Annual General Meeting
Our AGM this year will be held on Monday 30th of November from 7:30pm . If government pandemic restrictions allow, it will be a hybrid meeting with the permitted number of people meeting in our church building joining with other members on-line via a Zoom video conference call.
This web page provides a public place to access information and updates about our meeting. There are also links below to a private on-line place where documents that would normally only be displayed in our church building can be viewed by our members.
Because this is more complex than our regular AGM, all parishes have been given permission by our Diocese to bring preparations for their AGMs forward. Our Parish Council has agreed to the following timeline:
Friday 9th of October – Opening of electoral roll nominations.
Friday 23rd of October 5pm – Closing of electoral roll nominations.
Wednesday 28th of October – Latest dates for reports to arrive at church office in electronic form for compilation into AGM reports.
Friday 30th of October – Amendments to the electoral roll published on the secure portal.
Friday 30th of October – Nominations for parish offices open.
Friday 30th of October – Latest date for producing and distributing AGM reports.
Sunday 15th of November 5pm – Nominations for parish offices close.
Sunday 15th of November – Voting papers (if needed) begin to be delivered to all members on the electoral roll.
Wednesday 25th of November 5pm – Final date and time for questions and comments for the AGM to be sent to the chair of the meeting.
Monday 30th of November 7:30pm – Date and time of AGM in 2020.
Monday 30th of November - Voting papers may be given in person at the AGM or, if posted to the returning officers must be post-marked 30/11 or earlier in order to be valid.
Monday 14th of December – Date independent returning officer can declare the results elections.
Monday 21st of December – First meeting of the new parish council.
Notice of AGM
Date: Monday 30th of November 2020
Nominations from and by persons on the parish electoral roll are sought for the following offices in the parish of St. Columbs Hawthorn.
o Two church wardens
o Up to nine members of Parish Council
o Two members of the incumbency committee
Nominations must be given to the Vicar of St. Columb's by 5pm Sunday 15th of November 2020
The business of the annual meeting is to include after prayers—
(a) The minutes of the previous annual meeting and of any subsequent statutory parish meeting;
(b) The reception of the parish electoral roll;
(c) The annual report by the vicar that includes the entries in the registers of the Parish for the financial year, including numbers of baptisms, persons received into communicant membership, confirmations, marriages, funerals, Sunday services, acts of communion and such other statistics from the registers as Archbishop in Council determines;
(d) An annual report on the proceedings of the parish council and together with a report by the parish council on the pastoral care, evangelism, social and ecumenical programmes of the parish and on future plans for the parish;
(e) A report by the churchwardens on the fabric, goods and ornaments of the worship centre and the vicarage and other buildings of the parish;
(f) The audited or independently examined accounts and financial statements of the parish and any accompanying papers required by the Act;
(g) The budget approved by the parish council for the year in which the meeting is held;
(h) Reports by other parish groups;
(i) The election of churchwardens and members of the parish council; [See revised timeline above]
(j) The election of an auditor or independent examiner;
(k) The election of lay representatives to the parish incumbency committee; [See revised timeline above]
(l) Any other matters of parochial or general church interest. [In 2020 these matters will be referred to the incoming parish council for their consideration]
Electoral roll - applications closed
Our Diocese has advised that parishes in 2020 should:
Retain our electoral roll from our 2019 AGM for the 2020 AGM.
Only to remove from the roll people who have died, moved away or given notice that they have left the parish.
Only to add to the roll people who have made it clear that they have joined the parish
The electoral roll committee (L. Evans, M. Flynn) decided, in consultation with Parish Council, to adopt the following process for St. Columb’s:
Advise the parish when the electoral roll is open for applicants and of the required qualifications for applicants.
Potential electoral roll members will be encouraged to contact the electoral roll committee members to discuss their application before completing an application form.
Members of St. Columb's eligible to join the electoral roll will be those who would have met the criteria, according to the Parish Governance Act, as at March 2020.
