Hipswell Parish (an excepted charity) is situated around Catterick Garrison; North Yorkshire. It is part of the Deanery of Richmond in the Diocese of Ripon and Leeds within the Church of England. The two church communities within the Parish are St John The Evangelist, Hipswell (the Parish Church)and St Cuthbert’s Church , Colburn (licensed building). It is administered by the Parochial Church Council (PCC) with the incumbent.

Correspondence address:

The Vicarage. 7 Forest Drive. Colburn. Catterick Garrison. North Yorkshire. DL9 4PL. Tel: 01748 833320

The PCC members who have served from the 1st January 2013 until the date of this report are:

Incumbent:  The Revd J Kearton Chair (15.04.08- 28.04.2013) ex officio
Curate:    The Revd T Stephens.   (05.07.10- 02.02.2014) ex officio    
Reader:   Mr P Kane     Lay Chair ex officio
Reader:    Miss M Smalley    Deanery Synod ex officio
Churchwardens:  Miss M Smalley   elected    (11.03.13-)
Deanery Synod:   Miss M Smalley   elected  
Elected:  Mrs C Whitmee elected  Treasurer St Johns
  Mr D Carter  elected  
  Mrs A Shaw elected  
  Mrs A Adams  elected  
  Mrs A Hider Treasurer St Cuthbert’s (-03.13) 
  Mrs H Taylor Treasurer St Cuthbert’s (06.13-)    

  Structure, governance and management

The PCC is a body corporate constituted under the Church Representation Rules (1st January 2006 Edition) of the Church of England. Its appointment procedures follow the Rules and all church members are encouraged to participate in the governance of the parish by membership of the Electoral Roll and, if conditions of elections are satisfactory met, to stand for election as members of the PCC and its Standing Committee.

PCC members are elected at the Annual Parochial Church Meeting for a three year term. Those whose terms have been completed are not eligible for re-election within one year. They may, however be co-opted. The APCM has resolved to admit Readers to the PCC’s of right. Churchwardens and Sides-persons are elected at the Annual Vestry meeting. Churchwardens are admitted to office by the Archdeacon of Richmond at his Annual Visitation and serve for a maximum of six years which must be followed by a two year period out of office.

Under the Rules, the PCC has the ability to vary these terms of office.

The PCC met seven times during the year (95% attendance)   It dealt with all the affairs of the Parish, received and responded to correspondence and received and considered reports by its teams and officers (Finance, Deanery synod, Churchwardens, fundraising, buildings, community mission planning and Faith group.) In addition the Standing Committee met prior to each PCC meeting to set the agenda.  

Redemptorist leaflets continue to be used to communicate the Bible text, collects post communion prayers and weekly parish notices


Objectives and activities

The Church of England is a Province within the Anglican Communion and seeks to advance the Christian religion through world-wide mission. The PCC’s objectives are to ensure that Church life and work within the Parish help to fulfil that mission both locally and more widely.

Hipswell Parish is one part of the Church of England’s Christian presence in every English community. It offers ministry to all who live within the Parish boundary. Each church community keeps separate accounts which are independently inspected and presented. These accounts together comprise the funds held by the one PCC. This PCC is responsible, among other things, for the parochial budget and all expenditure thereunder, the care and maintenance of the fabric of the two church buildings, the churchyard at Colburn, (Hipswell Parish Council being responsible for the maintenance of Hipswell churchyard) and for any action or other matter referred to it in accordance with the Church Representation Rules.

