PARISH OF THE SACRED HEART – PARISH PASTORAL COUNCIL
Minutes of the meeting held on TUESDAY 28th JUNE 2016
PRESENT: Father James Walsh, Deacon Ron O’Toole, John Bolger, Hilary Bolger, Adrian Rudman, Mary Edmonds, Carol Shippey, Robert Hardie, Frances Green, Chris Falla, Michael Haughton, Frances Dickerson and Secretary Clare Hardie
- APOLOGIES: Agnieska Gabriel and Frances Green
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 19th April were approved following a typing correction.
New Evangelisation – John will attend the Event on Saturday 2nd July at Newmarket and report back to the PPC.
Parish Finances – Nick Sutherland’s report to the Parish Annual Meeting explained the problems with the declining collections and gave some suggestions for tackling the issue. Fr. James will summarise these suggestions and print them in the bulletin. Money put in the collection plate in any of our 3 Churches all went to the same Parish fund. If people wished to pay by STO there is no need to put money in the weekly collection plate too but an STO does ensure that the Parish will still receive the weekly amount should you be away for any reason. Envelopes are the preferred method for many people, as the donation does remain private. People do need to be encouraged to put a more realistic amount in the collection plate each week.
Alive in Faith – Fr. James had received a letter from the Bishop thanking the Parish for their involvement in Alive in Faith. He will put the letter on each notice board and John will put a copy on the website. We will be able to apply
for money for Parish projects in October as this will be 6 months after the end of our campaign. There will be £30,000 available for parish projects, £10,000 for each community and it was suggested that possible projects should be discussed at the Forums and ideas brought back to the next PPC meeting for consideration.
Parish Annual Meeting – All thought the meeting had gone well and that is was a shame the second speaker had been unable to attend. Next year Fr. James thought we should have the meeting with the meal rather than the meal taking up so much of the evening. Hilary has managed to obtain a copy of Gervais’ daughter’s book, which she is happy to lend. Fr. James also thought he had a copy and that they are available for sale at the Cathedral bookshop.
Year of Mercy – Two sessions on Laudato Sii had already taken place with Stephen Matthews from CAFOD leading the first session and Fr. James the second. About 20 people had attended each session. John will lead next week’s session and hoped to have the De Grandis family to talk about their recent trip to visit refugees on the Greek islands. Adrian had obtained a copy of the booklet with pictorial suggestions for Acts of Mercy as displayed at Walsingham. The booklet is available from the Shrine shop at £3 each. The Secular Franciscans have organised a ‘Norwich Pilgrimage Walk’ on Sunday 24th July starting with Holy Mass at St. John’s Cathedral at 11 a.m. followed by lunch in the Narthex and then a walk to the Julian Shrine with a talk from Pauline Lovelock who was the Education Officer at the Julian Shrine. Then onto the Anglican Cathedral for evensong and tea in the Restaurant before returning to St. John’s Cathedral to go through the Holy Door.
On going Formation for Children – This had been discussed at the Liturgy meeting at St. John of the Cross and it was agreed to try and involve the children with helping with collections and taking part in the Offertory procession. Kay Roberts had suggested purchasing some booklets designed to encourage children’s active participation in the Mass. Carol and Sarah Shippey and Frances Green have organised a Family Picnic to take place at North Walsham on Sunday 10th July following Sunday Mass. Sarah will borrow some outdoor games equipment from Cawston Primary School and help the families organise some games. She will also do some face painting. The Picnic Posters have been designed by Florence Green and friends and are displayed in each Church and Carol has been actively inviting families from St. John of the Cross. Unfortunately the date does clash with “Destination Aylsham” which will be held on Aylsham recreation ground the same afternoon. Tea and coffee and soft drinks will be provided and families are asked to bring their own picnics. There will also be Tombola.
Carol and Sarah have asked Hamish McQueen, the Diocesan Youth Leader, for his advice and it was decided to ask Hamish to attend our next PPC meeting to share his thoughts and ideas.
- REFUGEES IN NORFOLK
John had promises of about 8 bicycles, several vacuum cleaners and lots of tools following his appeal on behalf of the charity ‘English Plus’ in each of our churches. He still had to arrange for the goods to be collected and Rob offered to help with use of a trailer and bike racks on his car. John will put a notice in the bulletin to explain the delay in collecting the items. Having attended a meeting of the Trussel Trust he had been told that the Red Cross were taking the lead with help for refugees in our area. There is still an impasse between the local authorities and central government as regards the necessary funding should any refugees ever be able to come to Norfolk. Several people in villages around Norwich had made offers of accommodation. Fr. James thanked John and Hilary for all their hard work on our behalf.
