PARISH OF THE SACRED HEART – PARISH PASTORAL COUNCIL
Minutes of the meeting held on Thursday 6th September 2012
PRESENT: Father David, Deacon Ron O’Toole, Terry McIlwee, Andrew Clark, Mary Edmonds, John Bolger, Michael Hawley, and Michael Haughton
1. APOLOGIES: Aneta Dziedzik, Dominic Boddington and Hilary Bolger
Fr. David began the meeting with readings from Ephesians and from St. Luke and with Prayers for Parish Planning.
2. The Minutes of the Meeting on 28th June 2010 were agreed and signed.
It was agreed to finish the meeting by 9 p.m.
3. MATTERS ARISING
Parish Support Group – There had been two referrals so far and Hilary and Marianne would like to re-publicise the service in October by which time the new website should be up and running which they felt would help with spreading the word and with referrals.
Parish Website – John reported that following last meeting the two possible options had been considered and Sam Meyer was the much cheaper option. Several parishioners including Katie Maidment, Antonia and John himself had held a good and constructive meeting with Sam. Yesterday Fr. David and John had met with Sam again and given him the go ahead to do a mock up of the website for further discussion and approval. All felt he would be able to produce a website that would meet everyone’s needs and he will use a website software called ‘Wordpress’ which John felt was very user friendly. The website should go live towards the end of October. Our present website appears to be not functioning at present and simply displaying a message to say a new website is currently under construction. John has written to David Stowell to ask why this has happened as Fr. David still thought we were paying for support until the new website was functioning.
Children’s Liturgy – Fr. David said that since the last meeting and following on from the constructive meeting he had had with Melanie and Jo they had both come to him to say they did not feel they could continue to run the Children’s Liturgy in North Walsham. Fr. David has asked for more volunteers in the Parish Newsletter and several people including Michael, Paula and Jonathan have offered to help. Fr. David will have a meeting on the 21st September for all the new volunteers. CRB checks will need to be done for all new volunteers prior to restarting the Children’s Liturgy sessions
Parish Profile – After the last meeting a working party from each church met to discuss the Parish Plan document that Fr. David had distributed. Michael Hawley presented the observations from St. John of the Cross (see attached) and Michael Haughton the observations from St. Helen’s (see attached), Hilary was not able to be present at the PCC but John will ask her to write up the observations from Sacred Heart and they will be included with the Minutes. On the whole it was felt that we were fulfilling all the criteria listed in the Parish Plan document. During the discussion, which followed, it was felt that we did tick most of the boxes as a Parish, but we were not so sure as far as the Deanery and Diocese were concerned. It was felt that our Support Group would do the same as an SVP Group. Under the heading of Finance we knew that the Finance Committee was going to refresh parishioners knowledge about Gift Aid. The Parish skills audit does need updating. Once the new website is up and running the possibility of ‘live streaming’ of Masses could be looked at or possibly we could tape Masses as the celebrant always uses a microphone.
The need for a Communications officer in the Diocese was discussed, Fr. Mark Hackeson undertakes the role on an ad hoc basis at present but this does need to be formalised once the new Bishop is in place with a Parish communication officer appointed and trained on how to communicate with the local press and with their Parishes. Fr. David said that at present when we have an event in the Parish e.g. the Fete someone always does inform the local press. Fr. David said that the Deanery is a little difficult to understand. There are 8 Deaneries, and we belong to the one which includes Cromer, Sheringham, Fakenham, & Walsingham. Fr. David is the Dean. The Deanery Clergy have regular social and business meetings but it is somewhat difficult to involve the laity in these meetings mainly due to the distances involved. There is a Deanery Forum and Parish representatives from Bury and Cambridge often attend these but again it is not so easy in rural deaneries. As for Social Concern there is a Diocesan Social Concern Commission, which meets regularly, and Celia Cooper does attend these meetings. It was agreed that Clare would email the comments from each of the Church communities to PPC members, once she had received the comments from Hilary.
