Parish Council:

Parish Council 2020

Revd Martin Johnson
Rector's Warden: Cliff Lloyd
People's Wardens: Denise Manley and Roger Sharp
Councillors: Ian Cousins (Chair), Alistair Davidson, Russell McCaskie, Rebecca Palethorpe (Secretary), Laura Wood and Shane Woodburn (Treasurer)

Key points from Council meetings

October 2020

Parish Council thanks parishioners for being diligent in adhering to the COVID safe arrangements at St. Philips. We are all helping to protect each other and the wider community.

As of 7 October, ACT Health was identifying the following as COVID affected areas:
- All of Victoria
- Three Local Government Areas in Greater Sydney (Campbelltown, Liverpool and Parramatta)

Over two weeks in September regional Diocesan Synods were held via zoom. They heard reports from the Bishop and Registrar. Martin, Robin Moore, Alison Davidson and Ashton Robinson logged on for the parish. A full Synod is provisionally planned for April 2021.

A further five year lease has been concluded with the Kindergarten.

Due to COVID-19 there will be no Spring Fling this year which had been planned for early November. We are looking at holding an Advent Dinner of some sort on Saturday 28 November under COVIDsafe arrangements. Bookings would be necessary. Details to be provided closer to the event.

The paved area in front of the toilets has been re-concreted following the plumbing works and there is now access to the toilets as normal. The gutters of the Kindergarten have been cleaned in anticipation of a wetter than normal spring and summer.

A Spring Working Bee on the church grounds will be held from 9-11am on Saturday 31 October.

Please talk with Rev'd Martin or any Parish Councillor if you have any concerns, questions or suggestions.

September 2020

Parish Council remains focussed on the health of the St. Philips community. Letting our guard down on COVID-19 could compromise our weekly services. This highly infectious virus has spread through some places of worship in Australia and overseas.

As the national response evolves there will necessarily be changes in the way we manage the situation and in the advice we give parishioners.

The current advice of Parish Council is that parishioners do not attend services at this time if:
- are unwell
- are awaiting COVID-19 test results
- are required to self-isolate under health regulations
- have been in any hotspots in the last 14 days
- know you have been in close contact with someone who has received a positive COVID19 test or who has been in a hotspot in the last 14 days.

The other key protective measures that we need to continue are the use of sanitizer, regular enhanced cleaning and social distancing.

The main symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose and shortness of breath. Less common symptoms are loss of smell, loss of taste, muscle pain, joint pain, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting and loss of appetite.

Like National Cabinet, Parish Council has had to wrestle with the fact that there is no agreed definition of a hotspot.

Parish Council has adopted ACT Health advice concerning areas of elevated risk of community transmission as our definition of a “hotspots”. This enables us to fulfil our obligations under the Workplace Health and Safety Act and Diocesan COVIDsafe and Safe Ministries guidance about protecting our most vulnerable.

ACT Health currently identifies the following Hotspot areas.
- All of Victoria
- Greater Sydney
- COVID-affected areas of Queensland (essentially Greater Brisbane, the Gold Coast and parts of the Darling Downs).

The 8am Eucharist will continue to be livestreamed for those who wish to join with us from home.

Please talk with Rev’d Martin or any Parish Councillor if you have any concerns, questions, or suggestions.

August 2020

Rev'd Martin and Parish Council are continuing to devote time and energy to managing a Covid Safe environment at St Philip’s for the protection of parishioners, visitors to St Philip’s and the wider community.

Parish Council would like to remind all parishioners that if you are unwell, have been overseas or in any hotspots in Australia in the last 14 days or have been in contact with anyone showing signs of Covid-19, please do not attend services at this time.

The main symptoms of Covid-19 are fever, cough, sore throat and shortness of breath. Less common symptoms are loss of smell, loss of taste, runny nose, muscle pain, joint pain, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting and loss of appetite.

The Diocese has approved the Pandora’s Covid Safe Plan. For the time being Pandoras will only be only open on Saturday mornings.

Work has been completed on the water leak from old pipes in the area between the toilets and the Parish storage shed. Quotes are now being obtained for remedial work on the broken pavement. There is still no access to the two toilets. However the disabled toilet and the Lamerton Centre ramp remain open. Please continue to take care if you are in the vicinity of the work area.

July 2020

Regular services have resumed. A St. Philips COVIDSAFE management plan has been approved by the Diocese.

The COVIDSAFE capacity of the church is 65. It is essential that the use of sanitiser and the keeping of social distance are adhered to in the church and courtyard. The new arrangements serve the interests of parishioners and the wider community.

