Holy Rood Wool PCC



(Part of the West Purbeck Benefice)


The Church of the Holy Rood, Wool


Annual Report & Financial Statements of

The Parochial Church Council
for the year ended 31 December 2022

Incumbent:  Reverend Canon Richard Bartlett


This Annual Report will be presented at the

Annual Parochial Church Meeting on Sunday 23rd April 2023

Bank: Lloyds plc - Independent External Examiner:

Rachel Wisbey, 22 Green Lane, Crossways, Dorset

Letter from the Vicar

What a joy it has been to have been part of the ministry team here as Vicar of the West Purbeck Benefice since April 2022. Following my interview in November 2021 I was excited to be moving back to Purbeck, to an area I know and love, and to get to know the communities of Wool and the wider West Purbeck Benefice. Thank you for your warm welcome given to me in April, and to Jenny, Thomas, Benjamin and Katie when they moved here in July.  We feel very much at home here.

This first year of ministry here I am conscious of the need to understand the communities which make up the four parishes and seven churches that make up our beautiful benefice. So my nine months with you in 2022 have been a steep learning curve. Each of our church communities is unique; and I am grateful for the opportunities to spend time with and lead worship in each of our churches across the benefice. I appreciate that this is very different to the model when the Vicar served the parish of Wool and East Stoke only, so my presence is not quite the same as it might have been a generation ago, but I enjoy flying around on my motorbike and whilst not quite managing to be in two places at once, I can make two places in fairly quick succession! I am grateful to clergy and lay colleagues with whom I share the privilege of leading worship, which I am pleased to report that we have been able to increase significantly in the parish of Wool and East Stoke, both in church and in the D'Urberville Hall this past year, alongside an increased commitment to quarterly benefice services.

I am conscious too that as well as beginnings in a church there must be endings too, and would like to pay enormous tribute to the Teapot Club which ran so successfully for so many years and which came to an end at the end of the year. Thank you to Gren for so faithfully and pastorally leading it for so long. I would also like to pay tribute to those from our church community who have gone to greater glory this year.  Gill Webb’s legacy in this parish, in so many ways will live on, and I would like to thank her for all she was able to share with me in just a few short months. 

The report which follows gives an encouraging picture of a church which is alive, engaging with the community it serves and is ‘without walls’.  I look forward to us continuing, together, to build on this in the coming year.


Holy God
we thank you that you have called us to be your people across the West Purbeck Benefice.
We praise you for the beauty that surrounds us,
the people who make up our communities,
the visitors whom we welcome
and above all for the gift of faith you have given to us.
Help us through prayer and worship to grow closer to you,
through service and care to reflect your love,
and through mission to share your Good News

with all around us.

Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.



Annual Report for 2022


The Parochial Church Council (PCC) has the responsibility of co-operating with the Vicar and the Churchwardens in promoting the ecclesiastical parish of Wool & East Stoke, the whole mission of the Church, pastoral, evangelistic, social and ecumenical, as well as relating to the needs of those who worship at Holy Rood yet live out of the parish. The PCC is also responsible for the nomination of Foundation Governors for Wool C of E VA Primary School.


The number on our electoral roll for the year 2022: 98 (2021: 103, 2020: 102, 2019: 106, 2018: 110, 2017:105)


At the Annual Church Meeting on 8th May 2022 Mr Kevin Davies was nominated as Church Warden.


During the meeting on 15th September it was realised that Deputy Church Wardens had not been confirmed, the PCC then confirmed that Rod Webb would act as Deputy Church Warden along with Val Wilson.


Continuing with the Annual meeting 2022,  G Edwardes, S Burroughs, T McPherson agreed to serve on the PCC for a further 3 years.  Other continuing PCC members include D Cornes, K Davies, S Ealden, J Hunt, C Irwin, J Matthews, A Smale, D Trusk and R Webb.


The Standing Committee and the PCC each have met alternatively monthly (6 times for each) mainly in the Vicarage.  The Standing Committee for this year 2022 consists of Rev Bartlett, K Davies, R Webb, G Edwardes, J Hunt and T McPherson.  


The PCC reappointed Mrs Sue Burroughs as the PCC Secretary and Mrs Toni McPherson as the PCC Treasurer.


Mr Ron Newbury agreed to continue as Electoral Roll Officer.


We are very grateful to all the members of our PCC for being willing to serve us in this way and to our Church Wardens for their dedication, hard work and support within the life of our church.



The West Purbeck Benefice comprises of Holy Rood, Wool, St John the Baptist, Bere Regis and St Laurence, Affpuddle together with The Lulworth Parish Churches of Holy Trinity, West Lulworth, St Andrew, East Lulworth, St Nicholas, East Chaldon and St Christopher, Winfrith Newburgh.


February 2022 the West Purbeck Benefice Clergy Team comprised of Revd Jenny Alidina, part time Associate Priest and the Weddings Contact; Revd Sandra Williams Associate Priest 0.5 stipend with pastoral responsibility for Bere Regis and Affpuddle and Baptisms contact; Revd David Chillman, part time Associate Priest with pastoral responsibility for Winfrith, Chaldon, East Lulworth and West Lulworth.

