Our purpose

The charitable purpose of the Clitheroe Community Church Trust is the advancement of the Christian faith, in particular by the provision and maintenance of a church in Clitheroe for public worship. A variety of activities have helped the church to achieve its purpose over the year for the benefit of members, the local community, and others in the UK and abroad.

In planning these activities, the Charity Commission’s guidance on public benefit has been taken into account. We believe that advancing the Christian faith is of benefit to individuals and to society as a whole by providing facilities for public worship, pastoral care and spiritual development and by promoting Christian values and service by church members in and to their communities.

Activities and achievements

This report covers the period of our financial year to 31 January 2021, which has been largely during the COVID-19 pandemic. This didn’t change the purpose and mission of the church or the planned focus of prayer, ministry development and meeting together effectively. It did mean that we needed a flexible approach and a readiness to adapt to the rapidly-changing situation.

In addition to the strategic focus for the year, the ongoing work of the church has continued for the benefit of members and the local community. The trustees wish to place on record their thanks to the many volunteers who enable this to happen.

We’ve had to find new and creative ways to keep prayer moving forward during the pandemic, which have included:

  • Offering prayer to our community via our website and YouTube live stream
  • Regular prayer times using video calling
  • Prayer walking in small groups when allowed under COVID-19 restrictions
  • In-person meetings for prayer and worship when permitted
  • Online confidential prayer ministry
  • Using the 24/7 Prayer Course in Life groups
  • Online prayer events with contributions from various members and organisations to keep our horizons broad
  • Week of prayer and fasting in January 2021, including interactive prayer stations and a full 24 hours of prayer led by a variety of members
  • ‘Catching the Wave’ season of prayer during Lent, including early morning prayer, prayer evenings and online meetings as the pandemic hit

The pandemic has provided opportunities to consider how ministries are being developed and to take things forward in new ways.

  • The worship team (including worship band and tech team) have adapted rapidly to each new challenge. Live stream equipment has been sourced, training provided and many hours of time volunteered to ensure that the church can continue to worship together, along with reaching new people in the local community and further afield. The worship band have moved forward with new leadership and new members, focussing both on developing vision and working it out in practice.
  • Development of the preaching team has continued. They meet regularly to pray, share together and consider what God wants bringing to the church, both on a prophetic level and through Bible teaching.
  • Outreach and social action has taken place on social media, via the website and through service to our communities by individuals and groups such as Ark Teenies.
  • Initially the Ark toddler group ran online sessions and dropped off resources packs for local families. As in-person sessions became possible, the team navigated the regulatory and practical hurdles to provide a support group for new mums, mostly in person, but moving to video calls and emails/texts when the infection rate was very high.
  • Changes in the youth group leadership took place just as the pandemic hit. Some of the existing team have taken on the leadership on a voluntary basis. Initially sessions were only permitted online, and these included teaching on topics raised by the young people, along with fun and opportunities to talk about how they were coping. The group also contributed to several whole-church prayer sessions. In-person sessions have included a worship night, a walk, a barbecue and a movie night to invite friends to, alongside teaching and discussion.
  • A townwide youth resource, Ribble Valley Youth (RVY), is being developed by a CCC member and the youth leader from St James’ Church, providing online and in-person events, alongside gaming and detatched youthwork.
  • The lunch club was continuing to reach new people in the community before the pandemic, but hasn’t been able to meet since March 2020.
  • Powerhouse (men’s group) and the Time 4 You Ladies Group have mostly met via video call and used WhatsApp for regular communication, providing spaces for discussion, encouragement, prayer and challenge.
  • Pastoral care has been provided largely through Life groups, but also via individual phone calls, messages, visits and practical support, such as help with shopping.
  • The Next Gen programme for emerging leaders concluded just prior to the pandemic. Three of those attending currently lead ministries in the church.

The elders and group leaders have continually been looking for the most effective ways to meet together during each season of the pandemic. Feedback has been valuable in this and has been sought informally and through a feedback survey. The aim has been to meet the need for community while being safe and responsible.

  • Public worship has taken place every Sunday. This has been live-streamed each week to ensure it is accessible to all, including those shielding or self-isolating, and support has been provided to join this and our online groups. Thorough risk assessments have given confidence to attend in person when this has been possible.
  • The challenge of no congregational singing has been met by providing song lyrics for those joining online and encouraging those in the building to be creative in their worship response.
  • The Sunday children’s groups haven’t been able to meet, but COVID-secure activity packs have been provided during meetings, a socially-distanced creche with live stream has been provided and new families have been welcomed and helped to setttle in.
  • ‘Discipleship Explored’ was run as an interactive online format, which was attended by the majority of the church, providing a springboard to engage further with practical discipleship in our everyday lives over the coming months.
  • Life groups are taking the discipleship theme forward. Each group have made arrangements to suit their members and the COVID situation at the time, including video meetings, gatherings outdoors and communication via WhatsApp.
  • Local residents have been kept informed via leafleting, signage, the website and social media. Email bulletins have also been a key communication tool with members and those connecting with the church
  • Video calling has also been used for social ‘coffee and catch up’ sessions and to facilitate prayer ministry in response to times of worship.

partnerships

We have partnered with a number of other organisations and groups for greater effectiveness in specialised work. Some of these partnerships involved the church as a whole and others were through links with individual church members. Support took the form of volunteer help, prayer and/or donations. Financial support is detailed in the annual accounts.

Click the images for more information about our partners.