Work is underway to allow the reopening of Pandora’s over coming weeks.

The Lamerton Centre meeting room will remain closed until further notice.

Work commenced this week on the Solar Power and hot water project at the Rectory. All being well the project will be completed this week and the switch turned on. The system comprises 24 Solar Panels producing 7.92kW of power and a Heat pump hot water system. It is an important project as we position the parish for ministry into the future, by ensuring careful stewardship of our resources now. The project also ensures that we are minimising our emissions and thus helping to protect the environment. Steve Palethorpe has been providing advice to the Parish Council and is managing the project, we are very grateful to Steve for offering his expertise.

Please reach out to Martin or others if you need assistance or wish to talk.

After the 10am service on Sunday 19 July, there will be an election to fill the remaining vacancies in Synod representatives and alternates for the period 2020 to 2022.

There has been a water leak from old pipes in the area between the toilets and the Parish storage shed. Plumbers are working at the site. There is no entry at present via the back gate and no access to the two toilets. However the disabled toilet and the Lamerton Centre ramp remain open. Please take care if you are in the vicinity of the work area.

June 2020

The worship and prayer life of the Parish continues unabated. The Eucharist is celebrated three times a week by Rev’d Martin and the offices of the Church are said morning and evening.

Current ACT regulations allow a maximum gathering of 20. The Bishop has given his imprimatur for this, the proviso being that a COVID19 plan is in place.

Parish Council is developing such a plan and working through the issues for the resumption of public services such as social distancing, hygiene and cleaning, managing arrivals and departures, recording of attendees, communion, singing and the non-use of prayer and hymn books.

There will continue to be no public services for the time being and the church will remain locked. The 8am Sunday service will continue to be livestreamed with numbers present kept below the allowed maximum.

The first change in public services will be the resumption of the small Thursday Eucharist from 11 June. It will be held in the church NOT in the Lamerton Centre meeting room.

The ACT Recovery Plan 2.2 allows for numbers to increase to 50 from 11.59pm on Friday 19 June. Given that NSW have already moved to 50, Parish Council believes the Bishop will give his permission for ACT parishes to follow suit. Unless there is a change of ACT Government intentions and/or advice from the Bishop, the normal pattern of public Sunday services is planned to be resumed from Sunday 28 June.

Further more detailed advice on how the public services will operate will be provided prior to 28 June.

The Lamerton Centre meeting room will remain closed until further notice. Parish Council and Pandora’s are discussing the issues around the reopening of Pandora’s. No date has yet been set for the reopening.

Please reach out to Martin or others if you need assistance or wish to talk.

May 2020

Parish Council congratulated Martin, Scott, Susan, Leighton, Colin and Janene for the successful streaming of the Sunday service.

Communication over what is likely to be quite a long period is very important for maintaining community. The weekly Pewsheet is continuing. The Pastoral Care network is expanding its contacts. The website is as ever an important point of contact and information.

There is now also a regular Happy Hour zoom session on Fridays and a Breakfast Chat zoom session following the Sunday service. Parish Council is grateful to Laura Wood for taking on the editorship of the new fortnightly Church Chat newsletter.

The Parish budget is expected to come under pressure as the year proceeds. Parish Council is in discussion with the Kindergarten whose attendance numbers have declined. The Kindergarten has requested a reduction in rent for a period.

There has been a gratifying increase in electronic giving. Parish Council thanks those parishioners who are using this facility and encourages others to take advantage of it also. For ease of reference the electronic giving details are: EFT details:
Account Name: St Philip’s Anglican Church BSB Number: 702-389
Account No: 05202512
Reference/description: St Phil Offering
An alternative is to post your giving in the form of cheques, on say a monthly basis, to:
St Philips Anglican Church
PO Box 6022
O’Connor ACT 2602

Parish Council would like to remind parishioners that the Parish Directory contains an amount of personal information. We are all custodians of that information and need to protect it. In these times of living online, we recommend that you use the BCC facility when sending emails with numbers of parishioners as recipients especially if those emails also go to others outside the parish. That way the email addresses of parishioners are protected. This is good cyber security practice.

To reiterate, the church buildings are closed but St Philip’s is open (operating). Please reach out to Martin or others if you need assistance or wish to talk.

April 2020

The Parish Council met in a teleconference (Zoom). Here are the Key Points discussed at the meeting:

In accordance with Government and Diocesan directions, St. Philips church and other church premises are now locked. Access is only permitted for the Sunday streaming service (limited to the celebrants and technical support), for administration and for cleaning and care and maintenance purposes.

Outreach to The Sir Leslie Morshead Manor and to Canberra Aged Care has necessarily been suspended.

