Minutes 23 February 2012

 1.     Present: Fr Michael (FrM), Stephen Cleeve (SC), Chairman, Stephen Booth (SB), Thomas Kottuppallil (TK), Marin Thomas (Marin T), Melbin Thomas (Melbin T) Maria Jones (MJ), Joseph Thachetu (JT), John Cook (JC), Ella Cwiertnia (EC) and Brenda Williams (BW).

2.     Prayer: The meeting opened with a prayer led by Fr Michael.

3.     Apologies: Paul Williams, Tom Allen, Stuart Fox, Maggie Daron, Pat Maclean.

Welcome was extended to Ella Cwiertnia and Joseph Thachetu who joined us for their first PAC meeting as newly elected members; and to Lauren Stundon the Lay Chaplain at St Mary’s School, Lugwardine who also joined the meeting by invitation.

4.     Minutes of Previous Meeting: The minutes of 11th January 2012 were approved subject to the date being corrected. Minutes were signed.

5.     Matters Arising: 6.3(a) Bank Account for Annex Fund. Fr Michael explained that we only have one Parish bank account. The Archdiocese if notified will retain money for the Annex, this is an accounting procedure, and this money will only then be released to spend on work associated with the Annex. SC asked how long counters sheets are retained as Beryl Daw has asked if she can inspect them to identify money that should be earmarked for Annex fund. SB confirmed that they are retained for 7 years. Is this a task for admin or finance? It was agreed that the finance people would look at the sheets. Action SB.

6.     Fr Michael’s report:

6:1 Since 11th January there have been 2 deaths in the Parish; Rose Kennedy who was in her 90’s, she had been an active member of the St Anne’s Guild in 1940/50’s. Also, Joe Schofield husband of Sheelagh and father of Dierdre. Also mentioned was Di Smith, wife of Jim Smith (now of Belmont Parish). They used to provide the Marriage Preparation course for this Parish. Fr M is trying to contact the Spanjers family  to see if they are able to offer Marriage Preparation courses, if they can’t he might need some support from a married couple in the Parish.             

6:2 There have also been 3 Baptisms.

6:3 The Fund Raising Group met on 13th January 2012 and they are planning events from Easter onwards. The aim is to raise £200,000 for the parapet. We have received a £35,000 grant from the Lottery Fund (asked for £70K) but Clive Richards has generously offered £35K to make up to £70K. Funds are still needed for the Annex; Fr M has received £10,000 from a friend.

6:4 Feasts, Friends and Food met for the first time on 1st February, they will meet again on 1st March; Saint David’s Feast Day.

6:5 Annual Mass for the Sacrament of Marriage was poorly supported it possibly needs re-vamping.

6:6 Web-site is progressing well, PW has met with Steve Jones, aim to make it more user friendly. PW now able to access and is beginning to learn how to make changes. TA has made a face book page. Action PW

6:7 Fr M, the Dean and Precentor from the Cathedral met re: Easter Liturgy and it is proposed that we go ahead with a shared Palm Sunday and Easter Vigil even though we now have different text (new Missal).

6:8 Ash Wednesday Masses were extremely well attended. Fr M said that people will attend Mass if it has some meaning for them.

6:9 Coming up.

6:9(a) Series on BBC on Thursday evenings about Catholicism.

6:9(b) Station Mass at Belmont Abbey, Tuesday 28th February 7.00pm, first visit of Archbishop George Stack to our Deanery.

6:9(c) Saturday 3rd March at 7.00 pm, Bishop of Hereford’s Bluecoat School will provide an evening of meditation and music in the Church.

6:9(d) Special Deanery Mass for Fr Slater (Leominster) who has retired, he was involved with both Parish Schools on 17th May at 7pm at OLQM

7.     Youth Matters:

Fr M thanked Lauren Stundon for coming to talk about youth work in the Parish. BW was asked to explain how previous youth club was run. Melbin T and Marin T were also able to give their views as they had both been members. The members had wanted a Parish rather than Deanery group and each term a programme of meetings was worked out with the children, it would include crafts, activities, games, talks, food, bingo, charities, outings etc. Each evening finished with prayers initiated by members. LS said she would like to set up a youth club for years 5/6/7 that would be Parish based but with Deanery events. There would be a structured programme. She would like to run a young leaders course and open it to adults who would like to be part of it. Training to take place at St Mary’s: 5 sessions on resources and prayer, session 6 on planning. First group session would get the children to plan, name group and suggest activities so they have ownership. LS to talk to Yr 5/6 at SFX and letters will be sent to parents. MJ offered to help, as did Marin T and TA (in absence). SC thanked LS for coming and for her future work with Parish. JC said that there is a big youth event planned for Wembley Arena, Flame Congress on 24th March LS to publicise.

8.     Members Reports:

8:1 SB ‘Crossing the Threshold’, see e-mail report attached. Deacon Eddie, SB and Chris Moore attended conference held at St Chad’s’ Birmingham. SB felt it was very oversubscribed and therefore it made it difficult to circulate and get the most out of the experience. DE and CM found some of the workshops useful. SB felt that our Parish schools gave us access to pupils’ parents and their wider families and perhaps this is where we should start to make contact to invite people to return to the church. BW explained that this was already happening at SFX School. The Reception class had been invited with personal letters from BW to attend Mass and have a tour of the church afterwards. It had been well received with over 20 extra children attending Mass with their parents and going to Children’s Liturgy. It is proposed to repeat the invite for Mothering Sunday and Palm Sunday. Action BW. Fr M suggested that maybe a similar invitation should be extended to older children with the possibility of them coming to see St John Kemble’s hand.

