Minutes for 31st May 2012

1. Welcome to all those present: Fr Michael (FrM), Stephen Cleeve, Chairman (SC), Thomas Kottuppallil(TK), Stuart Fox, Vice Chairman (SF) Melbin Thomas (Melbin T) Ella Cwiertnia (EC) Maggie Daron (MD), Pat Maclean (PMc), John Cook (JC), and Paul Williams(PW).

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

3. Apologies: Stephen Booth (SB), Maria Jones (MJ), Marin Thomas (Marin T), Joseph Thachetu (JT), Tom Allen (TA), Brenda Williams (BW).

4. Minutes of the previous meeting: The minutes of 26.04.12 were signed after the following amendments were made:

  • b3 SFX school raised £500 (not £100) over a number of years which allows a family of 6 to have clean water for life.

5. Matters arising:

  • 8.4: No-one turned up for the screening of the ‘Wintershall Passion’
  • 8(e) Work on whether parishes need to register for the Data Protection Act continues. Action (SC)
  • 9(d) The petition re: ‘Parking Fines’ has gone to Councillor Bradshaw at Herefordshire Council. PW to monitor. Action (PW)
  • 9(f) Migrant Workers: Fr Michael raised the issue at the last deanery meeting where it was agreed to contact the liaison officer of Herefordshire Council. Action (FR M)
  • 11: Annex painting went ahead and we wish to minute our thanks to all involved including Stephen and Margaret Cleeve Thomas Allen and especially Brian Turner for his expertise and skills. Please note that the water staining was thought not to be a serious problem as it was old damage and easily rectified. However some of the roof timbers are in a poor state. Action (Annexe sub-committee)
  • 12: Peter Fawcett has obtained police permission for Corpus Christi Procession.
  • 8j Stewarding: 5 people have volunteered so far to allow the church to open for up to 5 hours a week
  • 8(l) The ‘Sponsored Walk’ to deanery churches has raised £835 so far. The question of Gift Aid will be investigated Action (SC)

6. Fr Michael’s Report:

  • 2 Baptisms and 1 death since last meeting
  • Spirituality – The May Procession at Belmont on 9th May was well attended by our parishioners. The Procession for Our Lady at SFX after Mass on the 20th May was also well supported.
  • Open day – the ‘soft’ launch of the ‘Xavier Saviour Fund’ was very successful. Thanks go to the stewards and those who provided cakes and refreshments. Many different people came to see the church and clearly enjoyed themselves. Many members of the parish rallied round and so many cakes were made we had to sell them on Saturday evening and Sunday morning.
  • Mission Appeal. Sr Michaela from the Comboni Sisters wanted to thank the parish for the £698 that was raised after her appeal at both Masses. She also wanted to thank Brenda and Paul Williams for their generous hospitality.
  • The Deanery Mass for Fr Slater was quiet but he enjoyed the company of his fellow priests.
  • At the Meeting of the Council of Priests on 17th May SFX was congratulated by the diocesan finance officer for its financial management and its ability to maintain the level of weekly collections in these difficult times.
  • Confirmations. The Archbishop was delighted with the candidates and how well they were prepared. Thanks to the Catechists for their endeavours. The Archbishop stayed for the cutting of the cake in the Annex which looked much improved after the efforts of the working party. (See note elsewhere).
  • Fundraising. Sir Roy Strong has offered his garden ‘The Laskett’ for an evening fundraising event (possibly a concert).
  • The Concert by The Glasgow Phoenix and Hereford Police Choirs was a great success – 570 tickets were sold – thanks go to all those who worked so hard to make the evening a success.
  • The fridge in the presbytery has broken down and is beyond repair so a new one is to be purchased.
  • The Pilgrimage to Rome leaves on Sunday. Please pray for its success.
  • Jubilee Weekend. Special prayers will be said at all Masses this weekend to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
  • Corpus Christi Procession on 10th June – As we are not wishing to close any roads, no special permissions are required but as a matter of courtesy the Dean of the Cathedral, the Council and Police have been informed. Thanks to Pete Fawcett.
  • First communion. All preparations are well in hand for 16th June. Thanks as always to the parish catechists and Maggie Daron and her staff from the school.
  • Strawberry Teas for senior parishioners to take place on 15th July in the Presbytery Garden.

7. Youth Matters:

  • Lauren has still to meet Jo Williams re: Youth Group. Action (BW)

8. Reports from members:

(a)          (MD)

(i)            A busy time at the school including a May Procession. Thanks go to Fr Slater for leading it. Also many activities are taking place for the Olympic Torch and the Queens Diamond Jubilee Celebrations.

