Minutes of the 5th Annual General Meeting

of the Society of St Willibrord (Switzerland)
18th February 2006 Starrkirch-Wil

Present: Christoph Bächthold, Richard Pamplin, Robert Amstutz, Adèle Kelham, Hector Davie, John Newsome, Klaus-Heinrich Neuhoff, Daniel Konrad, Wolfgang Kunicki, Max Gürtler, John Williams, Marlies Dellagiacoma, Christoph Schuler, Lars Simpson
Bishop Fritz-René, Harald Rein, Urs von Arx, Denise Bindschedler, Peter Hagmann, Peter Hawker, Peter-Ben Smit.

  1. Welcome extended by our host Klaus-Heinrich Neuhoff (KHN)
  2. Minutes of 4th AGM from 5th February 2005 Our warm thanks were expressed to The Ven Peter Hawker for his comprehensive minutes of last year's AGM. Unanimously accepted.
  3. Annual report of the President KHN passed around a written report of the Society's activities. He drew particular attention to last year's Anglican pilgrimages (on the occasion of the 25th Anniversary of the Diocese in Europe) - little participation of Old Catholics (exception joint Old Catholic Anglican morning prayer, Thun, led by Sam van Leer and Lars Simpson; KHN attended pilgrimage in Tessin). Local joint initiatives: warm relations in Tessin; Easter Vigils in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Thun and Lausanne; a number of Anglican clergy regularly attend Old Catholic (OC) Chrism Eucharist (and take the holy oils for use in their chaplaincies); in Zürich the OC project pro3.zürich, for young adults, has been advertised in the Anglican parish magazine. Christoph Schuler expressed thanks for Anglican support of Partner sein (CHF10'000 collected in the last year). Main project focus in 2006: Anglican projects Partner sein had planned to invite Bishop Wilson (Sudan) to Switzerland and the International Old Catholic Congress but the invitation has now been withdrawn as he has become part of the separatist Anglican Church (Reformed Anglican Church). Christoph Schuler is liaising with Mike French (Geneva) to find an alternative Episcopal visitor from Sudan. The Partner sein projects will focus on literacy-advancement programmes and support of widows and orphans, as well as a new school development project. KHN explained why the idea of a joint synod did not materialise last year (disparate sizes; timetable problems). Richard Pamplin felt that these problems were not insurmountable and could see no reason why the Anglican Synod could not be 'tacked onto' an OC National Synod in the future. John Newsome pointed out that the idea may be easier to implement in 2-3 years hence when relations were closer. Max Gürtler pointed out it would be good to have a specific joint theme. Mention was made of Hector Davie's article in this year's OC Jahrbuch. Robert Amstutz and Christoph Schuler have recently met to brainstorm on joint brochure about each other's church; they had reviewed current information available, including Willibrord homepage. Conclusion: most effective format could be a postcard, in bold colours with a multilingual text along the lines of: 'Anglicans and Old Catholics together - in 2006 we celebrate 75 years anniversary! Sponsored by the Swiss branch of SSW www.willibrord.org'. Attention would also be drawn to Anglican and OC homepages. Aim: to encourage people to find out more about each church through the internet. Decision: 4'000 to be printed with mention of 75th Anniversary/Eucharist in Bern and 4'000 with reference to historical reality of Bonn Agreement since 1931. Action: Robert Amstutz and Christoph Schuler to implement decision. Wolfgang Kunicki will make contact with graphic artist to come up with suggestions for a SSW logo. KHN, Christoph Schuler, Harald Rein and Jean Drummond receive Anglican parish magazines. KHN mentions ideas already being considered for anniversary Eucharist: Bishop David, Bishop Fritz-René, Bistumschor led by Helene Ringgenberg, possibly together with Archdeaconry Choir (although it was pointed out that Geoff Fookes is presently in hospital).
