Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held by Zoom on 3 July 2021

 The Friends of St Anne’s Church, Kew

           Registered Charity No. 1085389

NB These draft minutes are pending approval of members at the AGM in 2022

There was a quorum.  Attending were Howard and Susan Bailes, Michael Barratt, John Blair-Gould, Margaret Blair-Gould, Carole Brougham, Wendy Booth, Rosemary Charles, Bill Cottle, Marion and Robin Goodgame, Alethea Grint, Susan and Jane Hayman, Ben Jones, Cate Lyon, Simon Mollett, Lorraine Neale, Christine Reay, Lesley Anne Reynolds, Tina and Peter Ruygrok, Francesca Snow, and Uta Thompson..

Apologies had been submitted by Paul Booth, Joan Brown, Sylvia Chitty, Anthony and Patricia Holme, Gemma Roundell, Jill Saxton, Joan and Derek Stanton and Jill Wilson.

Cate Lyon had set the meeting up on Zoom and passed the chair to Lady Lorraine Neale (LN). LN described the rules of a Zoom meeting (muting, raised hands, etc.).  She reminded members that this was our first AGM after Father Nigel Worn’s retirement and referred to the tributes paid to him at our last event in May and on the website. We are looking forward to a new vicar (and Friends’ President) in the new year.

  1. Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held on 27 June 2020

LN asked if anyone had questions on the minutes of last year’s meeting.  As there were none, a poll was conducted and the minutes were approved.  

2     Election of Executive Committee

The Secretary (Ben Jones) read the list of the officers (Lady Lorraine Neale, Chair; Simon Mollett, Treasurer; Ben Jones, Secretary) and the other elected representatives on the Executive Committee (Wendy Booth, Belinda Pethick and Gemma Roundell) who are being presented for election this year. LN advised members that Phyllis Cunningham, a long-standing and valued member of the Committee, had suffered a serious stroke several months ago and would not be able to continue. Ben indicated that he had received no other nominations, so LN indicated that in the absence of any objection (there were none) those indicated would be declared elected. LN indicated that the Executive Committee now has three vacancies and would welcome anyone to come forward and to get in touch with either her or Wendy Booth.

3     Annual Report and Accounts

Copies of the annual report for the year 6 April 2020 to 5 April 2021, including a statement of account for that period, had been made available to all members. LN passed the floor over to the Treasurer for his report. Simon noted that his comments would be quite similar to those last year. The accounts show a large deficit, but that is because The Friends spent much of its reserve financing the churchyard wall (consistent with The Friends’ purpose). Income for the year was heavily affected by the pandemic, as live fund-raising events had to be abandoned.  Thanks however to the efforts of LN and with the assistance of the Arts Society of Richmond, the events were able to continue online, but based on donations and not ticket sales. We are now building up a reserve to use to fund the renovation of the churchyard pathway.  There were no questions. Simon proposing and Susan Hayman seconding, the annual report and accounts were adopted by poll.

4     Activities Update

LN continued with an update on her Chairman’s letter which had been provided to members along with the AGM materials. The next project for which The Friends are raising funds is the renovation of the churchyard pathway, as noted by Simon above. The PCC has obtained a quote of £10,000 but, since most of our reserves had been spent on the churchyard wall, we notified the PCC that we were unsure when we would have the funds to cover this.  Now, thanks to recent events and a fine donation of £2000 by Bernard Lewis of River Island from The Bernard Lewis Family Charitable Trust, we are in a position to fund that expenditure, and we will be notifying the PCC accordingly.

LN noted that The Friends have agreed to take on the arrangements for the church to be open for the London Open House this September as the couple who were previously running it have decided to step down.  Gemma Roundell will be the contact person.

LN asked Wendy Booth, Membership Secretary, to give an update on membership.  Wendy said that membership in the last financial year was 155 and is currently 152.  We gained 13 new members last year, people joining remotely perhaps encouraged by our increased online activity. Wendy indicated that she had been informing nearly 100 non – members about our lectures who had expressed an interest.

LN noted that Paul Booth stepped down as a committee member and our webmaster during the year.  Adam Watson, who acts as webmaster for the church, has been helping us since, along with Simon Mollett and LN updating with News and other relevant information.

5    Any Other Business

LN opened the floor to questions. Lesley Anne Reynolds asked if the Open House was going to conflict with the final concert on 5 September, as that date had been mentioned. LN assured her that the Open House would be on the Saturday (the 4th) only. Alethea Grint asked about the renovated path.  Cate Lyon said it would be done in a sensitive way, with gravel embedded in a base with defined borders and done so as to provide disabled access. Bill Cottle added that this mostly involves the path starting at the South Porch entrance and circling around the east end of the church where much of a path has been lost, hopefully opening up this area for people to wander. Susan Hayman expressed concern if Jeremiah Meyer’s gravestone in the path between the forecourt and the south porch would be damaged but was assured it would not be. Cate emphasized that we have a duty of care to the remains in the churchyard even though the ground is no longer consecrated. Chris Reay asked if we are planning on continuing to put our events online. LN noted that the average attendance for our online events (70 to 100) is above what we will be able to get into the Hall. Previously we had 80 people for live events, but that will not be possible going forward. We will stream live events and, for any speaker who is not in London, we would also hope to still run via Zoom. People who are not members, who have been attending our Zoom lectures and are located further afield, have expressed that we do continue online. However, we are looking into ways we can charge for online viewing (as donations have not been raising the sums we previously raised with live-only events).

LN closed by telling members she is right now contacting people about events for autumn and beyond and hopes to be able to see everyone at those events. There being no further business, LN thanked the members for their attendance and closed the meeting.