♦  Seven Sowers Benefice  ♦

St John's Annual Report

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Annual Report


Financial Statements

of the

Parochial Church Council


for the year ended 31 December 2018




Vacancy at Present

The Rectory

Stoke St Mary

Taunton TA3 5BX



National Westminster

49 North Street

Taunton TA1 1NB


Independent Examiner:

Mrs Alison Horsey


West Hatch

Taunton TA3 5RS








Administrative information

St John the Baptist Church, part of the Seven Sowers  benefice of  Beercrocombe with Curry Mallet, Hatch Beauchamp, Orchard Portman, Staple Fitzpaine, Stoke St Mary with Thurlbear, and West Hatch, is situated in the grounds of Hatch Court, to the rear of the main house, in the village of Hatch Beauchamp, in the county of Somerset. It is part of the Diocese of Bath and Wells within the Church of England. The correspondence address is The Rectory, Stoke St Mary, Taunton TA3 5BX.

The Revd Paul Reynolds has been assisted in the Benefice by Associate Ministers the Revd Christabel Ager, and Licensed Reader Brian Crudge and Clive Hayward as Reader Emeritus. Revd Stephen Jones was appointed House for Duty associate vicar in August 2018 and Mrs Susan McKen completed her training and was licensed as Reader in October. Holly Stevens is the Children’s schools and Families worker.

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

PCC members who have served from 1 January 2018 until the date this report was approved are:


Associate Vicar

Associate Minister

Reader Emeritus




Deputy Warden


Representatives on the Deanery Synod


Other Elected Members





Revd Paul Reynolds

Revd Stephen Jones

Revd Christabel Ager

Mr Clive Hayward


Mrs Sue McKen


Mr John Townson





Capt. Lewis Chelton

Mr Peter Hounsell

Mrs Doreen Humphrey

Mrs Patricia Hunt

Mrs Angela Parsons

Mr Michael Humphrey


Retired 31 October 2018   

Licensed 30 August 2018













Secretary (Co-opted)



Structure, governance and management

The method of appointment of PCC members is set out in the Church Representation Rules. All Church attendees are encouraged to register on the Electoral Roll and stand for election to the PCC.

Objectives and Activities

St John the Baptist PCC has the responsibility of co-operating with the incumbent, Revd Paul Reynolds, in promoting in the ecclesiastical parish the whole mission of the Church, pastoral, evangelistic, social and ecumenical. It also has maintenance responsibilities for St John the Baptist Church and grounds.

Achievements and Performance

Church Attendance

There were 33 parishioners on the new Church Electoral Roll. Seven new names were added but six were removed due to moving away from the area..  The average Sunday attendance at all services during 2018 was 19. (2017: 22). 

Review of the year

Although St John’s is fairly isolated from the village, standing as it does behind Hatch Court, it is a focal point for Christian worship. It is included in various tourist guides for the area for its historic bench ends and the grave of Colonel John Chard VC. The Church is well-used for Baptisms and Weddings and some of those involved attend church. There is a goodly band of workers who support the Church in various ways. St John’s has a choir. 

Our monthly services followed a pattern i.e. week one Morning Worship service, week two Parish communion, week four 8.30am BCP. On the third Sunday a Benefice service is held at West Hatch, together with our Benefice children’s group ‘Sunday Gang’. On fifth Sundays another United Combined service is held alternating between Beercrocombe and Orchard Portman Churches. Monthly Communion Services are held at Beauchamp Country House Care for the residents. The following special services were held during the year: Good Friday walk of witness through the village with stops for readings and prayers, the annual Remembrance Service, which is also ecumenical and includes the four surrounding villages, weekday devotional services in Lent together with carol singing at the local pub on Christmas Eve. Various House Groups continue to flourish.

The congregation is loyal, supportive and enthusiastic - fund-raising events are great fun and this year, not only has the parish share been paid in full, but we were also able to make a donation to local charities. The Church supports the village Primary School and the School holds services in the Church during the year.  Hatch Beauchamp Kids is a young people’s group run by Church members, and includes children up to 12 years old. Holly Stephens is our Children, Schools and Families Worker, working with children and families through Messy Church, Sunday Gang and HBK. Holly is employed solely for the Seven Sowers Benefice. Holly had a baby in March and will be on maternity leave for one year and this is being covered by Julie Kimber and Ruth Tucker.  

St John’s continues to witness to the Christian faith by playing a central part in the life of the community. It has strong links to the village hall, which is used by the Church for social events and some services for the benefit of the wider community. Since Revd Paul Reynold’s retirement in October the Benefice is in Vacancy as regards a Rector and the churches are being overseen by the Churchwardens with ordained clergy Revd Christabel Ager and Revd Stephen Jones. The Churchwardens are actively preparing a Benefice Profile prior to advertising for a new Rector in 2019, who we hope will be appointed in the Autumn.


Financial Review

Total receipts on general unrestricted funds were £15,515 and are detailed in the Financial Statements.  Receipts were supplemented by fund raising activities by Church members, collections at special services and distributions from the magazine account of £1,947. A further £2,999 (2017 £2,743) was raised from tax refund on Gift Aided giving, which was distributed between the General, Fabric and Churchyard Funds.

Total payments on general unrestricted funds in the year were £16,595. The largest items of expenditure were £9,209 for the Parish Share, which is a payment to the Bath and Wells Diocesan Board of Finance to enable it to  provide the parish with clergy and support services, and insurance costs of £1,380.

The net result for the year was a deficit of receipts over payments on general account of £1,080 (2017 surplus  £1,308), and on Memorial Funds deficit of £1,346. There was a surplus on Fabric fund of £2,510 and £784 on Churchyard fund..

The balance on the fabric fund account will go towards other major repairs to the church during the next few years.


Reserves Policy

It is PCC policy to maintain a balance on unrestricted funds (if possible) which equates to between four to six months’ unrestricted payments, to cover emergency situations that may arise from time to time.

Approved by the PCC on 27 March 2019 and signed on their behalf by






I report to the PCC on my examination of the accounts of the PCC (the Charity) for the year ended 31 December 2018 which are set out on pages 5 to 7.

Responsibilities and basis of report

As the Charity’s trustees (i.e. the members of the PCC) you are responsible for the preparation of the accounts in accordance with the requirements of the Charities Act 2011 (‘the Act’).

I report in respect of my examination of the Charity’s accounts carried out under section 145 of the 2011 Act and in carrying out my examination I have followed all the applicable Directions given by the Charity Commission under section 145(5)(b) of the Act.

Independent examiner’s statement

I have completed my examination. I confirm that no material matters have come to my attention in connection with the examination giving me cause to believe that in any material respect:

  1. accounting records were not kept in respect of the Charity as required by section 130 of the Act; or
  2. the accounts do not accord with those records.

I have no concerns and have come across no other matters in connection with the examination to which attention should be drawn in this report in order to enable a proper understanding of the accounts to be reached.

                        Alison Horsey             

Mrs Alison Horsey
West Hatch,
Date: 22 March 2019









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