Election to the PPC – Fr. David explained that over the next few weeks he would request nominations to the PPC, then organise a vote if necessary and announce the results in time for the next PPC meeting in November. He has all the necessary forms ready. Terry explained that he had taken over from Martin Creedon mid-way during her term of office but he would be willing to stand again if there were no other nominations. Sacred Heart does need a new representative due to Anne’s untimely death and Michael will speak to Dominica to find out if he will stand again for St. John’s
7. THE YEAR OF FAITH
Fr. David explained that the Year will be launched with Holy Mass at St. John’s Cathedral at noon on Thursday 11th October to coincide with the 50th Anniversary of the start of Vatican II and the start of the Synod in Rome entitled ‘The New Evangelisation for the Transmission of the Christian Faith’ There would be an invited Preacher and he had booked a coach to take Parishioners from our 3 churches. There will be Diocesan Pilgrimage to Rome from the 16-20 September 2013 to be led by Fr. David Jennings as well as a Diocesan Pilgrimage to Walsingham. Deacon Ron has been so inspired by a book by Fr. Robert Baron entitled ‘Catholicism a Journey to the Heart of the Faith’ that following discussion with Fr. David, he would like to run a series of talks based on this book during Advent. Deacon Ron felt that the book would be very helpful in understanding one’s own faith. There are DVDs is to accompany sessions from the book and Fr. David suggested we investigate the costs of these. He had also been sent a flyer about DVDs that CaFE have produced covering topics such as The Creed, The Saints, The Bible, New Evangelisation etc. so these could be another possibility. During Lent a series of talks on Romans would be organised and from Easter to Pentecost sessions on the Constitutions from Vatican II namely Lumen Gentium, Sacrosanctum Concilium, Dei Verbum and Gaudium et Spes. Michael Hawley suggested having some Quiet Evenings of Prayer with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. Clare suggested a Parish trip to see the Wintershall Play, The Life of Christ next June. Other suggestions included a table at Farmer’s Markets. Open invitations to friends to come and join in our services, books for our libraries. The Redemptorists are offering several books to accompany the Year of Faith including a Diary, Clare will ask for a copy for us to have a look at. It was decided to have a sub-committee to work through some of the suggestions. The group will be Fr. David, Deacon Ron, John Bolger, Terry McIlwee and Clare Hardie. Fr. David said the Journey of Faith will take place this year as usual and leaflets would be given out about this at the weekend. Another initiative will be the ‘Come home for Christmas’ and our next Faith, Food and Fun Day on the 18th November will be based around the Year of Faith.
5. REPORT FROM PARISH PASTORAL ASSISTANT
John reported that he continued with his usual activities but was looking forward to involvement in The Year of Faith due to be launched next month.
6. ANY OTHER BUSINESS
Michael Haughton said he had received a letter from CAFOD saying they had raised £9 million during the course of this year and the Government had promised earlier in the year to match this pound for pound so we are all eagerly awaiting an announcement confirming this fact.
Fr. David said the Bishop’s Conference were reopening the question on the decision to change three of the Holy Days of Obligation – Epiphany, Ascension and Corpus Christie, from the day on which they fall to the nearest Sunday. All agreed that when the Epiphany falls on a Saturday or Monday the nearest Sunday is the best day but that the Ascension and Corpus Christie should be back to the Thursday as before.
7. DATE OF NEXT MEETING
Thursday 22nd November 2012 7.15 p.m. for 7.30 in either the Parish Room or the Presbytery
Deacon Ron then concluded the meeting with a prayer
Parish Plan –St Helen’s 29th August 2012
The St Helen’s working party considered the parish plan and made the following comments:
Generally it was agreed that parishioners were very active in greeting all visitors to the church. We considered the needs of those with disabilities, including those of age related issues, and how to identify and eliminate any barriers. i.e. approach the Mardler / blind society with a view to a tape of Masses being made available in the library.
It was felt that there was a glaring omission for First Aid within the plan including training for First Aiders.
- 2. Caring for Those in Need.
