Following the Annual Meeting in April, we have welcomed 3 new members to our Church Council. They are ...
Dave Arbery: Emily and I started coming to St. James shortly after the birth of Olivia (who is now 4) and having been coming ever since (we now have Chloe, 2, too). It’s been a new experience for us to be ‘New’ at a church after previously attending St Marks Church in Archers Road for many years (from birth in my case) but we’ve quickly felt very much at home.
I was a member of the PCC at St Marks for several years so have some experience in the mechanics of Church life. This, along with my job which involves logistics and project management will hopefully mean I can be a useful member of the team. I look forward to contributing in whatever way I can.
I am Ugochi (Sandra) Okoli.
Although I have a record of service in my previous church: as a secretary, academic coordinator for youths and a member of the bible study coordinating team, I see it more as a privilege to be amongst those in the PCC, well known for their vast wisdom, sacrifice and experience.
I am willing learn and contribute my quota by the help of the Holy Spirit and my experience serving in the church.
My name is David Snape and I have been attending St James' by the Park since September 2021 with my wife and our son. I have been a Christian for 28 years and was a member of Shirley Baptist Church for the majority of this time. Over the years at SBC I was involved with various aspects of church life including mission trips to Romania, encouraging prayer and serving on the leadership team for 9 years.
I have a passion for prayer and a desire to have a deeper relationship with God. I believe in the importance of being involved and serving in a local church community. Following prayer and consideration, I feel one of the ways I can serve at St James is through being part of the PCC
Which brings us to our May business meeting ...
We started as usual with a Bible reading (from the end of Ephesians chapter 3), and Jacqui shared some thoughts, including reminding us of the importance for all of us of fully knowing God, rather than just knowing about him, and the difference between Information and Transformation. We then prayed along with the apostle Paul for ourselves and our church, that we would have the power to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love which surpasses knowledge.
We then moved on to the formal business of the meeting. Southampton City Council has finally responded to our planning pre-application regarding a replacement of the parish hall. They do not yet agree that the added value of the planned replacement is worth the loss of the existing building. We agreed to engage a heritage consultant to attempt to establish common ground between us. This will probably take a few months. More positively, we are now very close to exchange of contracts on the Sale of St Johns church, having been able to address all the questions of the new buyers. A joint handover service will hopefully take place in September.
We broke into three groups to discuss the “one word” survey responses from the congregation regarding where the church is now in its values (Go Deeper with God, Grow Closer to each other, Reach Further with Jesus’ Good News), and where we would like to be in a few years’ time. The word “cautiously” came up in all 3 categories for where we are now, and words like lovingly, boldly, passionately, and biblically for where we would like to be. This discussion will be continued at the next PCC meeting.
We had a report from the Safeguarding Team, covering matters such as setting up the Ark, issues associated with live streaming, and necessary administrative activities.
As an interim solution to help provide a better organ sound, we discussed and approved a proposal to install an additional low-frequency speaker (“sub woofer”) and to purchase a keyboard which is better able to simulate a proper organ. Organ players will be invited to test and comment. We also agreed to the purchase of electrical drums, which will be more flexible and enable the removal of the drum cage which currently dominates the front part of the church.