AGM Reports

1 – Elders – 2014

Elders Report 2014

This is our first report since Stuart and Helen left us in January to move to Manchester where God led them, to start a new church plant in Salford. We wish them every blessing in their new ministry.

For us, God is still at work here and He is calls us to serve Him within our community in Derriford. Our outreach is very much based around our Oasis Café. In addition, various other regular activities take place across the week relying on the selfless dedication of many people associated with the church. We would very much like to thank all the volunteers who give up much of their time to cover these opportunities. God is very clearly calling all of us to be involved in some way or other to reach out into our community and to be the light, life and love of Jesus in our community. The recent completion of the Disabled Access into our Church buildings has highlighted this. It has been such a blessing for both the young and old alike and those with pushchairs so that none are prevented from sharing our resources. You will see just how vibrant and diverse Derriford is through the many reports enclosed. God is clearly at work here and we wish to remain open to the Holy Spirit as He encourages us. One such community outreach to look forward to is the commemoration of the start of World War 1 in August when we have an opportunity to share over a Church Barbeque on Sunday 3rd August.

We must retain our dedication to our corporate and individual prayer times enabling us to listen to God. As we do this through our House Groups, Ladies and Men’s Prayer Groups, Days of Prayer through the increasing use of the Prayer Room as well as individuals we can build up a sense of unity and underlines what God wants us to do here at Derriford. The opportunity to feedback what we hear is therefore very important and we must learn to do this more. (Perhaps this is a challenge for us in the coming year)? At the end of every Sunday service, we offer prayer ministry and we have witnessed the power of the Holy Spirit at work through healing, support and counselling.

This year we have been looking at discipleship and we are growing spiritually through the various teaching. Our search for a new minister continues with the production of our Pastorate Profile which the URC will use once our Scoping has been determined and our vacancy is declared. Now that we have appointed an Interim Moderator (Rev Paul Stokes), we can begin to engage in this part of the process. Please continue to pray for the Elders as they work with Paul in this way. We also wish to encourage different people to become involved in our services and if you feel you have a calling in this ministry (or feel that someone else has), please let an Elder know. The Deacons have also worked diligently and have brought the Manse up to a suitable condition for rental and we are very pleased that a tenant has been found. As you will be aware, they are also working on a way to install Disabled Toilets in the Church Hall whilst keeping the damp out. We should be very thankful that God works with us and provides the right resources to meet His purpose.

The pastoral needs of the church are ever important and none of us are getting any younger. We hope that the balance between the Eldership and Housegroups mean that everyone has an opportunity to be cared for. The Elders regularly review this and, under Karen’s coordination, we trust that this is working and if you have any concerns please highlight them to us.

We thank God for all He is doing here and we pray for growth (both spiritually and numerically). It is evident that people are using their gifts and we pray that we remain open to the Holy Spirit and, as it prompts us to trying new things, we will remain in unity with one another. The sacrificial giving of our time, energy and love is vital to see God’s Kingdom grow. Many thanks to those who have given so much for the sake of God’s Kingdom.

Yours in Christ

Philip Brewer
Church Secretary
(On Behalf of the Elders)

2 – Deacons Report – 2014

Deacon’s report.

We started the year with a rather small team four deacons and one observer. This was further depleted when one deacon decided to resign. We co-opted one new member to the group and two other ex deacons in an advisory role to provide some continuity that was missing. We look forward to next year with Danny and Eddie joining as deacons, also Jeanette will be co-opted as Secretary subject to ratification from the Elders. This will give us a much stronger team to face the considerable challenges in dealing with the fabric of the buildings.

May I take this opportunity to thank Dan for his services as he retires as deacon at this meeting.

The deacons have continued this year to deal with day to day snags as they arise.

Our major concern this year has been preparing the Manse for letting in the interregnum. This is now complete and tenants should be installed by the time of this meeting. The renovations to the manse have been quite extensive on a mostly cosmetic level as the whole place was looking rather tired. The manse has attracted a good rental and this should cover what we have paid for the renovations and there may be some surplus to pay for more major replacements before a new minister is installed.

