Minutes of St Laurence’s Parish Forum : 14 October 2013

The meeting began at 8pm with Jim O'Sullivan in the chair, Fr Pat Cleary, Fr Bob Eccles, Rev Geoff Cook and 32 parishioners.


Apologies were received from the Warrens, the McEwens, Teresa Campbell and Ted Welsh.

Minutes of Previous Meeting

he Minutes were displayed on the Narthex boards and on the Website. They were considered to be right.

Matters arising not on the agenda


New Artwork for the Church

From an anonymous donor.

Fiona Rutherford, an artist from Newcastle upon Tyne came to show the Forum her suggested design. The design has a sowing and reaping theme – needs to be beautiful and simple and must not distract from the Tabernacle and the Cross. Fiona had two different versions of the design, one a pair of rectangular panels and the other two curved panels, an arc inside a right angle. This design is specifically to hang under the arms of the Cross. The curved version appeared to be preferred by most people present.

It was suggested that if possible it would be good to project the design on to the wall so that parishioners could see it in situ.

Various questions were asked: would it affect the acoustics? How could it be kept clean?

Fiona said she had planned the design to fit with the present colours of the wall (green and dark re/brown). She felt the stems and seeds reinforced the dark red. It was commented that the design was very pale and she said that it could be strengthened so that it would be better seen towards the back of the church.

It was suggested that the design was too close to the Cross and might detract from it. It was felt that it must be an integral part of the Sanctuary Fr Pat pointed out that the current design of the wall was not permanent and could be repainted at some time.

It was proposed that the designs be left for the congregation to see with a better “mock up” so that people would have a good idea of the suggestion.

Parish DataBase

Dick Wilson and Richard Birkett talked about what is proposed (see Appendix 1).

There is to be a common database with access to specific parts. It will consolidate what the parish already has so that it can be updated and kept correct. It will have no new use and will not be the sole responsibility of the office. Access on line is still open to discussion and it might be possible to pay someone to keep it up to date.

It was asked that the Emergency Prayer line number on the website have the 01223 removed so that people accessing it on line at night cannot ring people in the night etc.


Services will be as usual at Christmas with the Carol Service on the last Sunday of Advent even though this is very close to Christmas itself.


Nothing to report.

Social Life

The wine and cheese party on St Laurence’ day was nice. There is a party on St Cecilia’s day for all the musicians.


The Confirmation group has got off to a cracking start with 21 candidates. The first session ended with the YAYA Mass which had about 100 people. The Bishop feels Confirmation may be appropriate at a slightly earlier age. Fr Bob will have a session with the parents.

Buildings and grounds

The kitchen is almost finished only waiting for the hand basin. The hot water boiler running cost has been costed and it appears that it will be better to turn it off after use and to run the standing water out before turning it on each time.

The front garden is to be cleared of old shrubs and a couple of trees shortly and will be grassed over down the side and gravelled across the front. It will look really good once it is finished and things have grown up again (this time next year!).


Nothing to report.

Diocesan Council of Laity

The next meeting will be in November.

Parish Groups

There will be an Ecumenical Healing Service on 1st December in Longstanton.

The Good News Magazine will be on sale in the porch.

Facilitation Group update (items not covered elsewhere)

There remains a shortage of volunteers in the Parish.

There is very little contact between the parishioners at the different Masses and the Parish day crossed this and was so good but it is a pity if we have to wait for another such day before people meet again.

The Forum would do with better representation from other Masses (particularly the Vigil and 8am). It was suggested that there be a meeting of people representing different Masses, nationalities, age groups etc. It was remembered how good the International Masses have been.


The Pilgrim

There have been 10 offers of help/contributions. Should we be asking for a paid person to do the layout? James McQuillan said he would like to help.

Food Bank

It is possible that in due course St Laurence’s may be asked to be a distribution centre.

Play group

It is hoped that a pre school group could start again giving some spiritual input as well as play.

Agreed Forum meeting dates for next year

Appendix 1: Paper from Dick Wilson regarding database and Pilgrim

Parish Database


We use a number of address and contact lists, and a list made three years, not up to date. Dick Wilson, Richard Birkett, Stephen Warde and others have discussed possibilities for a common database, easily used and updated.


The initial purpose is to make the present set of lists correct and up to date for any kind of contact by the users of existing lists. There are further possibilities, further uses might be the circulation of the Newsletter and notice of meetings, changes in Mass times times, house masses.


Immediate – to make sure that contact list we have is up to date, and as complete as possible, and kept so, for any occasion when the clergy or Parish Office needs to contact someone or other users. To achieve this, ask all holders of individual address lists for parish purposes to use a common data base, which they can access as easily as their present lists, and which is automatically updated if any authorised user corrected an item on the list.


We think we should now go ahead, as follows:


We would welcome comments and backing from the Forum. We will shortly be asking for more people to help.


The Pilgrim


Our parish magazine hasn’t appeared for some months. Dick Wilson and Mary Watkins would like to get an edition out before Christmas and to get a team together to keep it appearing regularly. We already have a 10 offers of material for an edition at the beginning of Advent and some offers of help – and we will ask round.


We got some more offers of help in production and would like for more volunteers to make up a team. In the meantime, contributions – experiences, suggestions, and comment of interest to the parish - are welcome. To pilgrim@saintlaurence.org.uk or 01223 526435.