Managing risk

The trustees are aware of potential risks to staff, volunteers and visitors and to the organisation as a whole. They have put in place measures to manage these risks, which include the following.

  • The condition of buildings and equipment is kept under review.
  • All boilers are professionally serviced and a Gas Safe certificate obtained.
  • Inspections of electrical appliances and electrical installations have taken place.
  • The fire safety installations and equipment have been inspected and serviced.
  • The annual reviews of the fire safety risk assessment and financial controls have been completed.
  • The church operates a safeguarding policy, which is reviewed and updated annually. Other policies and procedures have been reviewed and updated as appropriate.
  • All children’s/youth workers, trustees and elders have Enhanced Disclosures from the Disclosure and Barring Service, updated every three years. They receive child protection training and a copy of our safeguarding policy.
  • The church holds public and employer’s liability Insurance and copyright licences.
  • Anti-virus protection and backups are in place for church computer equipment.
  • During the COVID-19 pandemic, risk assessments and guidance have been produced for church and room hire groups to ensure that the risks are managed and effective arrangments put in place. Government guidance and regulations have regularly been consulted to ensure the documents and arrangements are up to date. These have been communicated online and in the building.

Finance review

The annual accounts show the finances for the year. The trustees are satisfied that they are sound and were prepared in accordance with the relevant regulations and guidance.

INCOME AND EXPENDITURE
Income is largely derived from free-will giving, most coming from church members. Tax refunds via the Gift Aid scheme supplement this, and room hire payments contribute towards running costs and building refurbishment.

The trustees work closely with the elders to establish spending priorities. Quarterly and ad hoc board meetings, aided by treasurer’s reports, allow the trustees regularly to make judgements relating to available funds and the appropriate allocation of those funds. We ensure that at least 10% of our income goes to support other ministries who have similar aims, alongside using funds for the relief of poverty and special need.

Income last year was significantly boosted by a large one-off donation. This, along with reductions in e.g. room hire due to the pandemic, has led to an overall reduction in income this year. A reduction in expenditure (e.g. cleaning, fuel and youth pastor moving to another job) plus reserves carried over from last year mean that the cash flow for the year is not in deficit.

DONATIONS
In addition to our regular giving, we’ve also been able to contribute to Junction 42 worship packs for prisoners, health provision in Burundi via Great Lakes Outreach, Barnabas Fund’s COVID-19 appeal, the Lebanon bomb blast appeal and local homeless project ‘Street Hope’.

BUDGETS
Budgets for various church groups were introduced, which give leaders more control over spending in their ministry area and help with forward planning. The lack of opportunity for in-person events has meant that some budgets haven’t been used much this year, but the process is preparing the ground for improved expenditure planning.

RESERVES POLICY
The level of reserves is reviewed periodically by the trustees. They are satisfied that the assets of the charity are available and adequate to fulfil the obligations of the charity.

Vision AND STRATEGY FOR 2021/22

The pandemic has been a good time to take stock and evaluate what really matters in the kingdom of God. Over the year, three key elements of church vision have become increasingly clear.

Discipleship
Followers of Jesus are called to live out his teachings in every area of our lives. There’s never any sense of standing still – there’s always a sense of ‘leaning in’ and moving forward. The inability to meet together in person has brought into focus the need to be clear about how we can do this ourselves and encourage others in their discipleship journey. The ‘Discipleship Explored’ course and the discipleship teaching on Sunday mornings have been providing input for this. Our smaller groups are providing space to support one another in working this out (e.g. adults’ and youth Life groups, Powerhouse men’s group and Time 4 You ladies’ group).

Leadership
As a result of the ministry development that has taken place over the last couple of years, new ministry leaders have come on board and a broader leadership team is developing. But leadership is not confined to a particular role within church. Each of us is called to be part of the ‘priesthood of all believers’, leading those in our sphere of influence closer to God, whether that’s our homes, workplaces, schools or friendships.

Relationship
Neither of the first two work very well without effective relationships with one another, with those around us and with God. Proverbs 27:17 says, ‘As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.’ Developing these effective relationships takes time, intention and trust.

The outcome of all these three elements of vision is transformation: as individuals, as a church and as representatives in our community, so that we can live out Romans 12:2. ‘Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.’

This is intended as a brief overview of the direction of travel for CCC, and more information about working it out will be included in a vision day in the autumn.

Governance

The charitable trust was established by a declaration of trust on 29 June 1989. The trustees are to be four in number and they may appoint additional trustees, provided they accept the statement of faith in the declaration of trust.

The trustees cooperate with the elders in furthering the object of the trust. The primary responsibilities of the elders are spiritual, pastoral and for the ministries of the church. The trustees are mainly responsible for financial, legal and property-related matters. Both groups meet regularly and require unanimous decisions from a quorum of at least three. A register of interests is kept, where trustees declare any potential conflicts of interest. They are also required to make declarations confirming their eligibility to act as a trustee. New trustees receive support from an existing trustee sponsor, and all trustees are provided with information from the Charity Commission

Name of the charity: The Clitheroe Community Church Trust
Registered charity number: 701869
Principal office: Clitheroe Community Church, Millthorne Avenue, Clitheroe, Lancashire, BB7 2LE
Charity trustees: Sarah Corbridge (retired 11/01/2021), Richard Douglas, Andrew Piercy, Gillian Whitfield

The annual report was approved by the trustees and signed on behalf of the board by Richard Douglas on 07/07/2021