PARISH OF THE SACRED HEART – PARISH PASTORAL COUNCIL
Minutes of the meeting held on TUESDAY 11th OCTOBER 2016
PRESENT: Father James Walsh, John Bolger, Hilary Bolger, Adrian Rudman, Mary Edmonds, Robert Hardie, Michael Haughton, Frances Dickerson, Agnieska Gabriel and Secretary Clare Hardie
Hamish McQueen, Catherine Williams from the Diocesan Youth Team and Ginny Keane attended for Item 5
- APOLOGIES: Deacon Ron O’Toole, Chris Falla, Carol Shippey and Frances Green
Fr. James began the meeting with Prayer.
- It was agreed to try and finish the meeting by 9 p.m.
- MINUTES OF THE MEETING of the 28th June and the extraordinary meeting on the 2nd August were approved
Safety of Clergy and Parishioners in our Churches – Michael Haughton expressed his concerns that we did not have any procedures in place in the Parish to deal with unruly or even violent ‘visitors’ during services. Fr. James suggested that firstly each of the 3 church communities should undertake a ‘risk assessment’ and discuss the findings at their forums. Then if necessary to formulate a strategy to deal with any risk which would need to be particular to each church.
Parish Finances – Unfortunately the Finance Committee meeting due last week had been postponed until this week. After further discussions with the Committee Fr. James will print a summary sheet of the Parish’s income and expenditure for the bulletin. This will show our declining income and give some suggestions for tackling the issue by encouraging parishioners to think about increasing their weekly contribution, preferably making use of STO’s or planned giving envelopes and to Gift Aid their contributions whenever possible.
Alive in Faith – Fr. James will make some enquiries as to how and when we need to make our formal bids for money for Parish projects from the Alive in Faith fund. Each of our communities has about £10,000 available for projects. In the meantime is suggested that possible projects should be discussed at the Forums and ideas brought back to the next PPC meeting in December.
Year of Mercy – The Secular Franciscans had organised a ‘Norwich Pilgrimage Walk’ on Sunday 24th July and this was attended by about 20 people and was a great success.
“Spiritual Forums’ – Following on from Hilary’s suggestions of some further adult teaching sessions, Fr. James had thought that Rob’s suggestion of a short session after Mass at Sacred Heart could work well. He thought he would try to do a 15 minute session about once a month and link it to that day’s Gospel reading and homily. Michael also asked if there could be longer pauses for private prayer during the Intercessions. Clare said she had noticed copies of a sheet called ‘The Word’ in Cromer, which was a weekly aid to study, and meditation on the following Sunday’s Gospel. She will find details and give them to Fr. James.
Refugees in Norfolk – John and Hilary had attended the City of Sanctuary meeting in Norwich but felt it was really only relevant for the City but they were heartened to see just how many agencies were willing to be involved when the City finally does accept some of the Syrian refugees. The local authority has now agreed to find suitable accommodation rather than relying on members of the public offering private accommodation. English Plus did agree to send John some feedback on how they used the bikes etc. that we had collected but so far none has been received, although John says they are extremely grateful. Bikes and vacuum cleaners are still being donated. Rob and Clare had met with Fr. Luke Gregory the Franciscan Priest who is looking after the refugees on Kos and Rhodes on their recent Pilgrimage. They were able to give him the £1500 collected from the Parish, a further £500 from the Catholic Medical Missionary Society and their fellow NZ pilgrims had collected another £2000. He was completely overwhelmed and explained that with the holiday season ending on Rhodes he was finding it a real struggle to feed the refugees who are stuck on the Greek islands.
No money now comes from the Greek Government and Fr. Luke relies totally on Caritas and pro Terra Sancta. Rob and Clare also gave Fr. Luke the letters of support the children of St. Francis of Assisi School in Norwich had written to the refugees after CAFOD had been into the school to talk to them about the Lampedusa Cross and the refugees.
- ON GOING FORMATION OF CHILDREN
Hamish McQueen and Catherine Williams from the Diocesan Youth Team and Ginny Keane from St John of the Cross were present for this item. Hamish and Catherine had produced a guide ‘Practical Steps to Setting up Youth Ministry in a Parish’ (which is attached).
