PARISH OF THE SACRED HEART – PARISH PASTORAL COUNCIL
Minutes of the meeting held on TUESDAY 7th JULY 2015
PRESENT: Father James Walsh, Deacon Ron O’Toole, Terry McIlwee, John Bolger, Hilary Bolger, Adrian Rudman, Teresa Butler, Mary Edmonds,
- APOLOGIES: Carol Shippey, Jayne Randall, Chris Falla, Agnieszka Gabriel and Michael Haughton
Fr. James began the meeting with Prayer
- It was agreed to finish the meeting by 8.45 p.m.
3. MINUTES OF THE MEETING of the 5th May 2015 were approved.
- MATTERS ARISING
New Organ for Sacred Heart, North Walsham – Fr. James is still awaiting a decision from the Diocesan Historic Churches meeting 3 weeks ago. He is in constant contact but as yet no reply. He would like to have the new organ installed in time for Sara Shippey’s wedding at the end of August.
Parish Directory and Welcome Pack – There have been a couple of new parishioners attending Hoveton who might benefit from a Welcome Pack and visit from a PPC member.
Wheelchair Access to Sacred Heart, North Walsham – Fr. James explained that he had discussed this with Ian Roberts who had the matter in hand and was awaiting quotes to lay the hard standing and improve the wheelchair access to the church
Annual Parish Meeting – Fr. James said it had been the most enjoyable Parish Meeting he had ever attended, and there had been a few during his Priesthood. He was sorry that he had been unable to raise a few matters at the end of the meeting but felt that by 9.30 p.m. several parishioners were quite anxious to go home. Fr. James said he thought the format of the meeting and the delicious meal helped to make the meeting a success. Teresa said she had not produced a report from the Senior Citizens as she and Becky had only recently taken over the running of the group. John said he would always be happy to publish any reports etc. on the Parish website. Teresa said she would like to encourage new members to come to the Senior Citizens and that they were in discussion with the Hoveton 4th Wednesday Club to have occasional joint meetings.
S.V.P. – Fr. James said one of the matters he had wanted to raise at the Parish meeting had been the SVP so he asked how he should now address the forming of an SVP Conference in the Parish. Adrian said that as there were now 4 Parishioners attending the Cromer and Sheringham SVP meetings regularly, if he could ask a couple more to attend from St Helen’s community he felt that would enable Cromer SVP to cover most of our area too and it would become more of a Deanery SVP without the need for another Conference. The new Walsingham Shrine Director, Mgr. John Armitage is very supportive of the SVP and would like to reform a Conference at Walsingham in due course but in the mean time has given a very generous donation to the Cromer SVP. The majority of the financial need seems to be identified by the local Food Banks and the other major need is for the visiting the lonely at home and in the local nursing homes. Adrian said the St. Edmunds Fund was a financial supporter for the SVP and maybe if we could have an annual collection in our Parish that would be a great help. Fr. James thought a good time would be around the Feast of St. Vincent de Paul – 27th September – and he would then talk to the Parishioners about the work of the local SVP and Adrian would arrange a display of posters and leaflets in each church.
- NEW EVANGELISATION
John had attended the New Evangelisation Working Party day at Poringland on the 27th June that was run by Fr. Sean Connelly and Rebecca Bretherton. The Bishop had joined the group for coffee but unfortunately then had another engagement. Fr. Sean’s address was similar to the one he gave to us at our Parish Meeting following which some parishioners had expressed the view that it dwelt too much on the American model that might not be appropriate for the UK. John explained that there were many good points that came out of the day about ‘evangelising ourselves’ and challenging people to talk about what their faith actually meant to them. Asking people about their prayer life and if they had a positive commitment to their faith which would allow the Holy Spirit to work within them. Many people would be at the ‘Seeker’ stage and it would be good to make parishioners more aware of what is already in place to help with their prayer life, e.g. Bible Group, Julian Prayer Groups, Benedictine Oblates, Secular Franciscans, Secular Carmelites and Dominicans. Rebecca Bretherton had then led the meeting in a Guided Meditation on Psalm 62 that John then read to the meeting. John said there would be more similar working groups arranged throughout the year. Fr. James said he would like to ask members of the Parish to ‘share their faith development’ with others which he hoped would stimulate some self-evaluation as Fr. Harry Wace says ‘following people into the centre’. Ron said that he does find that people do open up during the discussions at the Bible Study Group where at present they are following Fr. Robert Baron’s course on ‘Catholicism’ Terry said we do have the libraries available in each church and the Sacred Space and Lectio Divina readily available online. There are also resources available to help Parishes from Bishops Conference and from CaFE. Fr. James said at the heart of it all should be the Liturgy, which should be enjoyed and nourished. The Pope had stated recently in Ecuador that Christ was the Sun and the Church the Moon and therefore the Church should be reflecting Christ. Fr. James is going to lead the Journey in Faith himself and would like the initial meeting to be on a Sunday evening and it would take the form of a ‘Presentation on Christianity’ He hoped lots of parishioners would attend too and perhaps try and encourage any of their lapsed catholic friends to attend as well. Fr. James said we had to continue to be a very welcoming community and on that note he had been emailed by a visitor who asked if they were free to sit anywhere in the Church as they had found lots of reserved seats. This happens mainly at Sacred Heart where seats have reserved slips on them as that particular person is probably taking part in the procession of readers and Eucharistic ministers. Terry asked if these processions were needed as they do not happen at St. Helens only at Sacred heart and St. John of the Cross. Fr. James will assure visitors that they must feel free to sit anywhere and seats are not reserved.
- HOPES AND ASPIRATIONS
John felt that the wish for more education and learning would be offered by the New Evangelisation taking place in the Diocese. He was aware that our youth still needed to be more involved in the music and liturgy in the Parish and he will look at ways to encourage this.
- PARISH PASTORAL ASSISTANT REPORT
(Covered at item 4)
8. PARISH PASTORAL COUNCILLORS REPORTS
Sacred Heart – The Parish Fete held on the 5th July had been a great success despite the terrible weather. Fr. James said he had thoroughly enjoyed the day and was most impressed with the atmosphere and support from all present. Teresa had done a fantastic job in co-ordinating the event and he expressed his thanks from the whole Parish for her efforts. The sum of £1960 had been raised so far with further monies still coming in but some expenses still to be paid. Teresa said the wonderful band had only charged £50 and St. John’s Ambulance had attended simply for a donation. The Punch and Judy show entertainers had made no charge for their show. Terry added the thanks of the PPC to Teresa and her new team.
St. John of the Cross – Harvest Supper will be held on Saturday 3rd October
St. Helen’s – Harvest Supper will be held on Monday 5th October
Terry asked if Fr. James would remind parishioners of the need to write to their MPs expressing their opinions on Lord Falconer’s ‘Assisted Dying Bill’, which will have its second reading in the House of Commons next week and will be put to the vote on the 11th September.
The PPC elections for next year will need to be on the Agenda for the next meeting
- DATE OF NEXT MEETING
Tuesday 22nd September 7.15 for 7.30 in the Parish Room
Deacon Ron then concluded the meeting by reading from Pope Francis’ Book ‘Through the Year’