(ii)           (MD) offered Fr Michael the idea of collecting money in bottles as the school did for Water Projects.

 (Formal thanks were tabled and agreed to Maggie Daron, who is retiring in the summer, for maintaining the links between the Primary School and the Parish)

(b)          (PMc) Is it possible to purchase a new vacuum cleaner for the Annex? (Action all agreed (PMc) to source a ‘Henry’)

(c)          (EC) Shrine/Picture for John Paul II. 1000 envelopes have been printed and almost all of these have been distributed around the farms of Herefordshire. The Polish Communities in Cardiff and Worcester have heard of our plans and wish to help in some way.  Action (EC) will prepare a note in Polish for the Narthex and (PW) will purchase a stand to hold envelopes. When envelopes come in (PW) to inform counters to make separate entry on ‘green sheet’ and list any names. (PW) to inform PAC of amount collected each month.

(d)          (BW) Please remind all that the rug for young children at 9.00am Mass Sunday could equally be put out at the 6.00pm Mass on Saturday. Action (PW) note in Newsletter.

(e)          (SF) Fundraising

(i)            Another concert has been booked in September this time with a choir from Dublin and the Hereford Police Choir. (N.B. Dublin Choir have had to pull out so concert to be re-arranged.)

(ii)           A number of Parishioners have indicated that they do not know who is on the fundraising committee and if there are Parish representatives on it. Can we let them know? Action (SF) and (SC) to examine the flow of information to the Parish

(f)           (JC)

(i)            St Mary’s High School Lugwardine raised £5218 in their Lenten Appeal. A remarkable achievement – Well Done

(ii)           Lauren is now back at work and has taken a number of pupils to Alton Castle on residential retreats. A number of non-Catholic staff who accompanied her, were very impressed.

(iii)         Continued liaison with the Primary school is hoped for, when the new Headteacher arrives to take up her post.

(g)          (TA) reported that he has many more pictures to go on web-site regarding Confirmations and permission has been granted to publish. Action (PW) to contact Steve Jones for help in process. 

(h)          (SC)

(i)            Reported arrangements for Walsingham Pilgrimage are going ahead. He will also look into organising a local pilgrimage day.

(ii)           Annex funds are continuing to grow – We could ‘borrow’ money from our reserve account to get the project moving but this must be paid back. Action (SC) to contact ‘Finance’ in Cardiff.

(iii)         (Fr M) Architects are anxious we stick to their plans for Annex refurbishment and begin work so that they get their £7000 consultancy fee. We are reluctant to proceed when more cost effective options seem viable. Action (SC) and Buildings Committee to further this work looking at alternative quotes and financing of project.

9. (SB) Finance

(i)            Written report. All but 2 of the ‘missing’ standing orders have now been recovered (£70 still outstanding out of £2000).

(ii)           1st Collections were up £50 per week in April and May compared to last year.

(iii)         (SC) reported that some ‘collection envelope’ boxes have yet to be collected. Action (SC)

(iv)         (MB) asked if it is possible for the Parish to support the school in their endeavour to have a major re-furbishment of the school hall? (Fr M) Agreed that as the parish no longer needs to pay for the insurance of the school, £1000 could be given towards the costs incurred for the hall. All agreed Action (Fr M) and (PW)

10. Evangelisation:

(JC) reported that as a result of a survey of Catholics leaving the Church in the U.S. it was revealed that ‘Welcomers’ are the key to keeping parishes vibrant and growing. Yes, we need a ‘Welcome Pack’ and stewards but it is more than handing out hymn books at Mass. It has been shown to work (by Brenda at the ‘Reception Class Mass’ last term). Action (BW) to take this forward and see how she can develop these ideas.

11. Matters raised by parishioners:

(i)            (JC) When funds allow is it possible to have a second microphone for Fr Richard? Action We do have a second microphone and (Melbin T) will try to sort out.

(ii)           (SF) Should we have more Polish notices in the Newsletter not only one rather negative one about noisy children? Action (PW) The note is meant to be helpful for parents and we would have more Polish Notices if they are submitted for the Newsletter or we had time to produce them.

(iii)         (EC) has been asked by parents to prepare a conference about the issue of teenagers not attending Mass Action (PW) as newly trained parenting contact for the diocese will speak to the diocesan officer Joanne White to move forward on this important issue.

12. AOB:

(i)                 The Parish needs to nominate a link person with the diocese involved in local ecumenical activities. Action (PW) to put note in Newsletter.

(ii)           Crossing the Threshold’ day in Cardiff 23rd June. Action (PW) to put note in Newsletter.

13. Dates of next meetings:

Thursday 28th June at 7.15 pm.
Thursday 19th July at 7.15 pm.