PARISH OF THE SACRED HEART – PARISH PASTORAL COUNCIL
Minutes of the meeting held on TUESDAY 6th DECEMBER 2016
PRESENT: Father James Walsh, John Bolger, Adrian Rudman, Robert Hardie, Carol Shippey, Chris Falla, Becky Walker and Secretary Clare Hardie
Ginny Keane attended for Item 5
- APOLOGIES: Deacon Ron O’Toole, Frances Dickerson, Michael Haughton, Elaine Haughton and Agnieska Gabriel
Fr. James began the meeting with Prayer.
Robert welcomed Becky Walker as the new representative for Sacred Heart, unfortunately Elaine Haughton the new Representative for St Helen’s was unable to attend.
- It was agreed to try and finish the meeting by 8.45 p.m.
- ELECTION OF CHAIR FOR 2017
Robert Hardie was elected unopposed. John Bolger expressed thanks to Rob for all his efforts on behalf of the PPC last year.
- MINUTES OF THE MEETING of the 11th October were approved
On-going formation of our Children – Clare said she was unable to circulate the ‘Practical Steps to Setting up a Youth Ministry’ as Hamish had still not sent her a copy.
Ginny Keane updated the PPC as follows;
‘Cool Catholic Kids’ had had 4 meetings so far with six families on board who are committed to a Catholic future for their children.
Points raised at these meetings
- Most families involved would like a child friendly church as they are struggling to get their children to come to church
- Currently there is little involvement of the children in any areas of the church or the service to the extent that now if asked the children do not feel it is their role and are not comfortable. They could be involved in taking collections, offertory processions, reading, playing instruments, arranging flowers and displaying some of their art work
- They would appreciate piloting a children’s/family mass on a regular basis
- This would need to be booked and publicised in the bulletin
- ‘Cool Catholic Kids’ meet at noon on Sundays, so food is part of the meeting as the children are quite hungry by that time of day, and food also seems to be a great leveller and helps the mums. Some funding from the Parish would be appreciated for the food provided and towards the paper and printing costs
The Children’s Mass on Christmas Eve is being organised and they have enlisted the help of Michael Hawley on the keyboard and Mary Holmes on the guitar. The children had chosen the hymns and will do the readings, bidding prayers, and offertory procession. There will also be a procession to take the Baby Jesus to the crib. Dominic will read the story of the three trees and during this the children will decorate three Christmas trees.
Ginny asked for help with printing the order of service for the congregation, John agreed to help her with this. She hoped the Service would be well publicised in the bulletin so that visiting children would know about it and be brought along by their parents and grandparents. There had been some opposition to the plans but she hoped these had now been surmounted. Ginny was congratulated for all her efforts and told she had total support from the PPC. Fr. James asked her to invoice him for the costs incurred so far. All agreed that we were not alone in our Parish with the problem of engaging with young families. It was certainly Europe wide as Europe has become a very secular culture and parents are pulled in all directions and are either not able or not willing to commit to bringing their children to Mass regularly.
Safety of Clergy and Parishioners in our Churches – Fr. James said that he was not unduly bothered about his own safety and asked if we thought parishioners felt unsafe in our churches. All agreed that we had had a few drunk and disorderly visitors over the years but nothing particularly threatening. John Gowing is doing a Health & Safety assessment at St John of the Cross and will report back to the forum. St Helen’s forum had proposed that there should always be 2 people remaining in the narthex during Mass. St Helen’s forum felt that the safety of our clergy should be taken seriously and they were looking to the Diocese for some guidelines
Parish Finances – Fr James said this had been discussed at the recent Finance Committee meeting. Nick Sutherland, Chair of the Finance Committee will present each congregation with the facts and figures of our diminished income early in the New Year. He will explain once again the benefits of parishioners making their contributions by STOs
Alive in Faith – The process of accessing funding for parish projects from the Alive in Faith Fund had also been discussed at the Finance Committee. Fr. James said that priced bids for funds should be submitted in the first instance to the PPC by the forums. Approved projects would then be taken to the Finance Committee. For projects costing over £5000 the bid would need the approval of the Diocesan Alive in Faith Committee. Robert asked if an amount would be top-sliced to support the North Norfolk SVP and Food Banks as our project for expanding social outreach in the Parish. Adrian agreed that there is always a need for on-going funding to pay the salary of the Food Bank manager. Fr. James said this would need to be discussed by each forum but it was agreed that the top-slicing would be done from the combined parish fund. As Sacred Heart does not hold a regular forum it was suggested that PPC representatives would have to try and speak to parishioners at coffee after Mass. In principle the money is available to parishes 6 months after their campaign has finished but it is unclear whether the total sum is available or whether it will be released over a 5-year period.
