Minutes of St Laurence’s Parish Forum : 8 May 2014


Virginia Bird, Aileen Keilinger, Mary Watkins, Fr Bob.

Matters arising not on the agenda

Suggestions for a Project for 2014

The meeting was reminded of the improvements already made in recent years. Last year’s kitchen refurbishment is thought to have cost £10-12,000.

New chairs are needed especially in parish room. It was agreed that care should be taken to ensure these are comfortable to sit in, suitable for those with back problems, and easy to stack. Nora agreed to look on the internet for chairs and report to Fr. Pat.

The previous agreement to refurbish the upstairs meeting room/library was confirmed. Most of the chairs here could also be replaced

The windows in church need attention – not too serious. They probably just need new catches to make them easier to open and close.

Access to garden for people with reduced mobility. It was suggested that we look into installing a ramp from one of the doors in the parish room in order to allow wheelchair access to the garden. Mike will talk to Michael about it.

There was a discussion regarding whether we need to decorate the Narthex or the main parish room? Comments had been received regarding the state of the carpet. However it was felt that there was no need to replace this at present. There will be further discussion on decorating when the budget is known.

There was a comment on the rapid growth of the north Cambridge population which would also mean growth of parish numbers, meaning the church may not be big enough. Fr. Pat said village Masses are not feasible due to shortage of priests. Enlarging the church would be a larger project than we can currently afford, but may have to be considered at some point.

Paul was asked about Council response to our worries about the cycle path across Entry and Exit to car park. They are not willing to do anything! This led to a lot of discussion with various suggestions, including cutting back hedges at the exit, installing a speed bump before the exit, or swapping the entrance and exit (which would require re-doing most of the markings) No formal decision was reached, but these options will be considered.

The balcony rail is too high and limits the view – agreed. We will get opinions for a solution.

Changes to Bulletin

Item introduced by Nora. It is proposed to enlarge the bulletin to A4 size to give more space, and to allow for inclusion of more general information about parish groups and activities. General opinion was favourable so now being investigated.


Lent and especially Easter Vigil service commented favourably on by Fr. Pat.

A suggestion was made to have someone to greet people in the Narthex at 11.00 Mass on Sunday. There are not enough welcomers available on the rota to do this regularly. However Ivona has volunteered to be there when she can, and other volunteers would be welcome.


The accounts for last year are still awaited. The will be published as soon as they are available.

Social Life

We agreed to celebrate the feast of St. Laurence on August 10th with a Parish Picnic. There has been a suggestion from Jeanette Milbourn and Serga Collett for a Passover Meal during lent next year. This was thought to be a very good idea.


20 children will be confirmed by Bishop Alan on the 12th May. Many thanks to Mary and her team! 1st Communion preparations are going well as is the Baptism Course. Evangelii Gaudium talks start on 15th May.

Buildings and grounds

Dealt with earlier under “Project for 2014”.


The school received a Good Ofsted Report and an Outstanding Diocesan Report. The governors are in the process of appointing a new head teacher to replace Jan Southgate. It was agreed to send her a card from the Forum in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the parish school.

Diocesan Council of Laity

The next meeting is on 7th June. Sandy Hobson will represent St. Laurence’s. The topic for discussion is not yet known.

Parish Groups

Facilitation Group update (items not covered elsewhere)

There were no other items to discuss.

Topic for next meeting

Parish Library, in particular how this can be expanded and better used. It was suggested that maybe a trolley would be a good way to display books.


Future Forum Dates