Minutes of the Twentieth Annual General Meeting of the Friends of the Church in India held on Saturday 6 October 2012

The Twentieth Annual General Meeting of the Friends of the Church in India was held on Saturday 6 October 2012 at the YMCA Indian Student Hostel, London with approximately 70 members of FCI attending and eligible to vote.

1 Welcome and apologies

The Chair, Julie Lipp-Nathaniel, welcomed everyone.  Apologies had been received from:Dr Martin and Mrs Gillian Heath, Revd Charles and Mrs Mary-Ardil Watson, Mr Steve Pearce (Methodist Partnership for Asia and Pacific), Dr Philip John, Canon Arun John.

2 Minutes of the Annual General Meeting 2011

These were approved for signature, as recommended by the Management Committee and signed by the Chair.  A copy had been posted on the website.

3 The Secretary’s report

Mrs Angela Wingate presented her report for 2012 (Appendix 1)

4 The Treasurer’s report

Revd Suresh Kumar presented his report and statement of accounts for the nine months period from April 2011 to December 2011 as the financial year is to be January to December from 2012.(Appendix 2).  Suresh reported that for FCI Day 2012 there were around 70 registrations and 80 people attending.  The decline in members attending has a financial effect.  Julie thanked Suresh for his work as treasurer and asked FCI members to consider how more people could be interested in joining FCI. The Membership Secretary, Margaret Smith pointed out that, as the accounts are for nine months only and several subscriptions are paid in January and February, the financial position was not as bad as it appeared.

5 Election of Officers

1) Chair:  As Revd Julie Lipp Nathaniel wished to resign as Chair, the Management Committee’s nomination for the post was Revd Jessie Anand.  No other nominations had been received prior to the AGM and Jessie was elected unanimously.

2) Treasurer: Revd Suresh Kumar had completed three years as treasurer and was willing to stand again.  He was re elected unanimously.

3) Editor of Pilgrim: The retiring Editor, Revd Dr Timothy Mark spoke of his delight at editing eight issues of Pilgrim and was happy to propose Revd Dr Joshva Raja John Christopher as the new Editor, with the unanimous support of the Management Committee.  Joshva was introduced to the FCI members and was elected with no votes against and one abstention.

Margaret Smith asked about the vacancy for an FCI elected member to replace Jessie, the new Chair.  The secretary explained that no notice of this election had been given in Pilgrim so FCI members not on the Management Committee had not had an opportunity to nominate a candidate.  The election could take place next year.

6 Future developments and proposal from the Chair

The proposal to explore ways to extend the friendship with all United and Uniting Churches of South Asia, including the Mar Thoma Church was introduced by the Chair, who said it was important to consider what we were capable of and what was the genuine opinion of the Churches.  Revd Murdoch McKenzie spoke about strengthening ties with the Fellowship of St Thomas (FOST), active in Scotland, which has links with the Indian subcontinent. FOST members were in favour of this. Contributions from FCI members with a range of views, for and against the proposal, were heard but when a vote was taken, there were no votes against with one abstention so the proposal was accepted.  Revd Julie Lipp Nathaniel  said any developments would be posted the website and a report given at the next AGM.

7 Date and venue of next AGM

Saturday 5 October 2013 at the YMCA Indian Student Hostel, London.
(Editor’s Note: See revised details of FCI Day 2013 here.)

8 Any Other Business

Jessie Anand expressed thanks to Julie, the retiring Chair for her inspirational vision.

The meeting ended at 3.15pm


Angela Wingate

21 October 2012

Appendix 1   FCI Secretary’s Report 2012

The Annual FCI Day in 2011 was held on 1 October when the celebrant and preacher at the Eucharist was Revd Dr Chellian Lawrence.and we were very happy that his wife, Malar and family came too.   In the afternoon Vincent Manoharan spoke about issues for Christian Dalits.  The time for discussion was short and, as you now know, it was decided to reverse the order of the day for this year, with the presentation in the morning and Eucharist in the afternoon to see if this is more acceptable.  (The AGM is not to be moved from 2pm!)  The number attending FCI Day last year was fewer than in 2010 and, as in all the recent years, several members have died during the year– we shall remember them in the Eucharist.

2012 has been the year for the St Thomas Unity Lecture, which was presented by Brian Dunn, a Canadian doctoral research student, who spent his childhood in India and several years of his adult life working there too.  His lecture was on the Indian Christian theologian, Bishop Appasamy, and Comparative Theology and was very well received in the eight cities where it was delivered. It would have been good to have larger audiences but for those not able to hear the lecture, it is available for reading on the website.  We are very grateful to Margaret Smith, the coordinator for the Unity Lecture programme, for the excellent arrangements made to get Brian from Blackburn to London, Belfast and Edinburgh and all places in between.

In the two Management Committee meetings held during the year some thought has been given to the decline in membership of FCI and what this might mean for the future .  It was decided to ask members for their views on looking into widening the friendship to all United and Uniting Churches of South Asia and we will do this later in this meeting.  There has been the opportunity to comment on this proposal on the website forum and we thank the webmaster, Roy Smith, for facilitating this and those members who have expressed their points of view.  Time for evaluation is needed.

As usual, we have enjoyed two excellent editions of Pilgrim this year and we cannot thank Timothy Mark enough for all his work as Editor of our highly respected journal.  It is with much sadness that we have accepted Timothy’s resignation from his post and hope we may elect another editor to continue in his footsteps. 

It is sad, too, that we are to lose Julie Lipp-Nathaniel as Chair of the Management Committee and we record the deep gratitude felt by the committee for all Julie has done as Chair.  She has brought life to FCI and a window on the wider church.  We give thanks for the service of the committee members who have retired during the year, Margaret Smith (Miss) and Margaret Addicott  and for all those members who regularly attend, giving ideas and support and accepting responsibility for jobs , especially Jessie Anand, who has, for the last three years, taken on the task of coordinating arrangements for the Eucharist, a special time in our Annual day.


Appendix 2: Treasurer’s Report. Click here to view pdf file.


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