Planning for the Millennium - PCC Report

The proposed new stone churchThe PCC met as usual in the thatched hut beside the narrow marsh and opened with prayers led by Thurgan the Red in the absence of anyone in clerical habit. Minutes of the meeting on 12th May 999 were recited and agreed. The main business was a to discuss a report from the Millennium sub-committee presented by Guthlac. Unfortunately written copies were not available due to the continuing vellum shortage - and in part because no member of the committee could write.

New church

The main proposal for a fitting project to celebrate the Millennium was to rebuild the church wholly or partly in stone:

  • With a proper roof of modern materials – not traditional thatch
  • To a design of millennial and symbolic significance
  • Suitable for modern liturgical developments
  • Presenting a more contemporary image of the church to the world.

Recent years have seen considerable maintenance problems with the present wooden structure and something had to be done. The Fabric Committee had already reported on beetle invasion in the north wall, wet rot on the Broad Marsh side and continual problems with protecting the thatch from nesting pigeons, to say nothing of recent riot damage. Site chief, Ar Morel, has frequently spoken of the difficulties in obtaining skilled and reliable maintenance staff in the current climate of high employment, especially in military occupations. Skilled thatchers were abnormally scarce following recent battles and burnings.

Money to pay for the project was initially seen as a problem, particularly with the begging scheme devised by Bonnyface the Friendly for the 997-1002 Five-Year Plan. After a short discussion however, it was agreed that One-eyed Thugwolf and his discreet team of volunteer fundraisers would handle the matter. No difficulties were anticipated in meeting targets, though prayers for the sick may be longer for a month or two.

The Millennium Committee had also investigated a proposal from some local pie vendors (Mark Kup and Spen Dyr) for a small-scale land swap by which the church would acquire an additional building for pastoral purposes - swill for the poor, free delousing, clergy offices, etc. It could sell hot mead and cakes at lunchtimes and Musician Drooteeg had ideas to use the building for a series of ‘Mead-Break Concerts’ which no one quite understood. Further consideration would be needed before any recommendation could be made.

The scheme for synchronised lynching of 1,000 felons was not thought appropriate considering the small population of the town after Danish massacres.

The Committee felt the proposed Millennium Dome Tent for the king was not a suitable project to support and no donation should be made. Any collectors/enforcers were to be misdirected to the church beyond Weekday Cross.

The committee supported the Jubilee 1000® campaign for the relief of serfs and villeins from gross indebtedness and bondage to their lords. Many would join the planned ‘human rope’ demonstration at the Martinmas Moot and other symbolic bond-breaking events. However the freeing of all slaves was thought too radical and not possible without agreement of the whole church. Three dissenting members of the PCC would be reported to their owners.

Other business

Yet further discussion on carrying weapons in church. It was agreed to maintain traditional practice of allowing concealed daggers, with larger arms like swords, clubs, etc left outside. However, since liturgical changes based on the Canons of Edgar, with sermons drawn from Ælfric’s books of homilies, the PCC has had several complaints of swords going rusty during the longer services. It was agreed to erect a shelter near the porch for temporary storage during worship. This would be known as the St Peter’s Arms House.

Arrangements were in hand for the Reception of Miscreants Service at the end of the month, and several potential penitents have already been nominated.

The Magazine Orator reported that the new on-line edition was well received, with 27 visitors on-logging at the Market Cross terminal in one week. Service is temporarily suspended while the seating log is replaced and the terminal speaker recovers from a sore throat. Scribes estimate the next illustrated weekly news sheet will be available within 3-5 years. [news backlog now down to 56.34 months].

The next PCC meeting will be held 4 days after Michaelmas when Abbot Winebald of Burton will speak on the theological distinction between driving live beasts on a Sunday (which is forbidden) and carrying dead beasts (which is not). The Education Committee will report on ‘Stained glass imagery as a means of evoking in the young a positive inclination towards matters of faith, morals, decency, respect for their elders and being good in church and outline a new ‘Latin for Lay’ course.

In line with open communication policy, minutes will be recited in the churchyard at 4.00pm each Wednesday.

Jim McLean

Find out our plans for the second Millennium
© St Peter's Church, Nottingham
Last revised 4th July 1999