8:2 SF Sent report via e-mail, see attached. To follow up feedback on Parish Questionnaire, groups will be set up to discuss matters that fall within certain groups. SC will chair, Social Aspects, LS will chair Youth, SF will chair Parish Together Day. Aim is to complete the exercise by Easter, it was acknowledged that this is a short time frame. If any other PAC member would like to lead a group please e-mail SF. Action SF, SC, LS.

8:3 JC Catholicism. Mass attendance figures show marked decline in attendance, not just in our Parish but generally. Pope Benedict acknowledges this and says there will be a decline; organisations worldwide have shrunk with factors out of our control. In Year of Faith we must be more focused. Each Parish should have a five year plan to welcome back those who no longer practise their faith. JC said that BW gave good welcome to the reception class and we should be all be doing likewise. The Parish should know what the plan entails and should ensure that there is no crossover of intents. JC said if we can reach 10 per cent of lapsed Catholics it would bring back another 100 parishioners to the Parish. JC felt that this needed coordinating at a separate meeting. SC said this ties in with SF’s plan, there is a lot going on in the Parish. Action ?

8:4 TK said that he had been asked by Petal if DVD Life of Christ could be shown in the church/Annex on Palm Sunday or the Sunday before. In theory yes, but Fr M to look at DVD as it is produced by ‘Wintershall’ who in their last DVD had a policy of not allowing anybody in the film who was not white. If this was still the case Fr M would not be happy to promote it’s showing. Fr M will investigate and let TK know the outcome. If it goes ahead TK will help with screening. Action Fr M

8:5 MJ said she is taking a step back from NET but she will continue with Children’s’ Liturgy. Cathedral’s turn to provide Children’s Liturgy for Palm Sunday. Operating with 4 leaders, MJ, Danny West, Fiona Stokes and Peter Fawcett (in last year). MJ unable to attend training workshop in Surrey organised by Catholic Conference. There will be a Children’s Liturgy on Easter Sunday. Noah’s Ark this Sunday.

8:6 EC EC said she would like to encourage people from Eastern Europe to attend Mass in the English language. She has a friend called Tadeusz who would like to raise money from the Eastern European community to have a picture of Blessed Pope John Paul II and candle stand in the church. Pope John Paul II is very important to Polish people. Fr M said in principle a shrine would be a good idea, a discussion followed regarding a possible site. SB, Fr M, EC and Tadeusz to meet in church on Saturday a.m. EC said collection would involve a lot of Polish people and was concerned how to safely organize such a collection, any extra monies would be donated to the church. SB to look at how best to organize. Action SB

8:7 BW 8:7(a) BW said TA has produced format for Welcome Pack however it may need revision as we have more groups within the Parish than first thought. Suggested that it should be a loose leaf document so revisions can be made on separate sheets rather than whole document. BW circulated list of Parish groups, will put list on notice board asking for any group that has in error been omitted to be added. Each group will be asked to provide a small item about themselves and details of meeting dates/contacts. It was agreed that the welcome pack should not only go to new parishioners but be given to all parishioners as a helpful directory of their Parish. It will include new contact detail sheets so that people may include their e-mail address, will be asked if they want to be kept in touch with Parish events by e-mail. Action BW.  Will need to be mindful of data protection. JC also said that ‘welcomers’ must be welcoming, possibility of training?

8:7(b) BW also asked if there was a possibility of more notice boards. Fr M expressed concern that they need to be kept in order. SC suggested that items should be passed to PAC members before being added to board. SC and BW to look at board situation. Action SC and BW and PW

8:8 SC 8:8(a) SC said he was looking into the arrangements for gift aid envelopes from other Parishes. Standing instructions are that gift aid envelopes not from your own Parish should remain unopened and be taken to Deanery meetings and passed onto the ‘home’ Parish. SC to speak to all Deanery gift aid organisers to arrange. Action SC

8:8(b) Annex refurbishment, meeting Friday 24th February. Speak to Architects to ask what we need planning for, what can be done without it, so some progress can be made. Action SC

8:8(c) Three Choirs Festival, Mary Roberts and Margaret Cleeve are considering a display of church vestments and possible guided tours. Would be nice to offer tea and cakes, Vera McHale has offered.

8:8(d) New ‘Peoples Collection Boxes’ have been ordered. Printers will also publish church books, should we consider having SFX church history re-published? MJ said she and Steve are putting details on disc as we speak. BW suggested Steve might give us quote for printing.

8:8(e) Fund raising group; SC acknowledged that there is a lot of fund raising going on in the Parish but suggested that a group needs to tie it all together. Action SC to speak to BW and PW.

9.     Finance: No matters reported

10.   Evangelisation: See JC report above

11.   Matters Raised by Parishioners: See Matters Arising and TK’s report above

12.   AOB:

TK suggested more ‘get togethers’ for older Parishioners, possibly every 3 months. PAC agreed new social group will look into it. Action see report by SF

13.   Dates of Next Meetings: Date of next meeting, changed to 29th March at 7.15pm followed by 26th April at 7.15pm.

The Meeting closed with prayers at 9pm