April 2022 saw the appointment of Reverend Canon Richard Bartlett, full time Vicar of the West Purbeck Benefice.


Licensed Lay Leaders

Mrs Jenny Hunt (LLM), contact for funerals. Dr John Matthews (LLM)



Sunday Services & Online Worship

As we gradually returned with confidence to more in person worship so attendance at services has increased and we have been able to introduce more worship. In June we introduced a service of Holy Communion at 9am on the first Sunday of the month which meant that worship has returned to weekly in Holy Rood Church in the following pattern:


1st and 3rd Sunday, 9am Said Holy Communion, Book of Common Prayer

2nd and 4th Sunday, 10.30am Sung Holy Communion, Common Worship.

5th Sunday, 10.30am Benefice Eucharist.

Online worship has continued twice monthly, with a service of ‘Praise and Prayer’ led by our Lay Worship Leaders (LWLs) on the second Sunday of the month and an online Holy Communion Service on the third Sunday of the month, both at 10.45am.


This worship pattern is complemented by benefice wide Fresh Expressions of Church. Café Church on the first Sunday of the month remains hugely popular, with a following form across the benefice. In September we introduced a new range of services at 4pm, to appeal to different groupings and to reach further into the fringe and beyond of our church communities.


The pattern established is:

1st Sunday. Sung Evensong, using the Book of Common Prayer, at St John the Baptist, Bere Regis.

2nd Sunday. Soul Space. A quiet, meditative service using music from the Taizé community, moving around the churches of the benefice.

3rd Sunday. eXplore.  A new service, replacing the pre-Covid Supper Church, using drama, film, games, craft and discussion, finishing with a meal – particularly aimed at all ages.

4th Sunday. Messy Church. Moving between Holy Rood, Bere Regis, Winfrith and online – aimed at children and parents.


Thank you to everyone who has been involved in the offering of all of this worship: both up front leading and behind the scenes ensuring that everything is ready. It is our greatest privilege to worship God, and I am grateful to all who play your part in this here.

Revd Richard


Midweek services:

I am pleased that we have been able to increase our midweek service of Holy Communion from once a month to twice a month in the D’Urberville Hall and also in Bere Regis and online. Numbers have gradually increased and a time of fellowship is enjoyed after the service.


The pattern is now:

1st Wednesday. D’Urberville Hall

2nd Wednesday. St John the Baptist Bere Regis

3rd Wednesday . D’Urberville Hall

4th  Wednesday. Online.


Revd Richard



Morning Prayer

Each Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday a group meet at 8.30am on Zoom to launch the day with 30 minutes of morningprayer.  Some short interesting discussions develop about Bible passages or relevant saints or specific events. All are welcome - the Zoom link in published in The Link.

Dave McPherson


Holy Rood Prayer Chain

The prayer chain was re-started ten years ago and has continued its quiet ministry throughout this time. The prayer chain is co-ordinated by Jane Newbury and consists of three groups of pray-ers headed by group leaders, a total of twelve people.  Jane passes the request to the group leaders who in turn pass it to their groups and it goes no further.  This system has ensured confidentiality throughout the years, a high priority for the chain members, and thus avoided the ‘Chinese whispers’ problem.


Why have a prayer chain?  Praying for others is a theme found frequently in the Bible and often in Paul’s letters.  Members of the prayer chain are there to pray for anyone with any kind of problem, illness or difficulty, bringing their request before God and upholding them before Him.  We will pray for that person for as long as prayer is needed. Many people find this comforting, uplifting, strengthening and encouraging and some have said that they could ‘feel’ they were being prayed for.  Prayer requests come through the clergy or directly from the person requesting prayer.  It is a privilege to be part of this quiet ‘behind the scenes’ ministry.

Jane Newbury



Over the year 2022, each month two Sunday services of Communion involving hymns have been conducted. Diana Williams and John Matthews have alternated in providing the music on the organ for those services. Both of them have also been involved in incidental services, for example, during Holy Week, Remembrance Sunday, Remembrance Service for the bereaved, funerals and weddings. On a few occasions, other musicians from the congregation have been able to fill gaps caused by illness, holidays, etc.

The hymns are generally selected from a loaned set of books which avoids the need to print separate paper copies (as the old 'Pew Sheet') although this is still done for special and occasional services.

A set of music CDs were purchased several years ago as a backup against an organist not being available. The number of hymns is very limited and singing to them needs a strong leader.

Canned music has been used at Soul Space when it has been held in Wool. The keyboard has been used at the Wednesday Communions.

The choir has been on hold almost since the start of Covid lock-down. There are those who would like it to resume but a leader needs to be identified.

The organ is tuned every six months, but the tuner is not able to rectify the notes that regularly stick during damp weather (A, A sharp and B) on the Swell keyboard. Less occasionally, lower C sticks on the Great. The cost of a full overhaul to address this and other issues is a five-figure amount.

J Matthews (LLM and Organist)


Music continued…..

A huge thank you to Diana Williams and John Matthews who have faithfully played the organ for 10.30am services and other services in Holy Rood throughout 2022. I am also grateful to Paul Martin who has formed a new benefice choir to sing at benefice services on 5th Sunday of the month, and to the many members of the choir who are from Holy Rood.