  4. Treasurer's report Hector Davie spoke to the accounts. Surplus of CHF885.30 last year as few SSW activities had taken place (Angela Berlis had been invited to last year's AGM and paid travel expenses). This year we budget a deficit because of anticipated activities to celebrate 75th anniversary of Bonn Agreement. Reserves: CHF3'648. Loan of CHF5'000 from Treasurer to avoid bank charges. Christoph Schuler asked if particular mention of reserve could be made for anticipated expenses of postcard / PR material. This was accepted. Max Gürtler read the auditor's report. Max suggests that SSW actively advertises Society to attract new members, e.g., at OC National Synod, especially as some existing members had moved away, failed to pay their subs.
  5. Election The existing Exec were re-elected with applause: Klaus-Heinrich Neuhoff (President), Hector Davie (Treasurer), John Newsome, Lars Simpson.
  6. SSW Activites for 2006 75th Anniversary Eucharist to be held on Saturday 2nd September 2006 in St Peter und Paul, Bern, with Bishop Fritz-René and Bishop David Hamid. Action: KHN to also invite Bishop Gledhill as Chairman of English Branch of SSW and the Archbishop of Canterbury's representative to the Union of Utrecht.The meeting felt that Bishop F-R should preside at the Eucharist according to the Old Catholic Rite in German, with some English and French also to be used. Hymns could be sung in more than one language. Christoph Bächthold agreed to give consideration to the choice of hymns (in German, English, French and Italian). It was thought that one of the intercessions could also be held in Italian. Attention was drawn to the Archdeaconry Choir Festival in May 2006 in Berne with the suggestion that the OC Choir of Bern could be asked to join as a 'guest choir' and the festival could also provide a good opportunity to enlist support for the Anniversary Eucharist amongst Anglicans. Richard Pamplin has spoken to Geoff Fookes about possibility of Anglican choral involvement at the International OC Congress and at Anniversary Eucharist. Geoff had initially expressed enthusiasm for becoming involved but due to illness was not necessarily in a position to see this through. Action: the Archdeacon will raise the issue with the committee of the Archdeaconry Choir Festival. Apéro will be sponsored by SSW. Männerverein Bern have agreed to cook a simple lunch. Rooms have been reserved for lunch (capacity 150 people). Action: Richard Pamplin and Christoph Schuler will talk with each other and co-ordinate catering arrangements together with Männerverein and St Ursula's 'Catering team' (Apéro, lunch, coffee and cake). KHN to contact Patricia Darlington with suggestion that CKJS might help with serving Apéro. John Newsome explains possible idea of a podium discussion, possibly chaired by Harald Rein, as had taken place in Zürich. Marlies Dellgiacomaa thinks ecumenical issues no longer of much interest compared to recent successful event of Lucerne Theological Faculty on Sakrileg. Discussion on possible theme of such podium discussion. Conclusion: there would be no podium discussion or other afternoon programme (suggestion had also been of a 'church crawl' with Prof Dellsperger) and instead energy would be put into a special and creative liturgy (e.g., every parish to be encouraged to bring a symbol). Lars Simpson suggests that maybe a 75th anniversary collect prayer could be written and parishes encouraged to also use this at their worship on Sunday. Other suggestions: commissioning of an anniversary hymn or use of Congress hymn; giving every parish a candle at service to incorporate in their own worship on Sunday, e.g. during intercessions. Suggestion for a 75th Anniversary Eucharist working party: SSW Executive, Christoph Schuler, Christoph Bächthold, Adèle Kelham, and Richard Pamplin. This group will meet for the first time during the forthcoming OC Pastoralkonferenz Maja Weyermann will be asked to send press release.
  7. Budget Postcards: CHF1'700. Apéro after Anniversary Eucharist: CHF500. Contribution to Partner sein to cover expenses of Anglican guest from Sudan: CHF1'000. Resources (candles etc) for Anniversary Eucharist: CHF250. Travel expenses for Bishop Jonathan Gledhill: CHF500. Office expenses of the SSW Exec: CHF200. Subscription: remains same this year: CHF30 for single membership; CHF50 for couples.
  8. Dates: AGM 2007 Saturday 27th January 2007 in Baden. 75th Anniversary Eucharist working party to meet at the Pastoralkonferenz 13th/14th March.
  9. Meeting closed 15.30. KHN was warmly thanked for hosting the AGM and for the Eucharist.