Because of Eddie’s expertise we have detected some major faults with church hall, which were outlined at the last congregational meeting. The first thing to be dealt with on this large an potentially expensive list is to correct the felting of the roof that was incorrectly installed, this is under warranty but the firm responsible has moved away from Plymouth. We are still working on finding someone to admit liability. All of these problems are because of the age of the building; it’s method of construction and short comings in the original scheme.

I must say I had no idea of the huge scope of work that the deaconate has to deal with when I took on this task. May I make an appeal on behalf of all the deacons please be patient with us! We are volunteers in this task in just the same way as many other volunteers who give a great deal of time and expertise to allow this church to function.

Deacons have just the same right as anyone else to come to church and be allowed to worship in peace and not be bombarded by various queries and moans as they arrive on Sunday morning.

We intend to set up some system of faults list so congregation members can make a report and then they can be dealt with in an orderly fashion and at a suitable time.

We will continue to preserve and improve the buildings for use, to seek the best value way of achieving this that may not always be the cheapest; but in a way that will not store up problems for the future.

3 – Music Group – 2014

Music & Singers

At the beginning of this year, during an evening praise service, we discussed the subject of ‘praise and worship’, and different styles and contributions to this, within our church. The unanimous decision from the group was that there is a very important place for our singers and musicians in the life of Derriford church. We are a group of amateurs, who are endeavouring to introduce and lead music contribution each week. Helen Nixon, was of course very skilled in the music world, but I am now challenged with keeping the momentum and repertoire we

need. The group went on to commit to continuing to contribute in this way. We have decided to meet twice monthly, and extend our meeting time by 15 minutes, giving us time to share and pray together. The music group will play during the service roughly every 4-6 weeks. I am excited that we worked toward on three pieces for Easter which we sang during Easter Sunday service, the feedback was very encouraging from the congregation. I thought it was brilliant. It’s amazing, that a group of people in ‘outback’ Derriford, can sound so good, and we are aiming to provide quality! We are now working on another performance piece which we hope will continue to enhance the worship. It is not always sounding like ‘the angels’, but I encourage you to enter fully into our contribution to the life of the church.

Alison Brewer

4 – Loaves & Fishes – 2014

Loaves and Fishes Annual Report 2013/2014

Financial support
There was a reduction of members to nine people/couples taking part in reguiar giving to support the Missionary support to which the Church is committed
Total from these members = £705
Pilots contribution to support the sponsorship of their Indian child through Action Aid was £120

The church regular tithing of income to support Loaves and Fishes = £1,039

A tax refund was applied to the fund = £240
Total income = £2104

Projects supported through Loaves and Fishes

Save the children – to support the Syria appeal = £330
Ethiopians. – street children’s breakfast fund = £270
Mission Direct – via supporf to Haqnah’s ttip to Kenya women’s refuge = £340
Action aid child sponsorshlp (Pilots) = £300
Transworld radio – broadsasting the gospelacross the world = £250
Samaritans support teenagers and young people who are desperate and suicidal = £250
UNICEF Philippines emergency appeal = £254

Save the children Christmas church appeal to provide for families in the UK with food, furfliture and gifts at Christmas = £230
Wornankind worldwide – supporting women in distress through warlconflict = £220
Send a Cow – supporting the poorest of farmers across the world = £200

Total giving, to support God’s work and spread of the gospel = £2640

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who give regularly to this specific aspect ofchurch support- through Loaves and Fishes- and encourage others to think and pray about this way of financially supporting God’s work. It would be lovely to have more regular givers.
There are some organisations which the church has supported on an ongoing basis every year- but wo are very willing to consider support to other causes, which may have a local connection or interest.

With best wishes

5 – Pilots – 2014

Pilots Report

We began the year with a farewell to Helen, and we would like to thank her especially for leading the Pilot company over the past years and also a thank you to Maria, who has recently moved away for all the help with the Deckhands group.

‘I have really enjoyed working with Derriford Pilots Company over the past few years, and seeing all the Pilots and officers develop. I look forward to hearing about your successes in the future.’ – Helen Nixon

A new era began with Daniel Brewer inducted as Pilot Captain along with Danny Jenkins as Executive Officer. We would both like to thank dedicated helpers Sue, Kelly, Rosie, Emma & Maria over this past year, and of course Pam who oversees the running of the group, giving us the valuable support needed.  Numbers have stayed around the same but we have nonetheless welcomed some new Pilots.

