Mention was made of Bishop John Goddard’s retirement as Bishop of Burnley and the farewell service in Blackburn Cathedral.
Attention was drawn to the fact that we now have a web site. www.stjamesblackburn.org
Remedial work to tower: Claim letters had been sent by Solicitors to both the contractor and the architect. There had been no response from the contractor. We have been advised against litigation because of possible evidential difficulties and also because of the contractor’s possible lack of means to satisfy a judgment. Reservations were expressed about using the same architect to supervise the remedial work. It was agreed that there should be no further delay in having the corrective work carried out.
Lantern: The pagoda-style lantern (which formerly hung above the font at the west end of the church and which was subsequently re-hung in the porch) has been taken down, both for safety reasons and to facilitate the installation of new girders to the belfry floor. It was agreed that it should not be brought back into church and that in the absence of further information it should be dismantled.
John Leigh agreed to accept the post of Health & Safety Officer on a temporary basis.
The Tiddlers and Toddlers group will resume in September.
A recruitment drive for Sunday School would be useful and we need one or two more teachers to help with the different age groups.
Hazel Shaw had drawn up a draft list of duties for an administrator. This led to a detailed discussion. The Vicar would be the administrator’s line manager. There would be a trial period of six months with a temporary contract. The post would have to be advertised. Hazel Shaw and Jonathan Tranter will draw up the advertisement and conduct the interview.
Jonathan Tranter reported that Café Church would be resuming with new material in on the fourth Sunday of each month. The Vicar pointed out that there was an attempt to make it more ecumenical as well as open to the united benefice.
Ian Stocks said that there was room for another three or four at the Luncheon Club, but some attendees had transport difficulties.
The Monday Challenge Group will resume in September.
In September and October as a united benefice there will be four special sessions on “Christian Spirituality”, which will be followed by four further sessions emphasising our mission role in the community through our “Presence and Engagement” in this area (not exclusively inter-faith). Sessions will last 45-60 minutes on Tuesdays at 7p.m. in the Lounge.
Open Church has not been open each week since May as there are no male volunteers if Derek Hartley is not there. It is good to have the church doors open even if there are not many visitors. A dual language notice will be produced.
The PCC Away Day is planned for Saturday 20th September from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Whalley Abbey. The co-ordinators of various groups and activities will be invited in addition to PCC members.
Discussion had taken place about a strategy for bringing people in to church. Overall the church is quite busy and well-used, but only by reaching out will we draw people in. Some activities are already doing this.
It was agreed that the names of Sheila Lowry, Brian Meehan, Sheila Sanderson and John Williams be submitted to the Bishop for them to be licensed to act as assistants at the administration of Holy Communion.
More people are encouraged to join the Pastoral Care Group if only to stop and talk to care home residents and lonely people.
From the Deanery Synod Brian Openshaw reported on a talk by Chris. Halliwell, Diocesan Rural and Environment Officer, on the pros and cons of fracking, from which it was clear that Christians have a part to play in the use of this technology. There was also mention of the drawing up of a Volunteer Policy.