The PCC is aware of the Charity Commissions guidance on public benefit in ‘the Advancement of Religion for the Public Benefit’ and have regard to it in their administration of the Parish. The PCC believes that, by fulfilling its responsibility to work together with the incumbent of the Parish, for pastoral, social, evangelistic and ecumenical mission of the whole Church, it provides a benefit to the public by offering:

  • Regular Sunday Worship and occasional offices (baptism, marriage and funerals)
  • Age appropriate teaching to all
  • Eucharistic ministry in the homes of the housebound and sick, parish nursing homes and sheltered accommodation
  • Collective worship in the parish’s five primary schools and one secondary school, together with theological and curricular support to the same.
  • Pastoral and practical support to those in need, the disadvantaged, the homeless, insecure, lonely sick, addicted, and troubled.
  • Clergy and lay participation in the governance of local primary schools.
  • Clergy chaplaincy to a local Medical Regiment and to Deanery Readers.
  • Lay chaplaincy to the Police.
  • Clergy and lay participation in the governance of the Deanery and Diocese, its boards, committees; Cathedral and Synods, and clergy participation in the general Synod of the Church of England.
  • Clergy and Lay trusteeship of several local charities.
  • Clergy membership of the Steering Committee of local Children’s Centre’s and the managing board of a Day Centre.
  • Clergy participation in the work undertaken to scope the merging of the three dioceses
  • Clergy participation on the committees and life of the Garrison
  • The provision of two Fresh Expressions of Church in local schools.
  • Lay participation as Chairman of the Appointments Panel for Scouting in Richmondshire.
  • The parish’s undertaking of the re-roofing of St Johns , Hipswell, and the rebuilding of its bell cupola, securing the building for a further two hundred years.
  • The payment of full and regular Share to the Diocese of Ripon and Leeds, allowing the Bishop to employ his full allocation of clergy.

To facilitate this work it is important that we maintain the fabric of both churches and the Church Hall at Colburn.

Achievements and performance

Copies of the mission statistics for the two churches are enclosed with this report.

One of the benefits the parish has received through the Bishops allocation of clergy is the valued work undertaken by the Curate. She has led independent work, led parish initiatives and taken sole charge of other matters. Her resilience and wisdom was brought to the fore during the interregnum especially  through her funeral ministry and the support she gave to inordinate number of the deaths of children. This was even more remarkable as she was in her third pregnancy. The positive feedback the parish received from those families are testament to her care, wisdom and commitment to this most important and sensitive part of ministry.

  1. Mission

The parish’s main direction of work in this year was firstly to continue with evangelism but also to keep the two churches centres of worship through the interregnum, to this end Collaborative ministry projects such as, laity led baptism preparation, was placed on hold during the interregnum however it is hoped that this will be revived in once the vacancy has been filled as this initiative was well received by the parents of the children to be baptized.

The Parish website has now been revised and renewed and is proving to be a valuable resource indicated by the numbers of ‘hits’ it has received.

The PCC is keen to offer a range of services during the week and over the course of the year that our community find both beneficial and spiritually fulfilling. For example, Taize worship led by one of our Readers which provide a quiet, intimate and reflective environment for worship Occasional offices; Funerals, Baptisms and weddings provide the community with an insight into the our Mission within the parish however this has not as yet created an increase into our weekly church attendance, although it is recognized by the PCC that this is an active part of our Mission Statement and we will continue to provide a welcome into Gods house for all those who feel a need of the earthy presence of Jesus .

From the recommendations from the small group worked within the Leading Your Church Into Growth Programme (LYCIG), a new style of Worship was introduced reducing the readings from two readings, the psalm and the Gospel to a single reading and the Gospel .It is pleasing to be able to report that the new arrangements have been well received since they came into operation. They will be reviewed by the PCC after 12 months. In addition, a great deal of time and thought was spent during the year on making best use of the new services. Many have said how much easier it is to follow the services now that they are printed out in booklets.

All are welcome to attend our regular services. At present there are 33 parishioners on the Church Electoral Roll, 4 of who are not resident within the parish. No names were added during the year however 3 were removed either through death or because they moved away from the parish. The average Parish weekly attendance, counted during October was 21,  but this number increased at festivals especially Remembrance and the Midnight Mass.

