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St Ives Methodist Church

Communications Team Meeting Minutes

Thursday 23rd July, 10:00am
Present: Ann Collingwood, Matt Finch, Mary Gatehouse, Pat Goates, Margaret Harris, Kay Hender, Michelle
Wilkinson, Stuart Wilkinson (chair)

Apologies: Barbara Cooper

1. Who does what

Stuart went through a list of perceived communication jobs to enquire from the group if we could
identify individuals currently responsible for specific roles and tasks.
ACTION: Consult with appropriate individuals and produce list of communication roles.
BY WHOM: Stuart Wilkinson
BY WHEN: October 2009

2. Updating address list/email addresses

Ann has collated an Access database of member information (known as the Church Index). This has been
merged into the pastoral database, which Matt is responsible for keeping up to date.
ACTION: Develop an online version of updatable database
BY WHOM: Matt Finch
BY WHEN: not specified

3. Tuesday mornings from September 2009

Stuart explained that he will be at church on Tuesday mornings for the next academic year, during which
time he will be able to be based in the church office (vestry) and use this time to bring our
communication up to date and explore the options of extending the ministry of the church on Tuesday
mornings through making use of the internet access that is now available at church.
ACTION: Reorganise and coherently structure the church office
BY WHOM: Stuart Wilkinson
BY WHEN: ongoing

4. Communications Survey feedback

Stuart shared the communications survey feedback, giving numerical data to tick box answers and lists
of specific answers to questions. 27 responses had been received when the data was collated but a
further 3 surveys have since been received. The feedback showed a generally positive attitude to all of
the content of the notice sheet and the magazine, with minor exceptions. Problems with repeated
notices each week and the infrequency of the magazine were recurring issues.
ACTION: Make the communications feedback available to the wider church
BY WHOM: Stuart Wilkinson
BY WHEN: September 2009

5. Notice sheet/Magazine
Following on from item (4), Stuart said that the responses seemed to fit in with the idea raised in our
previous communications team meeting (chaired by Matt Finch) about the possibility of a monthly
publication. Stuart advised that in the last Leadership Team meeting on 6th July 2009 the
Communications Survey feedback was shared. The Leadership Team discussed the notice sheet and
newsletter and decided to approve the move to a monthly newsletter on a trial basis until December
2009. An example monthly newsletter, created by Michelle Wilkinson, using every single notice from the
combined February notice sheets was distributed, with an example added “from the minister” page. The
meeting were is agreement that this example newsletter looked good. Stuart passed a proposed letter
to everyone to show how this change would be communicated with the wider church. The meeting was
in agreement with the change and approved the letter. Pat Goates said she was more than willing to
hand over responsibility for the notices and Michelle Wilkinson said she was willing to take on
responsibility for the new monthly newsletter.
ACTION: Retype, print and distribute letter with notice sheet this coming Sunday (26th July).
BY WHOM: Stuart Wilkinson
BY WHEN: Sunday 26th July
ACTION: Liase with Brian and Dorothy Suttie about stapling/folding for the new newsletter
BY WHOM: Stuart Wilkinson
BY WHEN: before September

6. “Front of house” contacts for the church

Stuart brought up the issue of which contacts we give out for the church – stating that on the weekly
notice sheet we give the name, address, phone number and email of the minister. In the circuit plan, we
have Pat Paddon’s phone number as the “contact”, Wendy Ware is the lettings contact but also receives
other external enquiries and communication from the church by email (as this has been the most
effective way in the past). In the annual report we have Pat Paddon’s home address as the
correspondence address but plenty of post comes addressed to 27 The Waits as it is. Then there is the
new phone book which still has 8 Park Avenue in it for some reason. Stuart suggested that this all needs
bringing together under one coherent banner so it is easy to see where initial contact with the church
should go. Margaret said that she is sure Pat Paddon would be more than happy for her address to no
longer be used in an “official” capacity. Margaret also stated that Pat would be the first to agree that
the current system can be very slow and it can take a long time for things to get to the right person.
ACTION: Investigate “front-of house” contact possibilities to discuss at next meeting
BY WHOM: Stuart Wilkinson
BY WHEN: Next meeting – TBA [December 2009]

7. The “branding” concept

Stuart mentioned a longer-term aim of bringing all publicity and communication – including print and
web – to be brought together with a unified look to help to make everything identifiable as being part of
St Ives Methodist Church. Currently, posters and publicity for events are designed by various people in
various different ways. A unified look – including standardised fonts and certain other guidelines – will
help to distinguish church activities.
ACTION: Explore font and design options and draft some suggested guidelines
BY WHOM: Stuart Wilkinson
BY WHEN: Next meeting – TBA [December 2009]

8. Developing a formal communications policy

Following on form discussing branding, Stuart advised that a formal communications policy would be
advantageous so we can be in control of what is and is not produced under the banner of “St Ives
Methodist Church” This will take some careful planning and Stuart advised the meeting he hopes to
develop this over the coming year.
ACTION: Begin to draft an outline structure for a communications policy
BY WHOM: Stuart Wilkinson
BY WHEN: Next meeting – TBA [December 2009]

9. Noticeboard/display walkabout
The meeting had overrun but we looked briefly at display boards in the corridor and hall, Mary and Ann
advised where some of the display resources are stored. The meeting agreed the photo board needs to
be updated.
ACTION: Arrange for up to date photos be taken for the notice board at the back of church
BY WHOM: Stuart Wilkinson
BY WHEN: no deadline agreed.
10. A.O.B.
(i)Wendy Ware had emailed to advise of Heritage Weekend coming up on 12th/13th September. Stuart
asked if anyone was organising this. Margaret advised that it used to be organised by Julia Johnson and
since then various other people have stepped in to keep it going. Stuart offered to head this up as if it’s
going to happen we need to get moving. Mary advised a need to liaise with Barbara Cooper as she has
been involved in the past.
ACTION: Liaise with Barbara Cooper and organise Heritage Open Weekend church opening.
BY WHOM: Stuart Wilkinson
BY WHEN: as soon as possible!!

(ii)Mary Gatehouse and Ann Collingworth both stated that as they are both over 70 they would like to
set and example to the church and stand down from their responsibilities now that they are confident
communications can move forward with the current team. Stuart advised this would only be allowed if
they both promised to keep telling the communications team what they thought of what we were
doing, letting us know what we’ve got wrong and let us know what we could be doing better. Stuart
thanked Mary and Ann for their hard work over many years, citing Cadbury’s conversion to fair trade
this summer as an example of never knowing where anything you start may lead.
ACTION: Let the communications team know what’s working and what isn’t
BY WHOM: Mary Gatehouse and Ann Collingwood
BY WHEN: As much and as often as possible!

11. Set date of next meeting.

This was not set but agreed it will need to be around December time so we can consider the impact of
the notice sheet change and the way to move forward.

The meeting closed with the grace.