Minutes of St Laurence’s Parish Forum : 11 April 2011

The meeting commenced at 8 p.m. with 19 parishioners present. Paul Simmons was in the chair. Fr. Pat Cleary opened the meeting with a prayer.

1. Apologies

Apologies had been received from Jim O'Sullivan, Virginia Bird, Mary Watkins, Irial McGinley and Karen Rodgers.

2. Minutes of Previous Meeting

The minutes were received and approved.

3. Matters arising

There were no amendments. The only comment was that the print was too small to read, particularly on the copy on the noticeboard in the Narthex.

4. Facilitation Group update

[This group keeps track of the suggestions that come up at the Forum and makes sure things are done: also puts items on future Agendas].

The Facilitation Group Action List and the Communication Group Action List were presented by Stephen Warde and showed progress to date. In the subsequent discussions:

5. Liturgy

Holy Week services are now arranged; Geoff Cook will read the Passion as a narrative on Good Friday, the congregation will be asked to sit for this. All seven readings will be read at the Vigil, at which there is an adult Baptism. There will be the usual party after.

Fr. Pat is pleased to have loads of servers.

The new liturgy will be coming in September. There should be meetings regarding the changes. A general discussion then followed on the new translation.

6. Finance

There were no comments on the end of year Accounts. Next year there will be a comparison with previous year; Reserves are not shown. The Parish was audited last Tuesday and Fr. Pat was very pleased we have a clean bill of health.

7. Social Life

A Patrick's Day party had been held in the Parish. The Senior Citizen's lunch (organised by the SVP and CWL) is taking place on Saturday 30th April.


Mary Watkins has taken on the task of organising a group to take Confirmation classes: Lynda, Bronwyn and Fr. Pat. 8 parishioners have signed up so far for Confirmation, classes for which will start in October. The Bishop has given Deans and Parish Priests the right to administer Confirmation. The School is doing the same programme. Pleased to see a notice about Child Protection is up.

9. Buildings and grounds

The new car park is to be tarmaced; the Sacristy needs to be re-ordered; same at School − a new vestment cupboard is being made; Parish office is being done up.

Suggested that when Irial is away there should be someone to contact in his absence − this would be covered by having two contacts for buildings as mentioned under item (4) above.

10. School

The School is expanding − work on new buildings will start in the summer. Numbers will increase from 250 to 320 approximately.

11. Diocesan Issues

Diocesan Plan: Stephen spoke on this subject. It is a huge document (70 pages) published in 2004 and revised in 2009. So, if we wanted to use it to further develop Parish life, we would need to prioritise. Anyone can consult the Diocesan Plan, which is available in the Parish and on the Parish Website.

The Facilitation Group had met and identified two key ideas for the Forum to discuss: firstly, holding a Parish Day to help develop parish life using input from the Diocesan Plan; secondly, agreeing themes that could be used to prioritise action/discussion. Some theme suggestions were:

  1. Developing our community (Parish links and welcoming new people)
  2. Outreach into the wider Cambridge community
  3. Overseas links (connection to Justice and Peace)
  4. Involvement of young people
  5. Diversity and integration
  6. Developing prayer life and the liturgy
  7. Adult religious formation and education.
    The Forum discussion added:
  8. Catholic Social Teaching.

The Forum was generally supportive of the idea of a Parish Day − e.g., based around 3 or 4 of the themes above, with some work done in advance. Timing − next Spring?

Other suggestions for the day included:

  1. Celebrate Unity of the community
  2. The day should include Teaching on Community
  3. Choice of an Activity focus e.g. forms of Prayer.

Next steps: Fr Pat to consider the ideas and provide guidance on preferred route re: Parish Day. A group (or perhaps one group per theme) could be formed to organise − it would be nice to encourage involvement from people not previously involved in activities like this.

12. Parish Groups

Sister Pat reported that the 3 Parishes in Cambridge had been meeting in Lent to discuss Peace and all 3 will be coming together again after Easter.

13. AOB

Christine Malone spoke about a meeting held in Birmingham by the SVP. The SVP support the developing world and have many projects overseas. There is a need at present for help in the Sudan, which is undergoing changes and there may be problems after the split between north and south, which takes place in July.

Suggested that there might be a Sudan project in the Parish to support the SVP in this matter. Youth group perhaps could raise money; possibly the Confirmation group could be involved; the need is to help feeding children between 2 and 5 years old. Need to coordinate with CAFOD; Parish could do such things as coffee mornings or cake stalls. Forum was supportive.

Anne Maddocks mentioned the Friends of the Cathedral and their AGM and wondered if the Chairman could come and speak to the Parish about the Friends.

14. Dates of future meetings

Thursday 7th July 2011
Monday 10th October 2011

The meeting closed at 9.20 pm.


See Item 4 above.

Facilitation Group Action List


Communication Group Action List