Revd Richard



Outreach into the community is central to the life of a thriving church, because the church is called to serve the local community. Engagement with our Church of England Primary School is an important tool for outreach with children and families, and this has built up considerably during 2022, particularly through the contributions of our wonderful  ‘Open the Book Team’ who visit the school fortnightly to act out a  bible story, and fortnightly worship in church which I lead.  Our increased and varied services have given us an opportunity to reach a wider constituency of our community, as did a number of social and outreach events  for the Queen’s Jubilee, Experience Harvest and Harvest Festival, All Souls tide and Advent and Christmas – all of which rightly are referred to in their own section later in this report. It was a particular joy at the launch of the Christmas Tree Festival with the Bovington Military Wives Choir and the Canzonetta Concert to note that we welcomed the largest groups of people into church since pre-Covid.


Thank you to everyone who worked so hard to enable these events to happen.

Revd Richard




Home Groups


GIFT Report

GIFT (Girls in Fellowship Together) is a group of women with youngish children (zero to early teens) meeting informally on alternative Monday evenings. At half term we try to have a picnic in the garden including their children. Last spring that gave our new Vicar chance to meet many of them. We also managed a Christmas Party.

These ladies have been very supportive of the Shoe Box Appeal which we have been deeply involved in for over 30 years, and we managed to complete 328 this year for Wareham Rotary. Sadly, it is unlikely that this activity can continue any longer without fresh blood.

Our numbers have shrunk recently and without a new outreach to young mothers we may have reached as much as we are able. In particular, three key families have moved from Wool. If you know of anyone who would like to join us, please get in touch.

A highlight of the year was the wedding of Liwsi Williams to Dell Briscoe, with various members of GIFT and their children acting as a mixture of Maids-of-Honour and Bridesmaids. We wish them every blessing for the future.

P Matthews




Tuesday Home Group

The Tuesday group started again in September 2022, following the long break during the Covid epidemic. We agreed that, at least at first, it would be more manageable for us to meet fortnightly rather than weekly.

Our first series, shared by Chris and Judy, was based on a video course by Jeff Lucas entitled “Stop Looking  For The Will Of God”. It encouraged us to experience walking daily with God himself, seeking God for his own sake rather than seeing God as simply a problem-solver.

The second series, taking us up to Christmas, was a fresh look at the Advent story, which Chris had based on a video and also a book, both by Paula Gooder. We explored the background and characters involved leading to and from Jesus’ birth, and the precarious and dangerous way in which Jesus entered our world in order both to accompany and to save us.

After Christmas we started with a fun session called “Desert Island Books” in which we (the castaways) were able to choose just eight books of the Bible, explaining why we wanted them in preference to others. (The majority view was that eight is not nearly enough, and a minority view felt differently!)


The other 2023 sessions have followed a series from Judy on prayer. Many thanks to Judy for leading for the time being, and to John and Rosemary for kindly agreeing to host.

Chris Irwin


Wednesday Home Group

The Wednesday Home group was able to meet fairly regularly throughout 2022. Our studies included Worldwide Christian Issues, The minor prophets, Micah and Habbakuk, and also The Ten Commandments. We have also had some happy evenings discussing our favourite Bible passages and Prayers and their importance to us.

Diana Williams


Thursday Afternoon Home Group

The Thursday Home Group has continued to meet twice monthly on Thursday afternoons except during school holiday times. Attendance varies between 10 and 15. Sessions are led by a variety of persons, though some prefer to sit, listen and ask questions. At the time of writing we have been looking at some of the highlights in St Mark's Gospel and will return to that once the Lent Group is over. If we can think of a song relevant to the theme of the day, we'll have a go at singing it.

As well as looking at the scriptures we do a little bit of swopping news so we can support each other in the challenges of life and personal faith. We also commit to the Lord future events in our local churches through prayer. Typically we end after about 90 minutes with a cuppa and a piece of cake.

J D Matthews and A J Newbury







Teapot Club - The Final Report

Our twice monthly meetings continued during 2022. Attendance averaged around 15 each time, including some new ladies.  We have continued to enjoy fellowship, activities, quizzes, meals, and of course each ‘Thought for the Day’.

Activities have included:

  • A talk by Bex Okotel, from the local Christian charity Child Of Hope Uganda. Bex, together with her husband Moses, has founded three schools (and much associated community employment and health work) in one of Uganda’s poorest slum areas.
  • Helen Williams came from the Wareham Benefice to speak to us.
  • We enjoyed a session run by Sue Ealden encouraging us in gentle Pilates exercises. 
  • Craft afternoons included making Easter cards, and also several sessions making decorations for the Holy Rood Christmas Tree Festival, including decorating our own Teapot tree with scores of tiny teapots.
  • In December we enjoyed a Christmas lunch (from generous legacies and donations from former members).


And finally, an afternoon buffet and party with party games followed by Carol Singing. This was our last meeting after nearly 20 years of Teapot Club.

Sadly Teapot will no longer be meeting in 2023. I pray and trust all those who enjoyed our many good times together will remain friends and continue to support each other, as well as joining in other church activities in the future.

