A Pastoral Review of 2004

Report of the Parochial Church Council 2004

S. Helen's P.C.C has the responsibility of co-operating with the incumbent of the parish in promoting the ecclesiastical parish and the whole mission of the Church - pastoral, evangelical, social and ecumenical. It also has maintenance responsibilities for S. Helen's Parish Church and the Parish Centre of S. Helen's.


Members of the P.C.C. are either ex-officio members or are elected at the Annual Parochial Church Meeting in accordance with the Church Representation Rules. During the year the following served as members of the P.C.C.

 Incumbent  Fr. Robert McTeer    Chairman
 Church wardens  Mrs Norma Brown
 M r Alan Brown
 Lay Chairman  Mrs Valerie Brydon
 General Synod Representative  Lady Jane Gore-Booth
  Mrs Valerie Brydon
 Diocesan Synod Representative
 Mrs Valerie Brydon
 Lady Jane Gore-Booth
 Deanery Synod Representative  Mrs Valerie Brydon
  Lady Jane Gore-Booth
 Mrs Norma Brown
 Mrs Pat Bake
 Elected members

 Mrs Pat Hartley
 Mrs Nellie Bowser
 Mrs Margaret Clark
 Mr John Clark
 Mr Philip Hall
 Mrs Cathy Woodhouse
 Ms Janet Richardson
 Mrs Audrey Bellis
Miss Alyson Smith
Mr John Bake
Mrs Pat Elliott


 P.C.C. Treasurer  Mrs Pat Bake

 P.C.C. Secretary

 Miss Alyson Smith


The constitution is that of the Constitution of the Church of England, which can be found in  "A Handbook for Churchwardens and the Parochial Church Councillors" Mowbrey ISBN 0-264-67411-1


The P.C.C. operates through a Standing Committee which can meet between full meetings of the P.C.C. It is the only committee required by law and has the power to transact the business of the P.C.C. between its meetings, subject to any direction given by the Church Council. S. Helen's also has a Centre Management Committee, Youth Centre Management Committee, Parish Centre Development Committee and a Social Events Committee

Electoral Roll

The Electoral Roll consists of 127 persons

Review of the work of the P.C.C. for the year 2004

The P.C.C. met 7 times during 2004

The P.C.C had a productive year discussing and making decisions on a wide range of topics and monitored the 5 year action plan for the parish

The main topics discussed were

1 Parish mission to new estates
2 Parish Centre development plans
3 Parish Centre fundraising
4 Sacristy renovations
5 Social events
6 Re-wiring of the church
7 Organ restoration
8 Child Protection Policy
9 Health and Safety Policy
10 Five Year Action Plan
11 Sunday School and young people's work
12 Rochester report
13 Windsor report
14 Monitored the financial affairs of the Parish

The five year plan covers the development of worship and music, education, prayer life, giving, service to the community and youth and children's work.

The P.C.C., as part of the action plan, looked at missions to the new estates and the possibility of the provision of a parish mini bus and a "house for duty" retired priest to assist the parish.

The Action Plan gives the P.C.C. clear objectives and a programme of phased repairs and improvements to the church building

The Report on the Fabric and Ornaments of the Church

Following the major restoration of the parish church undertaken during 2001 the church is now sound and in an excellent state of repair. The building is well looked after and minor repairs are undertaken when and as necessary. The P.C.C have implemented a five year plan for further improvements. This includes lighting, drainage, external floodlighting and conservation of the 14th century brasses.

The church is cleaned each week, including the brass, silver and linen and a groundsman looks after the clearing of litter, sweeping of paths and the clearing of drains. A spring working party meets once a year to keep the maintenance of the building up to date.

Work to the Church in 2004

The organ was tuned 3 times
Soak-away drains were cleaned monthly and drain pipes and gullies cleaned twice a year
Fire extinguishers were checked and serviced
The alarm system was checked and serviced
The heating system and boilers were serviced twice
Repairs to the south roof and pointing to the south nave wall by Pulford's at a cost of £1700
Repair and pointing of the porch light
Soak-a-way drains in the south side of the church were dug out and repaired

Additions and Donations to the Church Fabric

Hanging lamp for Our Lady of Walsingham - anon gift
New hanging for the north door and Our Lady of Walsingham - anon gift

Super frontal for Our Lady of Walsingham chapel altar - a gift from Betty and Janet Richardson

Pastoral review

The worship and work of Almighty God is at the centre of all that we do at S. Helen's Auckland. A full liturgical year was once again observed. Christmas, Lent, Holy Week and Easter were all well attended and spiritually rewarding. Bishop Noel Jones preached for S. Helen's Day. S. Helen's School held a carol service in church as did Copeland Road School as well as an Easter Service. During the Christmas season a very successful carol concert was held in church with Brancepeth Brass Band and a Christingle service attracted a congregation of over 200 of which 100 were children

