From and including 8 August 2022 please use the appropriate contact details below for your enquiry.
Mr Don Varley, Church Warden, St Mary's Braughing
t: 01920 822589
Mrs Jane Bailey, Church Warden, St Mary's Stocking Pelham
email: Jane Bailey email@example.com
t: 01279 777454
Mr Chris Stead, PCC Member (in the absence of a church warden), St Mary's Furneux Pelham email: C.Stead@btinternet.com
t: 01279 778001
For clergy matters please speak to Rev’d Dr Steve Bate — Rector of St Andrews, Much Hadham
t: 01279 842609
Also the Lay Leader of Worship for the Benefice, Deborah Rogers, may be able to deal with your enquiry.
email: Deborah Rogers firstname.lastname@example.org
t: 01920 824014
General office enquiries to the church office
t: 01920 823832
About the parochial church council (PCC)
This is the executive committee of a Church of England parish and consists of clergy and churchwardens of the parish, together with representatives of the laity. It has its origins in the vestry committee, which looked after both religious and secular matters in a parish. It is a corporate charitable body.
Legally the council is responsible for the financial affairs of the church parish and the maintenance of its assets, such as churches and church halls. It also assists the clergy in the management of church affairs in the parish, and promoting the mission of the church.
The PCC is also responsible for the upkeep of the 'church rooms' - the caretakers cottage, the Old Boys' School and the church hall.
Statement about the future of the church rooms
Annette Manwaring left as caretaker of the Church Rooms on 6th February 2022. I would like to publicly thank her for all her hard work, dedication and care over the last 35 years. Happily, Annette has found alternative accommodation in Buntingford and has now moved to live there.
In the past few years the church has experienced unprecedented financial challenges (not made any easier with the lockdown which saw the Church Hall and OBS closed for many months) and have taken the reluctant decision to put the cottage on the market for sale. The consequence of this is that the PCC will no longer require a caretaker of the church rooms and will have to terminate the licence with Annette. As a result, in consultation with the Diocesan approved employment lawyer we had begun negotiations for Annette’s redundancy from her role of caretaker.
However, after considering her options Annette has chosen to step down as caretaker. The PCC were extremely pleased that Annette was able to do this and we wish her well in her new home. The PCC will not be employing a new caretaker (all users have keys to the building) and we have cleaners starting next week so that we can maintain high standards of cleanliness.
Please be assured that the PCC have taken legal advice with Diocesan lawyers and Diocesan officers to make sure that St Mary’s Church behaved appropriately in these circumstances.
Meanwhile the cottage will, sometime in the future, be going up for sale when all the necessary legal work is completed.
OBS and Church Hall
The PCC has asked a solicitor to undertake the necessary searches on the the Old Boys' School to establish whether it too can be sold. We await their findings before any decisions can be made.
Finally with regards to the church hall - the Parish Council and PCC are currently in dialogue about the Parish Council taking over ownership of the hall. The PCC would be very happy if this happened because they very much want the hall to remain as a community asset.