People’s Warden: Frances Fagan
Bishop’s Warden: Simon Johnston
2018 WARDENS’ REPORT
This past year has been a remarkable time to serve as wardens. Our term started with three Wardens: Frances Fagan, Bob Ives and Simon Johnston. Reverend Neil Grey retired in early April after fifteen years as our Rector. As a congregation we celebrated Father Neil and his accomplishments, then quickly found ourselves in an unfamiliar transition. Reverend Neil’s retirement set in motion an Interim Ministry and the Archdeacon of Fraser convened Holy Trinity’s Canonical Committee on a temporary basis to select an Interim Priest in charge. The Committee interviewed and recommended Reverend Georgina Harris to Archbishop Melissa, who accepted the recommendation and installed Reverend Georgina as our Interim Priest-in-Charge. Her tenure continues until a new Incumbent is installed. With the Interim Priest in place, the Canonical Committee was suspended. Because Holy Trinity did not have a Rector, Simon Johnston the Rector’s Warden automatically became the Bishop’s Warden for the Interim Ministry period.
As prearranged, Father Neil rented the Rectory for the month of May. Prior to his departure he, together with our Treasurer, arranged for a tenant to rent the Rectory so as to provide a seamless continuation of rental revenues. The current tenants were given a ten-month lease and a month-to-month contract after that time.
The summer was spent in learning the roles and responsibilities of the Wardens and the Priest in Charge and our relationship to the Diocese. To this end, a meeting was held with Archdeacon of Fraser, Luisito Engnan and Tasha Carrothers, Missioner for Congregational Development to clarify our journey during this period of flux.
Regrettably around this time, Bob Ives had to withdraw as Warden due to illness. The Parish and Wardens are very grateful for Bob’s many years of dedication as our volunteer “verger” and “mr. fix-it”. Bob continues his ministry when he can.
Other volunteers in the men’s group and from the congregation continued to step in and filled the void by doing the heavy lifting, lighting, storage and other activities required at a busy parish. Robin Inglis, Herb Smart, Gerrard Ponsford and many others worked to upgrade and paint the south washrooms, hallways, offices and the library. And for that continued up keep and beautification we are all very grateful.
During the summer, Jann Callaghan Cullen, our Office Administrator for the last 9 years retired. We marveled at her abilities to “juggle chain saws” as she once described her job, and we are delighted that she continues to join us for important events. We advertised for a replacement and we were thrilled that Francine deVelden could join us in September as our new Office Administrator.
We thank Barb Cederlund for her work as Envelope Secretary and we thank her for her stewardship in this vital and confidential role.
In response to a desire for clearer communication, we started a monthly newsletter called the Canonical Chronicles to inform our membership about the activities we were engaged in and to serve as a record of the interim ministry.
In August we started the process that would eventually inform the creation of a Parish Profile, an essential document that details our ministry and identifies the qualities we seek in a new Rector. Starting in August and stretching into October, we convened eight small focus groups that encompassed all our ministries and parishioners. Each focus group had eight to twelve participants. Facilitated by Sean Latimer, Robin Inglis, Fran Fagan and Simon Johnston, participants were asked to consider three areas relating to the life of Holy Trinity: what we liked, what we were concerned about and what our wishes are for the future. The opinions collected from these sessions were collated and used as a foundation for the next step.
In November we gathered as a congregation at a plenary session facilitated by Tasha Carrothers, to review the findings from our focus group discussions. Sixty-eight people attended the meeting (approximately the average number at our combined services). The congregation worked with Tasha to articulate the qualities we seek in a new Rector.
We gathered at Special Vestry on September 23rd to vote on a proposition to replace the current rectory with an alternative property and to invest the net gain in the Diocesan Consolidated Fund, the interest of which would be used for Church operations. The majority voted in favour of directing the Wardens to implement this plan. Such a change requires Diocesan approval.
Starting in the fall, our Treasurer alerted Parish Council that 2018 would show a significant fall in regular attendance and therefore a shortfall in projected revenues. While this has been a trend in previous years, this year would be different because it would be the first time we will be forced to drawn down on our Special Gift Fund to cover the shortfall. The Trustees were apprised of this situation. They caucused and wrote a report urging immediate action on a number of areas to raise revenues. The most substantial were:
- the long term renting our Griffith’s Hall at market prices,
- the disposition of the Rectory for a more affordable property, investing the proceeds and using the interest for church operations,
- petitioning the Diocese to reduce Holy Trinity’s Annual Assessment obligations.
Since long term rentals, disposition of property and adjustments in Diocesan assessments require Diocesan approval, we convened a meeting with Archbishop Melissa and Diocesan Staff to discuss how the Diocese can assist us to build a thriving community. The meeting in December included the Trustees, Parish Council (and Wardens), the Interim Priest-in-Charge, Rob Dickson, Director of Finance and Property as well as Tellison Glover, Director of Mission and Ministry Development.
The outcomes included:
- Finding a commercial realtor to properly assess our rental potential and to recommend contractual templates
- Updating the market value calculations for our Rectory
- As soon as this research is in place, we should be ready to petition the Diocese for their approvals.
Meanwhile, in December we reported to Archdeacon Louie Engnan the successful completion of our parish consultations. Based on this, he graciously deemed Holy Trinity to be ready and convened the Canonical Committee. The committee comprises the Wardens, the Synod delegates and Alternate Synod Delegates. They are Fran Fagan, Simon Johnston, Sean Latimer (Chair), Nigel Cole, Mary Ponsford and Veronica Wright. Simon Johnston was tasked to write a draft of the Parish Profile, which was completed on January 15th. Input from all members of the committee and from Archdeacon Louie resulted in a number of Canonical Committee meetings that informed a second draft. The last meeting was held on February 4th. As of this writing on February 7th the final draft has been submitted to Archbishop Melissa and Executive Archdeacon Douglas Fenton. The Canonical Committee awaits further instruction.
In November, Bishop Melissa awarded the Order of the Diocese of New Westminster to Carol Macpherson and we are most proud of this new addition to our ODNW ranks. Although Carol was unable to attend the large gathering at the Massey Theatre, many more of us were able to celebrate Carol at a function at Holy Trinity. The Archbishop specifically asked to perform the ordination while she was here meeting with our trustees and parish council members.
Thank you to all the congregants who continue to create successful fundraising events such as Royal Tea’s, Christmas Bazars and dances that allowed us to socialize in true Holy Trinity style. We would also like to thank Helen Davidson, our retiring treasurer, for exemplary work, dedication and attention to detail. Thank you to Joan MacLeod for always having the coffee on, and keeping our church clean. We acknowledge and deeply appreciate the work of our Office Administrator, Francine deVelden, our Deacon Paul and Interim Priest Georgina.
Frances Fagan and Simon Johnston