Minutes of St Laurence’s Parish Forum : 24 April 2012

The meeting began at 8pm with Jim O'Sullivan in the chair and 18 parishioners present.

Fr. Pat Cleary opened the meeting with prayer.


Apologies were received from Pat Cook, Margaret Plumb, Stephen Warde, Fr. Bob.

Minutes of Previous Meeting

The Minutes were displayed on the Narthex boards and on the Website. There is a new display box for them. They were considered to be right.

Matters arising

Missalettes vs Mass books − it was noted that a lot of people use the Mass books including those who do not have English as their first language and those who are less familiar with the liturgy. It was felt that Missalettes produce a lot of extra paper which makes work and recycling as well as being noisy in use. Books would be a large outlay but would last for 20 years and could be bought annually until each year is purchased. The majority were in favour of staying with books rather than missalettes.

There was discussion as to whether the readings are the same translation. It is believed that they are to be from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible.

Parish Year

The Advent and Lent programmes were successful and the Parish now faces the last 3rd of the year, Pentecost, rather than Easter to spread the programme out evenly. Fr. Bob's Lent talks were particularly appreciated and were challenging and good. It was hoped he would do a further series.

It is planned to finish the year with a Parish Day on Sunday 15th July. It had been hoped to have a celebration day at the school but the building work is still not finished so nothing can be planned using the school site.

Various suggestions to get people mixing more were explored:

Parish Day − 15th July

to Celebrate St. Laurence' church as a Parish and our life together.
What will happen?
A BBQ in the garden
all parishioners with particular invitation to families of all who have been Baptised, Confirmed, Married or made first Holy Communion during the year.

St Laurence's Day − Friday 10th August

Evening Mass and celebration, perhaps BBQ. Event using our diversity − African, Indian etc.


Holy Week − this showed up that the microphones in church are not doing their job. It is hoped that we can get a new system. The ideal one is not available yet. Perhaps the starting time of the Easter Vigil could be adjusted so that it does not start in day light.

Readers and Eucharistic Ministers − there will be a day of training etc after the summer run by Margaret Beaufort Institute.


No figure are available for the year yet due to the treasurer's illness. The Diocese has given an extension for publishing the figures. A lot has been spent this year and it is requested that the kitchen be updated. Fr Pat agreed to this in principle and suggested that a small group of parishioners who regularly use the kitchen get together to agree what is needed.

Orange juice and milk is now got by group doing coffee − tea, sugar and coffee are bought by Mary Watkins from Traidcraft. Supplies are kept in the large cupboards by the kitchen door.

Social Life

St Laurence's Day − Mass and a glass of wine at least (see above).


Rosina Abdulai, Helen Allen and Fr. Pat have run 2 courses for Baptism preparation. 20 people have attended and the next dates are now being set.

First Communion is going well.

Confirmation was excellent.

There are different teams for each group preparation.

There is still a strong feeling that work needs to be done to continue to involve these young people − the Confirmation group went to Flame at Wembley.

Buildings and grounds

It would be good to be able to keep the Church open for prayer. Arson is the risk. Ways of achieving this could involve locking the internal door

Bike racks are good and well used. Should we have more?

The main church Notice Board on roadside has been updated.

It was asked if there was a need for some kind of a caretaker to do smaller jobs.

Church benches graffiti is very bad.

Toilets are not very well signed.

Better use needs to be made of upstairs room.

Tidying up is everyone's responsibility.


Building work continues.

Summer Fayre − 23rd June

Diocesan Plan

No Bishop.

Council of Laity needs someone to represent Parish at meeting on 19th May. Please let Jim O'Sullivan know if interested. Travel costs will be reimbursed.

Parish Groups

Justice and Peace − Romero film will be shown at OLEM on 16th June at 15.00

Diocesan Justice and Peace have water themed day led by Mary Colwell in Cathedral on 15th Sept.

Discernment, Baptism in the Holy Spirit and Spiritual Warfare on 19th, 30th May and 2nd June Leaflets will be in the Bulletin.

SVP − 36 people attended Eastertide lunch. 22nd May lunch at Coton Garden Centre and in July a coach will go to Walsingham for the Pilgrimage for the Sick.

Facilitation Group

Meets prior to Forum meeting and shortly afterwards to see that plans/proposals are activated. All actions minuted elsewhere.


St Andrew's C of E have a new publication and would like to give us publicity − they published our Holy Week times.

Film showings − could we show some films now we have the equipment? There might be a copyright problem.

Parish Library − this was suggested as a possible use for the upper room

Water Day follow up − would we like an environmental planned to talk after Mass?

We have a licence for entertainment in the parish room

Parish Census − this was last done nearly 3 years ago, and the information is getting out of date − should we repeat this?

Lent Groups need to be planned earlier.

Young people − the continuing difficulty in engaging young people post confirmation was highlighted- the confirmation group is trying to encourage those recently confirmed to continue their involvement in the life of the parish.

Future Meetings