We have met regularly on Tuesday evenings, and have had a variety of themes through the year, more recently we have been looking at the 12 disciples, Leading up to this we did some fundraising activity for Children in need and Christmas activities.We offer a meal at the end of Kabin Kidz that overlaps into the beginning of Deckhands, which works very well, so we would like to thank the kitchen staff for their help with this. Hanne and friends from Denmark also joined us for some activities which the children really enjoyed. This has been coupled with a range of activities such as craft, cooking, games, prayer times and developing skills. This year the Pilots have a had chance to try several new skills including dancing and team building. We also served at a meal to thank all of the cafe volunteers. None of the food ended up on laps so was a complete success!

This year we have held two sleepovers, One for Voyagers and Navigators and also for the Adventurers. These were full of fun activities including clay art for the Voyagers and Navigators, a trip to ten pin bowling for the Adventures due to bad weather(the planned trip to the ski slope was postponed).

We have just returned from a successful camping trip to Woodlands Leisure Park at Dartmouth. A total of 23 adults and children braved sun and rain under canvass. Our theme was “working together”. The children made a Pilots banner and everyone contributed to the creation. This was accompanied by games, devotions and lots of fun in the park. Thank you to everyone who made this happen!!! It is hoped that we will be able to join nationally with Pilots next year for the rally.

We will be finishing this year with a end of term bbq.

All in all it has been a successful year for Pilots, and we are looking forward to the challenges of the year ahead.
Dan Brewer (Pilot Captain)

6 – JIM Club – 2014

Jesus In Me (J.I.M) Club is the Sunday morning children’s group for 5 to 11 year olds.

We are currently learning bible stories though the DVD series Friends and Heros. The sessions include crafts, puzzles and games. We aim to make learning about Jesus interactive and fun.

We have 3 regular attendees, with an age range of 4-8. They are enjoying the cartoon series and love to play games. I sometimes show Children’s Christian music videos (kid’s praise party, by spring harvest), which they like to listen to and occasional dance!

At present we have two leaders, myself andLiz Basterfield. Kelly Brown, Dan Brewer and Jenny assist. Please keep praying for more help in this vital ministry and for a blessing of more children.

I would like to take this opportunity to once again thank Ann Ash for her years of service in children’s ministry.

Sam Young

7 – Open The Book – 2014

Open The Book Assemblies

Our fortnightly Open The Book assemblies at Oakwood School have been very well received.The children listen really attentively, participating enthusiastically, and the staff appreciate OTB’s style of presenting Bible stories in such a lively and relevant way.

Thanks go to the Tuesday team of Muriel Allan, Pam Caufield, Carrie and Derry Bowman, Carol Townsend and Sue Vickery, not forgetting Stuart and Helen Nixon and Emma Staple. Thanks too, to Ann Whittear for sewing costumes.

We would dearly love more volunteers to join us, especially as Derry will not be available for this coming year as he will be busy doing a College course (motorbikes!) We have also been contacted by the Head of Beechwood about OTB, so if we are to extend this ministry we need more bodies!

Thank you for your support and please continue to pray for this vital work with our local children.

8 – Sunbeams Toddlers – 2014


The toddler group continues to welcome up to 30 different families each week with a regular attendance of about 24. It is a time of fun and noise, eating and creating, playing and talking, sharing and caring, laughing and crying. ( that’s just the mums!!)

We want to thank Hanne for her continued leadership of this successful group – she did step aside for a few weeks to have Josiah and we congratulate both her and Simon on this addition to their lovely family. She has been ably assisted by Jenny and Peter Jones, Liz, Charlotte, Jessie and also Derry who helps organise the singing each week and Carrie who along with Derry runs a short worship service each term. Thanks to Liz for helping with the craft that the children do and for setting up the drinks trolley.

At the end of this term we say goodbye to 13 children who will be starting school in September but as we remain open whenever possible during the school holidays we will no doubt be seeing them again.

Each term we have a bring and share lunch and also give out Christmas and leaving gifts.

