Minutes of Meeting - 11 January 2012

 1.     Welcome:

The Chairman welcomed the members to the first meeting of 2012 especially the new members attending for the first time. 

 2.     Opening Prayer:

The prayer was led by Fr Michael. 

 3.     Apologies:

Maria Jones, Joseph Thachetu, John Cook. 

 4.     Election of Officers:

 Stephen Cleeve was elected as Chairman. Stuart Fox was elected Vice-Chairman. Paul Williams has the role of co-opted secretary as part of his Parish Administrator work.

5.     Minutes of Previous Meeting:

The minutes of the meeting of 24 November 2011 were circulated and agreed as an accurate record 

 6.     Matters arising:

1(c) Fr Michael still wishes to consult Mass goers re-changing the 1.00 pm Mass on Fridays to 1.10pm. This would help those who work until 1.00pm.

3(a) A dedicated bank account for the Annex fund has been set up to allow any funds raised and bequests for the project to be ring fenced for that specific purpose. However PAC members must be aware that the funds in this new ‘Annex only’ account cannot be used for any other purpose should the need arise. That we need the fund was agreed but it was also felt that we need to be pro-active in ensuring the congregation at large are aware that there is still a need to keep up the giving to the second collection for repairs and maintenance to the church. The raising of funds across the board is still a priority.

 4(f)(i) Was it clear that the increase was £100 per week?

 7.     Fr Michael’s Report:

(a) Fr Michael thanked Paul Williams the out-going chair on behalf of the parish and the PAC and also thanked the newly elected chair and vice-chair for putting themselves forward. He also welcomed the new members and thanked them for volunteering to serve their parish in this way.

(b) Advent went well – the Penitential Service showed how seriously people are taking the Sacraments and that we have many very holy people  who are close to Our Lord even though they may not be ‘active’ in the parish organisational sense. Thanks were also minuted to Fr Cynedd and Fr Cadfan for assisting Fr Michael with the service.

(c) Fr Michael also added that he felt the parish was moving forward and is on the brink of something special. New Year of Faith (see work of NET). We all need to put our backs into being the Body of Christ and support one another, encouraging and facilitating the mobilisation of more people to increase in numbers and holiness.

(d) There has been 1 baptism since last meeting and 3 deaths. We pray for Mary Brooks, Wanda Jones and Nora Mills

(e) Christmas Masses were wonderful and a tribute to all those who prepared the liturgy with special thanks to the servers

(f) Mass numbers are noticeably down since Christmas and this has been reported across the country (more about this later)

(g) Deanery Mass times will have to remain as they are (despite a desire in the parish for a return to 8.00am and 10.00am on Sundays) this is because the health of our priests demands that there is capacity to cover the deanery at all times.

(h) Deanery Meetings dates for clergy are now set by the Archbishop who is proving to be a very much ‘hands on’ leader

(i) Heating in the church and house is now working at long last. A new computer circuit board was needed – cost £800

(j) The Heritage Lottery Fund has allocated £14,000 for repairs to the parapet – this will be supported by a further £21,000 when stage 2 begins. The whole job will cost £150,000. With only £90,000 in our reserve account and work required on the Annex, the Fund Raising Committee that meets this Friday has still much work to do.

(k) The website will soon display some information re: the history of the church which has been done by Andy Milne. Paul is to become more involved in keeping the website up-to-date and will involve youngsters to help keep the website relevant to the younger members of our community. Action PW

(l) Fr Michael reported that he has to return to hospital for further ultra-sound scans on his heart.

 8.     Reports from Members

(a)    The Chair introduced this section of reports from members for the benefit of the new members present.

(b)    Stuart Fox:

(i) In response to the Parish Questionnaire last summer, a talk will be given at both Masses this weekend, encouraging more participation in events and activities.

Referring to the Mass times staying as they are it was felt that only Our Lady’s will benefit. Fr Michael pointed out that the 6.30 Mass at our Lady’s is a deanery Mass. The collection is kept by Our Lady’s.  As yet there is no way of collecting the tax from any SFX gift aid parishioner that attends the 6.30 Mass at Our Lady’s, because envelopes are not returned or amounts donated are not logged against PIN numbers. Stephen Cleeve agreed to continue with his work looking for a solution that would allow Gift Aid to be collected whichever Mass a parishioner attended throughout the deanery. Action SC

(ii) The Fundraising Committee meeting on Friday aims to organise fundraising on a large scale but although parishioners are encouraged to attend events the main aim is to get money from those outside the parish.

