Minutes of St Laurence’s Parish Forum : 9 January 2014
The meeting began at 8.10pm with Jim O'Sullivan in the chair, Fr Pat 22 parishioners.
None were received.
Minutes of Previous Meeting
These were posted as usual on the website and on the Narthex notice boards.
Matters arising not on the agenda
Joe Tucker, who has been the driving force behind the proposal, told the meeting a little of the background to the decision making process. He said that the comments received were very diverse: including a comment “the wall doesn’t need anything” and he pointed out that there are many other things we don’t actually need.
But that this is one way to make the Church more beautiful. He said that liking a picture or not liking it is like liking a face or a voice and covers a wide spectrum.
He said there were a series of areas that needed to be covered:
- The symbolism is expressed in the following ways:
- The design looks like a field which in itself may not be rich in symbolism
- The green in the design is symbolic of Resurrection. A comment received said it reminded the person of the Easter hymn “Now the Green Blade Riseth”
- The yellow reminded people of wheat and therefore bread in the Eucharist. With this in mind it had been asked if this could be nearer the Tabernacle
- The seeds, mentioned by very few people, lead to the ideas of reaping and sowing, the Parable of the Sower and the Seed helping us to live within the parable
- Should there be a “safe” zone between the tapestry and the central Christ on the Cross?
- The positioning has been slightly changed as it was in conflict with the circular paint of the wall. Now both circles will have the same central point ie there will be two concentric circles.
- A further design change means the Alpha and Omega will no longer be there.
- There were 50 responses giving no clear consensus.
- A sizeable minority wanted no change
- A significant group liked this tapestry
- Some felt the symbolism was not clear
- Some asked if the tapestry could be taken down for instance in Lent and Advent. It will be mounted on a frame so this will be possible.
- Were other options considered
- Comments from the meeting:
- “The display is from close up, will the design be effective from the back of the Church. Is something stronger needed?” PS
- “When one sits in the congregation it is not possible to see the crib for instance, does it matter if people at the back can only see the detail by coming forward?” CK
- “Further back the colour will be lost”. FS
- “The positioning tends to distract from the cross, could different positioning or shape be considered, possibly as a rectangle on either side of the Tabernacle or even with the quadrant positioned there.”
- “likes it, to an extent is represents the Real Presence” KR
- “it would be the only representation of the Resurrection in the Church” DT
- The artist is being very patient, we need to decide we either want it or we don’t” MW
- The background colour is vital in how it will show up” MMc It will be on an oatmeal ground.
Fr. Pat said that in the end it is his decision. He said there is a problem
of no consensus but hoped that there had been a proper consultation. He
left the meeting for several minutes while other items were discussed.
On his return he said that sitting in the church looking at the wall and
praying on the Psalmist’s theme, “so I gaze on you in the sanctuary”.
He said that the Altar rather than the Tabernacle should be the main focus of
the sanctuary area. He said he likes the ideas of “the bread of life” and
“seed falling to the ground” which by complete chance is the Gospel reading
for St Laurence’s Day when the tapestry can be ready.
He acknowledged that some will be disappointed. He said that the feelings of
the artist could not be used as a trade off.
He said that in humility he had decided that the Parish will accept the
donation and that the tapestry will be displayed except in Lent and Advent.
- There will be House Masses again in Lent. These are not advertised in the Newsletter so that the host is not overwhelmed with huge numbers. Everyone is welcome to host one of these Masses. Refreshments afterwards should be simple, a cup of tea and a biscuit so that this never becomes competitive.
- The Confirmation group will have their residential programme during Lent.
- There will be Exposition, the Soul Food prayer group and Stations of the Cross as previously
- Fr Pat pointed out that not everything needed the same weighting each year
- It is not known if Fr Bob will do a programme, he is due to have his second cataract operation in early February.
- The confirmation group will organise the Cafod Lent appeal this year
- It would be great to invite former archbishop Rowan Williams to come and speak next year
- North Cambridge Council of Churches meets shortly.
Even with the kitchen installation Fr. Pat thought that the parish should
still be within budget for the year.
Finances are done over the calendar year. They are within the rules of the
All bills have been paid by the end of the year.
- St Laurence Day celebration will be planned later in the year
- The process of running a parent and toddler group has started. CRB checks are currently being undertaken.
- Confirmation - this will take place on 12th May. The Bishop has lowered the age at which confirmation can take place.
Buildings and grounds
- Eco Audit – in line with our Live Simply award an audit of our environmental impact of the building and use will be undertaken. We have a contact who can help with this. This will help us to make informed decisions of work that can/might be undertaken
- Internal improvements − the public areas of the building apart from the actual church itself will be looked at later in the year. In April 2013 the Forum minutes show that it was decided to redecorate and upgrade the upstairs room
Mass is back in school.
Fr. Pat led a Teacher’s training day before Christmas.
Diocesan Council of Laity
The meeting in November focussed on the consultation on marriage and the
family. The Bishop used the meeting to get to know people
- SVP – gifts for the Giving Tree were generous a usual. Next year the focus will be on things for older children as the little ones are always well covered.
- Pilgrim – The Pilgrim published earlier was very good. The team still need someone to help with the lay out. Perhaps the Confirmation Group have the skills.
Facilitation Group update (items not covered elsewhere)
- Need to give greater publicity – perhaps parishioners could make the announcements at all Masses prior to each Forum to encourage attendance
- It is good to have a main topic for discussion at each Forum
- Refurbishment will be discussed next time
- 9th January in Michaelhouse on Trinity Street there is an ecumenical service for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity led by Bishop Paul Hendricks who is the chair of the Commission for Christian Unity.
- Fr Paul Maddison will be celebrating his 25th Anniversary of Priesthood. There will be an evening Mass on 23rd April to celebrate this.
- Jim O’Sullivan said that the Forum needs to consider whether to review his position of Chair, also Virginia Bird’s role as minute taker.
Future Forum Dates
- Monday 28th April 2014
- Thursday 17th July 2014
- Monday 20th October 2014