PARISH OF THE SACRED HEART – PARISH PASTORAL COUNCIL
Minutes of the meeting held on TUESDAY 22nd SEPTEMBER 2015
PRESENT: Father James Walsh, Terry McIlwee, John Bolger, Hilary Bolger, Adrian Rudman, Mary Edmonds, Michael Haughton, Chris Falla
- APOLOGIES: Carol Shippey, Jayne Randall, Agnieszka Gabriel, Teresa Butler and Deacon Ron O’Toole
Fr. James began the meeting with Prayer
- It was agreed to finish the meeting by 8.30 p.m.
3. MINUTES OF THE MEETING of the 7th July 2015 were approved after a spelling correction.
4. MATTERS ARISING
New Organ for Sacred Heart, North Walsham – This will be installed on Thursday and Friday next week
Wheelchair Access to Sacred Heart, North Walsham – This is being completed next week and met with approval. It was thought that the ‘Disabled Parking’ notices, already present would be sufficient to allow disabled parishioners good access to the Church.
S.V.P. – Fr. James said we would have a Parish Collection for the SVP next weekend as discussed. Adrian will prepare a report for insertion in the newsletter this weekend.
Seat Reservations in our Churches – This problem seems to have been solved particularly at Sacred Heart Parish as they no longer involve the Ministers of Communion and Readers in a procession to the altar at the beginning of Mass
- PARISH RESPONSE TO THE REFUGEE CRISIS
Fr. James read out the following emails from Bishop Alan:
Dear Father, deacon, religious,
I enclose a copy of the statement issued on behalf of the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales on the present refugee Crisis, which you might like to make known to your parishioners this Sunday. (See below)
Through the Commissions of Justice and Peace (Deacon John Bell) and Social Concern (Bernard Seagrave Daley) our Diocese is getting together a list of Deanery contacts who will be responsible for liaising between our parishes and the named Local Authority person responsible for the resettlement of refugees, as to the kind of assistance we can provide, e.g. – short-term placement accommodation, skills and time including language skills, teaching of English, legal assistance, knowledge of local community and facilities available; financial support, food and clothing etc.. Where possible, this should also be done together with other Christian communities. More information will be given when we have the details of our contacts and the local authority details.
It is very important that we work through this channel to ensure that the best possible support and aid can be directed in the most effective way.
And of course, we must assure a warm welcome to any refugee family that arrives in the parish. That and our prayers for the ongoing crisis are a special gift from the Catholic community.
In response to Pope Francis’s call that Catholic parishes should house refugees, the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales are putting together a list of contacts within each diocese. In our Diocese, each local area will be linking with the local authority and ecumenically with other Christian churches and the Muslim communities. In order to help communication, it would be helpful to me if each deanery could send me the name of one contact person for your area. Could you please copy the information to the chairs of the Social Concern and Justice and Peace Commissions
Fr. James explained that following the Deanery meeting last week when this subject had been discussed, Fr. Denys Lloyd, the Dean, was going to appoint someone to be our Deanery link with the local authorities. He explained that at present there were only about 9 refugees each day arriving in the UK and none actually in East Anglia. There needed to be a distinction made between genuine refugees fleeing from war zones and conflicts and migrants wishing for the chance of a better life. The processing of refugees took a long time. After discussions it was decided that the best way forward for our Parish at present would be to support the agencies already working in the areas, these agencies are listed on the www.catholicnews.org.uk website. They include CAFOD, Red Cross, A.C.N, Caritas Social Action Network, SVP. Terry had read in the Times that any accommodation offered to refugees needed to be self-contained. Hilary said Deacon John Bell had recommended reading the Jesuit Refugee Service article ‘Why people flee and why they need protection’ (en.jrs.net). She said that Norman Lamb has corresponded with George Nobbs the leader of Norfolk County Council regarding how many refugees can be helped and how Norfolk can support them and the Mother’s Union in Norwich has been working closely with Sanctuary Norfolk. The local news channels had reported the efforts of a lady in North Walsham to organise deliveries of tents and blankets to refugees in Calais but we know that CAFOD and Caritas have this need well covered already. Fr. James asked for a brief resume of our discussions and conclusions, which he would print in the bulletin.
- NEW EVANGELISATION
John Bolger circulated information about the Posada Journey, which is to be the Diocesan Advent suggestion for each Parish. The Parish will receive at statue of the Virgin Mary riding on a donkey led by St. Joseph, which symbolises the journey to Bethlehem. This statue makes ‘a journey’ round homes in the Parish and could be an opportunity for families and friends to get together for simple prayer and fellowship. Fr. James thought the statue should spend a week in each Church community in turn. The Holy Family on their journey was particularly poignant this year with so many refugees on long and arduous journeys themselves.
Fr. James said last Sunday being Home Mission Sunday was the start of the year’s theme to Proclaim God’s Mercy and members of the Parish had all received a prayer card entitled Coming Home, which we would say together at Mass each Sunday. For every parishioner present in Church there are at least 3 others ‘missing’ for whom we need to pray.
