Hadleigh, Suffolk United Reformed Church

Minister : The Rev'd Bryn Rickards


Telephone 01 473 829 197

eMail Minister


Minutes of Recent Church Meetings.

MINUTES of a CHURCH MEETING held at Hadleigh Great Meeting
11.45am June 11th 2017

Rev’d Bryn Rickards in the chair and total of 34 persons present.

  1. The meeting opened with a prayer.
  2. Apologies from Ronnie and Ann Howson, Paul and Sheeba Simon, Nigel and Hilary Crisp, Sarah Thompson, Helen Gates, Jane Le Grice, Elaine Goh, Elizabeth Meeks, Tom and Lisa Gordon.
  3. Minutes from March 13th 2017 were approved and signed.
  4. Matters Arising -  Bryn checked that the decision agreed at March OCM regarding the offertory was being implemented (i.e. sidespersons allow bags to be passed along as far as is possible); it was felt this was happening

       Pastoral news was shared. Many members of the church family were held in prayer and ministers in other Hadleigh churches too. Happy events were remembered in prayers of thanksgiving.

    1. Ansell Centre refurbishment – Mervyn Cort brought the meeting up to speed. The church has been blessed with grants totalling £34,000 for the work on the ceiling/lights and boiler. This is the result of a lot of hard work by Mervyn, Jan, Eve and Roger. A further £4,000 grant application was pending – reserves can cover it if necessary. The work will begin on August 7th with decorating the first week in September.
    2. Manse – The Elders have agreed to put a shower into the downstairs of the manse. This requires some building work and will cost £11,000. Sudbury has given £5,000 towards this work which will start on August 7th and add value to the property.
    3. Panto – HADS has asked if they might hire the church for their pantomime in the third week of January. With set build and rehearsals it would be eight days. There was much discussion about this with strong views expressed on both sides of the argument. Many people felt this activity fulfilled our duty towards the grant giving agencies who supported our refurbishment. Others felt that the church did not have the ‘management’ capacity to support such an activity. A majority of 12 – 8 rejected this request by HADS, with 3 abstentions.
    4. Finance – Bryn noted that Ronnie has raised concern about a deficit over recent months. We were reminded that our M&M payments to Synod are subsidised by income from building hire. It was pointed out that more basic maintenance we do ourselves (e.g. first Saturdays), the more we can save – there are many jobs and everyone can contribute.


    1. TRIO – Discussion of the presentation revealed it was not generally well received. It was agreed not to adopt this particular programme. Instead we will reflect on our giving, tithing, stewardship and being ‘cheerful givers’ through our regular programmes/services.
    2. Junior Church – We are blessed to have children in our church but we need more help to continue to provide well for them. The Elders are supporting the work this term by going out and leading work with the older children, which is very helpful.
    3. Same Sex Marriage – The Forum for discussing this and sharing views took place in a very positive spirit. The meeting agreed that no further events were necessary. The issue will be voted on at an Extraordinary meeting on September 25th at 7.30pm. Bryn encouraged the meeting to continue to reflect on and pray about this issue.
    4. Harvest – The Harvest Service takes place on September 18th (with uniformed organisations in attendance). It will be followed by church meeting and then a bring and share Harvest lunch – which will be a multi-ethnic feast. Let us know of any ideas and what food you can bring.
  2. Open Gardens – 100s of people came into church yesterday – the meeting thanked Jan for all that she did to make it a success – the church looked wonderful and there were lots of compliments.
  3. Foxearth wildlife land  - Maureen Morris was on Countryfile talking about how A Rocha had stepped in to support this land which was Keith’s legacy.
  4. May Show – the tent was shared with the Baptists this year, which worked well, although URC presence/support was low.
  5. Build Africa – There will be tea in aid of Build Africa on July 15th from 2.30pm.


    1. Ukraine – Bryn is going to the Ukraine from 17-23 July to speak to young people there, linked to his student work in Armenia. He asked for prayers.
    2. Tony Brown - is going on a mission trip to Lebanon. The meeting agreed to support his trip by giving him £100 towards costs.
    3. South Suffolk Area Partnership – The eastern area has lost 2 ministers – with a third leaving in December. This may impact on us. There is a new Area website for ideas and communications. Bryn will put the weblink in the News Sheet.
    4. CTiH – LIFE EXPO needs more help please. There is a Songs of Praise service at St Mary’s on July 9th at 6.30pm. The week of prayer for Christian Unity will be held next June as it has a Carribean theme. However the traditional pulpit swap will still be in January. The delivery of ‘Pray the Streets cards by three teams has been successful for a year. The Christian Aid week was very successful and the John Bell weekend was well attended and much appreciated.

10.      A.O.B. & Information Sharing – There was a request to put the HADS vote to the congregation but Bryn explained that could not happen.
a.       Eve asked if worship could be a church meeting?
b.       Roger reminded the meeting we offered support Sudbury – what were we doing?
c.        Jan asked us to remember to bring 20ps to lay on 25th June – and asked that coffee be given to all those from
other organisations who come with coins too!

The meeting closed with prayer at 1.15pm.