General Church Council Updates

Below is a summary of the board meetings of the General Church of the New Jerusalem in the UK

Council Meeting 30 May, 2023

Abridged minutes from GCNJ Council Ltd mtg via Zoom

30 May 2023
Present: 6 Directors
Apologies: 6 Directors
1. Minutes of mtg on 3 May were accepted as circulated.
2. Consideration of 2022-23 final directors’ report and financial accounts  The assistant treasurer took us through her report for this meeting, summarising the last year’s finances and the directors’ report (which had been circulated beforehand to the entire board). Questions and answers followed, before the meeting accepted the report and accounts prior to them being sent to the independent examiner.
3. Any other business Two society announcements were made by the pastor at Michael Church.
Date of next meeting 19 September 7.30pm
Date of AGM  4 November 2023 via Zoom, time TBC
Council Meeting 3 May, 2023

Abridged minutes from GCNJ Council Ltd mtg via Zoom

3 May 2023

Present: all 12 Directors

  1. Minutes of mtg on 15 March were accepted as circulated. Thanks to the Secretary for making different versions for the Newsletter and the website.
  2. Investment report   The treasurer talked us through his draft report for the 2022-23 financial year. There has been a drop of about 10% in the value of investments. However, there is plenty of uncommitted money available should the Council want to help fund something ‘experimental’. There will be a full report at the next meeting. 
  3. Moving forward with Strategic Plan  Discussion on this was the main purpose of this meeting. Several areas were talked about in some depth:  
  • how young people communicate with each other; their preferred means of keeping in touch for various purposes; ways to communicate with them about church involvement
  • paying for projects etc - though our church has a volunteer mindset at present, is there room for experimentation to try something out, for a set period of time, which we could support financially?
  • current/future/greater use of technology for church, classes, outreach
  • how to facilitate simply making connections with people on a social basis, maybe also to encourage their involvement with the church

Date of next meeting  TBC (subsequently set for 30 May at 7:30 pm)

Council Meeting 15 March, 2023

Abridged minutes from GCNJ Council Ltd mtg via Zoom

15 March 2023

Present: 9 Directors
Apologies: 2 Directors

(1) Minutes of mtg on 11 January were accepted as circulated.

(2)  Register of Overseas Entities  The Board’s treasurers & treasurers of societies had met, and concluded that since the GCNJ Council Ltd (a UK entity) is named on the deeds of all church properties, there is no requirement to register under this new Companies House legislation.

(3) Limits for Property Maint. Fund spending  The upper limits for getting quotes etc for proposed work was raised a few years ago to c£2,500. We discussed raising them further. The property maintenance overseer for the Council had submitted a rationale for determining how many quotes should be required for particular amounts of spending. His recommendations were accepted after a majority voted in favour.

(4) Asst treasurer’s report  The asst. treasurer’s report had been circulated earlier; two items were added. Agreement by Board to all points. Next Investment report will come after financial year ends on 5 April.

(5) Strategic Plan update  The chair went through all points of the Strategic Plan, following the first open meeting to discuss progress. Some things need further discussion and thought before specific action points can be drawn up (e.g. Council pay for certain tasks; amend church services; reach out informally to increase sense of community). Should the New Church UK change radically, or incrementally? We must move from ‘defining the problem’ to potential solutions and implementation. 

The following action points have already been done at time of writing: 

  • a new Bible study class led by EB, aimed at both established NC and newer interested folk; 
  • put information re different church groups on the website; 
  • ask young people their preferences for communication with other church folk at April’s YPWE; 
  • decision to have open mtgs every six months (next will be in September 2023); 
  • establish a ‘private’ link on the website to a cumulative summary page of Council mtgs and Strat Plan mtgs; have summaries of such mtgs in the Newsletter. 

(6) Any other business  To bring to next meeting - consider who could be invited to join this Board.

(7) Date of next meeting  Wednesday 3 May 7.30pm (this will be about Strat. Planning moving towards action steps)