Terry said one of the suggestions on the ‘Proclaim 15’ website was to make better use of Church Hall notice boards to display Parish evangelisation initiatives.
Fr. James will start the new RCIA course in early October and asked for suggestions as to the best time on a Sunday evening for the initial evening to which all Parishioners would be invited. It was thought that about 5 p.m. would be best. People wanting to continue with the RCIA course could agree further dates and timings.
- PPC ELECTIONS
Terry McIlwee, Teresa Butler and Jayne Randall have completed their terms on the PPC. Terry has now served 2 terms and is unfortunately not eligible for re-election; Fr. James thanked him for his good humour and efficiency during his Chairmanship of the PPC. Nomination forms will be in each Church during October and a notice will be in the Bulletin asking for completed nomination forms for a new representative from each community to be given to Fr. James by the end of October
PARISH PASTORAL ASSISTANT REPORT
(Covered at item 5)
PARISH PASTORAL COUNCILLORS REPORTS
Sacred Heart – The final total from the successful Parish Fete was thought to be about £2000.
St. John of the Cross – Harvest Supper on the 3rd October has been cancelled due to lack of helpers. There had been a poorly attended Macmillan Coffee morning last Friday but the sum of £70 had been raised
St. Helen’s – Harvest Supper will be held on Monday 5th October and parishioners from St. John of the Cross and Sacred Heart would be most welcome. There will be a Forum this Saturday evening following Holy Mass and one of the matters for discussion will be the appointment of a new correspondent for the “Bridge” magazine which reports local events in Wroxham and Hoveton.
Fr. James said he had asked the Finance Committee to arrange for a refurbished notice board outside Sacred Heart Church.
Fr. James explained that Fr. Peter Brown now felt unable to come a supply during the winter so Fr. James would be covering the Christmas Masses on his own. He suggested that he would celebrate Holy Mass at Hoveton at 8 p.m. on Christmas Eve followed by Midnight Mass at Sacred Heart. On Christmas Day he will celebrate Holy Mass at 9 a.m. at St. John of the Cross and at 11 a.m. at Sacred Heart.
Clare and Rob Hardie had attended the recent CAFOD Day of Recollection as Parish Representatives for St John of the Cross and Clare reported back on the Day and showed the PPC our Parish’s Annual Report. One suggestion from the Day was for Parishes to become involved with CAFOD’s Live Simply Award. Terry suggested asking Stephen Matthews, Community Participation Coordinator for East Anglia, to come and speak at our next Parish Annual Meeting in May 2016.
DATE OF NEXT MEETING
Tuesday 24th November 7.15 for 7.30 in the Parish Room
Fr. James then concluded the meeting with the Hail Mary in honour of Our Lady of Walsingham’s Feast Day on Thursday when we will be having a parish visit from Bishop Kike, Apostolic Prefect of the Diocese of Battambang, Cambodia
Statement on the Refugee Crisis
‘Whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me (Mt 25:40)’
At last Sunday’s Angelus, Pope Francis invited every parish, religious house and monastery in Europe to respond to the growing refugee crisis by offering a place of sanctuary to families fleeing from war and persecution in their home countries. The Pope calls on our generosity and solidarity to recognise and act upon our common humanity.
The UK government has agreed to receive and resettle up to 20,000 Syrian refugees from the camps in neighbouring countries over the next five years. The Catholic Church in England and Wales will work alongside Government and local authorities to offer welcome and support to those in need. The refugee crisis is a huge challenge, not only in Europe and the Middle East, but in many others parts of the world where large numbers of refugees live deeply uncertain and perilous lives. Consequently, as a Catholic community, and as a country, we need to be committed to helping refugees over a long period. To sustain that effort we need moral imagination.
We recognise that we can all contribute and play a part in helping to support the most vulnerable of refugees. Such assistance includes:
- Time and professional skills (eg language teaching, legal help)
- Shelter and accommodation We can all be attentive to those who are vulnerable and newly arrived in our local communities and parishes. A warm welcome can be the most simple yet effective of gifts we can all offer. Practically, we are working to ensure, as far as possible, that every diocese has a contact nominated to co-ordinate your parish/individual response; they will liaise with the local authority and other faith groups to match offers of time, talents and accommodation with the pressing humanitarian needs of the local area. Please look at catholicnews.org.uk for additional information which will be regularly updated. Prayer from Pope Saint John Paul II Hear my voice, for it is the voice of the victims of all wars and violence among individuals and nations. Hear my voice, for it is the voice of all children who suffer and will suffer when people put their faith in weapons and war. Hear my voice when I beg You to install into the hearts of all human beings the wisdom of peace, the strength of justice, and the joy of fellowship. Hear my voice, for I speak for the multitudes in every country and in every period of history who do not want war and are ready to walk the road of peace.
Hear my voice and grant insight and strength so that we may always respond to hatred with love, to injustice with total dedication to justice, to need with the sharing of self, to war with peace.
O God, hear my voice and grant unto the world Your everlasting peace. Amen.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols Archbishop Peter Smith
Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales 39 Eccleston Square, London, SW1V 1BX
For more information and further guidance – www.catholicnews.org.uk