Lady Jane Gore-Booth works as a voluntary Pastoral Assistant in the Parish visiting the sick and bereaved, helping with home communications and a wide variety of other work. We thank her for her valuable work

The daily and Sunday round of worship maintained a high standard and weekly choir practices were held

The main pastoral work of S. Helen's includes

Daily mass and offices
All three schools in the parish visited once a month
School services and visits of children for coursework took place in the church
The youth groups and Millbank Youth Club were all supported
The scouts and guides were invited to the Parade Mass on the first Sunday of the month
The needy, sick, dying and bereaved were visited at home and in hospital by the vicar or pastoral assistant
Members of the parish received home visits and the housebound given communion at home
The three nursing homes in the parish received a communion service once a month
A full programme of social events was enjoyed during the year bringing the church community together
The parish pilgrimage to Walsingham took place again
The parish provided Rainbows, Brownies, Guide, Beaver, Cub and Scout Groups
A weekly bingo was held for the elderly
A Ladies Group meets once a month
Fr McTeer and members of the church served the wider church by attending various committees, general Synod, Diocesan Synod, Deanery Synod, Forward in Faith Chapter, Society of the Holy Cross, Forward in Faith National Assembly and various Pastoral Festivals around the diocese
Members of the congregation were involved in many social and community activities, running local community buses, fostering of children, school governor, visiting the sick, providing transport for the elderly, providing meals for the lonely on Christmas Day, WI meetings and helping with the Sunday School and youth work. Our people are involved with every aspect of community life.
The parish has its own web site
The church was open for visitors every Saturday and Sunday during the summer months
Fr McTeer and members of the church served as governors to the schools in the parish

Parish Statistics for 2003

 Funerals conducted

 Easter communions
  Easter Attendance

 Christmas communions
 Christmas attendance

 Average Sunday attendance

65 adults
 15 chdn
80 total
 Average weekly   communions
 including weekday masses


A notice sheet was produced each week and a bi-monthly magazine printed with a circulation of 200. A card was delivered to every home in the parish at Christmas. Posters were displayed around the parish along with newspaper publicity for every festival and social event. The parish maintained its own website and leaflets were distributed to local places of interest and hotels advertising the church opening times during the summer.

The Parish Centre Development

The parish was unsuccessful in its application to the Lottery for a grant to update the centre as a resource for the whole community. We have grants from charities to enable us to renew the the heating system and to refit the kitchen. Much more work needs to be done to seek grant aid and small lottery grants to update the lounge, lower the hall ceiling and improve the toilets. The upgrading of the toilets will proceed with one or two projects a year as funding becomes available.

The centre is used on most evenings but daytime bookings are low. A small operating profit was achieved over the year

The Vicarage

The quinquennial inspection took place in November 2000 when it was reported that the "The property is particularly well maintained and cared for and has no apparent structural defects". The diocese has completed all the repairs from the report. During 2004 the parish decorated a bedroom and bathroom


Last year was financially successful with members of the congregation working very hard indeed to meet quota payments and the running costs of the parish. Last year we paid our quota in full, all running costs were met and necessary repairs to the church and cent re completed. The year ended with a small operating profit. Members of the congregation worked extremely hard and gave generously of their time in keeping the church and centre clean and in first class condition.

The parish of S. Helen has a committed, confident and growing congregation of all ages and social backgrounds. The main Mass is celebrated in the traditional way with involvement from lay people and children.

We also look forward to reach out to the many new homes that will be built in the parish over the next few years and to welcome new parishioners to S. Helens

The sacristy work will be completed in early 2005 and the quinquennial inspection for the church and vicarage will take place in Spring 2005

Plans for the rewiring and a new lighting scheme for the church will be completed during 2005. The organ specification for urgent repairs will be drawn up by organ builders and the diocesan organ consultant in 2005 with work taking place in 2007/8.

The incumbent and P.C.C. are committed to a traditional ministry and pastoral care of God's people. We believe that the parish structure is at the heart and the strength of the Church of England.

We will remain faithful to the catholic faith that comes to us from the apostles, working and praying for the re-union of the Church of God, celebrating Mass and offices each day, ordering our lives to the teaching of our Lord in Holy Scripture, building up our faith, baptising our children, caring for the sick, providing for our young people, proclaiming the word of God, caring for the bereaved, serving our community in Christian love and joy, burying the dead and simply being the Church in our community. The great joy of our parish life is that daily round of worship, prayer and service


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