Minutes for 29 March 2012

 Welcome to all those present: Fr Michael (FrM), Stephen Cleeve, Chairman (SC), Stuart Fox, Vice Chairman (SF) Stephen Booth (SB), Marin Thomas (Marin T), Melbin Thomas (Melbin T) Maria Jones (MJ), Joseph Thachetu (JT), John Cook (JC), Ella Cwiertnia (EC) Tom Allen (TA), Maggie Daron (MD), Pat Maclean (PMc) and Paul Williams(PW).

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

 Apologies: Thomas Kottuppallil (TK), Brenda Williams (BW).

 Minutes of the previous meeting: The minutes of 23rd February 2012 were approved and signed

 Matters arising:

  • 5: SB has records of monies paid in should anyone wish to see them. Action (SB)
  • 6.6: The web-site continues to be updated weekly and the process of improving the content continues. Action (PW)
  • 8.2: Lauren and Joanna have set meeting date to begin working with parish youth. Action (SC) and (SF)
  • 8.4: ‘Wintershall’ Passion Play screening on Sunday @ 3.00 p.m. in the Annex. Action (TK)
  • 8.6: SB has contacted ‘Sun Valley’ and is waiting to hear back. Tadeuz is ready to further this project and waiting for a decision on how to spend funds appropriately. Action (SB)
  • 8.7(a): Brenda has produced letters to be given out weekending 31 March/1 April. Action (BW)
  • 8.7(b): (SC) is still talking to other gift aid organisers in the deanery. Action (SC)
  • 8.8(b): Planning permission would only be required if there were any changes to the roof. Action (SC)
  • 8.8(d): Weekly Collection Envelopes are now available for parishioners. Action (SC)

 Fr Michael’s Report:

  • There have been 2 deaths in the Parish – John Keyte (Former Police Chief Constable and Sean Podmore aged 43
  • Lent has some notable activities
    • Catholicism DVD’s all went well
    • Invitation Mass for parents to support this year’s First Communicants
    • Station Mass at Belmont Abbey
    • Stations on Fridays are well attended
    • ‘Tenebrae’ an Easter meditation put on by the Bishop of Hereford’s Bluecoat School was very good
    • At the Penitential Service on Monday Fr Michael will be supported by Fr Simon and Fr Cadfan
    • The Feast Food and Friends group got together on St David’s Day
    • The CAFOD speaker reported a positive response to his appeal for a local co-ordinator
    • The Penitential Service at SFX school was well attended and very spiritual
    • A seminar for Priests at Belmont ‘Caring for the Carers’ was very thought provoking and outlined ways priests might ease the stress of running a busy parish e.g. by ensuring they are looking after their own spiritual and human needs taking time for prayer and breaks during the day

(TA) Youth Matters: Facebook page now exists and will be of real benefit when the youth activities start as this is one of the main ways the youngsters communicate with each other. Further action on content and link to web-site (TA) and (PW)

It was decided to leave ‘twitter’ in abeyance for the time being as it would be difficult to manage effectively.


(a)         The ‘Catholicism’ dvds at St Mary’s went extremely well with a rich and challenging content. 85 people attended each episode.

(b)        NET Our little events now and then are really only scratching the surface of the issues facing the Catholic Church in England and Wales today.  We are just not reaching out into the wider community – Few people other than parishioners know anything of what is being done. Mass attendance has remained fairly static at around 350 (see parish returns 2010 and 2011- there is a need to address these relatively low numbers – everyone needs to be involved not just a group or a few individuals. Our parish needs to be a missionary parish. Like many others we have a dying parish with few young people attending Sunday Masses as it is difficult to fit it in to a day that has become another ‘Saturday’. Although church is full at Christmas and Easter it is quiet the rest of the year.