Hamish stressed the importance of praying as the very first step in starting any new imitative and to include a prayer for our youth in our weekly prayers of intercession. He suggested we needed to research the local situation and what was going on in neighbouring parishes, and to try to set up a team and involve any 6th formers in the Parish, particularly those who had had an ‘encounter with Christ’, although sometimes it would be hard to get them to commit to any activities due to school work pressures. Obviously anyone involved in Youth Ministry would need a DBS check. Catherine has a wealth of experience and ideas and would be very willing to work with any team we set up. It was explained to Hamish and Catherine that our main concern were the children who had attended regularly with their parents for First Holy Communion preparation but who now we no longer saw at Sunday Mass. About 40 children over the past 4 years have made their First Communion, of these very few are able to attend a Catholic Primary School and consequently often don’t then go onto Notre Dame for Senior School. Their on-going formation is down to their parents and the pressure of social activities on Sundays often makes for a battleground. Ginny as a mother of 2 post first communion children is really keen to be involved and has a multitude of ideas she hopes will stimulate older children to want to be involved. She has suggestions for suitable books for the church libraries. Hamish said he thought there was a Catholic App under development at present as Ginny has found it impossible to find anything suitable for her children to use, and children these days doing everything online. Ginny hopes to start a magazine written by the children but she would need help with printing. The first step would be to form a team and several names were suggested for her to approach initially. John suggested that a good starting point would be for the youth to be involved with the Family Mass on Christmas Eve at Sacred Heart which is always very well attended. All were very enthusiastic and thought this would be an achievable time frame. St. Helen’s rarely have any young families attending these days so the focus needs to be at Sacred Heart and St. John of the Cross.
LIVE SIMPLY AWARD
Fr. James had spoken at all 3 Churches over last weekend to explain that we had applied to CAFOD to work towards gaining a Live Simply Award for our Parish. Only 2 other Parishes in the Diocese have so far achieved the Award. He explained that most of us are already trying to Live Simply in line with the Pope’s requests in Laudato Sii so it was really a matter of collecting and showing the evidence. The steering group, which comprises 3 members from each of the different communities had met a couple of times and had already produced information and display boards in each church. The Live Simply Prayer Cards had been used for the first time on Sunday and the prayer will be included in our Intercessions each week. Hilary asked for a further supply of the Prayer Cards and ‘How you can Play your Part’ leaflets which Clare will order from CAFOD. Hilary also thought that under ‘Actions to live in Solidarity with the Poor’ reference to working with ‘City of Sanctuary in Norwich should have been removed as this was probably not going to now happen. Clare explained that the Plan had been submitted immediately after the last steering group meeting and prior to their attendance at the City of Sanctuary meeting. John has put a Live Simply Page on the Parish Website for the Steering Group to publish information. The Steering Group meets again next week and suggestions for Living Simply will start to appear in the Bulletin on a regular basis.
- PARISH PASTORAL COUNCILLORS REPORTS
St. John of the Cross – Forum meeting due on 16/10
St. Helens – Forum meeting due on 29/10
Sacred Heart – John asked if it would be possible to have a collection and gathering and presentation for Doreen Crouch who has played the organ at Sacred Heart over many years and is now retiring. Fr. James will confirm a suitable date with John for the beginning of November. Hilary asked if any member of the PPC might know of some accommodation in North Walsham that a family from South Africa could rent for a month whilst they were here visiting their father. The need is now urgent as they are due to arrive shortly
- P.P.C. ELECTIONS
Rob thanked Mary Edmonds, Hilary Bolger and Carol Shippey (in her absence) for their participation on the PPC as they are all completing their terms. Nomination forms were given out for 3 new members, one for each Church, these need to be completed and given back to Fr. James by the 1st November in order to have 3 new members on the council in time for the next meeting. There will be a request for nominations in the Bulletin this week. (Post meeting Carol has returned from holiday and is very happy to serve another 3 years for St John of the Cross community)
Frances asked if Fr. James wanted the Parish to prepare any gathering and refreshments whilst Bishop Alan Hopes is visiting the Parish over the weekend of the 23rd October. Fr. James explained that nothing was necessary, as the Bishop would not be staying overnight. He would return to The White House on Saturday after Mass and he had invited Fr. James to join him for lunch after Mass on the Sunday. He would probably join the parishioners for a cup of tea after Mass once he had greeted parishioners leaving the Churches.
- DATE OF NEXT MEETING
Tuesday 6th December 2016 at 7.30 p.m. in the Parish Room
Fr. James then concluded the meeting with a prayer.