Congregation information evening 13 January 2015

We had an excellent information evening for the congregation about our finance and property action plan on Tuesday 13 January. Our Session Clerk, Linda Philip, took some notes. Here is her report. If you would like more information, please contact us.

Report of Congregational Information Evening
held on Tuesday 13 January 2015 in Old High Hall

The minister, Rev Peter Nimmo welcomed everyone and opened the meeting with prayer. He outlined the church’s Mission statement. He then highlighted the items on the Action Plan followed by an update on each item.
Insurances: Christine McKenzie said that the renewal date was shortly coming up but it was unlikely that there would be a reduction to the cost of the Old High church insurance. The church is insured for £9.5 million. As this was a Grade 1 listed building it was possible that grants might be available. Inverness Council has offered their services to look at the insurance. It was also important that a more positive approach is taken with the media.
Ministries & Mission: This is a complicated calculation taken over 3 years but there would be no reduction for this year.
Outside Agencies: Peter has met with David Stewart MSP who has offered to set up meetings with national and local government bodies. Peter has also met with the council, BID and has had interest shown from the Civic Trust. It was noted that Historic Scotland will amalgamate with Ancient Monuments in May this year.
‘Friend’s scheme: Jennifer Morrison has written to various churches who have a ‘Friend’s scheme in operation and has had several replies to be followed up. It would most likely be necessary to have a constitution and a charitable trust drawn up.
Old High hall: The plans for Phase 1 and Phase 2 were available for consideration. Further provision has been made for storage comparable with the area we now have. Phase 1 funded by Birchwood Highland would allow them access to the building, followed by Phase 2 which would see a change mainly to toilets, kitchen and committee room. We hope to source funding for this. The final stage will be to renovate the hall. Rent and terms of the lease have to be agreed. The plans will shortly go before the various stages of Presbytery. We should know their decision in February 2015.
Energy costs: Joan Darcy explained that the energy costs at St Stephen’s had been looked at by professional services who recommended changes to the heating operation. We will find out how effective these changes are with the next bills.
Running costs: The Treasurer has a tight grip on the day to day running costs.
John Craigie legacy: This had been used to fund the Pastoral Assistant’s expenses which are now being paid for by the church. The Education team will look for a project for the John Craigie legacy.
Informing the congregation: This was the second congregational meeting. It may be necessary to hold a few more meetings to keep the congregation well informed.

The congregation were given time to ask questions and the meeting closed with prayer.