Belmont Parish Hall Association

Report to the 2011 APCM of St. Mary Magdalene Church, Belmont.

1st January 2010 to 31st December 2010

The life of Belmont Parish Hall goes from strength to strength and we have enjoyed another busy and rewarding year. It was lovely to see Rob Innes (my predecessor), home in the summer from his Church in Brussels with Helen and ‘the children’. I know it gave Rob great delight to see the original vision for the Parish Hall realised to such an extent.


Our regular users continued throughout 2010 and there was an increase in their numbers by 6% on 2009 (19,729 from 18,554). This was despite two spells of severe weather which adversely affected the use of the Hall. The impact of the bad weather at the end of the year was also reflected in reduced income (about £625 for November and December) from bookings, as activities had to be cancelled, and in higher utility bills! Hall charges were reviewed again this year.

Building and Grounds

With the continual heavy use of the Hall, more attention has been needed to maintain the building and its systems, inside and out, to its usual high standard.  Much work has been done this year as needs have arisen.

The condition of the paths around the Hall has severely deteriorated (weather again!) and in early 2011 they will be re-surfaced.

The path lights have been vandalised a number of times and have been de-commissioned while we asses for the most suitable new type of lighting.

Lead theft in the area has been on the increase again and the roof lead and rainwater goods were ‘Smart-watered’ as a deterrent.

Much of this work has been done to his usual high standard by ‘our’ builder, Bob Anderson.


Our Hall Manager Mandy Stagg left at the end of October because of increasing family commitments. We were very sad to see Mandy go and the evidence of her excellent work with people, the building and in administration is clear to see.  We wish her well. We were delighted to welcome Harriet Pritchard as our new Manager at the beginning of November and she continues the vital and stretching role and tasks of the post wonderfully.  One of the first pieces of work Harriet has already completed with Stuart Thompson is the launch of our impressive website. Visit and see for yourself! Thank you both very much for this excellent piece of work.

Committee membership has remained quite stable this year. Joe Knight has joined us but sadly Chris Percival felt the need to step down, though thankfully remains very active in running the well-attended Lunchtime Concerts in aid of the Hall ‘Piano Fund’. We hope to have a brand new grand piano in place soon as the target for the fund-raising has almost been reached – and almost in the space of a year!

Thanks go again to all the many volunteers who continue to give their gifts and time so generously to the life of the Parish Hall and to the members and officers of the Hall General Committee as they continue to meet regularly through the year. The General Committee met six times in 2010 including for our AGM in May and for an Extraordinary Meeting in October to review Hall Charges. Trustees meet in addition on alternate months at an ‘Interim Meeting’.

Sue Halliday is now well into her third and final year as Mission Enabler – an initiative shared with Belmont PCC and funded by the Diocesan Mission Fund. The impact of her work has been very significant to, and wonderfully positive for, the three ‘Fresh Expressions’ of church that run during the week in the Hall.

Jean Foulds and John Cotton have continued to serve us as Hon. Secretary and Hon. Treasurer respectively and as ever we remain indebted to them for their work. We also continue to be very, very thankful to Babs our cleaner who somehow keeps the whole place clean in the midst of its near continual use!

Hall Social Events:

Our Fund-raising Committee has had great fun this year organising a number of social events again. Our target is to raise about £5,000 a year. We have had a second ‘Geordie Night’ (February), a Jazz BBQ (June), our first and fantastically successful Christmas Fayre (November) and our third ‘Carols by Candlelight’ evening (December.)

Thank you again to all who have supported the work of Belmont Parish Hall Association in so many wonderful and diverse ways in 2010. Without you we could not have made it the flourishing gathering place at the heart of our local community that it is. God has been good to us – as ever!


Canon Di Johnson

Chair of the Belmont Parish Hall Association.

Vicar of Belmont and Pittington