(c)         a general discussion followed with the main points being:-

  • Youth are responding to changes to our culture – they even spell ‘sin’ ‘syn’  in text messages
  • Need to return to basics of a faithful relationship with God – attending Mass as a custom is not enough as when custom changes so will attending Mass
  • Pressure to change can put people off – example is the way and people will follow the lead
  • Some teachers feel teenagers are bombarded with messages that we live in a culture that says you can do whatever you want
  • Confirmation is a ‘Sacrament of Departure’
  • Good parenting and family life is vital

(d)        There are some positives to focus on:-

  • World-Wide tbe Catholic Church is growing
  • Altar servers at SFX are consistently well turned out, serve with reverence and are a good example for the other young people who attend Mass – they attend regularly as they feel valued members of the community who have a part to play in the Liturgy
  • However we need to stand up for the slide of the morals in our country and maybe focus on evangelisation alongside buildings and money. Action (All)

(e)         Records kept by the Parish. Can we use these to contact parishioners? Action (SC) to check Data Protection Act implications

Reports from members:

(a)         (Melbin T) Youth – Servers’ practices for Palm Sunday went well with a good turnout – next practice 01.04.12. for Easter Services. Albs and items needed for Easter all checked and ready – Luke and Marin are training to take over, eventually the roles currently held by Melbin and Tom – Servers records of attendance and mentoring arrangements for the younger ones have been set up.

(b)        (MJ) Children’s Liturgy- attendance is up and very encouraging – Palm Sunday joint Liturgy with Cathedral Sunday School all prepared – Good Friday activities centred on Christ’s Passion will be supervised by (MJ) and Mary Roberts – Activity and Eggs for Easter Egg Hunt Sunday all arranged – As Corpus Christi Procession occurs before the First Holy Communion this year, why not ask last year’s First Communicants to wear their clothes from last year (if they still fit!) to lead the procession. Action (MJ)

(c)         (SB) Crossing the Threshold – an on-going process - Things we could be doing:-

  • We need to listen to Bishop Reagan’s speech
  • Talk to someone in church you don’t know each week
  • Invite someone to join you at Mass
  • Ask others for fresh ideas and activities
  • Join with others e.g. Hereford Art College and St John’s display on belief
  • Our Lady’s Mission in June – What can we learn from this?
  • Understand that our city centre church is not a local ‘community’ church and can act as a barrier as not set in residential neighbourhood where particular activities work better. Action All

(d)        (PW) Sunday Parking Regulations Can we contact the Cathedral and put our petition on our own web-site? Yes Action (PW)

(e)         (PW)Small Lotteries and Gaming Act. It is agreed that the 2 signatures required by Herefordshire Council on returns under the Small Lotteries and Gaming Act are Paul Williams and Stephen Cleeve.

(f)     (EC) Migrant Workers on Herefordshire farms are having difficulties getting to Mass on Sundays because of lack of transport – Can the parish be asked to pray for them? If required we may also be able to arrange a mini-bus. Action (PW)

(g)        (SC) Fundraising Meeting took place on 05.03.12. – Launch date 28.04.12. with reception, outlining what needs to be done and the events planned so far which include: Glasgow Phoenix Choir; sponsored walk; Quiz Night with dinner; joint Football ‘Speed Cage’ in High Town with Hereford United 21.04.12. (Youngsters will advertise on ‘facebook’) Action all

Finance (SB)

Qtr 4 2011/12 = £15.8k v
2010/11 = 16.3k 

Full Yr 2011/12 = £62.5k v
2010/11 = £61.5k

 Matters raised by parishioners

  • (SC) Can we re-paint Annex to smarten up whilst we await funds move white chairs and put unused furniture in cellar? Yes but Pool Table and Football Table still an issue. Action (SC)
  • Can we spend out £200 on new tables to make Annex more inviting? Possibility. Action (SC)
  • Tea Urn does not work. Action (SC)
  • Would Fr Michael remind parishioners to respect the congregations of our neighbouring Churches if they are in the middle of their ‘ Corpus Christi Procession past SFX when we come out after Maundy Thursday Mass? Yes it’s usually a quiet exit then anyway. Action (Fr M)
  • (SB) Do people go to the aid of parishioners (or others) if the fall in church? Yes of course - all PAC members could cite examples of this being the normal re-action in Church and many can also testify to personally going to someone’s aid – Action. How can we stop this kind of nonsense that some people insist on spreading about the Church?
  • (SB) Is it possible to keep in touch with parishioners who have entered care homes? Yes this is done where possible.

AOB: Corpus Christi Procession has been set for 10 June 2012 – Peter Fawcett will deal with the necessary permission formalities.

Dates of next meetings.

Thursday 26 April 2012 @ 7.15. p.m.
Thursday 31 May 2012 @7.15.p.m.