|Vicar and Clergy
The vicar is the spiritual leader of the church and is supported by a range of people all of
whom have roles and responsibilities in ensuring that the church is managed and thrives.
The church is run by a committee called the Parochial Church Council (PCC) which meets
on a monthly basis.
The PCC (Parochial Church Council) is the group responsible for managing all aspects of
the church. It consists of the Vicar and any other permanent clergy, the Churchwardens (1),
delegates to Deanery and Diocesan Committees plus 9 members elected by the church
(1). The PCC meets on a monthly basis.
There are four main sub-committees or teams reporting to the PCC at St. Mary’s:
Worship – which looks after all aspects of the services.
Finance – which is responsible for looking after the financial affairs of the church.
Pastoral Care and Outreach - which looks at the church within the community of
Building and Fabric – which looks after the maintenance and restoration of all the
physical aspects of the building and grounds.
These teams make recommendations to the main PCC meeting as appropriate.
Note (1): Church members elect members of the PCC at the Annual General Meeting –
however, all baptised people in the parish are allowed to be involved in the selection of the
Churchwardens at the Annual Parochial Meeting because in the past, Churchwardens were
responsible for civil order as well as for the church.
NB: AGM Reports are available on-line at this link AGM Reports
Back in the 1950s, approximately 85% of C of E income came from investments and 15%
from parish giving. To-day, because of inflation and the provision of pensions for clergy –
which did not exist in the past – 85% of all income is raised from collections at services and
fees from weddings and funerals and only 15% from investment. Although the Church of
England is a large landowner, much of the land, such as Ecclesfield churchyard, cannot be
sold or used for another purpose.
The annual cost of running the church in Ecclesfield is £95,000. This includes maintenance
of the building, heating, lighting, insurance and security system plus a full-time vicar. A gift
of around £60,000 is made by Ecclesfield church each year to the Diocese of Sheffield
towards the cost of the vicar’s housing, Council Tax, Pension and his stipend (salary), and
to support other churches within the Diocese. We do take advantage of Gift Aid which
boosts the giving from people who pay tax and we can reclaim VAT for certain types of
Our income comes entirely from gifts from visitors and people who attend church services
plus there is a total income of around £15,000 each year from the fees for weddings and
funerals. Most years it is a struggle to balance the books!
Contrary to the popular held belief, there is no income from the Government or the national
Church of England or Sheffield City Council or Ecclesfield Parish Council to provide the
services or maintain and run the building.
|Please consider the
environment before printing
pages from this website.
|Baby Changing Facility
|Large Print Hymn
|Hearing Loop and
|Assistance and Guide
|Church Open Weekdays
|Live Music for Services
|Audio Visual Aids
|Bells and Bell Ringers
Tuesday & Friday
|Information and Guides
|Grade 1 Listed Building
|Tower and Crenulated
|Adjacent Gatty Hall
Available for Hire
|We Support FairTrade
|Stained Glass Windows
|Some features of our Church
|Sheffield Diocese was created in 1914, before that Sheffield was part of the Diocese of
York. The Diocese (like all others except Europe) is divided into parishes. Like the
Diocesan Synod which includes Bishops, clergy and elected lay-people. The parish is the
heart of the Church of England. Each parish is overseen by a parish priest (usually called a
vicar or rector) although a vicar or rector may be responsible for more than one Parish.
From ancient times through to today, they and their Bishop are responsible for the 'cure of
souls' in the parish. This means that the vicar is responsible for caring for everyone in the
parish, not just church members and this technically includes people of other religions or
none. And this explains why parish priests are so involved with the key issues and
problems affecting the whole community. In some Dioceses, such as Sheffield, parishes
are grouped into a body which is smaller than the whole Diocese, known as a Deanery.
The Deanery also has a Council known as a Synod – the Deanery Synod which includes
clergy and lay people. Ecclesfield is in the Deanery named after itself which is made up of
a total of 19 parishes.
St. Mary’s, Ecclesfield, is a full member of the Church of England and is run following the
Church of England rules, many of which are underwritten in English Law as passed in the
Houses of Commons.
Ecclesfield Church is a registered Charitable Trust No 1144309.
|Organisation – The Church of England
The Church of England is organised into two provinces; each led by an Archbishop
(Canterbury for the Southern Province and York for the Northern). These two provinces
cover England, the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands, the Isles of Scilly and even a small
part of Wales. Each province is built from Dioceses. There are 43 in England and the
Diocese in Europe has clergy and congregations in the rest of Europe, Morocco, Turkey
and the Asian countries of the former Soviet Union.
|The Dioceses of England
|Her Majesty the Queen is the Supreme Governor of the Church of England, and she also
has a unique and special relationship with the Church of Scotland, which is a Free Church.
In the Church of England she appoints archbishops, bishops and deans of cathedrals on
the advice of the Prime Minister. The two archbishops and 24 senior bishops sit in the
House of Lords, making a major contribution to Parliament's work.
The Church of England has 108 bishops and is governed by a Council known as a Synod.
The General Synod is elected from the laity and clergy of each diocese and meets in The
Archbishops' Council was established in 1999 to co-ordinate, promote, aid and further the
mission of the Church of England. It is composed of 19 members and 7 directors whose
task is to give a clear sense of direction to the Church nationally and support the Church
|The Diocese of Sheffield
As can be seen on other parts of the website, Ecclesfield Church building is an ancient
one, much of it 500 years old with some parts more than 800 years old. The building is
Grade 1 listed and no work other than minor maintenance and repairs can be done without
legal permission and reference to Historic England through the Faculty process. There is
always work to be done and it is probably true to say that, if we had the money it would be
possible to spend literally millions of pounds on restoration and improvement.