Gren Irwin




Funerals - 2022

Crematorium: eleven

Ashes: fourteen

Burials:  twelve

There was one Methodist Funeral Service lead by the Methodist Minister.

There is an agreement that allows this to happen.

J Hunt

Baptisms 2022 - 5


Marriages 2022 - 1


Pastoral Care & Home Communions


LPA Report from Pauline Matthews

The traditional role of an LPA (Lay Pastoral Assistant) has been to assist with Home Communions and provide pastoral support alongside the clergy. However, illness has reduced my ability to do these things in the summer and autumn. However, recently I have been able to support the pastoral care alongside our clergy of a parishioner on a first journey to faith.



Where possible I have supported Explore Easter and Open the Book which have reached out to school children with whom the church often has little contact. It thereby allows us to widen our contact with them. Messy Church (sometimes in a building and sometimes on Zoom) with its Craft Activities, has brought good fresh contact with children and their parents face-to-face.


LPA Report from Gren Irwin

I have been visiting and giving Home Communion to 3 - 5 people on a regular basis over the last year alongside the Revd Jenny Alidina. In addition, I have made frequent visits to the elderly and housebound, including many of the Ex Tea Pot members. Some of the folk I visit do not have internet connections so I take copies of the Link, and remind them of church activities which they might be able to attend with some assistance.

Finally, I maintain a lookout for the elderly who suddenly disappear from church and activities.


Safeguarding – Chris I


Dr Chris Irwin is the PSO for The Parish of Wool and East Stoke. He has produced a Report for Safeguarding covering 2022.

This is appended to this Report (Appendix 2).   

We are very grateful to Dr Irwin for his oversight and hard work in keeping everything in order and up to date for us. 



After the isolation during the COVID time, we welcomed a return to a wide range of enjoyable social and fundraising community events in 2022.


Shrove Tuesday

Pancakes were enjoyed in the D’Urberville Centre on Tuesday 1st March.


Platinum Jubilee celebrations were held during the weekend of 3 – 6th June 2022 in the village.  Holy Rood held a special service celebrating 70 years of Queen Elizabeth II reign.  The Social committee arranged a Big Lunch in the D’Urberville Hall where everyone was invited to bring their own picnic and help themselves to cakes which were generously donated.  It was a great success with many having their photographs taken with Her Majesty the Queen (cardboard cut out but very realistic)

On Saturday 2nd July the Church Fete was held with teas and Wareham Town Band playing. Sadly the weather moved this function into the church but was nevertheless, very much enjoyed.

In August we had summer garden teas, with delicious cakes and book stalls outside the Spar.

In September we celebrated Harvest with a service in The D'Urberville Hall followed by an enjoyable concert by the Purbeck Village Quire.

Experience Harvest with Wool Primary School

The children from Wool Primary School enjoyed a circus of activities in church to help them to thank God that appreciate how we harvest things from the land (crops, flowers, vegetables, clay etc), from animals (wool, meat etc) and from the  oceans (fish etc).



Tree Festival 24th November til 4th December

The theme of the 2022 Christmas Tree Festival (November 24th - Dec 4th) was to celebrate Community Spirit and applaud how we help each other. 14 groups from our parish set up an amazing display of Christmas trees, each decorated to represent the work their group did. They were lit and all proved so imaginative. The festival was launched by a delightful concert by the Military Wives Choir from Bovington (who also contributed a tree).  Mince pies and mulled wine were served during the interval.  Visitors on Saturday were able to view the display and enjoy tea and cake in the afternoon.  The Festival was open throughout the week and viewers often spent much time searching for hidden gems - the spade in the Guerrilla Gardeners' tree, the tickets on the 'Railway' tree, teapots on the TeaPot Club's tree along with the wonderful knitted characters on the Methodist Church Tree. One tree was a 'memory tree' on which people could hang their own thoughts to remember their departed loved ones, this is in Holy rood Church all year round.   The knitted characters depicting 'The 12 days of Christmas' (made by the community) reappeared after the Festival and were imaginatively displayed on the wooden tree supplied by the Sewing group, both were much admired.


Canzonetta 4th  December– a visit from this wonderful Ladies singing group was held at 4pm in the church which incidentally was packed.  This concert was followed by more mulled wine and mince pies.

Thanks to a generous donation, a Christmas Tree was installed outside the D'Urberville for all to enjoy.   Carol singing then took place around this tree on Christmas Eve. And also in the Black Bear and The British Legion.A lot of events took place in 2022, a welcome meeting of those in the Parish after the isolation during the COVID time.

Toni McPherson and Sue Burroughs




Deanery Synod Report for 2022

The Deanery Synod held a July and an October meeting. Two very different meetings. July, saw us at the Church of St John the Baptist - Bere Regis, beginning a new term with a Deanery Eucharist. What better way for new members  to come together. This was followed by a briefing on the “Dorset Historic Churches Trust” reminding us of their main fundraising event, the annual “Ride and stride”. We were told that ten parishes from the Purbeck Deanery had each raised more than £500 for 2021’s event.


We were also reminded of financial issues coming out of the Diocesan Synod meeting which pointed out the deficit in the accounts amounting to about two million pounds  over the next two years. Although there was encouragement that this would be managed successfully.

