The meeting was chaired by Jim O’Sullivan.
The meeting started with prayer led by Fr Pat Cleary.
Present: Fr Pat Cleary, Fr Bob Eccles OP, deacon Geoff Cook, deacon John Steel, Jaylord Magpuyo (seminarian) and 15 parishioners.
Joe Tucker, Helen Allen, Ann Maddocks.
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Data Base - it is in process aiming for an Autumn start.
Fr Pat said that this had come out of the ideas etc from the Year of Evangelisation as an increase in our welcome and availability. The Diocese assures us that insurance is no problem should the Church be left open and unsupervised provided no silly risks are taken. The issue of lighted candles was discussed as fire is the only really serious problem, all other issues can be dealt with should they arise. It was clear that many churches are left open with access to real candles without fires being lit. It was commented that serious arsonists would come equipped.
The reasons for having church open:
Ann Hales Took has asked that there should be more silences during Mass, particularly at 11am prior to the start. The practicality of this was discussed. At least a third of mass attenders arrive within the last five minutes which makes welcoming and finding seats difficult if the Church is silent. It has been tried before during Lent and Advent without great success. Silence after Communion was discussed but Fr Pat pointed out that those who receive first may have been waiting a very long time for the last prayers etc giving them almost too much time for their private devotions. However, silence after the Homily was advocated as was silence after each reading, before the words, “the Word of the Lord”, to give time to appreciate what was read. Readers will be encouraged to leave this sort of space. Another training session for Readers was advocated and will be arranged by Nora Darby and Fr Bob.
Fr Pat said that he liked the sanctuary to represent the make up of the congregation in gender, age, ethnicity etc. Pauses during the Bidding Prayers for personal intention etc was advocated.
Liturgy in general. The Triduum and Easter had been lovely as usual even with the rain trying to prevent the lighting of the first fire.
Lynda McIntyre has resigned as treasurer due to on going ill health. A vote of thanks for her long service was given. Deacon John Steel (Ely) has been offered the role and has agreed to take it on. Michael Strupczewski will continue to write the cheques.
There are several new people on the finance committee. Pat Cook will change the treasurer details in the bulletin.
The annual accounts were made available having been seen previously by the finance committee and will be publicized at Mass.
The diocese is starting a fund raising initiative called Alive in Faith. St. Laurence’s parish is not yet involved in it.
SVP and CWL are holding their senior citizens’ lunch on 30th April.
Marriage preparation: The diocese has introduced its own programme which all parishes must use from next year.
Confirmation preparation will also be having to use the diocese’ own programme.
Baptism preparation continues to go well. It is by invitation and this seems to really please parents.
First Communion preparation goes on apace.
Ablaze Mass is running very well but is showing up how hard the young find discernment in this present age. Simon Bishop SJ preached at the Mass and would like to come and speak with the young again, including confirmation candidates, and those confirmed in recent years. Sandy Hobson will arrange this.
Sandy will also publish an article in the Pilgrim re Catholic Charismatic Renewal. The diocese wants this to run across the diocese and to be based in St Laurence’s. It will run various activities similar to the Life in the Spirit seminars.
The Diocese has stated that Catholic schools can only become academies in groups with other Catholic schools.
SVP continues to attract new members
21st July. Main topic: “The Parish Forum is 10 years old”. The current working will be reviewed and alternative ways examined.