(c)    Pat Maclean asked about the system of visiting sick or housebound parishioners and taking them Holy Communion. Could Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist help here? Fr Michael responded that visits are made where possible and where people request Holy Communion, someone will be found to do this. Nevertheless the number of people available to do this role is limited and more and more people are becoming housebound. However he agreed that more Extraordinary Ministers are needed and he will be recruiting shortly. If anyone needs to be added to the housebound list please inform the office. Action PW

(d)     In response to why the SVP seem not to visit, it was pointed out that there are currently only 6 members in the SVP. Stuart would mention their need for further members at Mass this weekend

(e)    Thomas Allen (Youth Member) offered his services to help make the information about the church accessible to the youth of the parish via face-book or other social networking sites. Action PW, TA

(f)     (i)Brenda Williams reported that there approximately 38 ‘200 Club’ members yet to pay for 2012 and these will be written to this weekend. Action BW

(ii) A number Stars have been sold recently so a review of the numbers left was now needed. A Mass to commemorate the dedications on the star certificates was suggested and it was agreed it would be a good idea with 3rd December (the Parish feast day) as an appropriate date. Action Fr Michael/PW

(iii) Following on from Fr Michael’s comments thanks are due to the servers at Christmas who were especially well organised and it was noted that the older servers are taking real responsibility for the ensuring all the servers know what to do and how to conduct themselves with due reverence whilst on the altar.

(iv) Also the youngsters who, with John and Mary Cook, constructed and set up the new crib deserve special thanks.

(g)    (i) Maggie Daron reported that the opportunity to have a page for school news in the Xavier Magazine was very welcome.

(ii)The Christmas celebrations went well at the school with the carols in church being especially successful.

(iii) The children brought in boxes for Operation Christmas Child again this year and there was a ‘Pink Day’ in aid of Breast Cancer.

(iv) The school is having its windows replaced which has been financed by LCVAP money – (Government money allocated to aided schools for building projects)

(h)    Stephen Cleeve declared that he and Stuart Fox will be embarking on another expedition on foot to the far flung reaches of Herefordshire this year. A sponsored walk to all the churches of the deanery and possibly all other churches on this route is the aim. We all wish them good luck – could be a book and mini-series here?

9.     Finance - 

The collections of the last quarter of 2011 were very good news. However the need for those who pay income tax to sign up for gift aid is an issue that still needs constant re-visiting. All of us who ‘gift aid’ could have a role in spreading the news i.e. - it is for all tax payers to consider. Stephen Booth

10.  NET (New Evangelisation Team)


Regarding the decrease in numbers attending Masses, Stephen Booth out-lined the main points in the ‘Crossing the Threshold’ document (see attached).

Books worth reading and relevant to helping us understand the issues were displayed. All are available in the Parish library. Clearly the message that Jesus can provide people with a real long lasting ‘feel good factor’ is not getting through to the majority of our fellow citizens in this country. ‘Believing, Belonging and Behaviour’ are key aspects of this work. It was agreed in the discussion that followed, that the huge issue of people’s needs and commitments must be addressed, but we must also be sensitive to those who feel, for whatever reason, that they are unable to be more involved and we must be careful not alienate those who feel unable to do more. The next NET meeting will be on Tuesday 17th Jan @ 7.15.

 11.  Matters raised by Parishioners

(a)    Q: Could a walk to the shrine of St John Kemble be arranged?  

A: If the person who suggested this would like to organise such a walk, we as a PAC would support their efforts. It is not the main role of the PAC to put things on for the parish and hope people turn up

(b)   Q: Could we have a Bible Study Group (see Cathedral Booklet)

A: We already do - organised by Petal @ 10.00 every Friday. However it is acknowledged that evening courses for those who work during the week are beneficial – We have not undertaken a C@FE Course recently and may well look to doing something like this again in the future.

12.  AOB

(a)    Could we produce a welcome pack for new arrivals? Action by BW, TA + MT

(b)   It is a pity if the hymns at Saturday evening Mass have to be shortened leaving out key verses e.g We Three Kings did not bring Myrrh this year! Action Fr Michael

13.  Dates of next Meetings

23 February 2012 @7.15 pm

29 March 2012 @ 7.15 pm