The meeting began at 8pm with Jim O'Sullivan in the chair and Fr Pat, Fr Bob and 20 parishioners present.
Fr. Pat Cleary opened the meeting with prayer.
Apologies were received from Tony Brotchie.
These were posted as usual on the website and on the Narthex notice board. One amendment was made shortly after posting. One parishioners asked about hard copies and it was discussed whether these should be provided. It was agreed that as they were posted on the website anyone who wanted their own copy could download it from there.
Christine Knight has called a planning meeting for Wednesday 30th January. There has been a very good response to the call for volunteers, 50+ to date.
Fr Pat thought that we should be prepared should a bishop not have been appointed and will ask Fr. David Bagstaff, Diocesan Administrator to put this in his diary in case.
The Easter Liturgy will be as last year. The start time for the Vigil is dependent on the light and as the clocks only go forward on that night it should be suitably dark at 8pm.
Tony Brotchie’s illness has thrown up a number of issues as he has quietly undertaken a huge number of tasks most of which no one was aware. These included:
Opening and closing the Church for 11am Mass and the various other Masses, eg the Hungarian Mass as well as setting up for them and tidying afterwards.
Fr. Pat felt that these other Masses should be helped to look after their own needs with training being given.
Procession of the Gifts 11am – who takes over this responsibility needs to be worked out – either Welcomers, Service Leader or simply the usual basket carriers.
Holydays of Obligation – Fr Bob commented that Masses earlier in the days were well attended but had no music, servers, welcomers or bidding prayers etc which is a pity. There are problems regarding this as most servers, musicians etc, are at work or school in the day time. Mary Watkins will get these dates put on the Bidding Prayers list. Music might be able to be provided with the CDs.
Karen Rodgers felt that many people did not know about the need to attend Mass on Holy Days of Obligation.
Fr. Bob is concerned that at 11am Mass a large number of people stand at the back when seats are available elsewhere. This is an ongoing situation but there are problems once the children have gone out in identifying truly empty seats and Fr Pat felt that some people found it too embarrassing to come forward to find seats after the Mass has started.
Lent groups – there has been little success with ecumenical groups. If individuals wish to join a local one they are advised to speak to their local Anglican Church. However one well established group local to the church has become so big that it is planned after Easter to divide up to smaller very local groups. Margaret Simmons has information on this and will explain in The Pilgrim.
During Lent Fr Bob is giving a series of talks on Thursday afternoons at 4pm.
Women’s World Day of Prayer – 1st March at St George’s.
Fr Bob expressed his joy at the worship in St Laurence and thanked the Parish.
Mary Watkins asked that the Live Simply Campaign be reflected in the Liturgy.
It was suggested that during Lent the Stations of the Cross should take place out of doors on occasion.
Hannah and Tiziano are arranging a Youth and Young Adults Mass on 17th February.
Last year’s figures came. Replacing the kitchen is this year’s big project.
There will not be any St. Patrick’s Day event.
Paul Simmons reported on the activities of the Fabric group to date. He stressed that the group does not propose to do all the work themselves and wants to get volunteers to involved (a) for the Group's Committee (b) for a Maintenance Team.
In addition (c) for a Parish Pride day (DIY and gardening) will be held in March to do various little chores that need doing – this will be advertised in the Bulletin.
Fr. Pat does not like the idea of a part time caretaker and feels the parish can do the necessary things without, but with a bit of planning.
The new classrooms are beautiful.
A new school is opening on the site of the old Shirley School – there are feelings in the area about this.
Is in abeyance while there is no Bishop.
Sandy went to the Council of Laity meeting in November and there was a lot of discussion around the Year of Faith and in particular about Celebration, an organisation running weekends and longer times of music and worship. A taster weekend will take place in Bury St Edmunds on the weekend of 13th and 14th April and costs £35 for adults, £15 for young adults. There are Magazines and Booking forms in the Narthex.
Mary Watkins talked about CAFOD’s Live Simply Campaign and the award which the parish is applying for. This Eco-Congregation movement offers an award if we achieve 9 things on the list (attached). The big event will be the Parish Day on 9th June.
Fr Pat is running a half marathon in Eastbourne in aid of CAFOD.
has few members. Janet Scally will talk at Mass about their activities in the hope of recruiting more.
This group met in January and Karen Rogers said it went very well.
Fr. Pat asked groups that meet on a monthly basis to check their bookings with the office diary (Pat Cook).
Needs an editor to find and check material. Mike will continue to collate.
Proposed legislation re marriage: E mail your MP prior to Tuesday.