CENTRE FOR THE STUDY OF CHRISTIANITY AND SEXUALITY
MINUTES OF ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING HELD AT CARRS LANE CHURCH, BIRMINGHAM,ON 10 FEBRUARY 2007
Jane Fraser (Chair)
John Gladwin (Patron)
Daphne Cook (Treasurer)
Apologies: David Gamble (Patron), Roberta Rominger (Matron), Jean Mayland, Colin
Coward, Michael Egan.
Minutes of meeting of the AGM held on 11 February 2006 were agreed as correct.
Matters arising were covered under the Report from the Chair.
Chair’s report: Jane Fraser spoke to her circulated report (copy attached to these
minutes). She drew attention to the following points:
- The cost of Theology and Sexuality had been frozen for a further year, meaning that no change was needed in the subscription rate.
- The new two-tier membership appeared to have been a success, with numbers remaining around the 100 mark (of whom about two-thirds took Theology and Sexuality) despite some weeding out of those in arrears. The death of Roy Parr was noted with sadness. Subscriptions were still being received from a couple of members who had proved uncontactable, and attempts would be made to track them down via the bank.
- The experiment of sending the newsletter to theological training institutions had not had any visible impact.
- The joint residential conference with the Modern Churchpeople’s Union had proved particularly successful, though again the visible impact was limited (one former member had rejoined).
- Attempts to contribute to the Anglican “listening process” had so far also been unsuccessful but other avenues would be pursued.
Treasurer’s report Daphne Cook spoke to her report (copy attached to these minutes). She noted the surplus of £1,253, compared to the previous year’s deficit of £70. Whilst subscription income had fallen under the two-tier membership system, nearly all categories of expenditure were markedly reduced.
Anthony Woollard proposed, and Martin Pendergast seconded, the adoption of the report. Daphne proposed the re-appointment of Michael Egan as independent examiner of accounts. Both motions were carried unanimously.
Elections: The meeting noted the resignation of Colin Coward and more recently of Jean Mayland. In the absence of other nominations the remaining committee members (Jane Fraser, John and Daphne Cook, Martin Pendergast and Anthony Woollard) were elected unanimously.
Discussion on the future: The Chair invited members to consider issues regarding the future of CSCS – a very small organisation, with an ageing committee, which nevertheless had considerable human resources and connections, and also now sufficient financial resources to make possible some small new initiatives.
Points raised in discussion included the following:
- Advertising in the ecclesiastical Press, one possible use of the current surplus, arely brought in any significant results.
- There might be a better case for using the money in some way to bring together the fragmented “liberal” groups who shared the CSCS agenda – though it was noted that a previous attempt at this, namely the establishment of Inclusive Church, appeared simply to have created yet another body!
- The current public focus on issues such as teenage pregnancy, which did not fall within the remit of the other groups, could offer new opportunities for CSCS.
- Although Press advertising might not be worthwhile, the placing and sharing of articles could be valuable. Even closer links with other bodies such as MCU and SCM could be helpful (and weblinks could be improved, for example with the Churches Together in England site which was believed to be hungry for content).
- Some ecclesiastical journals might be susceptible to encouragement by Patrons/Matrons to carry CSCS copy, including reports of the Annual Conference.
- There might also be a case for trying to provide a “voice for the voiceless”, as in urrent debates on gay adoption where the professionals (not to speak of the adopters/ adoptees) were being largely ignored.
- The independent future of CSCS depended, not only on its continuing to develop its “unique selling proposition” along the lines suggested in discussion, but also on recruiting new officers and Committee members.
The Chair, summing up the discussion, said that the Committee had noted the many positive points made and would attempt to progress them during the year.
Date of next meeting: Saturday 9 February 2008, probably in London.