PARISH OF THE SACRED HEART – PARISH PASTORAL COUNCIL
Minutes of the meeting held on TUESDAY 16TH FEBRUARY 2016
PRESENT: Father James Walsh, John Bolger, Hilary Bolger, Adrian Rudman, Mary Edmonds, Agnieska Gabriel, Carol Shippey, Robert Hardie, Frances Green
- APOLOGIES: Chris Falla, Michael Haughton and Deacon Ron O’Toole
Fr. James began the meeting with Prayer.
- It was agreed to try and finish the meeting by 8.45 p.m.
- MINUTES OF THE MEETING of the 24th November 2015 were approved with the following corrections.
Under ‘Alive in Faith’ – ‘a resume of the Diocesan finances’ …. and ‘we should be more outward looking’
- MATTERS ARISING
Support Group – Hilary wanted to clarify that the Support Group is willing to visit sick parishioners if requested to and in fact already volunteers visit a few people in North Walsham and Hoveton; obviously the numbers vary with the need. Adrian said he felt there was great need to visit people in Nursing and Residential homes as on questioning care home managers he had been told that many were very lonely. Parishioners in all 3 communities do take Communion into Nursing and Residential homes on a regular basis.
New Evangelisation – Rob had discussed ‘being a more welcoming Parish and not sitting in the same seats each Sunday’ at the St John of the Cross Forum and all felt that they had good reasons why they might sit in the same seats but that they were very good at welcoming visitors. The latest update from the Commission for the New Evangelisation in the Diocese explained that they would now be forming Proclaim Teams in each Deanery and the first Deanery event will be in Bungay on 27th February. There is a website dedicated to The New Evangelisation on the Diocesan website: rcdea.org.uk It is suggested that we should watch the film ‘Spotlight’ about the child sex abuse in Boston in order to inform ourselves and be able to discuss the film with people who may question us about it. There will be another Diocesan New Evangelisation Event at Newmarket on Saturday 2nd July. Rob hopes to be able to attend.
Parish Finances – Michael Haughton had obtained a copy of the letter to parishioners from the Nottingham Diocese and had drafted a paper for consideration, which suggested how best parishioners could contribute to the weekly parish collections. Cardinal Basil Hume had proposed many years ago that at least one hour’s pay a week would be a good starting point. With the minimum hourly wage now at £7.20 a contribution of at least that amount per person would certainly increase the weekly parish collection. Many parishioners do not seem to be aware that they can use either planned giving envelopes or make a payment by standing order and that taxpayers can also Gift Aid their contributions. Fr. James will take the draft paper to the next Finance Committee meeting and Robert will write to Francis Harmer – Hoveton Rep on the Finance Committee to say that the PPC supported a drive to make parishioners aware of the real costs of running our Parish. Fr. James said this would be better addressed after the Alive in Faith campaign had finished at Easter.
- ALIVE IN FAITH
Fr. James updated the PPC on the campaign and reported that we were ‘on target’. With the help of Carol and David Shippey in Aylsham, Terry McIlwee in Hoveton and Jim Farrell in North Walsham he had been able to send out letters to Parishioners and arrange meetings to explain the campaign personally. He thought that the meetings held last week in North Walsham and Aylsham had helped to dispel some of the misinformation about Alive in Faith. He explained that he had asked Laoise about holding an information meeting, as the PPC had suggested, at the beginning of January, but she had been reluctant to hold a meeting at the beginning of the campaign as she thought any negative comments might not be helpful and would turn people against the campaign. With hindsight Fr. James agreed this had not been good advice and he hoped that the meeting last week had gone someway to dispel concerns. He felt people had been able to ask their questions and had been listened too. Rafal has now taken over from Laoise as our Parish fundraising supervisor. It was accepted that whilst most agreed with the need for a fundraising campaign the means were not totally acceptable. Fr. James agreed that the means are never perfect; he said that in fact the American fundraising company engaged by the Diocese were not charging a higher fee than any other fundraising company. Although their fee is not being paid from the Alive in Faith pledges it is still a large amount of money to be found from other Diocesan funds, which still have to be collected from parishioners. Fr. James agreed that the information packs about the campaign should have been given out to everyone interested at the start and these will be distributed this week. He will also mention to Rafal that the Alive in Faith details on the Diocesan website should be updated on a regular basis to keep everyone informed of the campaign’s progress. Becoming involved is entirely voluntary and up to each individual and parishioners should not feel pressurised or unhappy about becoming involved
PARISH ANNUAL MEETING
John has contacted Gervais Kouloungou, the Deanery Representative for Refugees and he would be delighted to come and speak about the Refugee Crisis at our Annual Meeting. John and Hilary will contact other organisations involved under the St Luke’s umbrella of ‘help for refugees’ and have some display panels and information sheets available on the evening for parishioners. The date will be either the 9th or 16th May depending on Gervais’ availability, which John will ascertain. Clare will then book the Parish Hall with Annabelle. The evening will take the usual form with reports from Rob as the PPC Chair, Fr. James and Nick Sutherland as the Chair of the Parish Finance Committee. This year Sacred Heart parishioners will be responsible for the main course and St. John of the Cross parishioners for the puddings.
