Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of Cirencester Unitarian Fellowship
held on Sunday 5h March 2017 at the Friends Meeting House, Cirencester
Present: Richard Gaines (Chair), Peter Godfrey, Jane Howarth, Miles Howarth, Helen Parsons, John Parsons, David Taylor, Jean Whitham, Judith Wilkinson, John Wilkinson. The Minister, Rob Whiteman, was in attendance for the first half of the meeting.
1. Apologies were received from Sheila Godfrey, Syd Mathews and Kath Ryder
2. The Minutes of the Annual General Meeting on 3rd April 2016 were accepted. Proposer John Wilkinson, Seconder Peter Godfrey
3. The Secretary’s Report was accepted with thanks. Proposer Peter Godfrey, Seconder Helen Parsons
4. The Treasurer’s Report was accepted with thanks. Proposer John Wilkinson, Seconder Peter Godfrey
i. It was noted that the Treasurer was in the process of moving the Fellowship’s bank account in order to avoid a £5 monthly fee.
ii. It was agreed that the Fellowship should give a donation of £100 to the Ministerial Student Fund and to Unitarian College Manchester. As before the donations collected in the box for the Send a Child to Hucklow Fund should be matched by a donation from the Fellowship’s funds, with the option to increase the total if the Treasurer thought it appropriate. Lastly the Fellowship should contribute to the Unitarian effort to support the Red Cross (Clara Barton Fund) by having a special collection during the year. These offerings would not preclude special collections for other causes should members wish.
5. Minister’s Report Rob Whiteman read his report and answered questions about it. He was thanked for his work and given good wishes for the future.
6. Western Union Helen Parsons gave a report of plans that the have drawn up. Helen’s report was accepted with thanks
7. Cotswold Group In a written report Kath Ryder told us that following the resignation of the Minister ideas for the future of the Group would be discussed at the Group AGM on Sunday 23rd April at Bayeshill. Our ideas should be communicated by anyone who could attend, or through Gordon Lowthian. Kath’s report was accepted with thanks
8. Safeguarding Officer’s Report. Jane Howarth confirmed that the contact details necessary should an incident arise had been updated. The response to the request from the Chief Officer of the GA, Derek McAuley, to preserve historical and current records that could be of interest to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse had resulted in a search of the Fellowship’s records. A document giving details of the findings had been signed by Richard Gaines as Chair and Jane Howarth. Jane was thanked for her work.
9. Constitutional issues:
a. It was agreed that until such time as it was possible to appoint a Chairperson the role should be filled at formal meetings by the Secretary.
b. It was agreed that as at present membership of the Fellowship should be confirmed annually at a Membership Service through signing the membership book. Should anyone miss the Membership Service they should be offered another opportunity to sign the book. If members were absent for a period and could not be contacted it should be assumed that they were no longer voting members. When members sign the book there should be an indication given as to whether the GA quota is paid by Cirencester on their behalf. Knowing which members count towards the quota ensures their right to vote in elections for the GA Executive. It was noted that while people were entitled to be members of more than one congregation they should only count towards the quota, and vote, in one.
10. Election of Committee members for 2017-18
Richard Gaines stood down as Chair and was thanked for his work. Other committee members agreed to continue in post. It was noted that this would be the Treasurer’s third year. Following a decision at the AGM on 4.5.14 officers should not hold the same post for more than three years.
- Secretary: Jane Howarth
- Treasurer: Miles Howarth
- Independent examiner: David Taylor
- Representative to the Western Union: Helen Parsons
- Representative to the Cotswold Group: Kath Ryder
11. Other roles
- Booking the Meeting House in Cirencester and Swindon: Kath Ryder
- Pulpit supply from May: Helen Parsons
- Music: to be arranged with David Taylor by those taking Services.
- Swindon programme to continue to be arranged by members
- Liaison with Cotswold Group Newsletter: Jane Howarth to co-ordinate
- Updating the Fellowship Webpage: Richard Gaines. Those arranging Services and the Swindon programme should pass details to Richard for the website.
- Responsibility for refreshments to be co-ordinated by Jane Howarth
- Preparation of the room and clearing up to be the responsibility of all
12. David was thanked for playing for us, and general thanks to all who help take Services and fulfill other tasks that keep the Fellowship going.
13. The item concerning possible social events was held over to a later date as time ran out.
14. Any other business: The Secretary’s contact details should be added to the flyers for the two Meeting Houses.