Lynsey Bailey Reports
On Sunday 7 May, after the usual morning service, coffee and conversation, St Mark’s Annual General Meeting got underway. Kicking off the standing items of business, the minutes of last year’s meeting were formally adopted in short order. Council then presented this year's Annual Report, and it was heartening to see that we had kept up the momentum of the work of our beloved community as we were reminded of our outreach work and affiliations Ali McDonald went over the detail of the financial section of the report, illustrating that in order to be sustainable in the future with a full-time minister, the congregation as a whole would need to review its approach to monetary contributions. Always a tricky subject to tackle, but some helpful suggestions were made which definitely provided food for thought. Following these discussions, the Annual Report was then adopted. Moving on to the election of Council, the bulk of the exiting Council were content to continue (Jane Aaronson, Jon Bagust, Margery MacKay, Ali McDonald, Mary McKenna, Ann Sinclair and David Wood) and with two nominations for two vacancies, the new Council members (Elizabeth Welsh and Bláthnaid Quinn) were automatically elected with the full support of the members in attendance. Kate Foggo and Ida Silkenat stepped down from Council and were thanked for their work.
Margery MacKay provided an update from the Search Committee on the recruitment of a new minister and, following a refresh of the job description, a new advert had been placed and the Search Committee awaited the responses with interest. This was followed by an update from Jane Aaronson, on behalf of the Ministry Team, and it was particularly impressive to note that the vast majority of the services taken since our ‘interregnum’ began in August had been led by our own members. It was also pleasing to note that there were planned services for the coming few months and no shortage of people to call upon should there be a need to plan beyond that.
The final main piece of business to be discussed was the need for some significant repair work to be done in the church basement. Ann Sinclair provided an overview of the extent of the work to be done, what it would involve and the initial quotes. While it was reassuring to see how well the Management Committee had matters already well in hand, a substantial fundraising effort would also be necessary to help cover the costs. This could have ended the meeting on something of a downer, but the feeling seemed to be that we were well placed to meet these challenges due to our willingness to pull together. This sentiment was echoed by the closing hymn sung by the Chalice Singers, ‘Here I Am’ which finished with the final line ‘If the work is worth it, getting anywhere, everyone can take a share’.