The criteria for being eligible for joining the electoral roll in the Parishes Act are:
Be a layperson (i.e. not ordained);
Be over eighteen years of age;
Be baptized in a Christian denomination;
Have regularly and habitually attended public worship in that parish;
Please note: Someone who has regularly and habitually attended public worship in a worship centre in a parish 12 times in the preceding 12 months and three times in the preceding three months is considered to have regularly and habitually attended public worship at that worship centre. (Parishes Act, 4:1:9:4). For our 2020 AGM this will apply for the 12 months prior to 22nd of March 2020 when pandemic lockdowns commenced.
Be a member of the Anglican Church of Australia or of a church in full communion with the Anglican Church of Australia;
Not be a member of another church or denomination;
Not be on the electoral roll of another parish or congregation;
Have completed and signed an application to be on the electoral roll.
To download the application form below - click on the boxed arrow in the upper right corner of the document frame below.
Mike or Lewina will contact you by text or phone call to confirm your application.
Completed applications can also be posted to: 5 St. Columbs Street Hawthorn, Victoria 3122. Please mark your envelope 'Electoral Roll Committee'
Parish offices nominations - open 30/10 to 15/11
These revised instructions combine decisions of our Diocese and parish council.
Nomination forms will need to be used and signatures are required.
Electronic signatures are acceptable.
Signatures for nominations, seconders and acceptance of nomination do not all have to be on the same piece of paper or facsimile but can be sent in on separate nomination forms either by email or post provided they arrive in the required time before the AGM. [See time table above]
Nomination forms will be available from the parish website (or upon request, by post) by the required time.
When nominations are made, seconded and accepted via email, the Vicar will text all nominees and nominators to authenticate the nominations.
Because completed nomination forms for parish office candidates cannot currently be displayed or viewed in the church, a list of nominees will be provided on a password-protected portal accessible from our web site.
Qualifications for parish office holders
There are conditions that disqualify a member of the electoral roll from standing for a parish office. They are:
Being a partner or member of the immediate family of another parish office holder or staff member (parishes act, schedule 1:1:1)
Being an undischarged bankrupt (parishes act, section 19)
Mental or physical disability either permanent or for a period of 12 months that prevents a person carrying out the duties of an office. (s19)
A prohibition order against serving in a parish office under the professional standards act (2009). (s19)
To download the nomination form below - click on the boxed arrow in the upper right corner of the document frame below.
Email completed forms to our Vicar, Mike Flynn (email@example.com)
Mike will contact you by text or phone call to confirm your nomination and signature.
Completed nominations can also be posted to: 5 St. Columbs Street Hawthorn, Victoria 3122. Please mark your envelope 'AGM nomination'
All emails and snail mail must arrive by 5pm on Sunday 15th of November to be valid.
If voting is needed for appointment to parish council, wardens or the incumbency committee then we will proceed in the following way:
Though the Archbishop in Council (AiC) guidelines for 2020 allow us to vote electronically, the advice of the Bishops is to use signed and numbered paper voting forms physically distributed to electoral roll members before the AGM. This advice is chiefly because the requirement of the parishes act for voting to be secret, auditable, and yet to ensure one vote per electoral roll member is difficult to achieve electronically. It is also to ensure that people without internet access are able to vote.
Numbers are to be randomly allocated; no list of numbers allocated to members will be retained. This will be noted in the AGM minutes.
Envelopes will be addressed, then numbered papers shuffled and inserted.
Numbered voting papers will be pre-distributed to all electoral roll members according to the timeline above.
Electoral roll members are entitled to vote regardless of whether they attend the AGM.
The voting system is a ‘first past the post’ voting system, where each voter may cast up to the same number of votes as there are positions to be filled.
The deadline for the return of the voting papers is 30/11. Voting papers, if posted to the returning officer, need to be post marked on or before 30/11 (the day of the AGM) or placed in the provided envelope at the on-ground version of the AGM (see also last dot point below).
The early return of the voting papers is encouraged.
Independent returning officers - Area Deaneries are arranging for clergy from other parishes to be the returning officers for counting votes if elections are required. That clergy person would count and declare the results of an election. The returning officer for the St Columb’s 2020 AGM will be Revd. Roberta Hamilton from St Dunstan’s, Camberwell. Return envelopes addressed to the returning officer will be provided with voting papers.
