PARISH OF THE SACRED HEART – PARISH PASTORAL COUNCIL
Minutes of the meeting held on TUESDAY 11TH JULY 2017
PRESENT: Father James Walsh, Adrian Rudman, Robert Hardie, Becky Walker, Michael Haughton, Elaine Haughton, Frances Dickerson, Chris Falla, Secretary Clare Hardie
Bob and Katie Maidment were present for Item 4.
- APOLOGIES: Deacon Ron O’Toole, John Bolger, Agnieska Gabriel who has tendered her resignation from the
PPC. Rob will write and thank her for her years as the Polish Representative. It was decided not to reappoint a further Polish Representative as all felt the Polish community was now well integrated into the Parish.
Absent – Frances Green, Carol Shippey
Action – Rob
Fr. James began the meeting with Prayers on the Feast of St. Benedict
- It was agreed to try and finish the meeting by 8.45 p.m.
3. MINUTES OF THE MEETING of the 3rd April 2017 were approved.
- PARISH TWINNING & SUPPORT CAMBODIA
Bob & Katie Maidment explained the following to the PPC
- Bishop Michael & Bishop Kike intended the parish twinning to be based primarily on friendship and prayer. Practical assistance was/is welcome but of secondary importance. This principle has been re-iterated many times by Bishop Kike, Fr. David and Fr. James.
- When our Parish voted in 2006 to be twinned with Cambodia and was given Svay Sisophon Parish it was in a poor way and had no practical support from anywhere in the world. In the last 3 years that has changed and they now have money from Korea, Japan, Singapore, Spain and others. Also as a result of the new Jesuit school being built in Svay, the world spotlight is now on the area and the parish has benefited a great deal from increased attention and investment.
- This was one of the reasons why, in 2013/2014, funding started to be given to other more needy centres, first in Pongo & Poipet, close to Svay and then expanded to help a number of very poor communities further afield.
- In August 2014, the Steering Group which had been responsible for the Parish Twinning, folded through lack of people, it was decided (with the full agreement of the then members: Adrian Rudman, Celia Cooper, Clare Glenn, Carol Shippey, Bob & Katie Maidment) to separate the ‘practical assistance’ bit of the twinning from the ‘friendship and prayer’ and form a separate charity which would be entirely based on practical help
- One of the other reasons for separation was to take the pressure off the parish being asked too frequently to give ‘to our twin parish’ and to alleviate the ‘Cambodia Fatigue’ that had set in. Parishioners now have a choice as to where they give their money; Cambodia or any other collection inside or outside the Church.
- These decisions have been explained to the Parish several times over the years. A leaflet was issued to every family in May 2014 and an announcement was made by Bob at all Sunday Masses in November 2014 information people of the changes and it was published in Mango News the same month. However, a number of people have joined the parish since 2014 and so may be unaware of the background.
- The Trustees of the new charity decided unanimously that the charity should be a) independent of the church or any other organisation b) non-faith since a large proportion of the fundraising was and is coming from outside the parish and c) should concentrated on the very neediest communities in areas of North-West Cambodia that have little or no funding at all.
- Although strictly speaking it wasn’t necessary, the new charity decided to maintain parish sponsorship for university students in Svay until it’s natural end in 2017 and Support Cambodia continues to fund a regular Baby Mild and Rice Feeding Programme in Svay every year which costs $1500. The Annual Appeal to Sacred Heart Parish goes specifically towards funding this. Fr. Greg is also able to apply for project funding in the same way as any other centre in North-West Cambodia which he has done ever year and has received substantial sums of money.
- For those parishioners who wish to make an individual financial contribution to Cambodia, ‘Support Cambodia’ is an independent, totally accountable way of doing this and indeed a significant number of the parish do contribute that way. The option to specify exactly what the donation is for and where it is to go has always been there so those who wish their money to go specifically to Svay Parish can ensure it does so. Of course, the other option people have is to contribute to the Diocesan Building Bridges Fund.
- ‘Support Cambodia’ funds projects all over North-West Cambodia whereas the parish is twinned with ONE place. This is another reason why the charity and the parish twinning needs to be separate and the vast majority of parishioners understand the difference. It’s noticeable that those few who say they don’t understand, vary rarely attend any ‘Support Cambodia’ events and so no not avail themselves of the many opportunities to ask questions and clarify any issues.
- As there is obviously a conflict of interest here which is not helpful to the parish situation, we have informed Fr. James that, as from September we intend to hand over the responsibility for running the Parish Twinning. The Live Simply Steering Group has agreed to take this on and the practical application of this will be discussed at the next Live Simply Steering Group meeting.
