The Trustees have legal responsibility for all aspects of church life, working alongside the Elders who have spiritual responsibility. Up to three elders can be trustees (currently two) and up to seven other members (currently seven). The current Trustees of Bruntsfield Evangelical Church SCIO are David Aird (Chairman), Anne Jackson, Andrew Little, Alastair Mackintosh, Fraser McLaren, Fiona Watson, Ian Wilson, Jamie Wilson and David Wright. David Aird automatically stopped being a Trustee when he retired from the Elders, and was subsequently reappointed as a non-Elder Trustee and resumed as Chairman, with Fraser McLaren having stood in for a short time.
Church life was seriously disrupted from March onwards by the Covid-19 pandemic, which initially led to the suspension of all in-person activities apart from the Basics Bank (food bank). The Trustees and Elders established a working group to consider how the Church should respond. Sunday services and some other activities were moved online. We are grateful to Garry Ferrier for using his expertise to set up and manage the services, and to others who have been involved. There was some investment in video equipment which will allow church services to be broadcast through the internet for the foreseeable future.
When the restrictions eased, the working group oversaw the safe return for services within Government requirements, including risk assessments and enhanced cleaning and sanitisation. Covid-19 restrictions will clearly continue well into 2021, and the working group will continue to oversee our response, reporting to the Trustees and Elders.
The Trustees have responsibility for the church building, and we are grateful to David Wright and the team who care for it. There were no major improvements in 2020, but during the year we had to replace the boiler pump and some roof repairs will also be required soon.
Accounts for the financial year to August 2020 will be distributed separately. We are grateful to Ian Wilson and the finance team for ensuring that our finances are well managed. The church remains financially stable, and during the pandemic reduced income from building lets has largely been replaced by increased donations from members. Costs of staff, the church building and our activities are very substantial, and we depend for our financial stability on the sacrificial giving of our members. We are currently broadly breaking even, and any additional expenditure will need to be matched by increased giving.
If you do not currently give regularly to the church we encourage you to consider this. Guidance on setting up a standing order and making a Gift Aid declaration is available from Ian Naismith, or look at www.bruntsfield.org.uk/resources/giving.
Staff and Trainees
The trustees have ultimate responsibility for caring for employees and volunteers. There were no staff changes during the year, but our Ministry Trainees, Kat Andrews, Drew Kennedy and Thane Campbell, moved on and we welcomed Archie Winnington-Ingram and Dani Neira as our new Trainees.
We continue to monitor the risks we face as a Church and to maintain policies on various aspects of church life and risk management. It is particularly important that we are aware of our child protection responsibilities, and all those working with children or vulnerable adults must be registered through the church under the PVG scheme. Anyone preparing food at the church (when that becomes possible again) must have a food hygiene certificate. Please contact Ian Naismith if you need more information.
Opportunities to serve
If you have expertise in any of the areas which fall under the Trustees, including practical skills, finance and risk management, we would be delighted if you were able to help. Please contact Ian Naismith or any of the Trustees if you’re interested.