The Parish of St. Thomas, Werneth

Draft Annual Report 2019

To Dos
  • update Vicar's Report
  • Update links
  • Update Electoral Roll numbers
  • Update Financial Accounts
Administrative Information

The Church of St. Thomas is situated in St. Thomas' Circle, Werneth, Oldham OL8 1SF. The correspondence address is St. Paul’s Vicarage, 55 Belgrave Road, Oldham OL8 1LU.

The parish is in the Deanery of Oldham West, in the Diocese of Manchester.

The parish forms part of the United Benefice of Oldham and Werneth, and a Mission Partnership with the parish of St. Paul, Oldham. It is part of a Mission Unit with Holy Trinity, Coldhurst, St Stephen & All Martyrs, Oldham, and St. Mary with St. Peter, Oldham.

The Parochial Church Council (PCC) is a charity excepted from registration with the Charity Commission.

The Parish Bank Account is with NatWest. The Insurers of the Parish are EIG.

The Parish

The parish contains a variety of property which includes owner occupier, rented, council houses, apartments and sheltered housing. There are terraced houses, a legacy of the cotton industry, and a mix of semi and detached houses.

New homes have been built in the parish.

With regards to the Index of Multiple Deprivation, the parish straddles 4 LSOAs. A "Lower Super Output Area" is the smallest geographical unit for which demographic data is produced. Oldham 035D is ranked 528, and Oldham O35G is ranked 1,154 out of 32,844 LSOAs across the country. In the 1.6% and 3.5% most deprived, respectively. Both of these LSOAs are within 50 metres walk of the church.

There is a disproportionate mix of religious and ethnic communities in the parish: British, Asian, and Eastern European. The parish is rated as having the highest ethnic diversity (i.e. highest proportion who are not White British) within the Diocese of Manchester at 89%. Many of these are South Asian. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that many people of African and Eastern European origin are moving into the parish.

There are a number of schools in the Parish: St. Thomas, Werneth (CE) Primary School, St. Patrick's (RC) Primary School, Werneth Primary School, as well as Hulme Kindergarten.

Vicar's Report

We said goodbye to Revd. Janet Pitman in January, as she completed her curacy and moved on to pastures new.

We were excited in January to welcome Revd. Judith Ware back from her trip to Guyana. We welcomed Gina Andrewes as the parish's 5th Authorised Lay Minister in June.

This year, I have been encouraged by the number of new faces at St. Paul's. In response to many of the young families, we have started a monthly evening service, generally at 6pm on the first Wednesday in the month. We also hope to be running a new group for young people every term or so. The first took place at the end of the Autumn term. These activities have been well-attended, and fun! Through Judith's effors, we are also pleased to be running occasional discussion groups!

We have also noticed a positive trend of hosting more baptisms, and particularly on a Sunday morning! A number of children and young people were also admitted to Holy Communion.

We were also happy to have been able to resolve the issues with the door entry system, and seem now to be able to enjoy the benefits that our main entrance brings.

On Sunday mornings this year, we have have from time to time looked at the factors that "Growing Churches" have in common.

Sadly, this year, slow progress has been made on a couple of key projects: in particular the work on the back of church, and the organ restoration. It is hoped that these will be completed in 2020!

We continue to work our way through the issues on our Mission Action Plan, which increasingly shapes our priorities as a Church. It is well worth reading: this document aims to shape our church life and service in response to the call of Christ, here in Hathershaw. (Revd. Nick Andrewes)

PCC Object

The Parochial Church Council has the responsibility, according to law:

To cooperate with the minister in promoting in the parish the whole mission of the church, pastoral, evangelistic, social, and ecumenical.

PCC Structure & Governance

The method of appointment of PCC members is broadly as set out in the Church Representation Rules, with one exception: Church Wardens may be elected for an unlimited number of consecutive periods of office. The Hon. Assistant Priest is also an ex-officio member of the PCC.

