PRESENT: Fr Peter Raj, Richard McGreevy (St Helen, Chair), Antonia Martinez (Sacred Heart), Ann Gibbs (Sacred Heart), Clare Glenn (St John of the Cross), Fran Ludden (St John of the Cross), Keith Copperwheat (St John of the Cross), Catherine Watkins (Secretary)
1. APOLOGIES: Shinto Devassy (Sacred Heart), Peter and Georgiana Rylands (St Helen)
Fr Peter opened the meeting with a prayer.
2. It was agreed to try and finish the meeting by 8.45pm.
3. MINUTES OF THE MEETING: on 6 June 2023 were agreed and signed.
4. MATTERS ARISING: There had been no fresh matters raised at the previous meeting.
5. HEALTH AND SAFETY UPDATE
A volunteer to be the new Health & Safety rep at St John of the Cross had not been found yet. Fire drills have been carried out at St John of the Cross and at the Sacred Heart. FIRST AID:An East Anglia Air Ambulance employee is happy to give volunteers first aid training (including use of defibrillators) at no cost (usual charge would be on average £75pp). It was agreed that a donation of £100 would be appropriate as a thank you. There should be at least 4 qualified first aiders for each of our churches. Richard agreed to compose an entry to go in the newsletter, asking for volunteers. DEFIBRILLATORS: Ithad been agreed that one was not required at the Sacred Heart because one was available at the Birchwood Surgery just across the road. St John of the Cross churchgoers are still debating whether they feel one is required there. St Helen churchgoers would like to purchase one for their church. COMMUNION UNDER BOTH KINDS: Richard reported that he had carried out a risk assessment and the main issue had been found to be the transmission of infection between communicants. It was commented that a pack of 100 anti-bacterial wipes could be purchased for £4, used to wipe the lip of the chalice between communicants. There is a new variant, and vaccinations for the over 65s and the vulnerable had been brought forward.
Action – Richard
6. SACRED HEART MEMORIAL GARDEN – ACCESSIBILITY
The surveyor who carried out the quinquennial inspection had produced a drawing which had been sent out for three quotes. Once a decision has been made as to which quote would be accepted, application would be made for a grant from the NNDC towards making the garden more accessible for wheelchair users. Work to be carried out alongside work on hall fire escape paths.
Action – Cathy
7. PARISH CENSUS
Fr Peter, Peter Rylands and Antonia met in June to decide on the setup of the necessary form (Draft circulated). Fran suggested that a further column would be needed for spouses to enter activities, or they could complete a whole fresh form for themselves. It was hoped that the census could be carried out in September once Peter had made the necessary changes to the draft form.. Thanks were recorded to Fr Peter, Peter Rylands and to Antonia for their work on producing the forms.
Action – Fr Peter, Peter, Antonia
8. FINANCIAL EXPENDITURE MATTERS
Richard reported that the quinquennial report had raised several issues which would be expensive to rectify. A full structural survey of the Sacred Heart church had been recommended, including the tower, which it was suspected, had not been entered for many years. Antonia was asked to see if Annabelle Goodlet (a past Treasurer) had any memory of past action regarding the tower and the church roof. St John of the Cross had upcoming expense regarding a tree which needs removing, and a masonry window which needs repair. St Helen’s has crumbling concrete beneath some roof tiles.. Ken Watkins has resigned as Treasurer and the Council expressed their thanks for the dedication he had shown over the past years. The parish welcomed two new Treasurers, David Hoy and Peter Brander.
Action – Antonia
9. APPOINTMENT OF NEW PPC MEMBERS
Antonia Martinez (Sacred Heart) was coming to the end of her second term of office. Margaret Burrows has agreed to become a representative.
Fran Ludden (St John of the Cross) had replaced Ginny Keane whose term of office had been due to end. Fran agreed to continue for another term.
Peter Rylands (St Helen) was coming to the end of his second term of office. A replacement has not yet been nominated.
Richard McGreevy agreed to continue as Chair for a further year.
