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St James Newsletter September 2019

I wish I’d known about that!
With our busy lives it’s all too easy to miss exciting events at St James and we often hear the comment that “I wish I’d known about that because I’d have loved to be there”. To assist, we deliver the St James diary to every door in the Island and the latest diary, covering the period September to December, has just been delivered throughout the Island. If you have missed yours or you would like further copies these are available from St James.
We also offer an email alert service which provides email reminders of upcoming events as a gentle reminder if the diary cannot be found. You can sign up for this from the St James website, by calling St James, or emailing  admin@stjames.gg.
As usual, there is a wide range of events for all tastes, including live contemporary music, classical music, comedy and more. A highlight in September is the first Guernsey Community Arts Festival at St James on 13th to 15th September in collaboration with the Guernsey Arts Commission. This is bringing together many of the local visual arts organisations for a weekend celebration of the diversity and skills within the Guernsey community. There will be exhibitions, workshops, talks, and many other activities, all free of charge, so do come along to participate or just
to watch.

A Warmer Winter
In our last Newsletter we reported that we were about to finalise contracts for the installation of a new heating system for the main Hall. We are now pleased to report that the installation is in progress and should be commissioned before the end of the summer and thus ready for the cooler temperatures of the autumn. The new system will be an electric heated air flow system supplemented by electric radiators at gallery level. This will provide a more flexible and cost effective solution than the previous oil powered underfloor heating system.
The main outstanding work to be completed is the installation of a new electricity supply to St James which will have the capacity to support the new system. Since that will require power to be cut off from the adjacent Court buildings while the connection is being made there have been some delicate negotiations to minimise disruption to the Courts!

Curing The Damp
We have previously reported that the States of Guernsey, as our landlord at St James, has agreed to carry out remedial works to cure the damp ingress problems. This has been an ongoing problem in St James for many years and has caused the plasterwork to discolour and crumble at the gallery level of the main Hall.
We are still awaiting final details of the timing and duration of the work, but we are anticipating that it will commence before the end of 2019 and may last three months. The Hall will be able to be used throughout that period though the Gallery level may be out of bounds. We will be working with the States contractors to minimise inconvenience to users. However, we are optimistic that any short term disruption will be to the long term benefit of St James, since we will then end up with a much smarter and watertight building without crumbling plasterwork.

St James Jubilee Foundation
Our St James Jubilee Foundation was set up at the time of our silver jubilee in 2010 to provide a reserve fund to ensure the long term support and financial security of St James. As a result of some generous donations and legacies the funds have been steadily increasing. The Trustees of the Foundation have recently made a substantial donation towards the costs of the new Heating System for the Main Hall and have previously made donations towards new blinds in the Main Hall and towards the permanent Bicentenary Exhibition Room. As a result, more reserves are needed!
If any of our Friends are able to assist, that assistance would be gratefully appreciated and all donations or legacies, however large or small, will be gratefully received. Further details are available on the St James website or by contacting St James.

New Board Member
We are pleased to announce that we have strengthened the St James Board with the appointment of Kate Rabey as an additional Board Member. Kate joined Council last November and was the organiser of our first Choirs Festival. We are planning the next Choirs Festival so watch this space for further news.

New Treasurer Needed
Our current Treasurer has indicated that he would like to stand down in due course if a suitable successor can be found. Accordingly, we have a vacancy for a Treasurer Designate to work with the current Treasurer and to take over after a transition period. This is an honorary role and the Treasurer serves as a non-executive member of the St James Board. The Treasurer is supported by bookkeeping staff at St James but is responsible for preparing quarterly management accounts and annual statutory accounts, together with general oversight of the finances and internal controls.
We would be delighted to hear from you if you think that the role might be of interest to you. Please contact Stephen Ainsworth by emailing stephen@stjames.gg or by calling St James.

Annual General Meeting
Our Annual General Meeting is coming up fast, and will be held on 20th November at St James. As last year we are holding it at the earlier time of 7.00 pm since we recognise that some Friends prefer not to stay out too late on dark evenings. This is your opportunity to find out more about how St James is progressing and to hear about the Council’s plans for the future. As usual, there will be the opportunity to join the President and Council for a glass of wine at the end of the meeting and to continue the conversations in an informal context.
The AGM is when we elect our Council for the coming year. If any Member would be interested in joining Council or would like to know more about what is involved please contact Stephen Ainsworth by emailing stephen@stjames.gg or by calling St James. Nomination forms are available from St James by calling St James or emailing admin@stjames.gg.
Please take this Newsletter as the formal Notice of the AGM. Copies of the Agenda, of last year’s Minutes and the Accounts will be available by calling St James or emailing admin@stjames.gg. The Agenda will also be posted on the St James website shortly. Full papers will also be available on the night at the AGM.
Finally, if you wish to send Apologies or to nominate a Proxy, again please contact St James or email admin@stjames.gg.

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