Dear Chichester U3A member,

Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) using ZOOM

2 pm Tuesday 30th June 2020

As you know, this meeting is being held to approve the revised accounts for 2019/20 and to vote on the increase in subscriptions to £18.00 as from 1st September this year.

We are aware that many members were unable to access the AGM due to software limitations.

It is important that we achieve a quorum for the EGM and that we allow as many members as possible to access the meeting and to vote.

For a small fee, we now have the ability to upgrade the Zoom program to allow more attendees, and would, therefore, welcome your feedback to confirm that you intend to join this meeting.

Please email one of the following options to the vice-chair

  • I expect to attend the EGM meeting on 30 June 2020 on Zoom
  • I do not expect to attend
  • Not sure

Thank you very much for your time.
Jill Cook

Please note that the documents for the EGM are here, and the password is given in the bulletin email.
To see the last six or so bulletins, click here.

Important Message from the Treasurer


Registered Charity No. 1037027

June 5th, 2020

Dear Chichester U3A members,

There is never a good time to talk about money, but I’m afraid we have to do it. Firstly, let me introduce myself. My name is Peter Newland, and you recently elected me as the new Treasurer.

At the AGM on 21 May the newly-elected Committee confirmed it was their intention to hold the membership subscription for 2020/21 at £10 per person. In the absence of the then Treasurer I spoke supporting that view. Since my election I have spent a considerable time in reviewing the recent history and current state of our finances and have no alternative but to recommend an increase to £18 per annum for individual members. We now require an EGM to gain approval by the members. Let me explain why the change is necessary…

Our income comes in two ways:
• Membership fees often supplemented by Gift Aid tax refund of 25%
• Members’ contributions for Group activities, Trips, Visits and Social Events. These activities are required to be self-funding and therefore have no impact on the Membership Fee.
Before the current £10 rate, the annual membership was £15. It was reduced to £10 because the funds retained from one year to the next were considered to be too high. Over the last few years our expenditure has been between three and five thousand pounds above our membership income, and we have now reached the point when the charity needs additional funds to continue with the current activities. Of course we are not in normal times, and, in fact, without lockdown we would probably not have had sufficient funds to take us through to 31 August when our membership year ends.

Before going into the details of the Annual Accounts, which may be more than some members want, let me point out some key figures. From the individual membership fee of £10 we pay out:
• £3.50 affiliation fee to the Third Age Trust for the support they give us
• £3.10 for the Third Age Matters magazine (unless members opt out)
• £1.00 For the membership and group admin platform (Beacon)
So that’s £7.60 of the membership fee, before we start to fund our local activities – Monthly Meetings, Coffee Mornings, our Website, Newsletter, etc.

I must mention one thing more. It seems there was a misunderstanding within the committee (perhaps with so much turnover of committee members), that the copy of the Annual Accounts posted on the AGM website was not the final version. It is appropriate that the EGM approve the Annual Accounts as signed off by the Examiner. The correct version is now posted on the EGM webpage on the Chichester U3A website.

Financial Details

It’s important to make our finances as clear as possible – after all it’s your membership donations that allow us to meet our charitable objectives and you have to approve accounts at the AGM. Personally, I don’t find the current layout as clear as it should be, so I plan to use a different format this year. The current layout was adopted when we moved the accounting over to the U3A Beacon administration system and perhaps, with hindsight, was not the best layout to report to the general memberships. I have also taken all the information from the 2019-20 Annual Accounts, as approved by the Examiner, and rearranged the categories. I hope this now makes it clearer.

As you can see we have 4 bank accounts (+Petty Cash) with an end of year balance or £8,069.
But our financial year ends on 31 March while the membership runs till 31 August, so the funds still need to stretch for a further 5 months after the end of the accounting period. Furthermore, as explained in the (1), (2),(3), our affiliation fee is paid in arrears, and the invoice from U3A Trading for Beacon and the Third Age Matter Magazine (2 years) was not paid until the start of this financial year. In other words, despite the reduced spending in lockdown we have already reduced our coffers by £5300!!

It is my expectation that once we have re-established sufficient funds in our accounts we will be able to reduce our membership fee again – in fact, since as a charity we are not-for-profit we must reduce our income in line with our expenditure. But that is a discussion for another year.

