PRESENT: Fr James Walsh, Richard McGreevy (St Helen’s), (Chair), Antonia Martinez (Sacred Heart), Becky Walker (Sacred Heart), Keith Copperwheat (St John of the Cross), Ginny Keane (St John of the Cross), Peter Rylands (St Helen’s), John Bolger (Pastoral Assistant), Catherine Watkins (Secretary)
- APOLOGIES: Sue Short. Sue has offered her resignation from the PPC, feeling she is unable to continue owing to family and work commitments.
- WELCOMES: We welcomed Anne Gibbs (Sacred Heart) and Georgiana Rylands (St Helen’s), newly elected members.
Fr James opened the meeting with a prayer.
- It was agreed to try and finish the meeting by 9.00pm.
- MINUTES OF THE MEETING: on 7 December 2021 were agreed and signed.
- MATTERS ARISING:
a. Election of Chair. Keith Copperwheat nominated Richard McGreevy to a second term as Chair, seconded by Peter Rylands and carried unanimously.
b. Welcome Packs. Cathy had provided packs to each of the churches but more are now required. She agreed to prepare more.
Action – Cathy
c. Health & Safety Update. No further progress to report to date. The Ellis Whittam representative visited on 25 August to conduct the annual review. He spent three hours each at St Helen’s and the Sacred Heart, and 1½ hours at St John of the Cross. He will return to complete the review there at a later date. Training is required in First Aid* and the use of fire extinguishers*. First Aiders are needed at all three churches*.
*These to be actioned later.
d. Covid Update. As it has been discovered that the virus is transmitted mainly through air droplets, the churches are able to revert to their original cleaning systems. Sacred Heart will continue to use the fogging machine. Singing at Sunday Mass may continue in all three churches (Nick Walmsley at St Helen’s was thrilled to resume organ playing) and refreshments after Mass has resumed. The congregations have adjusted to the existing restrictions. The Omicron Variant may give us more infections and Government guidance is expected on 20 December. Services from the Sacred Heart church are now streamed permanently. e. Elections of PPC Representatives. Antonia Martinez (2nd term) and Anne Gibbs had been nominated from the Sacred Heart, Keith Copperwheat and Ginny Keane had been nominated from St John of the Cross (both 2nd term) and Peter Reynolds (2nd term) & Georgiana Reynolds had been nominated from St Helen’s. As Sue Short from St John of the Cross had resigned (see Item 1 above), a further nomination would be required from that church community. Nomination forms would be placed at the back of the church.
f. Amendment to Constitution. This had been amended as agreed at the previous meeting. It was further suggested and agreed that the Parish Pastoral Assistant (a role currently filled by John Bolger) should be a member of the Parish Pastoral Council. Constitution to be further amended.
Action – Cathy
g. Finance Reconciliation Sheets. It was agreed that this matter would be passed to the Finance Committee.
- PARISH PRIEST’S REPORT TO THE PPC:
Fr James reported that the parish was well on the way to getting back to normal with celebration of all the sacraments. Ginny had completed her Catechist training and would be leading the Confirmation course. A Reconciliation service was planned for the Sacred Heart church before Christmas (but these plans were dependent on developments in the next few weeks). One thing the Lockdown had revealed was that people seemed to have become more aware of what is important in their lives. So far, 9 people have expressed an interest in the Journey in Faith course and are receiving instruction in preparation for full communion with the church. Fr James said it would be interesting if this was reflected in other parishes.
Fr James said that Offertory collections had resumed in the Sacred Heart church and had showed a marked increase in the resulting income. He would like the other two churches to arrange resumption of Offertory collections. Keith commented that he had seen card readers used at other churches and wondered if it would be a possible arrangement in our churches. To be passed to the Finance Committee for consideration.
Antonia said she reminds the parish via the newsletter about Fr James’s Christmas Offering, for which there are special envelopes.
Action – Richard
- FAITHFUL STEWARDS OF GOD’S GIFTS – TIME, TALENT & TREASURE:
Sandra Portas had sent Fr James rewritten leaflets, taking his suggested wording into consideration. The Diocese has taken these on board.
- UPDATING OF PARISH DIRECTORY:
It had been agreed that this would be postponed until after the Time, Talents and Treasure programme, but as this programme had been deferred until after Easter, it was agreed that the update would go ahead. The members of the Council had been emailed copies of the directory to review for updates, and the meeting went through the current entries, updating as required. Cathy would prepare an amended version.
Action – Cathy
- PARISH PASTORAL COUNCILLORS’ REPORTS:
St Helen. Since the last PPC meeting, St Helen’s have resurrected a number of social activities including post Mass refreshments, the Drop In Club, the Mothers’ Union and the Fourth Wednesday Club. Additionally they have started a Holy Hour and Eucharistic Adoration Hour every Thursday. The Norwich Food Bank has been well supported since the end of lockdown.
St John of the Cross. The Hardies are emigrating to New Zealand in the next few months and the Endell family would be taking over responsibility for Cafod activities in the church community. A Christmas tree had been erected in the church and the representatives checked with Fr James that he was happy with the location. There are a couple of new parishioners (Cathy would prepare more welcome packs – see 5b above). 50% of the choir had been lost and Katie was looking for new voices.
Sacred Heart. Fr James’s report had covered developments at the Sacred Heart.
- ANY OTHER BUSINESS:
a. 2023 Synod of Bishops. This is now being rolled out in the Diocese, although there is a little confusion. The Diocese is creating a portal where responses can be uploaded to ten questions, BUT how do we set about discussing and sending back responses? Is there another way parishes can respond other than by individuals? The Bishops are apparently apprehensive of holding parish meetings, fearing that stronger voices may dominate the proceedings – they want people to be free to give their individual responses. Fr James said that it needed to be brought to the attention of the parish by publishing on the website, and hard copies being made available in each of the churches. Group activities would not be held before Christmas. People would need time to consider their responses. Fr James suggested that he speak to each of the congregations for about ten minutes. John offered to set up a new page on the parish website, prefacing with the words of Pope Francis.
Action – John
b. Defibrillators. It had been agreed that initially, one would be ordered to be located at the entrance to the Parish Hall. Georgiana said that she had a spare which she would bring to the next meeting. To be discussed at the next Finance Committee meeting.
Action – Georgiana
- DATE OF NEXT MEETING:
Tuesday 15 March 2022, 7.15pm for 7.30 at the Sacred Heart Presbytery, North Walsham.
Fr James concluded the meeting with a prayer.