Neuchâtel English Church would love to have you come
and share with us in God’s love. We’re happy to answer
any questions you have or to help you in any way we can.
Reach out to us today.
on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of the month. Please check website for full details.
on the 4th Sundays at 5 pm
Service of the Word
on the 2nd Sundays at 10 am
Where we meet
The Neuchâtel English Church
EREN Swiss Reformed Church
La Coudre, Neuchatel.
(opposite the Chaumont Funiculaire)
Who we are
Chaplain : Rev. Clive Atkinson (All Saints Church, Vevey)
Neuchâtel ministry team : Rev. Kenneth Kvistad
Church Council: Jenny Veenendaal (Churchwarden, Synod representative), Pat Smith (Treasurer), Maggie Matthew (Secretary), Ann Morel Huber (Communications, website), Teblez Beyn & Abbie Therrien (ordinary members)
Rosemarie Zimmermann (organist), Kirk Kvistad (Worship leading, occasional speaker and website assistance)
Echos of the 2019 AGM held on Sunday 14th April
Rev. Clive Atkinson opened the meeting with a prayer at 11.30am.
Pat Smith (Treasurer) announced that there are currently 11 members on the Electoral Roll compared to 20 last year, mainly due to people moving away from the area or country.
Elections & Appointments
Churchwarden: Jenny Veenendaal
Council Members: The following council members were reappointed: Abbie Therrien (in absentia), Maggie Matthews, Teblez Beyn and Pat Smith. Ann Morel Huber was proposed, seconded and duly appointed. Rev. Ken Kvistad stepped down due to his imminent move to Geneva.
Auditors: Brenda Girardbille and Paul Matthews were reelected,
Safekeeping Officer: It was agreed that Rev. Clive Atkinson is to enquire if Jenny Veenendaal could take on this role as well as that of churchwarden and and what training it would necessitate.
In his Chaplain’s Report, Rev. Clive Atkinson thanked the community for their perseverance, following Rev. Roy Farrar’s passing and members moving away. He thanked Rev. Ken Kvistad for his ministry, Pat Smith as Treasurer, Ann Morel for her work with the magazine and Maggie Matthews as Secretary. He informed the meeting that Mrs. Mieke Farrar is doing well and settling into the Vevey community.
Clive reminded the meeting of the focal points decided at the church meeting in January, the foremost being leadership. We are looking for someone to succeed Ken when he leaves. Clive informed the meeting of the current discussions with priests (present and retired) from the Old Catholic Church (the French-speaking Catholique-chrétienne) in view of future collaborations with Neuchâtel church
Clive moved on to the point of shared life and asked about progress on this point. Jenny Veenendaal informed the meeting that a Bangers and Mash evening is currently in planning stage with Louise Spanner.
The third point, serving the community, was discussed, although Paul Matthews raised the point that perhaps the expansion of church numbers was more of a priority before more could be taken on board. Rosemary Zimmerman agreed that services were important and Teblez Beyne commented that the calm atmosphere was something she and her son much appreciated.
Churchwarden’s Report: Jenny Veenendaal began by echoing Rev. Clive Atkinson’s sentiment that the church is in a period of adjustment after Rev. Roy Farrar’s passing and that that we must honour his memory with his aims. Spirited leadership continues and we are able to continue with 2 services a month. Rev. Ken Kvistad leads inspiring Bible Study Groups. We have participated in Ecumenical Services (Ken presided at the one in January). Taizé services are each month and there are plans for a joint service with La Coudre Church and picnic in the summer. These show our presence in the community, which is important. Ken thanked Jenny for all she has done and highlighted how much she is appreciated.
The Treasurer’s Report was presented by Pat Smith. She gave summaries of the current financial situation, showing a fall in income. Church rental costs have reduced due to services now only twice a month and the main church upstairs no longer being used. Pat asked for a confirmation of which charities we will give our 10% donation to in 2019 (currently Villa Yoyo, La Lanterne & Centre soc. protestant). The budget for 2019 shows a deficit of about CHF 6’000. (in 2018, deficit CHF 4’300). Paul Matthews (auditor) commented that, while the church is not a business in the conventional sense, it must be appreciated that currently we are giving away more than we have as income and if this continues at the current rate, there will no more in reserves in 8 years. Rev. Clive Atkinson informed the meeting that in fact, under the currently financial situation, the European Diocese will be bankrupt in 3 years.
The financial report for 2018 was accepted unanimously and Clive thanked Pat for all her hard work.
Auditors’ Report : Paul Matthews and Brenda Girardbille informed the meeting that all was found to be in order and that Pat Smith has done an excellent job in keeping the accounts.
The Assembly thanked the auditors for their work and for their report.
Budget 2019 It was agreed a pledge letter should be sent out this year to remind those who give. Rev. Clive Atkinson commented that in reality, Neuchâtel church gives 20% of its income to charity when separate charity giving is taken into account ( Beryl Baker & Calais refugees this year). He also raised the question as to whether it would better to give a larger amount to fewer charities in order to make more of a difference. Rosemarie Zimmerman suggested raising money through events, but it was recognized that this requires significant time and energy and it was agreed to discuss this at a future church council meeting. The budget was accepted.
Archdeaconry Synod Report
Jenny Veenendaal, the Synod representative, informed the assembly that she has a copy of this which she can send to those interested.
Junior Church Report: There is currently no Junior Church.
Ecumenical Affairs: as discussed above
Any other business
Ann Morel Huber proposed that the magazine be discontinued and that her efforts be focused on the website. Kirk Kvistad has offered technical support, and Ann would continue to update the website with information and email it to those members who wish to receive it. Peter Veenendaal recognized the amount of work the magazine requires but wondered if those with no computer access would lose out. He suggested that perhaps a reduced one-page information sheet would be better. Paul Matthews suggested putting information on the back of the service sheet which could also be sent out.
Ken informed the meeting that negotiations about using the chapel at Les Charmettes care home have advanced and using this location would significantly reduce expenditure to 100.- CHF/month. Rev. Clive Atkinson agreed to give dates to the community for an opportunity to visit. Jenny Veenendaal commented that further advantages of this location were that there was good parking, a room for having coffee and a larger room for services when more people are expected.
Date of 2019 AGM: to be fixed at a later date
Rev. Clive Atkinson closed the meeting with a prayer.