- PARISH PASTORAL COUNCILLORS REPORTS
St. John of the Cross – The interior painting had now been completed and the church looks good. The outside is due for completion this week. A new altar carpet is to be laid shortly and quotes are being obtained to replace the rest of the carpet, which is now badly stained and marked. Work is to begin soon to incorporate and extend the confessional area to form an indoor storage area for garden tools etc. to deter the possibility of further arson attacks on a new freestanding wooden shed. The police are still following enquiries to find the perpetrators of the 3 fires and have installed CCTV cameras around the building. The Queen’s Birthday had been celebrated in Aylsham with a huge and very successful street party in the town square. A wine and cheese party had been held at Rob and Clare’s house last weekend, which had raised £745 towards to cost of re-carpeting the body of the church.
St. Helens – The proformas for making a funeral plan had been distributed to members of the congregation and people would be reminded to complete them. At their forum on 14th May the main topic of discussion had been the diminishing congregation which was thought to be due to many factors i.e. deaths, moving away, not wanting to come to an evening mass in the dark. There were rarely any children in the church and the children’s liturgy had been stopped several years ago. Michael Haughton said that the census taken in October showed Mass attendances between 80-100 but now average attendances are only 50. Fr. James said that he and Deacon Ron and John Bolger had met as they usually do prior to the PPC meeting and discussed this matter which they felt was not only a problem at St. Helens but in many parishes in the diocese. He said that Methodist and URC congregations had also declined severely and most of the many Anglican churches only had congregations of 12 on most Sundays. This he felt was a real problem in rural areas where transport was difficult and of course our diocese was very rural. City parishes in Cambridge and Peterborough still had good-sized congregations. As for Catholic Church attendance he thought we were probably still a generation behind the declining Anglican congregations. Young families are our assurance for the future of parishes and need lots of encouragement to attend, but families have so many demands on their time these days from football, rugby, dancing and of course shopping which all now happened on Sundays. We are in an age of secularisation. The Catholic Church has also been affected by the shortage of Priests, which has necessitated the merging of parishes. As it is well known that for every 1 Catholic attending church there are another 3 Catholic non-attenders, he would like parishioners to have a drive of evangelisation and see if we can try and bring back to church people known to us who have not attended recently for whatever reason. Fr. James will instigate a Welcome Back Sunday and will write to all those on the Parish Registers who we haven’t seen in church recently inviting them to come back. It was thought that an evening on “Evangelisation” would be a good idea, possibly inviting Fr. Sean to lead the evening. All thought the lack of accessible catholic primary schools in our area did not help the situation, and the ethos in our existing schools was very changed, as a good percentage of children were not Catholic and there was no longer any requirement for teachers in the schools to be practising Catholics.
Sacred Heart – Hilary said that she had found that the parents’ sessions that had run at the same time as the children were attending their First Communion classes had been very stimulating with lots of lively discussion amongst the parents. She said she thought that they had really appreciated the time and wondered if there was some way these discussion and teaching sessions could be continued rather like an informal RCIA. Rob suggested the possibility of a short ‘spiritual forum’ after Mass on some Sunday mornings, this would obviously only be possible after Mass at Sacred Heart. Fr. James thought this an interesting idea and he would give it some further thought.
Adrian said that the local SVP Conference in Cromer, that several of our parishioners are now involved with, was about to be renamed as the North Norfolk Conference, and that Michael McMahon, the President, had also recently been appointed the Regional SVP President. Bishop Alan has appointed Michael to lead the newly reformed Social Concern Commission and an announcement about this was due any day. He hoped that the SVP would be able to put in a bid for some money from our Alive in Faith funding in October when funds were available.
Chris Falla said that all who attended the Organ Dedication Concert last Sunday had had an enjoyable evening and she thanked Carol for all her hard work to make the evening a success. £230 was raised for Sarah, Kerry and Lauren from St John of the Cross and the Sacred Heart who were due to attend the World Youth Day in July.
Katie Maidment asked Carol to inform the PPC that she has now disbanded Aylsham World Wide but she would be asking for approval and agreement from St John of the Cross community, at the Forum next week, to continue with hosting quarterly meetings in the church with local speakers from the various charities that they are involved with. Also that the Cambodian Mass of the Ancestors will be on the 30th September and a fund-raising Race Night for Support Cambodia will be held on the 15th October
- DATE OF NEXT MEETING
Tuesday 11th October 2016 in the Parish Room
Fr. James then concluded the meeting with a prayer.