Before I finish I’ll just mention a couple of changes which we are planning. We expect to be able to take online renewals using credit card or Paypal, and for those who prefer more traditional methods you will be able to, and encouraged to pay by bank transfer. If you pay by Standing Order you will need to update it to £18 (or £36 for Joint Members). Cheques are an administrative headache for the long suffering membership team and so we beg you embrace the 21st century and use card payments, or bank transfer.

I guess I’ll get to meet you all post lockdown – or before, if you join the cycling group or the Science Discussion Group which are both still going strong via Zoom.

Until then, keep well.

Peter Newland
Treasurer Chichester U3A

Important Message from the Vice-Chair


Registered Charity No. 1037027

Please reply to:
Chichester U3a Box 809,
Mailboxes Etc
26 The Hornet
Chichester PO19 7BB
☎07460 109600
Email the vice-chair
5th June 2020

Dear Member

News from your new Committee

Membership Subscriptions

By now you will have received the letter from Peter explaining the necessity for raising our membership subscriptions.  Finance is not my forte, but even I can appreciate that our U3A cannot survive, whether in or out of the Covid-19 lockdown, unless our subscriptions are brought up to a realistic level.  As Peter made clear, there are several expenses which we have to continue to pay although we are unable to meet as usual for our social and Group events. 

Our Constitution states that to amend the subscriptions we must have the approval of the membership.  At the time of the AGM we were unable to confirm that we would have sufficient Committee nominations to continue as a U3A, and under those circumstances we could not recommend an increase in subscriptions.  Once our Committee was formed and we realised that its members had the enthusiasm and drive to move things forward, even with the current restrictions, we agreed that an increase in subscriptions was essential. WE ARE THEREFORE HOLDING AN EGM AT 2PM ON TUESDAY, 30TH JUNE, to approve the revised accounts and to vote on the increase in subscriptions.  Please continue to support your U3A by voting “FOR” this increase to £18 per annum per member.  

Activities during lockdown

The Committee members have been working hard to be able to provide some activities for you, though of necessity these are limited to members with internet access.  We are holding a Quiz on Tuesday, 9th June, and hope that this will be the first of many; we are in contact with those speakers who are already booked to see whether they can give us their lecture using Zoom; we are currently liaising with all our Group Leaders to resurrect group activities through Zoom and if you, as a Group member, might be able to help with this, please get in touch with your Group Leader or with the Groups Coordinator.

Any Other Business

This is YOUR U3A.  If you have any ideas about how we might keep everyone involved until “we meet again” PLEASE contact me and we’ll do our best to make it possible.  Your new Committee is an enthusiastic and very able bunch of people, and they want to make the U3A interesting and enjoyable for everyone.  Don’t hang back:  any involvement brings rewards for everyone.

Finally, I have to explain why I am writing to you:  our Chairperson, Maureen Doyle, has been called out of the country on family business and I’m holding the fort until her return.  We look forward to welcoming her back within a few weeks.  In the meantime, stay strong and healthy, and I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at our EGM on 30th June.