Fortunately, the building is in reasonable condition for its age and routine maintenance is
fairly low. Because the income we generate is not sufficient to provide for anything other
than minor routine maintenance, all major projects have to be funded by special fundraising
appeals or through the donations of generous benefactors. We have also been fortunate in
receiving grants from English Heritage through the Heritage Lottery Fund in the past.
|Fundraising and Grants
It is not possible to fund major projects on the church building from normal income, so these
require fundraising and grants. A building of this age regularly needs maintenance and
improvements which have to be carried out carefully and meet the heritage rules for a
Grade 1 building which makes them especially costly. Recent major projects include: -
New Toilet, Kitchen and Re-wiring
This work was carried out in 2003 at a total cost of £78k + VAT. The funds were raised as
part of the Ecclesfield Millennium Appeal which raised a total of £140k. This included a
grant of £30k from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Funds raised included the funding of
substantial improvements to the Gatty Hall.
Restoration of the West Window
The inside and outside of the West window was restored in 2008 at the cost of £14k +
VAT. The cost was met with a gift from the Jeffcock family.
The tradition of bells at St. Mary’s dates back to the 16th century. By the year 2000, the
existing 8 bells were in need of some major renovations. A decision was taken to try and
enhance the peal to 10 bells if the funds could be raised. The project was carried out in
2011 and included replacing the belfry louvres at a total cost of £80k, nearly all of which
was raised through fundraising, grants and generous donations.
Link to Bell Ringers Page
The boiler and control system were replaced is 2013 at a cost of £14k + VAT. The cost
was met by accumulated income from the church tea rooms.
New Roofs on the Nave and Nave Aisles 2018
An architect’s inspection in 2015 indicated that the covering metal and some of the
woodwork on the main Nave roof and the Nave side aisles were all in need of urgent repair
or replacement. This work was carried out in 2018 and work included new security systems
on the roof and inside the building. The total cost was £220k + VAT and this was mainly
funded by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund covering three quarters of the work and a
grant from Ecclesfield Feoffees covering the remainder.
Permanent Disabled Access (proposed 2020)
This project is in the final design and planning permission stages. The estimated costs are
currently £80k + architect’s fees + VAT. A grant from Ecclesfield Feoffees has already
been promised but more than half of the cost has still to be raised through grant
applications and general fundraising.
Looking after a medieval building and trying to be environmentally friendly is not easy. We
cannot install cavity wall insulation or double glazing but are making every reasonable effort
The interior lighting was replaced in 2003 with high efficiency metal halide units. The whole
of the inside of the building, including the offices, takes 6 Kilowatts to light – some 50%
less than the previous scheme. The external floodlighting and all external lighting is LED
using a total of only 300 watts – equivalent to a single domestic halogen floodlight!
The Clock and Clock Tower are lit separately and paid for by Sheffield City Council as it is
a public clock.
Ecclesfield Church is a challenging building to heat. The main roofs in the Nave were
replaced in 2018 and this has included improved insulation in an attempt to reduce the heat
loss. A pair of commercial Bosch Worcester high efficiency gas boilers was installed in
2013. A computer controller programmer/control system which senses the outside and
inside air temperatures and rate of changes in them, keeps the internal temperature above
a minimum setting and heats the various zones in the building, if necessary anticipating
when a zone needs to be warm and coming on early.
All paper printed for use in services is re-cycled using the Sheffield Blue Box scheme. Our
website also helps to protect the environment because all the pictures and documents can
be viewed on-line without printing.
Facilities for the Disabled
We want the church building to be accessible to all. We have a disabled toilet, a hearing
loop on the sound system, two wheelchairs inside and portable ramps to enable wheelchair
access. After many designs for a permanent disabled access had been looked at and
dismissed as unsuitable over a 30 year period, we finally have a design involving the use of
the West Door which has been approved by the authorities including Historic England.
Subject to planning permission from Sheffield City Council it is hoped this will be
completed in 2020. At an estimated cost of £80,000 + VAT and Architect design fees, we
are in a major fundraising mode to find the money.
Security and Alarm Systems
We are sadly in an age where there is no more respect for a place of worship than for any
other property and it has become impossible to leave the building open all the time without
someone to guard the fabric and fittings. Thefts of metal from the roof have also resulted in
the need for extremely sophisticated alarm systems.
|The systems protecting Ecclesfield include: -
• A multi sensor internal alarm system with microphones
• Multiple sensors on the roof
• Lighting on the roof at night and external floodlighting of the building
• Siren and voice and strobe alarm warnings
• CCTV cameras with a recording system
• All security systems and CCTV are linked to a monitoring centre
• Priority call-out of the police in the event of an alarm
• Use of anti-climb paint and barbed wire in some areas
• Smart Water DNA treatment of all valuables and roof metal
|For a period of over 10 years, the church provided a Tea Room in Court House Antiques.
Staffed by volunteers, this was a way of reaching out to the community of Ecclesfield and
visitors from other places and also a means of raising valuable funds to help pay for
maintenance and improvements to the church building. The Tea Room became well known
for its fresh tea and coffee and some marvellous cakes. Court House Antiques closed in
building on Tuesday and Friday mornings.
The Gatty Hall
The Gatty Hall was originally part of the church but in the early 1970s, a Charitable Trust
was set up to run and administer the hall for the benefit and use of the local community.
Church members are still involved in the running of the Gatty Hall but the hall is self-funding
and self-managed with major projects paid for by fund-raising and by grants from local
bodies. Link to Gatty Hall Page