Cathy to update list on the parish website and take photographs at the next PPC meeting.
Action – St Helen representatives, Cathy
10. PARISH SOCIAL COMMITTEE REPORT
A group of representatives from all three churches met in the conservatory at the Presbytery on 17 July. It had been agreed that the most pressing issue was that all three churches worked together to create a coherent community. Antonia suggested that a series of Station Masses could be held, as a means of knitting the parish together. There was a need to raise money within the parish to cover the cost involved in the upkeep of the fabric of the various buildings. As the hall was out of use following a water leak, it could not be used for a Christmas Fayre, but the Committee agreed that 22 June 2024 would be a suitable date for a summer fayre in the church grounds. Ideas for stalls were collected, as well as the possibility of a suggestion box at each of the churches for ideas on future activities. Future social activities to be advertised in the parish newsletter. Fran said that information about future events could be emailed to her, and she would ask Antonia to publish them in the newsletter. The Committee meets next on 25 September, in the conservatory, more members to be encouraged.
Action – whole PPC
11. PARISH PRIEST’S REPORT TO THE PPC
Fr Peter thanked all parish volunteers. We have so many parishioners who work hard in so many different ways. St Mother Teresa did everything for the love of God, and this is what we also do. Antonia commented that she felt Ben White in particular had earned the parish’s thanks for his hard work in arranging and co-ordinating the repairs to the parish hall and liaising with the various tradesmen. Father Peter echoed this sentiment and also thanked the other members of the hall committee. Kerry, Lauren and Izzy were much appreciated for their work with the children in “Faithful Flames” liturgy group. Father gave feedback on the celebrations of the patronal feasts – attendance at the Sacred Heart could have been better but the Mass and procession at St Helen’s was well organised. The feast of St John of the Cross is on 14 December. Fr Peter said that he appreciated the work that is done at St John of the Cross, visiting the sick and housebound and said he would like to see the same practice adopted in the other churches. Not just as a eucharistic ministry, but socially as well – he would like to be able to visit everybody but just does not have the time. Of course, any visitors would have to be DBS checked. Communion under both kinds was to be re-introduced; Fr Peter will decide when. Fr Peter said that he would be commissioning more Eucharistic Ministers, and existing Ministers would be re-commissioned.
12. PARISH PASTORAL COUNCILLORS’ REPORTS
St John of the Cross. The style of replacement chairs has been agreed upon and the cost for the whole church would be £14,500. The parishioners at St John of the Cross had raised £2,500 and Alive in Faith would assist. Sale of undamaged chairs had brought in £300. The tree which is having to be felled is a lime, the cost of the report was £498.
St Helen. Nick Walmsley’s 50 years celebration as organist at St Helen’s had been attended by representatives from all the local Christian communities, with a presentation and refreshments. The new exterior lights had been installed to illuminate the steps at the front of the church. A forum is to be held on 24 September.
Sacred Heart. The annual fire drill had been carried out very successfully – the church was emptied in 3 minutes. Father Peter had been kept informed of the progress on the repairs in the hall. There were 2 First Holy Communions last week. One was a child who had been in the parish First Communion class; the other was a child who had been received into the church. There had been a forum meeting which was quite well attended.
13. ANY OTHER BUSINESS
a. Shoebox appeal. Clare said that she had been asked by Steve and Julie James from the SVP to appeal for EMPTY shoeboxes covered in Christmas paper which will then be filled with a variety of goodies (a list of suitable items to be supplied) to go to those currently living in the SVP house. It was suggested that Steve and Julie give a short talk at the end of Sunday Masses at each church. Fran and Clare will collect boxes and items.
Action – Fran and Clare
b. Bible Alive. Richard said that there was currently a special offer on a year’s subscription: £29.99, first month free. He would ask Antonia to enter the item in the newsletter.
Action – Richard and Antonia
14. DATE OF NEXT MEETING
Tuesday 5 December, 7.15pm for 7.30 at the Church of St John of the Cross, Aylsham
Fr Peter concluded the meeting with a prayer.