With best wishes,

Jill Cook

for the Chair

Groups News

A Message from the Webmaster (adapted)
Various groups, the committee, and now the AGM have all been conducted successfully through the medium of Zoom. We, therefore, confirm that using Zoom to keep groups going is viable – and more than viable, it’s fun, and entirely coronavirus safe!So we can confirm that it is definitely a direction that other groups, especially discussion type groups, should consider trying out. To that end I have produced a beginner’s guide to using Zoom, starting with how to download the App to your computer and open a Zoom account, and progressing through how to find your Zoom friends and how to join a meeting of your group, through to how to host a meeting for your group. (Only one member of the group has to master the last item! – and it doesn’t have to be the group leader.)Alternatively, visit the coronavirus page on the Chichester U3A website and follow the link for the beginner’s guide, and let me know how you get on with Zoom. If you get stuck and need some advice get in touch.Ray Davies (Webmaster)PS When you click on the links to the beginner’s guide, it may appear not to work: in fact, the file may have been downloaded to your computer.
Cycling for Pleasure comes out of Lock-down
Yesterday (Thursday) the Cycling for Pleasure group got back (almost) to normal with 10 members making an actual ride in 2 packs of 5 members each (to stay within the corona-virus limit of 6 people). We were, naturally, keeping social distancing between us. The ride took us to West Dean, where the village shop was selling take-away drinks – which we bought and took away a few yards to the banks of the picturesque Lavant brook nearby.Here’s the ad! Many people recently have found, or rediscovered, the joys of cycling, and I’m sure that some of the Chichester U3A members are among them. If this describes you, then perhaps you would be interested to join the Cycling for Pleasure group and come cycling with us. The number of group members (within reason) is not a problem as we can just have more packs of 6 people. So if you are interested get in touch through the Cycling for Pleasure contact form.I also wonder whether other groups might find it possible to leave the lock-down behind and find places in the open air to hold socially distanced meetings in groups of 6. It might work for any discussion type group or book group, etc. If any other group leader does move in this direction, please let the Bulletin*  and Group Coordinator Caroline know. I’m sure she would like to know about it.*Yes, we need the copy! (ed)
Tuesday’s Online Quiz
The online quiz went very well, I am told, with zoom-room for a few more members. There is hope for more quizzes in the future. Please get in touch with the quiz organiser if you are interested.

Ideas from the National U3A

  • According to SUN, two new national study days have been arranged by HQ for the Autumn, while a postponed study day on Japanese Cinema may take place sometime later this year as well.
  • Thursday, November 5th – Van Gogh: A Fresh Look. at the National Gallery. Talks on the artist and the influence of the National Gallery. 11 am to 3.45 pm. Cost: £25. Booking opens in mid-June via
  • Monday, October 12th  – U3A at the Royal Institution. Various talks including ‘Finding Our Voice’. 1.45 pm to 4.45. Cost: £21.50 with refreshments. Booking open in mid-June via
  • Meanwhile, the U3A continues to put forward good ideas and activities to occupy ourselves (though I’m not very keen on the revised presentation they have adopted):
  • Experts from NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland and Ulster Bank invite you to take part in a series of live-streamed lectures, on a range of topics, every Thursday at 2:30 pm – and you can watch past lectures on the U3A’s youtube channel or on its  Facebook page (click on videos in the menu) at your leisure. Look here in due course for details of upcoming talks.
  • Mr Motivator has teamed up with the U3A for a series of exercise videos.
    And these, too, are on the U3A youtube channel and on its  Facebook page.
  • Mindfulness – some lectures given by the U3A subject advisor. A new lecture each week,  but the earlier ones are on the U3A YouTube channel.
  • Maths Challenge – some mathematical posers for you.  Fresh questions every week, with the answers to the previous week’s.  Q4 last week was badly phrased, and the answer given (at the time of writing) is incorrect whatever interpretation is put on it. Nobody’s perfect!
  • Bird Track – U3A members are being asked to help keep track of our garden birds. You are invited to join BirdTrack, a free online tool, to record your own bird sightings and keep up to date with trends. Some of the bird photographs are fabulous.
  • Creative Writing Competition  –  the U3A is inviting members to submit a short story on the theme of TIME. The winning story will be published in Third Age Matters magazine, which reaches over a quarter of a million households. We will also commission at least one illustration to accompany it. Follow the link for details.
  • And there are several other suggestions and invitations here–  e.g. Yoga, Painting, Photography, Quiz, and Golf Quiz – in which members nationwide are invited to join in or imitate
  • You can find out more about national U3A activities by subscribing to the weekly newsletter here.

If you wish to unsubscribe from the Bulletin emails, please contact the membership secretary with subject “Unsubscribe from Bulletin”. This will not affect other email communications with the U3A. Please do NOT put the bulletin emails into spam! 🙁

Please send me a message via the usual channels if you wish to have some item of U3A news put in the Bulletin. Likewise, if you have some constructive suggestions as to how to improve the Bulletin. Best wishes, David Rees 😎
The Constitution of the Chichester U3A is available to view here, and its Terms of Use here.
Enquiries If you wish to write to the Chichester U3A, then the correspondence address is: U3A Chichester, Box 809, Mailboxes Etc., 26 The Hornet, CHICHESTER, PO19 7BB
If there is an urgent matter that needs to be discussed then call 07460 109600, or contact the membership secretary .
Bulletin 200612