Minutes of St Laurence’s Parish Forum : 14 May 2009

Fr. David Paul opened the meeting with prayers for guidance.

The meeting commenced at 8p.m. with Jim O'Sullivan in the Chair and nine other members of the Parish were present.

1. Apologies

Apologies were received from Rev. Deacon Cook, Sr. Pat. Robb, C.J., Paul and Margaret Simmons, Steve and Frances Stafford, Teresa Campbell, Mary Watkins, Irial McGinley and Mary Jane O'Sullivan.

2. Minutes of the last meeting

It was hoped that everyone present had seen the minutes which are placed on the notice board in the Narthex.

3. Matters Arising

Tenders are out for the toilets. The Mass in other languages is mainly for European Counties on the Internet, there is nothing for African languages of which there are many.

4. Parish Update

Fr. David reported on the meeting of Priest with the Bishop in Norwich held that day. Only one Parish had not done a reply to the Parish Survey. The Bishop found the replies very positive. Welcoming - in most parishes. Evangelisation is what he wants. The Parish mergers that had taken place had gone well. He asked all Deaneries to look to the next five years to ten years. Deaneries to plan ahead and to look into which parishes could be merged. The Bishop is looking into inviting Priests from abroad - one or two countries. Spoke of clustering parishes, not merging. The Bishop was very impressed with the replies. Priests also pleased. It is encouraging - numbers are going up, Baptisms, First Communions, Confirmation, Marriages. Lynda Mclntyre had attended the Council of Laity - a copy of the minutes will be on the notice board.

There are 51 children in the Parish making their First Holy Communion this year. These will start on Sunday, 7th June for four weeks and the going forth Mass will be on 4th July. The final lesson for First Communions is on Saturday, 16th May 2009. The Bishop will be coming to confirm on Tuesday, 7th July - there are 27 candidates this year.

On Sunday, 31st May 2009 the Archbishop of Bamenda in Cameroon, the Most Rev. Cornelius Esua, will be visiting Cambridge to baptise his great niece. He will celebrating the 11 a.m. and there will be a buffet lunch in the garden after Mass. Help is needed with Music - the African Choir will sing at this Mass and it is hoped that many people from the Cameroon will be present to take part in the procession, offertory etc. It is hoped parishioners will stay behind after mass and will bring food and drink to share.

5. Parish Survey

There are approximately 540-550 replies to the Parish Census. Help is needed to sort them out. 1100-1200 attend Mass, so there could be more who should have filled the forms in. There is need to look on the back of the forms to see which organisations etc. people are interested in and to pass these names on so that invitations can be given to attend each group.

6. Twinning with a Cambodian Parish

The Bishop is happy that we help Zimbabwe and the Fatima Mission. It is not necessarily with money, just writing and supporting either people in Cambodia or the Holy Land. A general discussion was held on this matter - do be shelved or support Cambodia; Cambodia is poorer but peaceful than the Holy Land. Send Christmas cards; Whatever we do would be done through the Parish. Fr. David will report back to the Bishop on this matter.

7. Parish Forum Constitution

The Chairman, Jim O'Sullivan, had taken Guidelines off the Internet and had written a proposed Constitution for consideration by the Forum. It was agreed that the Quorum should be ten and any changes should be published beforehand.

8. Parish Lunches and Community Building

Karen Rogers reported that Mustard Seeds would be closing down. She had found it very helpful and also had found out that they were the only children's group in Cambridge that had prayers with the children. She is hoping to start, with Fr. David's permission, a parent’s prayer group. The Parish lunches are good, getting people together and to know one another. The lunches are going to be monthly. People leave at 2.30p.m. Fr. said they were good and perhaps we could have smaller one-off events during the year - for example a Cambodia Day. Margaret Plumb reported that on 28th June commencing with prayers at the Grotto at 3.30 p.m. there would be Strawberry Cream Tea in the Parish room and Garden (weather permitting!). Need to get children to mix. There is a lot going on in the Parish. It was agreed that the night of light on 31st October should continue and be in the Church.

9. Any Other Business

It was agreed that cards should be sent to Michael Collis for 27th June on the occasion of his ordination to the Diaconate at Oscott. Two new young men will be starting at Oscott in September. Making the total training for the Priesthood in the Diocese six.

10. Date of Next Meeting

It was agreed that the next meeting would be in the second week of September - avoiding the second Tuesday.

The meeting concluded at 9.20 p.m.