Minutes of St Laurence’s Parish Forum : 15 October 2008

Jim O’Sullivan – Chair – circulated the Agenda.

Fr David opened the meeting with a prayer.

12 people were present.

Apologies were received from Geoff and Pat Cook, Paul Edwards, Lynda McIntyre, Irial MacGinley, Pat Robb.

Minutes of last meeting

These had been posted in the Narthex and were taken as read.

Matters arising from Minutes

A price list for the Repository was provided.

Parish Bulletins of the 3 Cambridge parishes are now regularly circulated ― thanks to those responsible.

Parish Update

First Holy Communion
45 children are being prepared this year and 9.30am and 11am Masses on October 19th will be inscription Masses. Fr David is pleased with the number of teachers and catechists involved.
A Night of Light Party
31st October has been hosted in St Laurence’s for several years. 70-80 are interested but Fr David will be in Lourdes; Mary Jane cannot be present. Karen Rogers is willing but needs several helpers.
So far £1600 has been collected. Mary Watkins, Teresa Campbell and Rosina Abudulai sold 75 tickets for an excellent Harvest Supper. There was a play by young people, a Quiz and Hannah Tucker reported on World Youth Day in Australia. The evening was a great success but Mary feels strongly that the group should be free to choose how to raise awareness next time CAFOD calls and not necessarily feel any pressure to repeat exactly this particularly great effort.
Mary Jane was pleased to report a well-attended AGM and a new committee of 13. We are invited to a shopping evening at the school on November 12th to sample 20+ stalls including TRAIDCRAFT, CAFOD and wooden Nativity figures. She stressed that the parish are welcome at all school event.
Building Improvements
Irial MacGinley has measured up a possible space for a disabled toilet. This will mean converting two into one in the area furthest from the Narthex. We will lose one toilet but the existing one will be refurbished. The disabled toilet needs to be large but baby-changing facilities can be incorporated and we will gain space for a useful store cupboard for such items as crib figures and candles. The cost will be around £12,000 which the Diocese holds for us. After plans are drawn up and approved Irial will need to obtain tenders.
Co-operation with other churches
Dick Wilson enquired about involvement in a Day of Prayer in Impington. He thought the Methodist Church was involved ― were the Council of Churches aware of any happenings? Fr David only knew that Cottenham was currently without any clergy representatives.

Parish Welcoming

Report from working group:

Rosina said they had concentrated on the 11am Mass and were seeking areas where they could achieve something. There was a need to usher and to help people to find seats ― often when they are late.

Paul saw 3 needs:

  1. Teaching about welcoming. Fr David will preach on this on November 2nd.
  2. How to improve the current practice ― explaining what is needed.
  3. Gathering volunteers.

Fr David will inaugurate the Focus on Welcoming emphasizing the theological nature of welcoming by all as the basis of Community: as well as the need to join in and will tell us that we can sign up on the following Sunday.

Ideally 6 people could share the tasks of:

Volunteers need to be allocated to the various tasks and shown what is required.


Often Fr David sees people at the entrance when Mass has started (The congregation is facing the front): and they perhaps cannot open the door, don’t know there is a balcony, don’t know why there are spaces where they are told “This seat is taken”.

Richard Birkett suggested we have some large colourful cards to indicate children who are at their own liturgy and will return at the Offertory.

Mary Jane saw collecting papers at the end a very suitable task for 7/8 year-olds who attend the children’s liturgy and she was asked to bring this to their attention.

Dick Wilson said we could use up to 40 volunteers for small tasks so that rota members could be called once every 6/7 weeks.

Mary thought Confirmation candidates could have a useful role in a welcoming team.

It was hoped that the New St Laurence’s Welcome could begin on Advent Sunday 30th November.

Census and Skills Audit

It is hoped that this date would be the one to take the Parish Census viz. 30th November.

Earlier there had been some discussion about whether Welcoming should be combined with this but the two were seen as quite separate.

There followed many suggestions to add to the list of skills. Eventually some generalized heading such as wish to “Work for/in the local community” was suggested: also “Willing to give one-off help”, and “Giving lifts to Mass”.

Any Other Business

Karen Rodgers suggested possible subjects for future meetings could be taken from Fit for Mission, a document for families from the Bishop of Lancaster, Patrick O’Donoghue. She quoted:

How is the parish affected by the following?
  1. Recent trends on marriage.
  2. Love in our lives ― priorities.
  3. Time spent with family and friends.
  4. Praying together as a family.
  5. Friendship for the lonely and widowed.
  6. Marital love and openness to life.

Could we have a financial report to tell us where we stand?

Anne Maddox asked about putting up posters advertising events in other churches. Fr David asked that they be approved at the office before being displayed.

Mary Jane gave the dates for the next 2 Parish Lunches:

The date of the Next Meeting: January 13th 8pm.

The Meeting closed at 9.35pm.