We were also reminded that Bishop Stephen was determined to keep a focus on mission and outreach and that Bishop Karen reminded there was support available for outreach projects from mission funds.


October’s meeting was at All Saints church hall Swanage. Here we were given an address on “Mission, don’t miss the bigger picture” by Rev Canon Richard Bartlett. Richard reminded the meeting that he had spent 6yrs working with USPG (“Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts” now named “United Society, Partners in the Gospel”) Working in groups we were the asked to consider a series of questions:

  • What is mission?
  • Whose mission, is it?
  • Who does mission?
  • Who receives mission?

The responses varied and were collated against the Anglican five marks of mission known as the five “Ts” – Tell, Teach, Tend, Treasure and Transform. Resulting in a very general summary “Mission should be understood as a holistic activity, encapsulating all five characteristics.” 


The meeting continued with routine admin including the appointment of Rev Dr Ian Bird as Rector of Swanage who should be installed at All Saints by July 2023. Thus bringing the deanery ordained ministers up to full establishment.

Finally there is still debates around the review of the Parish Share. Finances never being far away from members thoughts.

Meetings for 2023:  7th March at Sandford C of E Primary School.

  28th June at St George’ Church Langton Matravers

  18th October at All Saints Church Hall Swanage

All meetings start at 7.30pm with prayer and close about 9.30pm with prayer.

Jenny Hunt (LLM)



Wool CE VA Primary School

Wool Church or England Primary School, part of the Multi-Academy Trust, ‘Coastal Learning Partnership’ since February 2021 has continued to thrive, and links with Holy Rood Church have grown. The appointment of two new Foundation Governors, recommended by the church, to join John Matthews on the School Local Governing Body: Kevin Davies and Richard Bartlett, has increased our involvement in the governance of the school. The school governing body met four times in 2022 to ensure that the school fulfils all its statutory objectives, and Foundation Governors have the additional role of ensuring that the Christian ethos of the school is developed. Richard Bartlett was appointed Vice-Chair of Governors in July 2022.


Collective Worship is held daily in school – three times a week with the whole school together, and twice a week in classrooms.  The Open the Book team leads this fortnightly with a dramatization of a Bible passage and thought-provoking responses – thank you very much to Pat Wharf and the team for this; and the Vicar leads assembly in church once a fortnight. It has been very good to bring the children back into church again for this. At the beginning of April ‘Experience Easter’ was held in the grounds of the churchyard and in September ‘Experience Harvest’ was held in church.


We are very grateful to the large number of willing volunteers who led this.  Special services in church were held at the end of each term, and in July all of the year 6 leavers were presented with a Bible as a gift from the church.

Revd Richard  





The Holy Rood Wool Church Building


Churchwardens Fabric Report 2022

The Church again required remedial work throughout the year, not unsurprising considering the age of the building.


  • The toilet lock was repaired in May together with a complete repainting of the inside walls of the church.
  • The quinquennial inspection took place in June by Crickmay Stark Architects. Several areas were highlighted by the architect which required immediate attention. These included the repair of missing roof tiles, removal of weeds on the bell tower and an unsafe grave monument. Other areas require attention including pointing of the South porch roof edging, cementing of a loose edge stone and wood treatment of the boiler room door - these will be attended to at a future date.
  • The necessary roof tile replacement, along with repairs to the lead flashing on the bell tower was completed by the end of the year and the removal of the bell tower weeds in July. The unsafe grave monument is an ongoing issue mainly due to the high cost of repairing it.
  • The new school gate was completed in June allowing access from the school car park without the need for an attending volunteer.
  • EET (Electrical Equipment Testing – previously known as PAT) was carried out by Malcolm Pettit on all portable electrical equipment including the PA system and large screen display mid June.
  • All of the church inventory was accounted for during the annual stocktake which was undertaken in May.

Kevin Davies (Churchwarden 2022)


Churchyards in the Parish 2022


Coombe Keynes Churchyard Report


The churchyard is subject to a yearly maintenance schedule:

  • This involves at least 2 full grass cuts in July and November. We very much want to maintain the wildflowers and nature reserve aspects of the churchyard hence cuts are timed very much with this in mind.
  • Hedging and shrubs are regularly cut back and there is a future intention to lay some of the hedging in order to thicken it up.
  • Gravestones are cleared of grass and weeds when attention is required.
  • Grass paths are cut throughout of the year in order to allow visitors to move around the churchyard at will.
  • All relevant work has been carried out in 2022.


We are proud of the responsibility we carry for the graveyard and attempt to maintain it to the highest standards that we are able to. Visitors are most welcome, and we would encourage as many of you as possible to visit this tranquil place of peace.

Nick Salt




Holy Rood Churchyard Report


The Wool Churchyard maintenance team consist of about 10 members, although not everyone can get along to each of the monthly work sessions. This year, as well as tidying paths, trimming back tree growth, clearing out drains and general gardening jobs, we’ve carried out a few repairs where necessary: eg gateposts and toilet flooring.


To keep on top of the heavier jobs such as cutting back hedges and path restoration, we’ve had to resort to employing contractors more than we normally would.