It is great to be part of such a wonderful thriving group but as always we could do with more help especially as Derry will be starting a course in September and will not be available on Thursdays and others will be taking children to school at the beginning of the day and will not be able to set up the room. So if you can spare some time to help ( have ear defenders and like bourbon biscuits ) please contact me.

Sue Vickery

9 – Lunch Club – 2014


We started off with another successful year, with an average of 25-30 people plus helpers attending and enjoying lunch and fellowship together. Christmas was the exception when we had about 60 people who were entertained by our version of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves after lunch and the integrated service.

Since Christmas numbers have noticeably declined and we are especially aware of this as fewer people regularly attend the pre lunch service which is organised by Muriel Allan who manages to find an interesting variety of people to lead and speak.

Thanks as always to all the helpers – Muriel, Jean, Carol, Elspeth, Liz, Carrie, Derry, Phil, Gill, Kim and Alison.

Lunch club restarts on 1st September and future dates are 6th October, 3rdth November, 1st December and Christmas Lunch will be on 15th December.

Sue Vickery

10 – Oasis Cafe – Leatfield Drive Wednesday House Group – Kabin Kidz – 2014


I am pleased to report that a steady number of people are still coming through and using the cafe, many not Church members but brought by neighbours and friends and becoming regulars – all seeming to enjoy the varied menu including home baked cakes prepared by Gareth under Helen’s very capable tuition, and many other tasty and sweet dishes.

We did have an established regular bank of volunteers most of whom had received Basic Food Hygiene training but at the moment we are quite short of helpers and are always open to others coming in, not necessarily to work, serve or prepare food but to spend time listening to others who come in. I will be organising another food hygiene course in the Autumn.

We continue to offer the Kabin Kidz, and now also Deckhands, their tea as part of the weekly session and this has proved very successful – meaning many of the parents stay in the cafe while their children are fed in the hall. We also have a number of the mums and children, post toddlers on Thursdays, who stay for lunch

The cafe has also been used for a number of special lunches – once again the Catholic disabled group came in – so many this time that we had to extend to using the hall- Watch Ashore are regular users of our facilities and the Pilots did a splendid job of making and serving a 3 course Anniversary meal to all the volunteers last October.

The “team” is also building up quite a reputation for their catering skills as sadly we have been much occupied during the last year catering for funerals. I particularly must mention the amount of work everyone put in for Kelly’s funeral lunch and also we are sad to say farewell to Alan Gray who was one of the main supporters, encouragers and users of the cafe.

I continue to be indebted to the amount of expertise and time which Helen has put in – when available she has worked patiently with Gareth and we wish her a speedy recovery from her knee replacement– we don’t want her to rush back too soon but we do have quite good kitchen stools!!! Malcolm is also to be thanked for his support and notice printing!!

You will see from the Church finance report that we have also managed to continue to make a profit as well as operating this valuable and important outreach project.

Our other volunteers include Phil, Kim, Gill, Alison, Muriel, Sarah, Charlotte, Karen, Liz, Lynne . We are looking forward to celebrating our second anniversary in October
Happy eating
Sue Vickery Cafe Outreach Coordinator.


The group presently comprises of 7 members and we enjoy sharing a time of prayer, Bible study and mutual support each week.

Through Autumn we were able to study a DVD produced by Walk thru the Bible called the Crucible that looks at 6 different aspects of King David’s life and calling. We have also done studies on James, the Disciples, Jonah and also spent some meditative and reflective prayer time.

We have also shared a few meals out and bring and share social evenings. Thanks to Sue Staple and Carol Lant for the use of their homes
If you would like to join us please contact me

Sue Vickery.


Since we started this group over three years ago, we have seen a number of children move through to join Pilots as Deckhands . At the moment we only have four 3-5 year olds attending.

We still offer a cooked tea as part of the programme and we regularly feed 9-10 children plus helpers. The children also do a Bible based craft, play games and have a Bible story as part of the programme.

Several of the parents stay and share chat, food and drinks in the Oasis cafe during the time we have the children.

Many thanks to all the helpers – Emma Maria, Carol, Kelly, Rosie ,Jennie and Danny and to the lovely kitchen ladies – Helen, Sarah and Charlotte.

Sue Vickery