Peter Tavy is in a benefice of two parishes which were put in Suspense by Bishop Robert in October 2020 for a three-year period. In fact, the non-stipendiary incumbent died in February 2017, and since then we have been in vacancy. The PCC is concerned that much of the Exeter Diocese work could now be termed as of social benefit to the population, rather than the maintenance of church services and pastoral care. All the Parish income from service collections, fundraising events, legacies, Friends Associations, or bequests is specifically for the parish church and not for the work of the diocese.
In the last six years, the PCC has managed to hold a communion service every Sunday through the generosity of retired clergy and occasional help from the Tavistock benefice. In December 2021 the PCC decided that they must tackle the problem of a very damp tower with water collecting in the bell room. A study was undertaken by a Conservation Architect. Eventually, after one false start, it was agreed that the work should be undertaken in two stages. The first stage is investigative, to find the cause of the problem, and this is now well underway. The second stage will not start until the summer of 2023. It was also found that the whole church required rewiring to bring it up to current legal standards.
In six years- 2017 to 2023- the PCC has contributed £48,940 to the Common Fund. The rewiring has cost £13,370 and the stage 1 work has cost £15,450. The church has considerable reserves but to continue to contribute large sums to the Common Fund is unsustainable. It is expected that stage 2 will cost at least £30,000.
The Exeter Diocesan Board of Finance (EDBF) has agreed that there is no legal authority for paying the Common Fund and that it is only a voluntary contribution. The Common Fund for 2023 has been increased by 7%. The Peter Tavy regular Sunday congregation is 14. The PCC have therefore decided that continuing payment of the Common Fund (2023 – £7,754) is unsustainable and, until they know the cost of stage 2 of the repairs to the tower in July 2023, they will limit their Common Fund contributions to £100 per month from January to June 2023.
Parish stories are first-hand accounts from congregants up and down the country.
Do you have a story from your Parish you would like to share? You can submit one via our form here.