Parish Council can no longer meet in church premises and will continue to use Zoom for its meetings.

Communication over what is likely to be quite a long period will be very important. The weekly Pewsheet will continue. The Pastoral Care network is expanding and increasing its contacts. The website is as ever an important point of contact and information and Parish Council is discussing what other ways there might be to keep our community together.

Covid-19 will result in further strain on the Parish budget. Expenditure on the stipend, utilities, insurance, maintenance etc. has to continue. Cleaning is now on a monthly rather than weekly basis. Over the colder months there will be some savings on heating.

On the income side, without church services there is of course no plate collection. For this reason, Martin has encouraged parishioners who have not done so to set in place electronic giving through their banking institution. For ease of reference the electronic giving details are: EFT details:
Account Name: St Philip’s Anglican Church
BSB Number: 702-389
Account No: 05202512
Reference/description: St Phil Offering
We realise this may not be possible for some. Posting your giving in the form of cheques, on say a monthly basis, is an alternative – to:
St. Philips Anglican Church
PO Box 6022
O’Connor ACT 2602

The Kindergarten continues to operate as a separate entity. If, however the Kindergarten were at some point required to close, the loss of rental income would be a significant hit to the Parish Budget. The Kindergarten rent covers more than 20% of our operating costs.

To reiterate – the buildings are closed; the church is open (operating). Please reach out to Martin or others if you need assistance or wish to talk.

March 2020

The new Council elected Ian Cousins as Chair, Shane Woodburn as Treasurer and Rebecca Palethorpe as Secretary. Points of contact responsibilities have been allocated amongst the new Council members and a revised note will be placed on the Noticeboard.

Parish Council discussed the coronavirus and will keep it under review. The situation and the approaching winter flu season are a good reminder of the importance of keeping the church a hygienic environment. You will notice more hand sanitizer points around the church over coming weeks. Rev’d Martin will be staying in contact with the Diocesan Office on this matter. Please pass any suggestions and concerns to Martin or any member of the Parish Council.

There is an annual survey of the membership of parish sub-groups - the Liturgy Committee, Pandora's Management Committee, Food@ St Philips and the Children and Youth Ministry Support Group. Parishioners wishing to serve, or to continue to serve, on any of these committees between now and the 2021 AGM should make their interest known to Rev’d Martin, a Warden or any other Parish Councillor.

The Parish Council also conducts an annual survey of the valuable roles performed for the Parish by various individuals, such as Youth Group Coordinators, Parish Office, Pewsheet, Website, Parish Calendar, Banking, Rosters Coordinator, Linen, Flowers Coordinator and Spring Fling Coordinator. Parishioners wishing to serve in any of these roles, or to continue to serve, in any of these roles between now and the 2021 AGM should make their interest known to Rev’d Martin, a Warden or any other Parish Councillor.

Key priorities for Rev’d Martin and the Council this year, in addition to the normal running of the Parish and pastoral care will be: advancing our Building Community and Sustainable Stewardship Plan, the Youth and Family ministry and the ministry at Canberra Aged Care and Sir Leslie Morshead Manor in Lyneham.

Key dates to keep in mind are: Market Day 14 March; Pre-Easter Working Bee 4 April; Easter Celebration Breakfast from 8-9.30am on 12 April. St. Philips Day will be celebrated on Sunday 3 May.

The “Spring Fling” this year will be a “Spring Soiree”. It will be held from 3-7pm on Saturday 7 November. Please save the date!

February 2020

At its meeting on 5 February, the Parish Council considered the agenda and papers for the Annual General Meeting (AGM) to be held at 11.15am sharp on Sunday 23 February.

In addition to Parish Council elections, there are vacancies for Synod Representatives and Alternates for the 2020, 2021 and 2022 cycle and for Parish members of the Clergy Appointment Board for the same period.

After the elections and normal business, the AGM will have two important general business items:
o Building Community and Sustainable Stewardship
o Report on the Carola Parke Bequest

Parishioners are reminded that voluntary parish roles are renewed after each AGM. If any parishioners would like to take on a voluntary role in 2020 or are thinking about doing so, please talk to Rev’d Martin or any Parish Councillor.

The St. Philips Autumn Market will be held on Saturday 14 March from 9am to 1pm.

There will be a pre-Easter Working Bee for the church and garden on Saturday 4 April from 9-11am.

The Diocese is conducting Safe Ministry training in Canberra on 15-16 February and again on 14-15 March. Further details are available from Roger Sharp. If you need to update your training, please see him.


St Philip's Anglican Church, corner Moorhouse and Macpherson Streets, O'Connor, ACT 2602
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