Hadleigh, Suffolk United Reformed Church

Minister : The Rev'd Bryn Rickards


Telephone 01 473 829 197

eMail Minister


Elders Minutes

15 May 2017 and the Special meeting of the 13th April


DEVOTIONS Bryn led the Elders in an exploration of the gospel references to Jesus praying. He had explored this with Junior Church on Sunday. The extracts were discussed and then Bryn led the meeting in prayer.

  1. Present: Bryn (chair), Nigel, Jan, Elizabeth, Mervyn, Ann, Claire, Sammy and Karen
  2. Apologies: Paul, George and Tom
  3. MINUTES – Minutes from March and the Notes from April were approved.


  1. Matters Arising:
  2. Shower – the Elders agreed the installation of a downstairs shower and utility room improvements at the manse, as shown in the plans from Bill Bailey. It will cost £11,000 but add value to the property. Sudbury will give £5,000 and there are interest free loans available from members of the congregation.  Nigel believed that the John Ansell Trust should be contributing to the work, but so far have not given a positive response. NC to take proposal to June Church Meeting.
  3. There will be three joint evening services with the Baptists in the autumn on Sept 24th and October 1st and 8th at the URC, all starting at 6.30pm.
  4. The Guild does not feel the need for a closing worship as their final meeting was their final service.
  5. Junior Church – Karen has produced a rota and a future meeting should help secure further progress.
  6. There is an Area Partnership meeting this week.

A number of people were held in prayer and care and support acknowledged and planned.

    1. TRIO service on May 21st with talk to follow – Elders to help congregation to access tea and coffee.
    2. Same Sex Marriage – Forum is 22nd May. Attenders will be asked to share their views.
    3. Worship Team – Gathering folk as a ‘Worship Team’ was proving difficult. It was agreed to distribute a questionnaire, which would also allow for wider feedback on worship. NC will share a draft with BR and it will be circulated in a future Newsletter.
    4. Environmental Course – JD and BR will plan for this ready for the autumn.


    1. Hadleigh Show – Tom has good teams for putting up and striking – please will Elders call in during the day. Sammy agreed to support this.
    2. Open Garden plans (June 10th) are going well, with good commitment from groups for window sill decorations. Jan asked that Junior Church do Rosa’s window. BR to do a slide show loop and info materials.
    3. The Watoto children’s choir is appearing in a concert on June 3rd in church.
    1. Ansell Centre Renovations – Due to a lot of hard work, particularly by Nigel, Mervyn and Jan, funding of £34,414 has been established. They were thanked for their work on our behalf. Letters of intent sent to contractors in anticipation of work in August.
    2. Jan will be fundraising for curtains with a 20p collection on June 10th.
    3. Caretaker – One show of interest had not worked out but JD to follow up on another.
    4. Health and Safety – Mervyn has completed a check as the ‘guinea pig’ using Roger’s framework and passed his ideas to Roger. A rota will be circulated and all Elders are required to do the checks – if you missed the practice morning, you can do it in a pair! Jan led a concerned discussion about other safety checks not being carried out. BR to meet with NC, MC to look at this again.


    1. The Synod Big Day Out is on June 10th at Trinity Park. No interest to NC shown so far. BR to encourage families.
    2. Life Expo urgently needs support. Please see Karen about this. KH will send info to PS and BR.
    3. The week of prayer for Christian Unity will be in June next year, but there will still be a pulpit swap in January.
    4. Monks Eleigh – HOME is not being well used at present – all ideas for advertising this resource very welcome.  The opening of Maureen Morris’s Foxearth site in partnership with A Rocha, went well.
  1. AOB
  2. Cradle Roll – this will be for small children and babies only and the baptism of older children and adults will be recorded in Baptismal Register.
  3. The Elders’ half day which was postponed will now be form the basis of the Elders’ meeting on June 5th – it will begin with a social drink at 7pm and then centre on spiritual input.
  4. The next Pastoral Support Group Meeting is Wednesday 21st June at 7.30pm.

Meeting closed at 9.40pm with prayer

Notes from an Elders’ Meeting April 10th 2017

Present: Bryn, Sammy, Linda, Claire, George, Ann, Tom, Jan, Elizabeth, Nigel and Karen
The Elders met for prayer in the church first.

Bryn told the Elders of a recent seminar led by Rachel Turner on working with children in church – it suggested we do not want ‘church smart’ children but children connected to God. She had a model of a wheel diagram involving modelling, questioning, giving opportunities, setting boundaries and feeding back. Bryn pointed out that Elders are charged with supporting families in the faith and asked us to consider how to do this.
Facts about Junior Church:
There are now three leaders, Claire, Rachel and Karen. Hilary and Lilly are willing to help and Chloe Elmer helps sometimes. Parents sometimes come out to help (there was some discussion about the pluses and minuses of parents being present).There are often 12 or more regular attendees ranging in age from 3 – 14. There are some under 3s.
There was general invitation to respond to the issue. Elders suggested:

The Elders offered to give testimony to the children. It was agreed this was a good idea. KH to create a rota of speakers.
It was further agreed that the Elders’ duties of Karen and Claire be reduced for this time; EM to adjust next rota.
It is wonderful to have Rachel Bennett with her expertise and enthusiasm as part of the team and the Elders warmly welcomed this.
KH to ask Nicola Grieves for training for Elders in understanding working with the children.
Bryn asked the elders to consider whether HURC might employ a Family and Children’s worker.

KH 25.4.17