This aspect of policy was covered by the Parish Support Group.
- 3. Working for Justice and Peace
We considered the action points of the policy and thought we fulfilled these areas.
- 4. Communication
Much good work is done at local level especially through Churches Together and items in local magazines, such as The Bridge. But is it generally understood what is done and by whom? Perhaps the mechanism for developing communication could be linked in with the PA subject to John’s agreement and funding being made available. Noted omissions were the lack of Mass times in local papers and in the accommodation in the area.
5,6,8 One Parish Together
There is an emphasis on Parish and the Deanery. However, we concluded we were not sure what work is undertaken at these levels and in particular what is the need and opportunity for lay participation at Deanery level.
7. Developing Working in Partnership
It was recognised that many action points were pending whilst awaiting the appointment of our new Bishop. One area that needed to be updated was an audit of skills. (Communication officer might be found).
9,10,11,12 and 13
This policy was covered by the parish.
It was agreed that the Finance Committee worked well and was effective but does this work need to be more widely known. It is noted that the FC is planning to refresh knowledge about Gift Aiding.
18. Proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ
The Year of faith was discussed and as time is becoming an issue we wanted to approach Fr. David to see if he had any areas in particular he would like us to engage in for the beginning of October signifying the start of the above Year of Faith. It was noted that all active parishioners were already under heavy commitments.
Parish Plan Report from Sacred Heart, North Walsham
Following the St Ives parish Plan many diocesan policies were already happening. People are being welcomed and given the Parish newsletter the church ambience encourages a feeling of spirituality. There is a Liturgy and a Finance Committee. However we do have a sizable number of parishioners whose first language is not English and it might be helpful if some prayers and readings were provided in the appropriate languages also perhaps it might be useful to provide English language classes.
There are annual Burns nights and Polish evenings
We have a disabled entrance, the loop system for the hard of hearing and large print newsletters. Visits are made to the elderly, sick and housebound at home as well as weekly Holy Communion and delivery of the Newsletter. There is an annual Mass for the Sick with tea afterwards.
The children are involved in their own liturgy and some are altar servers. Older children take part in diocesan activities and have been to national events like Wembley, also International meetings in Australia,
Spain and are looking forward to Rio. There is a representative on the Diocesan Youth Group.
There is no discrimination between single, separated, divorced and married people. We have bereavement counsellors and Parish Support for people in the area. The parish has a project supporting a parish in Cambodia, it supports CAFOD, Fairtrade, Seamen’s mission and some parishioners support Asylum seekers, refugees and the church in need.
The Parish website is being revamped and at present is a work in progress. Times of Masses and Confessions are displayed on the Church door. There is a parish directory. Fakenham and Walsingham are part of the deanery and Cromer and Sheringham are part of the cluster.
Readers have Training at North Walsham. Confirmation classes are being run. Adult Confirmation takes place at Walsingham at Pentecost. The First Communion Course runs from November until Corpus Christi. The Journey in Faith runs from October until Easter, on which day is decided at the inaugural meeting. Local Ecumenical partnerships are fostered in Churches Together. The parish has a representative on the Council of Laity. There are some parishioners involved in Prison visiting at the Bure Prison, hospital visiting is on an ad hoc basis.
The Parish has a Pastoral Assistant and a Parish Secretary.
St John of the Cross, Aylsham. 3 September 2012
The church is in a busy small town in North Norfolk. The town has several churches, all of whom have a viable congregation. The “Churches Together” committee committee in Aylsham meets 3 times a year to foster good relations within the Christian community of the town and to demonstrate our faith to the people – most notably on the Good Friday prayer walk.
Built in the 1960s, the church has good worship space; a devotional area dedicated to Our Lady, confessional, sacristy, choir loft, a fairly decrepit organ and beneath it a kitchen-cum-servery and small all purpose corner which contains a small library.
Observations on the Parish Plan (St Ives Parish).
- Making Welcome
There are signs outside church giving the relevant contacts, and leaflets are available in the porch.
