REPORT FROM THE CHAIRMAN OF GANC (Gustaf Adolf Nordic Congregation Company)
Since we had the honour of hosting Synod in 2016, we have had quite a successful 12 months; our membership has remained stable with about 50 members, not all of whom are old-age pensioners. Our finances are satisfactory, due in no small measure to the efficiency of our treasurer, Harriet Busby, and to the financial and practical help we receive from LiNC, Liverpool international Nordic Community, the charity set up some years ago to support the church. We have managed to donate to three charities and to make contributions to a local food bank.
We have services most Sundays (apart from the third Sunday in the month) and attendance varies, usually between 12 and 30. No parishioners live within walking distance. Special events attract larger numbers, especially Lucia in December, the Swedish “festival of light”. Services are in English, but some of the liturgy is now in Swedish. The hymns are usually Swedish, occasionally Norwegian. Pastor Jo Jan involves as many people as he can in the services, which is very good.
On 21st February, Liverpool hosted the “Stationenweg” to mark the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s “game changing” deed, and we took part in the service at the Anglican cathedral. We continue to meet with our friends at the German church and celebrate Reformation Day together.
The number of requests for weddings and baptisms that we receive is not great, but does appear to be on the increase.
Chairman, Church Council
LiNC Chairman, Roger Metcalf:
April 2017 Newsletter and Appeal for Volunteers
I hope everyone enjoyed the festive season. We had a very busy and successful time in all our activities. Now, at the end of March, we look forward to the events we are setting up for the next months and the summer. This magazine will tell you of the events that are currently planned, but the list always increases as time goes by, so keep up to date by looking at our web site.
This year the bazaar was even more successful and resulted in a record level of income, amounting to about 10% of our annual income. I thank all the volunteers for their hard work. Thanks also to those of you involved in the preparations. We need to give wider publicity to the occasion this year and more help from volunteers will be very welcome.
I think I should explain to you where the balance of our income is raised.
The Car park and B&B raise about 20%, Membership, 100+ club, Lucia and other funding activities raise about 30%. Finally, our catering activities add about 40% of our total income. The well attended and pleasant Wednesday Coffee Mornings contribute about 10% of this figure. We have managed to change the organisation of the events and we have an increased set of volunteers working only one Wednesday a month. I sincerely thank all these volunteers for the efforts that they give.
This then leaves the remaining 30% of income that comes from the catering activities at all the other events arranged through the year. We need to have more volunteers to give a bit of their time to help at these events and reduce the burden on the regular volunteers. This does not have to be on regular dates. Do you have a few hours to spare to come and help in our funding activities, laying out tables, selling cakes and coffee, making up salads and the like? We can always use an extra pair of hands.
Our volunteers have continued to keep the church open for our usual activities, coffee mornings, language classes, conducted tours, concerts and of course church services. I thank all people involved for maintaining all this activity over the winter.
We continue to monitor the development of the Heap’s Mill area next to the church, which may soon start. We are, of course, very concerned that any construction work should not harm the safety of our Grade II* building.
The Social and Cultural visits have continued to increase in number, particularly visits from heritage groups and the number of concerts have also increased. It will be very welcome if some more of our members can volunteer to help at these events.
The Nordic Liverpool web site is now updated regularly. This is a challenging piece of work, and would be an ideal work experience job for a young person with an interest in computing and web sites. If there is anyone with a member of the family, who would be interested in this work please contact me or any member of the board.
This year’s specific project work has been devoted to the church spire. You saw an article in the last newsletter about the spire. We have carried out a structural survey on this amazing timber construction built in 1883, which resulted in the conclusion that the spire is currently safe.
Some recommendations were made to fix the access to the upper spire and bell, to install lighting in the spire and to clean out the entire structure. This work has been done. Following on from this we have had a timber survey carried out and this is being followed up to investigate the timber supports between the upper and lower spire. For your information, this work has cost us about £6500 so far.
I thank everyone, particularly the Board, who have been helping us throughout the year and I very much appreciate the work that is carried out by volunteers to make events and activities happen.
As I have said earlier, more volunteers are needed, so if you can help, please inform me or any of the members of the board. Another major aspect to consider is that none of our basic list of volunteers are getting any younger and needs rejuvenating.
As always, thank you to all the people who give so generously to our charity in both terms of membership, money and their time to help at our events. Thank you also for coming to our events and “using” the building. This is what it is all about – the building should not be a “museum piece” – but should be visited and loved by as many people as possible.