PARISH OF THE SACRED HEART – PARISH PASTORAL COUNCIL
Minutes of the Meeting held on TUESDAY 7 SEPTEMBER 2021 at 7.30pm
PRESENT: Fr James Walsh, Richard McGreevy (St Helen’s), (Chair), Antonia Martinez (Sacred Heart), Becky Walker (Sacred Heart), Keith Copperwheat (St John of the Cross), Peter Rylands (St Helen’s), John Bolger (Pastoral Assistant), Catherine Watkins (Secretary)
- APOLOGIES: Elaine Haughton, Sue Short ABSENT: Grazyna Skawinska, Ginny Keane
Fr James opened the meeting with a prayer.
- It was agreed to try and finish the meeting by 8.45pm.
- MINUTES OF THE MEETING: on 25 May 2021 were agreed and signed.
- MATTERS ARISING:
a. Welcome Pack. Richard asked Cathy to provide several more welcome packs for St Helen’s.
Action – Cathy
b. Health & Safety Update. The Ellis Whittam representative visited on 25 August to conduct the annual review. He spent three hours each at St Helen’s and the Sacred Heart, and 1½ hours at St John of the Cross. He will return to complete the review there at a later date. Training is required in First Aid and the use of fire extinguishers. First Aiders are needed at all three churches.
c. Covid Update. The bishops of England and Wales recommend continued use of masks in church and this recommendation is likely to remain in place until Advent, at which time the Sunday Obligation will also be re-instated. Fr James reported that he had purchased a “fogger” for the Sacred Heart church and would be purchasing one for use in the hall. Congregational singing has recommenced at the Sacred Heart, although the congregation still have to keep their masks on. Richard would speak to Nick Walmsley, the organist at St Helen’s, about recommencing singing there. It was confirmed that the 4th Wednesday Club at St Helen’s could re-open. Coffee after Sunday Mass will re-commence at the Sacred Heart on 19 September.
Action – Richard
- PARISH PRIEST’S REPORT TO THE PPC:
Fr James said that he would report on progress on “Faithful Stewards” under item 6. There were 6 people attending Journey in Faith sessions, there had been one wedding recently and there were 2 more in the pipeline, along with several Baptisms. There had been enquiries about confirmation and the parish would need to find a new Catechist, following the sad loss of Bob Maidment. (Ginny is now a trained Catechist).
Parishioners are happy to be able to take a more active part in the Mass, and attendance is back up to 70%. Time will tell whether any of the remaining 30% will return. There are several reasons why they may not be attending, one of which could be the breaking of the habit of church-going, and there is still an on-going anxiety for many. It is hoped that by the end of the year we will see an increase; obligatory Sunday attendance is due to be re-introduced for Advent.
- FAITHFUL STEWARDS OF GOD’S GIFTS – TIME, TALENT & TREASURE:
Sandra Portas attended the meeting on 25 May to present the Diocesan initiative to the Council and has also met with the Finance Committee. She has since sent Fr James quite a lot of material and the meeting looked at the leaflet which she suggested the parish use for Week One of the programme. Fr James has written to Sandra, proposing a revision of the leaflet . In response, Sandra had emailed Fr suggesting they discuss the matter on the telephone, but that she understood his point of view. At the time of the meeting, they had not spoken. Week Two of the programme will be the parish questionnaire, and Week Three will be about finances. Fr James reported that the parish is not badly off, having about £160,000 in various accounts. A slight deficit is normally reported at the Annual parish Meeting, but this year, because of reduced activity, the parish is running a surplus. Implementation of the programme has been put back to Easter 2022.
The meeting voted unanimously that Fr James’ revisions to the leaflet were essential.
- UPDATING OF PARISH DIRECTORY:
It was agreed that this would be postponed until after the Time, Talents and Treasure programme.
- ELECTION OF PARISH REPRESENTATIVES:
Peter agreed to continue until 2023 (but will need to be re-nominated). Elaine had been re-elected in 2020 but had wished to continue for one year only. It was agreed that nomination forms would be made available in each of the churches; replacements (or re-nominations) are needed for Antonia & Grazyna at the Sacred Heart, Ginny & Keith at St John of the Cross and Richard, Peter and Elaine at St Helen’s. Cathy distributed nomination forms for each of the churches. Cathy would look back at the records and confirm with each member how long they had served on the Council.
Action – Cathy
- PARISH PASTORAL COUNCILLORS’ REPORTS:
St John of the Cross. Katie Maidment’s Open Garden had raised over £3,000 for Support Cambodia. Katie has expressed a wish to re-form the choir at St John of the Cross and to re-introduce singing at Sunday Mass. No Forum has been held as yet.
St Helen. There is a small group of helpers; there are cleaners’ and flower arrangers’ rotas and in good weather refreshments are being served outside the church after Sunday Mass.
Sacred Heart. Church attendance has been slowly increasing and the streaming of Sunday Mass has been appreciated by those who feel themselves too vulnerable to attend Mass in person. More ministries are being taken up again, and there is a new rota for counters. The choir has re-grouped and there has been a gradual re-introduction of singing at Sunday Masses, with the congregation taking part most enthusiastically. Bible Study has re-started, under the guidance of John Bolger. From 19 September coffee and tea will once again be served in the parish hall after Sunday Mass. There was a tea party in the presbytery grounds in July, in celebration of Fr James’ Ordination Anniversary, greatly enjoyed by all. Thanks go to Chris White who has guided us through all the Covid-19 restrictions, and she and a team of parishioners have formed a new Hall Management Team. Finally following Ken’s resignation as H&S Officer (owing to pressure of work as Parish Treasurer), the role has been taken on jointly by Peter Brander and Becky.
- ANY OTHER BUSINESS:
a. 2023 Synod of Bishops. Pope Francis is encouraging a more synodal approach and the next Synod will be in 2023. The whole church to be involved on a global, national and diocesan level. We await information from the Diocese. [Bishop Alan issued a Pastoral Letter explaining about the 2023 Synod, which was read out in our churches on 19 September.]
b. The Constitution was discussed and it was agreed that a clause be added allowing parishioners to attend as observers if there was an item on the agenda in which they had an interest.
Action – Cathy
c. Defibrillators. It was agreed in principle that there should be one at each church. Fr James suggested that we start with one at the entrance to the parish hall and see how it goes (they cost about £1,000 each). To be discussed at the next Finance Committee meeting.
d. Finance reconciliation sheets. Cathy to ask Ken if the current one provides all the information the Diocese require.
Action – Cathy
- DATE OF NEXT MEETING:
Tuesday 7 December 2021, 7.15pm for 7.30 at St Helen’s Hoveton.
Fr James concluded the meeting with a prayer.