Katie and Bob were thanked for their very clear presentation and for all their endeavours with the Parish Twinning and now with Support Cambodia. Chris said it certainly clarified the position for her as she had arrived in the Parish in 2014 and was not aware of all the background. Katie has put forward a list of very helpful suggestions for taking forward the Parish Twinning, which will be discussed next week at the Live Simply Steering Group meeting. Katie is a member of this group so will be able to help and advise but as she explained she does not want the total responsibility for the Twinning on her shoulders. The Parish Twinning needs to be supported by all three communities if it is to continue. Katie was asked what other Twinned Parishes did to keep their twin parish in the thoughts of their parishioners and she thought they all struggled.
Action – Live Simply Steering Group
5. MATTERS ARISING
‘Cool Catholic Kids’ – Ginny Keane was unable to attend but sent the following report:
Thank you all for your support. The July service was the biggest challenge yet as 3 families were away at a folk festival, however out of every set back comes a positive. The church was lovely and full and gave me the courage to go on. Most of the choir was happy to come down and support us. Hannah also surprised us by singing solo the Alleluia. I have decided to cancel the 6th August Mass as I am away and no one will commit themselves. I realize this will be an ongoing problem until a real momentum has established and new faces drop in. I am also delighted Katie Maidment has come forward with some lovely ideas for the masses, and feel flattered that she is incorporating one or two of the family mass songs from time to time; this too will build the confidence and the feeling of familiarity and sense of belonging for those attending Aylsham church. I am in the process of designing prayer cards which I hope to have ready for the children to give out to all parishioners after mass in September along with information posters for the 3 churches parish halls and local venues that are relevant. We are planning a couple of breakfast clubs in the holidays, in the hall and hope that is acceptable on a Sunday morning. As we did previously wash up and clear away and set up for mass refreshments I hope this does not inconvenience anyone?
Safety of Clergy and Parishioners in our Churches – Fr. James had discussed our concerns with other clergy and it had been suggested to him that the best way forward would be to have a ‘safety officer’ in each church. As a first step the ‘safety officer’ should make contact with the local police station and seek advice about security in the church and to ask about emergency contact numbers. This should be discussed at Forums and at the same time each church should really have a fire safety policy and a ‘fire officer’ appointed as parishioners and visitors need to know where the fire extinguishers are and how to use them. Rob and Clare had recently been at Mass in St Leonards on Sea where an announcement about evacuation in case of fire had been made before the start of Mass.
Action – Parish Forums
Alive in Faith – Fr. James said he had now received £6,500 from the Alive in Faith Fund and this had been distributed as agreed with £1000 to the North Norfolk SVP, £2000 for the refurbishment of the St. Helen’s Organ and £3,500 towards the cost of the new organ at St. John of the Cross. There will be more funds available next year and we will be able to apply for other projects.
Refugees in Norfolk – As reported at the Annual Parish Meeting Rob and Clare had briefly met with Gervais Kouloungou, our Deanery Representative for Refugees. Adrian is concerned that whilst the County Council may be supporting the Syrians who are in Norwich the funding is only for the first year and he feels there will be a need for help and support at the end of this time. Clare will contact Gervais for a further update on the situation. Rob and Clare had attended an SVP meeting in St. Leonards on Sea where there is a very busy refugee distribution centre. Clare explained how the SVP, with help from the Migrant Fund, were helping and how they were dealing with about 130 Syrians trying to settle into various parts of the UK. Adrian will contact the Norwich SVP and see if they are involved with the Syrians settling into Norwich.
Action – Adrian and Clare
New Evangelisation – No-one was aware of anyone who had been to the Marriage Tribunal Road shows. Clare and Katie had attended the Media Training session that had been run by Keith Morris and Rebecca Bretherton. Keith is the editor of ‘Catholic East Anglia’ and updates the Diocesan Website. He was explaining how to write articles for publication in the paper and for the website. He is always keen to have news of Parish activities. All agreed that the ‘Catholic East Anglia’ had improved since he had become the Editor.
Fr. James’ Jubilee – Plans are well in hand and about 150 are expected to attend the Mass and Lunch celebrations next weekend. Elaine and Mike apologised for not being able to attend but were due at their son’s graduation.
Mission Statement – Michael agreed that the Live Simply mission statement was sufficient for the Parish.
Annual Parish Meeting – All thought this had gone well and was well attended. The format was successful and will remain the same for next year.
