A recent article in the St Margaret’s Church Magazine came like a bolt out of the blue. It expressed, in no uncertain terms, that The Ecclesiastical Parish Of Draycott In The Moors could soon disappear…
(The ecclesiastical parish of Draycott should not be confused with Draycott civil parish which is a tier of local government, even though their boundaries are very similar).
By law, to be sustained, a church parish must have a ‘parochial parish council’, and the members of that council must meet five times a year – preferably in a quorate state. The Reverend David Bickersteth, the rector of the parish, who wrote the article, was simply stating the obvious when he wondered aloud if the congregation at Draycott can manage to make this happen.
Right now, it would seem that achieving this goal is getting harder and harder.
It is not long since Draycott Church was joined into the ‘united benefice’ with St Peter’s at Forsbrook – so David is rector for both churches. (About the same time, the newly-built rectory behind St Margaret’s had to be sold off, as it then became surplus to requirements).
Although it was a blow, that move did not affect the independence of the Draycott PCC. However, if the Draycott PPC cannot be sustained, total merger with Forsbrook would be inevitable.
Recently, two members of St Margaret’s PCC have resigned, so the quorum is getting more and more difficult to achieve. It’s also true that St Margaret’s church-goers are getting older.
Also, though the duties of a PCC member are not heavy, they are serious. A PCC is responsible for the financial affairs of the church and the care and maintenance of the church fabric and its contents; and the members of all PCCs are officially classed as trustees.
The upside is that the only qualification for applying to be on the PCC is that one must be a church-goer (even if you only attend church less frequently).
At the end of his article, David wrote:
“I’m sure St Margaret’s members would prefer to see the parish remain independent. If there are folk who would like to join the PCC at the next AGM (before the end of April) let me know; we need plenty of active support!”