Minutes of St Laurence’s Parish Forum : 27 January 2011

The meeting began at 8pm with Jim O’Sullivan in the chair and 20+ parishioners present.

Fr. Pat Cleary opened the meeting with prayer.
He reminded the meeting of the context of the Forum within the Catholic Church, He said that it helps the priest undertake his obligations. All parishes have to have a Finance group and Bishop Michael has stated that he wishes every parish in his diocese to have the people give input to parish life. Fr Pat said that he looks to the Forum meeting for guidance and advice but that in the end it is his responsibility to make final decisions.

1. Apologies

Apologies were received from Karen Rodgers, Mary Watkins, Dick Wilson, Eileen and Michael McEwan.

2. Minutes of Previous Meeting

The Minutes were displayed on the Narthex boards and on the Website. The following amendments were made:

3. Matters arising

See above.

4. Implementation Group update

This group is now known as the Facilitation Group as this better reflects its role. It has met twice since the last Forum and will meet again next week to examine the minutes of this meeting and engage in any matters that needs attention.

It has discussed:

5. Liturgy

Fr Pat was delighted with how Christmas went and in particular the children’s Mass. He was asked by Richard Birkett about his plans for Lent and Easter and he said he liked to go with the printed liturgy but that he wanted to have the house masses on Mondays in Lent, except for Monday 11th which is the next Forum meeting. He said that they could be spread throughout the parish and that they have a very special feel although of course only limited numbers could ever attend. He said he did Holy Week as in the book.

Paul Simmons brought up the new Mass and there was a lot of discussion including the suggestion that there is a parish meeting with regard to this and people were urged to look on line, probably using the website for the Bishops Conference of England and Wales. Paul S also mentioned a website called “What if we just said wait” which has a petition asking just that. Margaret Plumb drew attention to the very successful meeting at St Philip Howard where they had gone through the new translation with regard to music etc. Fr. Pat said that the clergy had also had a very good training day led by a priest from Portsmouth diocese.

Richard Birkett asked if the very common prayers were still the same saying that in the interests of ecumenism this was important but some of these are changed, the Creed and the Gloria.

6. Finance

The books will be done for the end of the financial year. On a Sunday following this Fr. Pat will have figures put into the bulletin and will talk to them at each mass as well as a homily as he feels strongly that this should not take the place of the homily. He said this is the only time in the year he talks about money. He said he makes use of small sums of money independently but amounts above £1000 he would ask the finance group and for very big sums would consult with the Forum prior to doing anything.

7. Social Life



The helpers all have to be CRB checked. It will be a shortened course of 6 sessions not in lecture form and fairly punchy. The summer term is planned for this and the young people will be from year 10 who do not have public exams in that term. A date cannot be set for the ceremony while the Bishop is dying. Fr. Pat is very encouraged by the ideas and enthusiasm of the volunteers.

First Communion

There are 46 children being prepared on Saturday mornings and at the school. They will all make their first communions on Pentecost Sunday at the various masses. Fr. Pat would like people to wear RED on Pentecost!

Easter Vigil

There are no definite candidates yet.

9. Buildings and grounds


Iriel MacGinley said that they are awaiting an IT specialist for recommendations and then the new projector should be up after Easter.

Car park

Iriel MacGinley said that the car park is to be tarmaced and lined. There are to be 3 disabled bays next to the church doors hatching and road access marked IN and Out at the entrances. If parking bays are painted at the required size only half the present parking will be possible so he suggested that no bays are painted. There was a lot of discussion around this. Tony Brotchie mentioned that with the new parking restrictions from Gilbert Road to Arbury Road parking will be increasingly difficult. Fr. Pat said he has had problems with neighbours who get very irate at inconsiderate parking by church members. He reminded people that if they park out of the car park usual parking considerations apply as in any public parking place. Once the cost of tarmacing is set the work will be done, probably before Easter, if not very shortly afterwards.


Walter F will do the rear garden free while his work board is displayed.

Prayer Board

This should be set up in the narthex next week.


These are being looked at and will be done very soon.


The instruction leaflet has been found but they are still not working. To do the override Fr. Pat has discovered that it is necessary to key in 0 prior to the number of hours.


A tree has been cut down in the front of the church as it was undermining neighbours building. The council were phoned and confirmed the tree was not protected but the day after it was felled a protection order was served on it and on all the other trees. There was the possibility of a £5000 fine for felling a protected tree but this will not happen luckily due the council’s slip up. The tree stump on the pavement by the road entrance has still not been done so Lynda McIntyre will ring the council again.


These are now working on the other side of the church.

10. School

Expansion plans and funding are approved for an extra 35 places and plans are on display at the school. This will give 2 new classrooms, a studio and the staff room will be expanded. This should start at the end of the year and it gives potential for future expansion.

11. Diocesan Issues

Diocesan Council of Laity

Jim O’Sullivan said that at the November meeting there was an overwhelming need for the laity to take on new roles. The key points were:

12. Parish Groups

Bidding prayers

Joe Tucker said a group of 6 trained and 4 untrained members are putting these together. Dr Anna Rowlands, theologian from Margaret Beaufort Institute is doing the training and they are trying to do them correctly and liturgically. This means that the second reader at each mass shold read the bidding prayers. It seems that people at the Vigil and 8am Masses are less than happy and feel they have not been involved in this. Problems should be taken to Joe Tucker or Claire Tanvir.

It was suggested that readers could get the prayers by e mail although Joe Tucker felt that just having them on the lectern to be looked at prior to the mass should be adequate. Prayer requests are taken and the prayer board will be used.

Facilitation Group

The group needs members from masses other than 11am to make a balance. Next meeting will be 2nd Feb at 8pm in parish room.

13. AOB

Karen Rodgers thanked whoever put books in the children’s box. They came from the repository and Mary MacGinley hopes they will encourage parents and grandparents to buy them for children as they are very good. She also drew attention to a programme on Channel 4 this evening on sex education. This can be accessed via internet. Also a magazine called I Care.

Security: Iriel MacGinley said with regard to the children’s box that it needs to be kept against the wall not being allowed to block access. It is suggested it is fixed down.

Next meeting: on 11th April Jim O’Sullivan will be away and a volunteer chair is needed. The Facilitation group will look into this.

14. Dates of future meetings

Monday 11th April 2011
Thursday 7th July 2011
Monday 10th October 2011