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Ministry by good administration

Many of us are engaged in one form or other of administration in the parish. Sometimes this is part of our own ministry in the parish, sometimes it is supporting other people’s. Different people often carry out different tasks, working together across the whole range of parish ministry.

This year, in conjunction with the ALM training scheme, we’re organising a series of standalone workshops on different aspects of parish administration. Those who have registered to train as ALM administrators are already booked for all of them. But each workshop is open to everyone who is involved in, or wants to do more in, the area of administration and ministry addressed in that session. Some may be oversubscribed, so book early to be sure of a place.

You can book just one, or you can book several, depending on what you do, but please note there is a separate (very simple) booking form for each workshop, and if you are booking (for example) three workshops, you will need to fill in three booking forms. If you have problems making a booking online, please ring Emma Woollaston (01905 732812) at the Diocesan Office (Switchboard 01905 20537).

All the workshops are at the Diocesan Office, in the Abbot’s Kitchen (map).

Autumn Term

Working with GDPR – 8 October 2018

Doug Chaplin & Alison Vincent

If you missed the introductory workshops earlier in the year, if you want to know more now that you’re trying to put it into practice, this workshop will offer the opportunity to go over the basic principles, reflect on the ways we’ve been doing it, and learn from each other’s questions and good ideas. If you want more information, helpful ideas, or reassurance that you’re getting it right, this is a workshop for you.

Book your place


Administration for occasional offices – 22 October 2018

Chris Moss & Wendy Thompson

Baptisms, weddings and funerals (together with thanksgivings and memorial services) continue to be essential aspects of ministry, but they can come with quite a bit of paperwork. An experienced parish priest and the parish administrator who works with him across a multi-parish benefice will lead a workshop sharing their practice, and reflecting with those present on what makes for good pastoral practice. This is for you if you help (or want to help) with the pastoral and administrative support for one or more of these pastoral services.

Book your place


Record keeping, minute taking, agenda writing – 5  November 2018

Robert Higham

Many of us have been to meetings where things seem to be going round in circles, no-one can remember quite what was agreed at the previous meeting, and then when the bank needs a minute of officers no-one can find who the authorised signatories were. There are some important skills to writing a good agenda, and keeping helpful minutes, and there’s much shared wisdom (and some law involved) in understanding what records need keeping. This workshop will be useful to those who want to improve the paperwork that supports good meetings, whether as those who chair them, or act as secretary to them.

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Faculties, and how to apply for them – 12 November 2018

Mark Carter

When it comes to paperwork for legal matters, it’s as easy to feel anxious about the details as it’s important to get the details right. DAC secretary Mark Carter will talk people through the faculty process, and demonstrate the new online application system. He will also explain what support is available before putting in the faculty application, and what you can do to make the process as robust as possible beforehand, especially if the application is going to be contentious. Additionally, he will cover more generally good administration of our buildings. This workshop will be particularly useful for churchwardens and parish buildings or fabric officers.

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Communications and media relations – 19 November 2018

Sam Setchell

We don’t always think of communication as an aspect of either ministry or administration, but our paperwork, signage, noticeboards, website and the stories we get in the local paper are vital to good parish ministry. Diocesan Communications Officer Sam Setchell will explore how we can improve parish communications, including getting good stories about the church into the local news.

Book your place


Summer Term

Book-keeping and finance for non-accountants – 13 May 2019

Alison Maddocks and Debra Fox

It’s important to all charities to keep a clear record of their finances. As charity trustees, all PCC members have a particular responsibility in law to make sure their finances are in good shape. Parishes and PCCs often rely on volunteers without much financial experience to make sure the parish accounts are well-kept. This workshop, run by the Stewardship Officer and the Assistant Diocesan Accountant (who’s also a parish treasurer), will talk people through the basics of doing money well in the parish.

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DTP for church newsletters / service sheets – 20 May 2019

Doug Chaplin

Most parishes produce a wide range of printed literature, of which newsletters and service booklets are the most widely used. Mission Development Officer Doug Chaplin will run a workshop on some basic principles for good design and communication, including hints and tips on making the most of the software we have as well as showing some of what’s available.

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Once a year – Parish Policies, APCM business, and induction of trustees – 10 June 2019

A past or present diocesan secretary (tbc)

There are a number of key pieces of administration that happen just once a year. That usually means we need to plan carefully to ensure they happen. They include the legal requirements for annual meetings and electoral roll renewal, the registration (in the many parishes which are registered charities) of new PCC members with the Charity Commission, and the preparation of annual reports. There are also policies to be reviewed and renewed. Particularly in larger parishes it can help to have a process of induction for new PCC members. This workshop will give you the confidence that you’re covering all those essentials well, and have a checklist in place that helps everyone makes sure the right jobs get done at the right time.

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Preparing good PowerPoints – 17 June 2019

Doug Chaplin

Being able to use PowerPoint (or other presentation software) is increasingly important in church settings. Whether you are getting ideas over clearly enough in meetings, helping people understand new church plans, supporting preaching with visual aids, or using presentations instead of printed orders of service, PowerPoint is a tool worth learning. Administrators among others sometimes have to prepare presentations for others, as well as themselves. PowerPoint, as many of us have experienced when sitting through presentations, is not always used very well. This workshop will explore the principles as well as practice, or developing attractive slides and clear presentations.

Book your place