As well as our regular services, we enable our community to celebrate and thank God at the milestones of the journey through life. Through baptism we thank God for the gift of life, in marriage public vows are exchanged with God's blessing and through funeral services friends and family express their grief and give thanks for the life which is now complete in this world and to commend the person into God's keeping. We have celebrated 14 baptisms; 12 at St Johns and 2 at St Cuthbert’s, 3 weddings were held, all at St Johns. A total of 16 funerals were held in the parish 9 at St Johns and 7 at St Cuthbert’s.

  1. Finance

The Parish’s financial situation remains precarious particularly that of St Cuthbert’s, often having just enough funds to pay standing orders and its obligation towards the diocese.  St Johns seem to be in a slightly better position due to dual benefits of the legacy and for it being the preferred venue for the occasional offices.

The planned giving increased but only by a small percentage but with the use of Gift Aid envelopes decreasing in line with the reduction of congregation numbers, however it is hoped that the introduction in the New Year of GASS will enable the parish to claim Gift Aid from plate collections. A more detailed analysis showing the finances of both churches are as an appendix of this document.

  1. Buildings

The state of the roof at St Johns the Evangelist has been identified as a major concern for some time and despite routine maintenance being carried out, a detailed report on its condition prepared by the architect in October 2011 confirmed the need for major structural renewal and re-ordering. The work started in September 2012, with the total cost of the project being £53,000. It is with thanks to a generous legacy that the work was carried out and completed in March 2013 

St Cuthbert’s Church.Colburn

St Cuthbert’s was built in the 1950;s of brick with a copper roof, therefore it has the problems associated with buildings of this style; poor retention of heat, insufficient drainage due to use of soak-aways, ingress of damp and possible use of asbestos. There have also been incidents of theft of metal guttering. The PCC is resolved to continue to look at possible solutions, some radical, in order to keep the church a viable centre of worship for the ever increasing community within the Colburn boundary.

Church Hall Colburn.

The hall was built in the late 1950s of brick construction with a flat roof. Extensions were added some time later. The hall is adjacent to the church therefore shares the same problems especially concerning drainage. Due to the village hall being within 200 yards and a sports centre within half a mile there is strong competition for usage. However there has been a small but significant increase in groups using the hall on a regular basis. Thanks must be paid to the church member who manages the bookings, cleans the hall and is available to issue and receive the keys. It is planned to apply for a grant from the COF and a small sub-committee has been formed, along with a local resident well versed in such applications, to take this forward.

Deanery Synod

One member of the PCC sits on the deanery synod. This provides the PCC with an important link between the parish and the wider structures of the church. This year the PCC has also focused its attention on the questions posed to parishes in the deanery about the forthcoming reorganization of the Diocese and the debate regarding the election of Women Bishops.

Pastoral care

The pastoral teams formed during a previous interregnum have continued to build on their strengths and regularly visit the three Residential care homes in the parish. Also individual members of the congregation continue to carry out home visits to those parishioners who are unable to attend church due to sickness or age.


We would like to thank all the volunteers who work so hard to make our two churches the lively and vibrant community they are. Especially those who work behind the scenes; preparing the churches for worship, cleaning, arranging flowers and being on hand to open the churches for access by tradespeople etc.


Again the year has been a difficult one in terms of congregation numbers which limits our capacity to fully engage in mission, and using the words of the previous incumbent; “The parish has continued to retain its sense of existing under the loving guidance of the Holy Spirit, purposefully engaged in the work to which it believes God has called it.”

Although the varied and quality work of the Parish is continuing undiminished, the small core of people actively engaged in this work are, as a group showing signs of fatigue and it is only due to their unflinching  commitment  to being true servants of Christ  that the active work of the church remains constant. However the parish longs for relief from financial and capacity issues. The interregnum again brought out previously untapped talents and skills from the congregation and, under the effective guidance of our curate, this period has proved to be a successful one and we eagerly await the arrival of our appointed new priest.



Report presented to the PCC and unanimously accepted on Monday 28th April 2014


………….…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..Lay Chair PCC Peter Kane


…………………………………………………………………………….………………………………………………Churchwarden Marie Smalley

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