Thus the PCC currently consists of 9 elected members, depending on numbers on the Electoral Roll. Thus 4 were elected in 2012 (when there were more numbers on the role); 3 each year. In addition, there are ex officio members: 3 Deanery Synod Representatives; 2 Church Wardens, the Vicar, and the Hon. Assistant Priest.

All who attend Church are encouraged to register on the Electoral Roll and stand for election to the PCC.

PCC Membership

Vicar: Revd. Nick Andrewes (Chair)

Curate: Revd. Janet Pitman (to January)

Churchwardens: vacant

Deanery Synod Representatives: Colin Platt, Megan Locklin, vacant.


2 years to serve: Jane McColgan, Pam McKay, Lynne Street (Secretary)

1 year to serve: Gracieth Rescova da Conceicao, Hamelton Rescova Cristovao, Margaret Fogg

0 years to serve: David Street (Treasurer), Adrienne Williams

Safeguarding Officer: Carol Vaudrey

Independent Examiner: Danny Stone

Electoral Roll

A new electoral roll was prepared this year. It has 46 people on roll.

During the last year, the following people have been added to the roll:

  • Mr Payam Ghafourianhama
  • Mr Akbar Gharamani
  • Mr Mohamad Husain Husaini
  • Mr Ali Jafari
  • Mr Hussain Khomiran
  • Mr Amir Yoisefi

No names were removed from the roll during the year.

The roll was open for enrolments for a 2 week period in March prior to the lockdown and the following person was added to the roll

  • Mr Mohammed Shirzad

(Michael Albrow)

PCC Secretary's Report
PCC Treasurer's Report
PCC Reserves Policy
  1. The parish acknowledges the principles of Jesus’ teachings, and also of good governance: that money should only be kept in reserve for specific purposes, or spent, to further the objects of the PCC—not hoarded for a rainy day. These objects are listed above.
  2. The Parish identifies particular risks in its situation. The Parish is grateful for work of volunteers and organisers of the Parish Second Hand Shop; and for the work of those who make the Community Room available to the Community. Both of these bring significant income into the parish. However the parish is also realistic about the potential risks associated with its dependence on these forms of income.
  3. The Parish recognises that there is also a considerable backlog of building work that needs to be undertaken. Immediate priorities were indicated in the Quinquennial Inspection Report (2012). Those not yet completed include redesigning the area around the cellar steps to make them safe. In addition to this a number of smaller and larger improvements and repairs are needed to improve the fabric of church and community room.
  4. Therefore the Parish aims for its level of reserves to approximately match 4 months of annual payments, at current levels this roughly equates to £17,300 (33% of £51,800). And the end of December 2018, our reserves stood at £13,226 (December 2017: £13,120). It is important that we continue to increase our level of reserves to the target level, for the health and stability of the parish
Church Attendance

Average Sunday morning attendance from October Census for recent years:

aged 16 and over (including baptisms)3635343737
aged 16 and over (who attend less than 12 times per year)45996
aged 16 and over (who attend more than 12 times per year)3230252831
aged 16 and under33353

Health & Safety
Deanery Synod
Planned Giving & Gift Aid
Stitch & Share
Oldham Community Night Shelter
This year the project took place at Impact Church, on Manchester Road
Eco-Church Report
Church Flowers

Thank you very much to all who donate money to the Flower Fund during the year. Often donations are given in memory of loved ones on specific dates during the year, and of course at special times during the church year, at Easter, Harvest and Christmas.

During Lent and Advent we continue to observe the tradition of no flowers in church. However during the season of Advent we do have the Advent wreath with its candles, holly and ivy and displays of greenery which can be very attractive too.

If you would like to have flowers in church in someone’s memory or for a special family celebration, please put your name on the flower rota, on the notice board, next to the Sunday of your choice.

Many thanks to the flower girls, Andrea, Eileen and Margaret who create such lovely displays throughout the year. (Jill Platt)

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