for our church and ask God to bless them.
A new boiler has been installed in the manse and now some of the double glazing has to be replaced and some remedial paintwork done in the kitchen. The asbestos survey of the church premises still has to be done and we are also waiting for new church notice boards and our church name to be replaced at the front of the porch.
Church Meeting voted to accept the Church Constitution and Safeguarding and Health & Safety Policies since they had been checked by the Elders. They will now have to be reviewed annually. A Fire Drill had been held before Church Meeting and fortunately no one spilt any coffee and it was a sunny day! Another unannounced one will take place in the autumn.
A Buckhurst Hill Churches Together Meeting was held at the Baptist Church on 9th May 2016 with representatives from the Baptist Church, the Anglican Church and St. James’ present. There are no plans now for a big evangelistic event in the area but it was felt churches should rather make their presence felt at street events such as the celebrations for the Queen’s 90th birthday on 11th June and at the pre-Christmas festival in Queen’s Road. The possibility of having a pop-up Prayer Tent as well as the usual stalls and activities for children was mentioned. The next meeting will be at the Baptist Church on Monday 11th July.
Buckhurst Hill Money Advice Service, an ecumenical venture in our area, is now being well used, with more advisors needed. Waitrose had donated £320 from their Green Token community scheme to help with the expenses of this service.
We will be having three Summer Garden Parties this year: on 17th July at the home of Simon and Louise Woodcock, on 7th August at the home of Geoff and Eileen Packe and on 25th September at the home of Steven Neville. They will all begin at 3:30pm. It was agreed entrance donations should be given to Loughton Food Bank.
We will be having an Amnestea in support of the work of Amnesty International after our service on 29th May and we await to hear how much we collected for Christian Aid at Buckhurst Hill Station on 20th May. We did collect £145 for WaterAid from the Jars of Change collection, one pound less than last year!
Bradwell Pilgrimage will take place on Saturday 2nd July, with the Bishop of Bradwell, Rt. Revd. Stephen Cottrell being the main speaker. No coach will run from our area this year, so those wishing to attend will have to go by car. It would be good if some of us can attend this event, and that the weather will be favourable.