Fr David Paul opened the meeting with prayers.
The meeting commenced at 8pm with Jim O'Sullivan in the Chair, and thirteen other parishioners.
Apologies were received from Margaret Plumb and Richard Birkett.
It was hoped that everyone present had seen the minutes which are placed on the notice board in the Narthex.
Back 2 benches need to be fixed to the ground to protect the space between them (to allow people to get through).
Fr David to discuss moving of benches with Irial McGinley.
Jim O'Sullivan to produce laminated notices asking people not to sit on the stairs.
Fr David to check with various parish groups that their entry is up to date this weekend.
Stephen will feedback any corrections to the website.
Fr. David has recently sent parish statistics for last year to the diocese:
50 children made their First Holy Communion (48 are being prepared this year)Sr Pat added that there have been 4 recent baptisms with confirmations at the Oakington Detention Centre. Also more volunteers have come forward to be visitors at Oakington.
31 young people were Confirmed (about 15 are being prepared so far this year)
3 adults were received into the church (4 are due to be received this Easter)
11 marriages were celebrated
28 funerals were held
Average Sunday mass attendance was 759 (an increase of about 20 people)
We are now the 6th or 7th largest parish in the diocese.
The School remains heavily over-subscribed. Plans for expansion are currently on hold -there is still support from the diocese and local authority for expansion and we are top of the list. The delay is due to lack of immediate funding. Otherwise, the school is happy and lively with lots going on.
There was a recent good collection for the Haiti earthquake appeal. The CAFOD Live Simply supper 2 weeks ago raised about £500. Fr Aidan from Blackfriars held a successful appeal evening for the Blackfriars Ethiopia project.
Next project is to decorate the walls of the parish room. Plan is to put up a picture rail so that occasional items can be put on display without damaging the paintwork. Two things to include in the plans are:
A small room for the flower arrangers' equipment has been built between the sacristy and the church.
There is a copy of this in the narthex and on the Diocesan website. Jim O'Sullivan presented a brief summary:
Overall, people have found the pastoral plan helpful - it will continue.
A parishioner asked about the church's response to increasing secularism in society. Fr David replied that the Bishop is very aware of this and a lot happens behind the scenes.
Sr Pat encouraged people to approach parliamentary candidates in the run up to the general election, eg. at hustings making salient points and pointing out that we are a parish with 750 regular Mass goers.
Fr David will advertise hustings in Cambridge to parishioners if he is sent details so that parishioners can attend.
These have been going for nearly 2 years now and frequency has increased to every month, on the 2nd Sunday. They are generally going well with understandably slightly lower attendance in the winter months. The February lunch had to be cancelled. It was stressed that a new list of dates needs to be advertised and that, once advertised, the lunches must go ahead.
Mary Jane O'Sullivan to discuss with lunchgoers at the next lunch (14th March) whether to continue with monthly lunches to revert to every other month, then to arrange suitable advertising.
At present, some ideas that are generated at the Parish Forum get lost unless someone volunteers on the day to act on them. It was proposed that an implementation group could meet in between Forum meetings to help ensure that such ideas are carried forward. There is some suggestion in the Diocesan Pastoral Plan that parish's could have an ongoing group. It was agreed that the remit of such a group would be to facilitate rather than control and that its relationship to the Forum would need to be made clear.
Paul Simmons and Fr David to write some terms of reference for an Implementation Group with a view to recruiting volunteers for the group before the next Forum. Recruitment to be a mixture of approaching individuals and parish-wide appeal.
Jim O'Sullivan has now chaired the forum for 3 years and put himself forward either to be replaced or reappointed as chair. It was agreed that he should be reappointed.
Secretary: Thanks were expressed to Margaret Simmons for having been secretary for 2 years and to Margaret Plumb for having taken minutes in her absence. Jim O'Sullivan to draft an appeal for a new secretary.
This was sent in by Mary Watkins and is attached to these minutes (hard copy only - see the Narthex notice board).
It was agreed that the next meeting would be in May, the precise date to be arranged nearer the time.