- YEAR OF MERCY
CTS booklets with suggestions of how to celebrate the Year of Mercy in Parishes were handed out and a small supply will be in each of our Churches. Adrian said that at Walsingham each of the crosses in the meadow had a plaque with a suggestion written on it, he would have a closer look at the suggestions next time he was over there. The next Diocesan Event will be the 24 Hours with the Lord, which Fr. James explained would be held in each of the five Deaneries. This will be held at St. John’s Cathedral for our Deanery on Friday 4th March. Each Parish in the Deanery will cover a few hours and he will find out our time and publish it in the Bulletin so that parishioners can arrange to be down at the Cathedral. Divine Mercy Sunday is on the 3rd April (Low Sunday) and as we have quite a large Polish Community and Divine Mercy is a very big feast in Poland, Agnieska said she would ask some of her community to help with the celebrations that day. Prior to Mass at 11 a.m. the Chaplet of Divine Mercy will be said and Fr. James will preach about Divine Mercy. Then at 3 p.m. we will gather to say the Three O’Clock Prayer and the Chaplet Mercy and hopefully follow up with tea and cakes in the Parish Hall. Fr. James will be available for Confessions on Saturday 2nd April as usual. Adrian will obtain a supply of leaflets with the Divine Mercy Prayers for the Parish. The Bishop will lead the Diocesan Pilgrimage to Walsingham on Monday 2nd May; the theme will be The Year of Mercy. There will be a coach organised for our parishioners to attend. CAFOD have produced a Study Guide to enable 4 Parish discussion sessions on Laudato Sii. Robert and Fr. James will discuss these further and organise 4 sessions for parishioners to attend on Sunday evenings at 5 p.m. starting on the 12th June. Clare will get a supply of the study guides from CAFOD. John has asked our webmaster to put a link to the national ‘The Year of Mercy’ site on the front page of our Parish website
- PARISH PASTORAL COUNCILLORS REPORTS
Sacred Heart – The New Year’s Day Party had taken place with a bring and share lunch. Hilary said it seemed a long time since this had been discussed as we hadn’t had a PPC meeting since the end of November and could we have meetings every two months. Frances asked that we should discuss the on-going formation for children in the Parish who had received their First Communion, as there didn’t seem to be anything suitable for them until they were due to be confirmed. Parents need encouragement to continue to bring the children to church regularly. Frances agreed to come to the next meeting with some ideas for discussion.
St. John of the Cross – Parishioners are coping well since the arson attack on the church last month. Fortunately the damage to the inside of the church is not too extensive and the electrics have been repaired to allow the heating to be used but the PA system is not working and the carpet on the altar has sustained considerable water damage. Offers of use of the other local churches had been made to Fr. James and he was even offered the use of the Town Hall by the local council. Carol said she and David were extremely grateful for all the prayers and support given to them both during David’s recent illness. They had been very sad not to have been able to go to Cambodia with Bob and Katie Maidment.
Bob and Katie had had a very successful visit to our twinned Parish in Svay Sisophon and they came back bringing love, prayers and grateful thanks from Fr. Greg and the parishioners for all the gifts they had taken with them. The new Jesuit school in Svay is going from strength to strength and the whole visit was extremely successful and positive.
St. Helen’s – The Churches together on the Broads had recently held a Covenant Service at St. Helens. There was some concern about the new cycle path from Hoveton station to Horning which is due to be constructed on the pavement opposite St Helens as this could impinge on St Helen’s car park.
Food Bank – Adrian reported that the Food Bank in Stalham was now going to be held on Fridays from 1.30-3 in the Baptist Hall and the CAB would be present too. Rob said he had some collecting boxes for the Food Bank and asked Fr. James when would be a good time to leave these in the Churches as he knew the Food Bank was always in need of cash as well as food. Fr. James suggested we should wait until after Easter. Adrian said that he would try and put updates in our Parish bulletin on a regular basis as well as the regular newsletters, which are on the notice boards, as people sometimes didn’t understand that the Food Bank does now have a paid employee. Whilst they did get a glut of food over the Harvest and Christmas periods that has now evened out and the need for regular contributions of food is still very necessary. The Food Bank will hopefully receive some funding from Alive in Faith, as it is part of our Parish’s social outreach.
St George’s Parish – Is celebrating their 50th Anniversary with a year long programme of interesting events and concerts. There was a flyer about all these events in our Bulletin last week.
CAFOD Lenten Fast Day Friday 19th February – Envelopes were given out in our Churches last weekend for collection this weekend.
Queen’s 90th Birthday – It was agreed that we should enter into local town celebrations for this event rather than trying to organise our own events
DATE OF NEXT MEETING
Tuesday 19th April 2016 in the Parish Room
Fr. James then concluded the meeting at 8.45 p.m. with the Our Father and other prayers.