Mar 03 2013

Annual Meeting 28 March 2013. Reports.

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 Sea of Faith Dunedin

Chairperson’s Annual Report March 28th 2013

I am pleased to report that our group is still maintaining an attendance at each meeting of over 20 members. Our aging membership means that some are unable to attend meetings regularly but our mailing list indicates that there is still considerable interest in the group and a need to provide a place where people can feel free to explore ideas and share thoughts and experiences in a respectful and non judgmental environment.

From time to time questions are raised at local and national level about our name, our objectives and our future. No doubt these will continue but I am sure our primary purpose “to explore religious though and expression from a non-dogmatic and human-oriented standpoint” will not change.

Our local committee will be looking at ways in which we can make our group known to the wider community. While our aim is not to win recruits, it is always stimulating to have new people join us. The format of our meetings has remained the same with the addition of a short quiet time at the beginning of the formal section for reflection/meditation. This was adopted as a trial and will be reviewed.

Each year we are reminded of how fortunate we are in Dunedin to have such a number of interesting people to call on to lead our meetings and this includes folk from our own membership. This year we also arranged a visit from James Veitch. His presentation was well received and hopefully another will follow in the future.

This year our sessions have been as follows:

  • March – Annual General Meeting and discussion: Where to from here in SOF?
  • April – Sustainable Dunedin – Margaret Feist
  • May – Stages of Faith – David Kitchingman
  • June – Becoming the Music – Seeking new language for an evolving church – Sarah Mitchell
  • July – Development and Equality issues in west Africa – Tony Binns
  • August – Who did Jesus think he really was – James Veitch
  • September – Meditation – Judith Anne O’Sullivan
  • October – Post-conference follow-up. Marjorie Spittle and Alan Jackson reported on two keynote lectures: Justice, Stewardship and Altruism by Valerie Grant and Theology and Values in a Secular Society by Andrew Bradstock.
  • November – Closing the Gay – David Clark

February 2013 – Euthanasia – Richard Egan

Three members attended the National Conference at St. Cuthbert’s College in Auckland in October.

Once again I would like to thank the following people for the time they give to help our organisation run smoothly: Ian Fleming – webmaster, Ruth Morgan – Treasurer, Peter Wishart – Librarian, Alan Jackson – newsletter editor, Frances Smithson and Sheila Clarke – delivery of the foold, Bruce Spittle and Alan Jackson – setting up the hall and microphones. Thank you too to all who have helped in the kitchen and have stood in bor Bruce and myself when we were away.

We are very grateful for the boost our library has received from the donation of a large number of books by Margaret Feist.

Thank you to all the Committee members who are always willing to help in the planning of meetings and in contributing ideas. Special thanks to the three members who have completed their three years and will be standing down: Pen whitaker, Sheila Clarke and David Kitchingman.

I also complete my three years as Chairperson. It has been my pleasure to serve our group in this capacity.

Marjorie Spittle


28th March 2013.


Minutes of the AGM of Dunedin Sea of Faith, on 24th March 2011 at 6.15 p.m.

Number Present:

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of the Dunedin Sea of Faith held on Thursday 22 March 2012 at 6 p.m.

Number present: 21. Apologies: Andrew Meek, Janet Wishart

Minutes of the previous AGM were read and confirmed: Geoff/ Robin

The Chairperson presented her report which was accepted: Marjorie/Evelyn

The Treasurer presented the financial report which was accepted: Ruth/ Evelyn

The webmaster presented his report which was accepted: Ian/Howard

Election of Officers
The following were elected:

  • Chairperson: Marjorie Spittle
  • Treasurer: Ruth Morgan
  • Editor: Alan Jackson
  • Webmaster: Ian Fleming

There were no new members elected to the Committee.

The following will continue their terms in office:

  • Sheila Clarke
  • Margaret Feist
  • Alan Jackson
  • David Kitchingman
  • Frances Smithson
  • Pen Whitaker
  • Peter Wishart.

General Business:

It was moved that the cost for the hall hire be raised from $2 to $3: Alan/ Robbie. After some discussion the motion was lost, although the members were made aware that costs need to be reviewed periodically and could rise in the future.
Robin asked whether thought had been given to his suggestion of advertising our meetings in the student magazine. Postcard advertisements had been placed around the University last year. The committee will look at the question of advertising at its next meeting.

The meeting closed at 6.25 p.m.

Dunedin Sea of Faith Group
Financial Statement for the calendar year 2012
INCOME 2012 2011
– Achiever Ac $12.87 $15.49
– Current Ac $1.56 $2.65
Food Sales $510.00 $507.60
Meeting Cash $444.00 $468.00
Speaker Reimbursement $236.00 $0.00
INCOME TOTAL $1204.43 $993.74
Cheque Book stamp duty $2.50 $2.50
Earthquake Relief $0.00 $250.00
Catering: Food $400.00 $400.00
Catering: Transport 1 $60.00 $0.00
Hall Hire $400.00 $400.00
Library Books $0.00 $19.79
Newsletter $241.79 $200.00
Publicity $0.00 $10.40
 Donations to Outside Speakers (2)  2 $450.00 $50.00
 Tea Duty reimbursement $30.00 $35.00
 Website 3 $50.00 $50.00
 EXPENSES – TOTAL $1634.79 $1467.69
  Surplus/deficit for year -429.86 -$473.95
 Accumulated Funds 31/12/12 31/12/11
 Equity at start of period $2,021.90 $2,495.85
 Add surplus/subtract deficit -$429.86 -$473.95
Equity at end of period $1592.04 $2021.90
 Achiever Savings Account $762.49 $1,249.62
 Current Account $829.55 $772.28
 Petty Cash $0.00 $0.00
 TOTAL $1,592.04 $2021.90
1. $50 petrol reimbursement to Frances & $10 to B Sanderson.
2. Speakers: J Veitch & four others.
3. Necessary to leave website free of Google ads.
4. The Achiever A/c originated from the Spong 2004 meeting surplus.


Website Report.
Our website provider is Blogtown, which gives the most flexible and resourceful platform I could find, and it’s “free”. However we decline paying the consequential “price” of small Google ads being inserted and instead prefer to pay a $50.00 p.a “Supporters” fee, which entitles us to a gigabyte of graphics as well, which of course we hardly touch. Blogtown is provided by Amanzi (, an IT services company in Wellington ”that provides consultancy, services, sales and support to small and medium-sized businesses in New Zealand”. Its director is Stuart Maxwell.

[For those who might wish to know: The website’s html (‘hypertext markup language’ – and the basic building block code behind everything on a website) is powered by WordPress, “a free and open-source blogging tool and content management system” (CMS) based on PHP (a scripting language, originally ‘Personal Home Page’ now ‘Hypertext PreProcessor’) and MySQL {My, the founder’s daughter, and Structured Query Language.}, (a full-featured data-based management system).]

Ian Fleming

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