“Spiritual Forums’ – Fr. James had given a Reflection day to the Senior Citizens last week to which all parishioners were invited. He will continue to offer these days on a regular basis and in addition is always very willing to discuss any theological points he mentioned in his homily on an informal basis over coffee after Mass
Refugees in Norfolk – John and Hilary are keeping in regular touch with ‘English Plus’ and have circulated the letter of thanks to the Parish for all the bikes, tools and vacuums. Inspired by the ‘Refugee Crisis Newsletter’ from the Arundel and Brighton Diocese, which Rob and Clare picked up when in church in that Diocese, Adrian is very keen that we as a Parish, with help from Caritas East Anglia should be able to support a refugee family when they finally arrive in Norfolk. Rob and Clare will try and meet with the SVP in St Leonards on Sea next month and try and glean some helpful information. The SVP is very involved with refugees in Arundel and Brighton who are at the forefront of the Arundel and Brighton Diocese. Adrian and Chris will also speak to the local Churches Together groups in North Walsham and Aylsham and find out what is already in place.
- LIVE SIMPLY AWARD
The Live Simply steering group has been meeting regularly to plan the following month’s project and ‘suggestion of the week’. The Reverse Advent Calendar for the Food Banks had been a huge success and 72 boxes in total had been delivered to the Cromer and District Food Bank, from St John of the Cross and Sacred Heart and to the Norwich Food Bank from St Helens. Parishioners had really got wholeheartedly behind the idea. The suggestions seemed to be generally appreciated. A portfolio is being compiled with all the evidence of projects we have undertaken and in about 6 months the steering group will produce a short questionnaire to ask parishioners just how many of the suggestions they have tried to do. Hilary Bolger had printed a wonderful prayer card with a ‘Manifesto for Living Simply’ on the back which was a suggestion from the box in the Sacred Heart. Rob quoted from a message sent from Pope Francis to the Moroccan Minister Salaheddine Mesouar who is chairing the 22nd meeting of the Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Agreement on Climate Change (COP22) which took place in Morocco last month. The Pope had said that ‘we can and we must employ our intelligence to guide technology and to put it at the service of another type of progress, one which is healthier, more human, more social, more integral and able to put the economy at the service of the human person to build peace and justice and to safeguard the environment.
- PARISH PASTORAL COUNCILLORS REPORTS
St. John of the Cross – Next Forum meeting is 11/12. The First Sunday of Advent Service had been beautiful and very prayerful. There had been a very successful Support Cambodia Supporters Evening at St John of the Cross at the end of their fund raising appeal. Last Friday morning there was a Simple Cambodian Mass to celebrate the Feast of St Francis Xavier. John asked about a Quiz and Puddings evening that Pauline Andrews had informed him was being arranged. This will be in February and more details to follow
St. Helens – As Frances was unable to attend due to the awful weather she had sent in a note to say that at their recent forum they had discussed the safety issues (as above), the weekly collections, (which the Finance committee now have in hand) and funding applications for money from the Alive in Faith fund, the only suggestion at present was for a new garden shed.
Sacred Heart – The presentation to Doreen Crouch had taken place a few weeks ago and she had been delighted with the generous gift of £250 of Roys’ vouchers. Pictures of the celebration are on the website. Sadly there are no children preparing for First Communion at Sacred Heart this year. There are only two children from St John of the Cross.
- PURCHASE OF GIFT FROM THE PARISH FOR SVAY SISIPHON
Carol explained that each year when the group made their annual visit to our twinned Parish, they took a gift from the Parish and what did we think would be a good idea for this coming visit in February? John suggested a new laptop for the students might be appreciated. Carol said that Fr. Greg had been contacted and suggested that there was always a huge need for toiletries for the young girls and boys at the Centre. Rather than carrying such bulky items the group now purchase these items locally on arrival so that would mean just a financial gift. All thought that suggestion was a bit mundane and queried the need for more toiletries as they thought the recent fund raising campaign had been collecting for such items already. Fr. James agreed he would contact Fr. Greg personally and ask what he felt the Parish would appreciate as a gift. It was felt that there were some misunderstandings about ‘Support Cambodia’ which is now an independent charity and our Parish ‘twinning’ with Svay Sisophon
Rob and John had both received information from Rebecca Brotherton about the next New Evangelisation events which will be for our Norwich Deanery. These will be held at St George’s on Monday 23rd January to plan the Deanery Proclaim Event on Saturday 25th February. John will attend the first meeting. For the Proclaim Event the New Evangelisation Team would like between 10-20 people from each Parish to attend.
- DATE OF NEXT MEETING
Tuesday 7th February 2017 at 7.30 p.m. in the Parish Room
Fr. James then concluded the meeting with a prayer.