There are a few unstable monuments in the churchyard which will need to be secured, and in the meantime we’ve taken steps to make them safe. Smaller ones can be fixed by the maintenance team in the summer months, but there is one large Gaelic cross that requires professional attention.


We’re hoping to welcome a POPS team (People On Probation Service) to help us with various tasks in the coming year. We’ve had two visits from Placement Coordinators who are keen to help out, but each time the project has stalled firstly due to Covid and then due to a lack of supervisors. As well as groundwork, they would be able to undertake jobs such as painting of metal gates and restoration of wooden benches.


Whether or not we get help from contractors and the probation service, there is usually a list of a dozen smaller jobs that need doing each month, so we could always do with extra pairs on hands! We meet on the first Saturday of the month from around 9:30am.

Tony Smale


The Bellringing Report


The Bell Frame

The cleaning and preparation of the bell frame continued through the winter months and repainting, including the top frame, was completed in the warm weather.

During regular maintenance inspections it was found that the bolts holding the bells to the wooden headstocks had slackened due to the dry summer and we were unable to tighten them due to corrosion. Further examination revealed that the leather washers which bed the bolts to the bell had hardened and broken up.

John Taylor & Co were contracted to supply new parts and labour to rectify the problem.  The bulk of the work was undertaken by the ringers who also freed off and lubricated the gudgeon “U” bolts which support the axels the bells swing on.  Some minor work is still outstanding and will be completed when conditions improve.

The bells are now slightly easier to ring and control and also some improvement in tone has been observed.


Bell Ringing

There is now a core band of six ringers supplemented by Geoff and Pauline when available.  Practices and Sunday service ringing has continued when practical though often with reduced numbers.


The band needs to recruit and train new ringers if ringing is to continue.  This has been deferred until the warm weather due to the bitter cold conditions in the Church and dark evenings which are discouraging.  Traditionally teenagers were recruited from the Church and village but this has been avoided in recent years due the onerous safeguarding requirements for under 18s.

Phil Miles

The Flower Team

A huge thank you to the Flower team who ensure there are flowers in church each week, apart from Lent and Advent when tradition dictates that there are no flowers in church.  The team also come together at Easter and Christmas to do the big displays of flowers; during Easter, Christmas and the Remembrance Service, there is always a magnificent display on the pedestal thanks to Judith Atwell.  Wool Primary School also took a turn in May and the children created some lovely paper displays.  Many of the flowers placed in church are donated, often in memory of a loved one. 


Church Cleaning Team

A huge thank you to the volunteer Cleaning team who ensure the church and the toilet attached are kept clean.  If you think you would like to help please contact Sue Burroughs, a few more helpers would be gratefully appreciated.  The more that help the less weeks we all do.

Sue B


Unlocking and Locking the Holy Rood Church Daily

Another thank you must go to those who unlock and lock the church.  The church is open 10am til 4pm daily.  The duty is on a weekly rota and ensures that anyone who would like to visit the church for a quiet moment in prayer or visitors who are just interested in the wonderful history of our ancient building can enter.  Recently a group of students came in to take photos for their GCSE course, all are welcome to visit and enjoy the space.

Sue B



Volunteers that welcome all to services, hand out books and take communion to the altar and arrange collection.

The Rota is working well for the 10.30am services at Holy Rood with Val Wilson taking the lead with a number of the congregation who have volunteered to help.  For all other services Easter Christmas etc Val requests offers of help before hand.

Val Wilson



West Purbeck Benefice Church Office

I am very grateful for Sue Sharpe, our Benefice Administrator, who leads the administration of a complex four parish, seven church benefice.  Sue produces the weekly West Purbeck Link, which has all the up to the minute news and items for prayer, which is distributed electronically to those on the mailing list and 5/10 hard copies are left on the font in church for those without the internet.  The Benefice Office holds our GDPR records and ensures that we are compliant in all of our communications.  

Revd Richard


Electronic Communication, IT (Social media and Websites)


Social Media

Throughout 2022 there was a sharing of Church information through social media using Facebook (Revd Richard and Sue Burroughs) and we continued to engage with the local community through the use of platforms such as Wool Community Facebook page and Wool dates run by Sue Bartlett.



Website Report 2022-23

Both our parish and benefice websites have been kept up to date and running, until the end of February 2023. I am very grateful to everyone who has sent me material to use on it, pictures to display, and news to share over the past many years. The new and attractive Benefice Link sheet was a very good source for me to trawl as well, so thank you to Sue the Benefice Administrator.

The Benefice website was instituted in 2019 (as a temporary measure pending a better system!). Like the earlier and separate Holy Rood website, which dates back to 2004 and still in use, it has suffered from the use of some very old software designed by Microsoft over 20 years ago.

This software takes quite a while to use, involving several processes and some other programmes. It is unsuitable for a modern operating system, for modern web design features, unsuitable for multiple people updating it, and also unsuitable for the extensive use of mobile phones and similar devices when people want to access it.


When I heard last September that a new system was at last being put in place, I decided that after 18 years it was time gratefully to hand over the two websites (our own and that of the Benefice). At the PCC meeting in mid September I offered to continue until 30th November 2022. The idea was to give 10 weeks to allow a smooth transition, by which time a new system would be in place. In fact setting up a website is not as easy as it might seem, and on 2nd March 2023 the work has not been fully completed although I believe the opening date is expected shortly.