Although there are no specific events for newcomers, a welcome leaflet is available in the porch. Visits from the Parish Priest (and house blessings) are at the Parish priest’s discretion .
b) Welcome to Sunday Mass
Daphne is almost invariably at the book trolley, greeting & issuing the paperwork for the day. (She has this sorted into small stacks for each person). There is little room for another person to assist.
By the time of the rush, Bob Maidment is usually there to point out spaces, though this is not a formal arrangement.
Visitors/parishioners are always met with a smile; there are established rotas for Ministers of the Eucharist and readers, flower arrangers and cleaners. There is also a rota for Altar servers, though summer holidays do, occasionally, leave the celebrant without immediate attendance. There is a “sign-up” list for the Offertory Procession.
There is one experienced sacristan, supported in her absence by a couple of parishioners.
It is difficult to judge the ambience of the church, as the writer is used to it and feels comfortable there.
c) Welcome after Mass
Refreshments are always available after Sunday Mass. There is a rota and it is rare that anyone misses their turn.
The Celebrant is, invariably, at the door to speak to people on their departure.
d) Social Events
Harvest Suppers, Quizzes, BBQs and, this year, a concert.
There is a committee for social affairs, which keeps a diary of the social functions to avoid double booking.
e) Welcome less active Catholics
The housebound – Cards by Andrew Clarke. (For the Parish)
First Anniversary of Baptism – Monica Hawley (for the Parish)
Newspaper ads – No. Come & See event – No. Diocesan trg sessions – ?
f) Welcome Strangers
Foreign language readings/prayers – no English language classes – no
Welcome sign – is on the inner church doors. Music has included a French “Holy, holy” when visitors from Aylsham twinning attend our Mass.
g) Representative for Disability Discrimination Act (1995) – no
The church has a hearing link to the PA system. There is level access to all areas apart from the lower level of the sacristy, which, at present does not need such access. (If this were to be necessary it would be expensive.) A suitable WC is installed.
There are two disabled parking slots. It may be necessary, at some point, to smooth the access from the car park as there is a slight lip from there to the pedestrian ramp.
h) The Sick, Elderly and Housebound
Holy Communion is taken to the sick regularly by Ministers of the Eucharist.
Visiting is done on an ad hoc basis, by a few of the congregation.
There is no SVP.
Those with transport problems are brought to church by members of the church community.
There are no Mass recordings, and delivery of newsletters/papers is probably sporadic.
i) Children & Young People
Young people are readers, Ministers of the Eucharist, Altar Servers and choir members.
They are involved in social events, and are generally very willing to be involved. They take part in diocesan and international events (World Youth); they also have some connections with Cambodia Support.
A children’s liturgy is organised for every Sunday during term-time.
Single/separated/divorced Widowed and Bereaved –
There is no specific set up for this, but it is a very small community and the people seem very supportive.
DIOCESAN PASTORAL PLAN
a) Care for Those in Need
Should the people of St John of the Cross ——
Form an SVP group? Is it necessary?
Put visiting the sick & housebound on a more formalised footing?
Hospital & prison visiting? How quickly do we know of a hospital admission?
What can we do about the homeless? – support groups like Salvation Army?
b) Justice and Peace
There is a Fair-trade stall each month.
Support for Cambodia is on-going.
There is ad hoc support for other charities on occasions, though the main thrust is towards Cambodia
The rest of the Diocesan Plan is aimed at “The Parish”
The community at St John of the Cross is very friendly and caring. As would be expected in such a small community they are always ready to help and there are links to the wider community in Aylsham –Churches Together, worship in St Michael’s care home, and taking part in St Michael’s singing of “The Crucifixion”. Taking part in Christian Unity Week.
A “Forum” takes place bi-monthly after Mass, where events, policies and local finance are discussed by all present.
Do we, as a community do what we can to care for our local people and those in need worldwide?
Do we lead others to Christ by our actions?
Do we care for the person next door?
The opinions expressed in this document are not necessarily those of the clergy, the people of St John of the Cross or the Catholic Church.