6. LIVE SIMPLY AWARD UPDATE
Rob and Clare had been to a day on Laudato Sii led by Fr. Augusto Zampini at the Cathedral on 30th June. Fr. Augusto has been working with CAFOD for the last couple of years but is now going to the Vatican to run an environmental department. He is a renowned expert on Laudato Sii and his talk was excellent and inspiring and made us realise how important the Pope’s encyclical still is 2 years on since is publication. We had recently undertaken CAFOD’s latest campaign ‘Power to Be’ which involved signing cards to go to the World Bank about supporting clean and renewable energy. We were able to return 85 signed cards to CAFOD. The steering group is meeting again next week and will be discussing our Parish twinning and how to take this forward. Another idea was to plant a tree in each of the parish gardens in October to celebrate our first anniversary of undertaking the Live Simply challenge.
Action – Live Simply Steering Group
7. PARISH SAFEGUARDING
Fr. James said that Rebecca Bretherton, who is the Diocesan Safeguarding Officer, had been to Sacred Heart and completed the DBS paperwork for the parishioners who still needed this to be done and he hoped that now all DBS checks were complete. We need to have a named safeguarding person for each community, as Charlotte Collison is no longer able to undertake this role. Fr. James has a couple of possible volunteers at Sacred Heart but still needs a volunteer from St. John of the Cross and St. Helens. Basically the role is simply to help people complete the necessary paperwork for submission to the DBS.
Action – Parish Forums
- PARISH PASTORAL COUNCILLORS REPORTS
St. John of the Cross – The money from the Alive in Faith had been received, the new organ is now installed and Katie thanked all who had helped with the fundraising. The choir plan to organise coffee mornings to invite visiting organists to come and play the new organ. Proceeds would go to the ADF. A suggestion had been made to have a Memorial Garden at St John of the Cross but this was not met with approval as the grounds are not large enough and with the expansion of Aylsham the possibility of an extension to the present church might need to be considered in the future. The question of the lack of altar severs was raised and Fr. James would be happy to have an adult server as there are currently no children able to attend and serve on a regular basis. This will be discussed at the next Forum.
The suggestion of a Prayer/ Bible discussion group had been raised and Fr. James had no objection to the idea but pointed out that Deacon Ron already ran a Bible Study group at Sacred Heart on a Friday afternoon. It was agreed to raise the gardener’s hourly rate to £14. Next Forum meeting is on 17th September.
St. Helens – The community is delighted to have received the Alive in Faith money towards the cost of the organ refurbishment and together with the legacy from Mrs. Joan Harmer this will be sufficient to carry out the work. There will be Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament after some Wednesday morning Masses, but not on a Wednesday when there is a coffee morning or 4th Wednesday club. There will be no Harvest Supper at St. Helen’s this year as most of the organisers will be on the Parish trip to France. There is a very good library at St. Helen’s, which is available for all in the Parish to use, and this needs to be better advertised.
Sacred Heart – Churches Together in North Walsham is organising another Safari Supper on 23rd September. The church redecoration is due to start on 24th July and the church will be out of action for about 3 weeks. There will be no weekday masses at Sacred Heart and the Sunday Mass will be held in the parish hall. Confessions on Saturdays will be in the Presbytery at the usual times. Everyone at Sacred Heart is fully occupied at present organising Fr. James’s Jubilee celebrations next weekend. Becky said that there is still a need for some more Ministers of the Eucharist. The problem with the public parking in the car park was discussed this is most problematical on Thursdays, market day. Adrian showed people some small signs, which could be placed on windscreens if it is thought that a car does not belong to an authorised user. It is a difficult problem.
Fr. James said that Bishop has arranged for School of the Annunciation at Buckfast Abbey in Devon to offer training to gain a Catechetical Certificate for the Diocese of East Anglia. This is almost entirely an online course with one study day each term, which the School has agreed to hold here in the Diocese. Bishop Alan would like every parish to have a trained Catechist to help with the RCIA programme, Confirmation and First Communion preparation. The first course will start in October.
Fr. James said that he has been accepted to undertake a 5 year degree course in Theology, again mainly by correspondence with the Maryvale Institute in Birmingham. The cost will be £3800 per year and he will be asking the Finance Committee for about £1200 annually as a contribution towards his fees.
Action – Fr. James
- DATE OF NEXT MEETING
Elections for new PPC representatives are due at the end of October. Michael Haughton has served 2 terms at St. Helens, Adrian Rudman is eligible for a second term for Sacred Heart and Chris Falla wishes to stand down from St. John of the Cross. Clare will ensure nomination forms are given to PPC representatives during September.
Action – Clare
Tuesday 10th October 2017 at 19.30 at St. Helen’s Hoveton
Fr. James then concluded the meeting with a prayer.