I shall therefore not be in Wool to do any more updates, nor here when the transfer takes place. I wish the new system and its creators well. Hopefully it will allow many new possibilities and create a new public presence on the web, fit for the years to come.

Chris Irwin

I am very grateful to Chris Irwin who has maintained and updated our benefice website. We thanked Chris at the end of 2022 for this work, as we prepare to launch a new website and social media in early 2023. The Website address remains the same: www.westpurbeck.org.uk

Revd Richard



The PCC wish to say a big thank you to all those who work tirelessly to ensure we all stay in touch and are kept informed and meet legal requirements.
















Annual Report & Financial Statements of  The Parochial Church Council

for the year ended 31 December 2022


Bank: Lloyds plc - Independent External Examiner: Rachel Wisbey, 22 Green Lane, Crossways, Dorset




BANK ACCOUNTS (Lloyds Bank).  Our Designated Account holds the funds which are restricted for several specified purposes (listed in statement).  Our General Fund receives donations and is for paying all bills and salaries.  We do not have a separate Benefice Account so these restricted moneys are recorded  as a separate entity within the General Account.  Both the main accounts are recorded on a Receipts and Payments basis.  Additionally, we have investment accounts (3 Trusts and a Deposit Account) and we monitor 2 funds for East Stoke Church and 1 for East Burton, both redundant churches.  All the above accounts have been inspected and approved by an independent examiner (Mrs Rachel Wisbey, Chartered Certified Accountant).  Full and signed accounts may be viewed on request. A further account receives fees from Weddings and Funerals; these are transferred to the above accounts as needed, leaving only a smallish balance. It is seen monthly by member(s) of the PCC and audited by The Diocese Accounts department.



Summary Table


General Fund

Designated Fund

Investment Value



£600.62 inc.

£307.23 for Benefice



£4364 inc.

£495.62 for bellringers


Our Trusts £22,146.96

Our Deposit AC £914.65  

E.Stoke Trusts £5,831.10

E.Burton Trusts £655.47


END BALANCE 31/12/2022

£3042.08 inc. £38.61 for Benefice.

£3652,36 inc.

£514.62 for bellringers



Our Trusts £19,527.72

Our Deposit AC £926.68

E.Stoke Trusts £5144.69

E.Burton Trusts £596.05



We wish to say a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone for remembering us and for sending BACs, cheques and cash regularly;  also we send massive thanks to everyone who cooked, baked, manned, mowed, weeded, served and turned up to enjoy each of the fund raising events.  Also a big thank you to the Parishes of Bere Regis, Affpuddle and The Lulworths who have contributed to our shared office costs - salary and rent.




Income, Donations and Fund Raising

Total income was £65,130 (£63,300 last year). See Appendix 1 for a breakdown of the sources.  Additionally we had fee income £9605 (£7496) and investment income £581 (£567).  Much of the remaining income was from fundraising (£2880) including the sponsored Dorset Historic Churches Ride and such enjoyable events as concerts, pancake lunches, coffee mornings, Christmas Tree Festival etc.  Being part of the West Dorset Benefice, we received contributions from our partner churches towards the cost of our office and administrator £2886).


Legacies, Bequests, Grants and Loans

Legacies: None.  Thanks to Mrs Pratt’s £2500 bequest (RIP), we were able, at last, to repaint all the inside walls of the church and make repairs to tiles, roof, boiler and organ.  As always we receive grants for the upkeep of war graves from RTR, RAC and Commonwealth (£344).


Reserves Policy

Our 3 Investment Trust accounts and our Deposit Account are kept as reserves; the former to help maintain graves and the latter to ensure we maintain our commitment to pay our Fairer Share in full. 


Charitable Giving

We acted as ‘conduits’ and/ or organised service collections for The Children’s Society (£63), Christian Aid (£225), Sudan (£226), Ukraine Relief (£81), Royal British Legion (£140), Wareham Foodbank (£120).  We have £233 set aside for other giving.


What we have achieved financially

Where did your money go?  Amongst other things…..

  • The inside of the church was painted;
  • Pastoral care, including home communion provision,  has continued as always;
  • The zoom services have continued, albeit on a smaller scale now that most have returned to church services;
  • All pupils leaving Wool C of E Primary school received their bible to help them move forward;
  • The children at Wool Church of England Primary School enjoyed a morning of ‘Experience Harvest’  and ‘Experience Easter’;
  • The Church has been beautifully decorated with flowers and greenery on so many occasions and we celebrated Christmas with Christmas trees, candles and decorations in the church;
  • We paid £300 towards the maintenance of the Coombe Keynes Churchyard;
  • We maintained our D’Urberville office, including a paid administrator;
  • We paid a professional cleaner for a once a month clean of our church;
  • We paid £680 to have the churchyard hedges cut - our maintenance team need more support; 
  • We paid all our bills inc. 11 of the 12 instalments of the £44,145 we pay to the Diocese towards our vicar and vicarage.


Costs have been kept down considerably by volunteers (playing the organ, decorating, mending, maintaining the church and churchyard  and donating materials).  A big thank you to everyone.


