Review of 2017: Part III

This week’s blog is the last of three presenting a potted review of 2017, which will be expanded further at the Annual Parochial Church Meeting (APCM) on 29th April. To hear the full story and see all the photos, join us at the meeting which will follow the St Andrew’s service and our bring and share lunch.

This week, a round-up of various church groups’ activities in 2017 and some Money Matters. (Ed’s note – a special edition on Lifegroups will follow soon.)

Coffee Shop

p1030348.jpgOne of the aims for 2017 for The Coffee Shop was to increase visitor numbers so, to raise awareness, we decided to purchase an advertising sandwich board that could be placed at the church gate to declare when we are “OPEN!”. This has definitely resulted in an increase in new faces including a cycling club who drop in from time to time when cycling through Stoke Poges.

We support several charities through sales of items

  • Lemon drizzle cake for DCA (Deserving Children Africa)
  • Jams and marmalades for the Swan Sanctuary in Datchet
  • Knit and Natter gifts, (often involving chocolate!) for Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice.  We raised £250 at Christmas so thanks if you bought one of these gifts.

We love hosting fellowship after Wednesday Communion & Friday Coffee Group, though this was a squeeze one week when the cyclists dropped in as well…. but we can always find another chair.


We are delighted to provide an outlet for Bellaroo Bakes.  Started by a local entrepreneur Beth, Bellaroo Bakes make special occasion cakes.  Beth has created a small range of cakes & bakes especially for us. We have also been able to source fair trade healthy snacks and hope to expand this range over time.

With the help of Heather McDowell we created a new art gallery wall and continue to offer cards from local artists.

Once again we have offered the coffee shop to some of the 7UP crew working through their DofE community service section of their award.  We wish them continued success.

For up to date opening times, please see the Coffee Shop page on the church website.


The Reapers continue to tend the grounds of both St Giles’ and St Andrew’s in the growing season (generally from April to November) and in 2017 replaced several standard roses and did some substantial tree and hedge cutting thanks to new members with power tools and a big finale with the Great Rake-off when we they were joined by members of the church of all ages and visitors from Teikyo School.

Roll up with your tools or come and grab a mower from 9-11am on any (or all!) of the following Saturdays. Coffee and doughnuts afterwards! April 21, May 5, 19, June 2, 16, 30, July 7, 21, Aug 4, 18, Sep 1, 15, 29, Oct 13, 27, Nov 10, 24.


Men’s Group

Events and speakers in 2017 included:

  • Beer & Skittles night
  • Simon Vibert at Men’s Breakfast as part of Invitation Week
  • Curry Night at Memories of India with speaker Simon Allaby
  • The ever popular Tanx evening
  • Breakfast at Wexham Park Golf Club with speaker Rob Santer
  • Dinner at South Buckinghamshire Golf Club with speaker Simon Pinchbeck (pictured below)

To keep abreast of Men’s Group events, visit their page on the church website.

Men's Dinner 2017

Supper Club

The Supper club changed hands at the end of 2017 but continues to provide a great community service. Until recently, many of the original organisers have been at the helm. Peter and Joyce Wilkinson and Simone Evard, Pam Smith and Sybil & Mike Hastings and Pat Milne-Smith have all now “retired”, with Chris Southam now steering the ship with many willing helpers.


Money Matters

The PCC Accounts form part of the Annual Report – Gaynor will present a few more details at the APCM on Sunday, but here are the key points from the accounts:

At first look, at the end of the year, it appears that the church has a lot of money but we have only a small portion that we can spend on general church activities:

  • Restricted funds (amounts that can only be used for the purpose that the donor defined) make over 91% of our total church funds.  That’s great for big projects, such as St Giles’ restoration, but a problem for day-to-day expenditure.
  • Designated funds (amounts the PCC ‘designates’ for specific activities, like Churchyard, Choir, Youth), are another 6% of total funds
  • Unrestricted funds (where the PCC can spend it on any church activity) are only 3% of our funds, which equates to just over one month’s expenditure – not ideal if we suddenly have a large bill
  • Our largest item of income remains donations and the largest item of our expenditure is the parish share. The charts below show income and expenses for the unrestricted fund only:

As the report says, we ran a deficit in 2017, using money out of our reserves to make the mission giving payments at the end of the year.  We can’t afford to do the same in 2018 unless regular donations increase, which we hope to see from an increase in the congregation.

Join us for the full story (and some lunch!) this coming Sunday after the 10.30am service at St Andrew’s.