Anyone who wishes to vote on appointments in person at the AGM will need to bring their own numbered voting paper which would have already been delivered to them. Any votes delivered at the AGM will be placed into an envelope addressed to the returning officer, sealed and delivered to her.
Questions we have been asked about parish offices and voting.
Q: What are the different parish offices for?
A: Broadly the church wardens are responsible for property and finance, the parish council is responsible for setting the annual budget and consulting on general matters of parish life. The incumbency committee consults with others on choosing a new incumbent (vicar). At St. Columb’s the current vicar also asks the incumbency committee to assist with staff reviews near the end of each staff member's contract. A plain English explanation (written by the team who drafted the parish council Act) can be found in the Parish Council Handbook (2019) pages 13 to 15.
AGM reports - available from 30/11
AGM reports will be available to St. Columb's members who: subscribe to our eNews, request a hardcopy version of the reports to be posted to them, through our secure portal link below.
For reference below is a copy of the email sent to those who normally provide reports for our AGM on the 10th of October this year.
I am writing to you to ask you for a brief report on your ministry area for our Annual General Meeting this year.
Our Diocese has asked its parishes to go ahead with our AGMs and ours is set for Monday 30th of November from 7:30pm (see stc.org.au for more details).
Because of the unusual circumstances we are living under we have had to bring preparations for the AGM forward so our cut off for receiving your AGM report will be:
Wednesday 28th of October 2020.
Here are some tips to help with writing your report this year.
1. The period we are reporting on is October 2019 to September 2020.
2. You could focus on:
The later part of last year,
The Christmas period,
The thwarted start up this year,
Ideas and thoughts you or your team are dreaming of for the uncertain year ahead. This will help our members know what thinking has already been done in your area of ministry.
3. Brief is fine. No one is expecting in-depth analysis this year.
4. Pictures are a good idea too, even if they do remind us of a pre-Covid lifestyle.
5. No videos or powerpoint presentations will be required this year. Given we are likely to be running a hybird meeting (on-line and on-ground) we need to keep the tech as simple as we can.
6. Please send your reports to me by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) in MS Word format so I can compile them for distribution on Friday 30th of October 2020.
I’ve attached a copy of last year’s AGM reports to prompt our memories.
Thank you in anticipation for your help in this and thank you for persisting in your ministries and especially in your life as Christians in hard and changing times.
In Christ Jesus,
Running the meeting
Because our AGM this year will be both online and on-ground we have adapted how we will run the meeting. These revised instructions combine decisions of our Diocese and parish council.
Voting on motions or other business at the AGM :
Questions and comments about ministry reports, plans and finances are to be submitted in writing before the AGM (by 25/11). This process mirrors the process that is used in Synod.
Given the challenge of running hybrid meetings (on-line and on-ground) and given there is no requirement in the parishes act for AGMs to have to deal with comments or motions raised from the floor of the meeting without notice, the Diocese have asked us to limit discussion and voting for this year to matters that the AGM is required to discuss and to refer other business matters to the first meeting of the new parish council.
The motions required for our AGMs are:
Appointing an auditor
Votes of thanks
To make our meetings as accessible as possible, we have been asked to hold the on-ground component in the church building and aim to have the online component accessible to those in the building as well.
For St. Columb’s this will mean a Zoom meeting of the AGM with online participants projected onto the large screen in the church so that participants in the church can see online participants. We will appoint a Zoom master to monitor when people want to speak and to monitor online voting while the chair monitors voting and speaking in the church building. We will attempt to integrate audio from the church with audio from the Zoom meeting so that participants can hear each other.
To avoid losing documents and details in email strings, St. Columb's staff will establish a public webpage outlining the AGM processes, and including a link to a secure (password-protected) portal on which we will post nominations and other documents normally available in the church leading up to an AGM.
Electoral roll members without internet access will, at their request, have reports and papers delivered to them by the staff team.
The button below will provide access to a password protected folder to allow members to view documents that would normally be displayed in our church building in the weeks leading up to an on-ground AGM. These documents are:
Completed nomination forms for parish offices.
AGM ministry reports (including the revised electoral roll)
AGM financial reports