The Future

We must pay off the £4000 arrears from 2022 Fairer Share and somehow find the £49,000 The Diocese has requested for our 2023 contribution.  We are still struggling to solve our disabled and parking access - the new small gate by the school has helped and the increased use of the D’Urberville Hall has enabled all to enjoy services and functions. We have restarted Community lunches (First Wednesday of each month) and hope to expand this provision.  We look forward to the Coronation celebrations and the relaunch of our church fete. 


Thanks to the whole Finance Team

The finances are managed by a team, including  Geoff Edwardes, who authorises bank payments, checks and reports on the online bank accounts every month,  Chris Irwin, who reclaims our ‘non-PGS’ Gift Aid and all who count and deliver collections from services and functions. All massive jobs. So my HUGE thanks to all the helpers for their friendly and very efficient help, guidance and error finding. 

Treasurer: Toni McPherson 


Note: Gift payment methods:  Parish Giving Scheme (ask Toni for a simple form - Gift Aid is collected monthly), BACs (ask Toni for our bank details), Cheques (to PCC Wool & East Stoke) and bank standing


See Appendix 1 for the more detailed Finance Tables 


Treasurer: Toni McPherson 





The final words of this report must be ‘Thank you’.


Thank you to everyone who has made all that we read in this report happen, and thank you to God who has sustained, strengthened and guided us through it all. 


We have, with God’s grace, achieved a lot, and I look forward to building on this with you in the coming year too.


Revd Richard





Signature   Date   30thMarch 2023


Reverend Canon Richard Bartlett




Appendix 1 – Finance Tables


Appendix 2 - Safeguarding Report for 2022 -  Holy Rood PCC, Wool

There have been no major safeguarding incidents in the period 1st Jan 2022 — 31st Dec 2022. No formal reports have been made, or needed to be made, to the statutory authorities.

We have details for 33 people in our church who are or may be active in various roles. Most roles require some safeguarding training. Some people in those roles also need the right level of Criminal Record Clearance (“DBS”1).

Most church activities involving children or vulnerable adults, need 3‑yearly safeguarding training. It is important that anyone appointed (or re‑appointed after an interval) to a role has had their training needs and DBS needs explained to them and addressed. That responsibility lies with whoever it is that appoints them. It does not happen automatically. I can help, once the volunteer and I have both been informed.

DBS[1] - Facts and Figures

In late 2021 the DBS renewal interval was reduced from 5 to 3 years. (This interval is mostly used by schools and other public bodies.) If our volunteers join the free DBS update service as soon as their DBS is reported clear, this should avoid the need for repeated applications 3 yearly for the same DBS. The individual themselves must join the update service straight away online after their DBS is reported. (It must be done within a month).


2020 report

2021 report

2022 (this) report

Total number registered for safeguarding*




Total needing a DBS*




Overdue on 1st Feb 22*




Due in 2023




Due 2024—25




*(Excludes anyone not involved in an active relevant role in Holy Rood church between 1st January 2022 and 1st Feb 2023.)


Safeguarding Training - Facts and Figures


2020 report

2021 report

2021 (this) report

People needing some form of training




Leadership (also called C2, 3, or 5)




Overdue C2, 3, or 5 Leadership




Due C5 this year 2022




Due C5 2024-2025








Foundation (also called C1)




Overdue C1




Due this year




Due 2024-2025








*(Excludes anyone not currently involved in a relevant role in Holy Rood church)


The people overdue for C1 are apparently not taking up their former roles hence are unlikely to do the training unless and until they decide to do so.

Basic Awareness Training (previously called C0)

The Basic Awareness course is in a slightly different category to the higher levels in that it is not a requirement for most people. It is mostly advised as a way of promoting a culture in our church of all being equally concerned in safeguarding awareness to protect the vulnerable.

Members of the PCC are all expected to do at least a C0 course according to the House of Bishops’ guidance in the Parish Safeguarding Handbook. Everyone so far has always willingly done so.

PCC only

(and Deputy Churchwardens)

2020 report

2021 (this) report

2021 (this) report

C0 Basic Awareness or higher level








Due this year




Due 2024-2026




Getting DBS and training done

About training courses

The Basic Awareness and Foundation courses are both now online via the National Church. This has proved a hurdle too far for some, but Covid made it necessary and it’s usually far more convenient than attending in person.

As last year, when many activities had to be curtailed, there is lessening enthusiasm to renew one’s DBS and take part in online training courses. Hopefully that will improve as activity increases.

Final statements

I confirm we do have a Safer Recruitment Policy in place. (If someone volunteers for a new role, in almost all cases they’ll need to be made aware by whoever appoints them that they will also have to fill in a confidential declaration, undertake an online training course, and where appropriate obtain a DBS.)

I confirm that safeguarding is a standing agenda item at each PCC meeting and that the Wool and East Stoke PCC has complied with its duty to have due regard to the House of Bishops’ guidance in relation to safeguarding.

Chris Irwin

Parish Safeguarding Officer

February 2023


[1] A “DBS” is a government instituted criminal record clearance. The letters stand for “Disclosure and Barring Service”

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