Minutes of St Laurence’s Parish Forum : 17 July 2014

The meeting was attended by 14 parishioners, Fr. Pat and Jim O’Sullivan in the Chair.


Dick Wilson, Karen Rodgers, Mary Watkins, Geoff Cook, Stephen Warde.

Minutes of previous meeting

These were agreed to be accurate.

Matters arising

Norah Darby has been looking into the possibility of making a change to a larger, A4, format. Any change would be dependent on finance. The present photocopier will not do the larger size. It is rented and a different one that does both A3 and A4 will be looked into. The advantages of a larger letter could be that regular items could be included and enlarged; Parish groups could write up their meetings and advertise better perhaps leading to increased membership. A digest of the Forum could be given as well as better explanation of its purpose. Parishioners have said that they have not always been able to get items into the Bulletin in its present format. The Children’s Liturgy could have a regular slot discussing their activities. It was suggested that if it can be afforded a different copier is rented and the larger format trialled. A new template would have to be set up. Concern was expressed re increased waste paper.
Stacking chairs
Norah Darby has been looking into these and showed a variety of models. It was agreed that a small group would go to Hertford to the show rooms to try and identify the best model. As this will be quite a large item of expenditure it was suggested that they are not bought until they can become part of next year’s budget.
The new database is ready for piloting with a small volunteer group. It is assured that no material of a confidential nature will be accessible to anyone but specific named individuals, eg details of those who donate by Bankers Order. The pilot will begin as soon as the soft ware is ready.
Evangelii Gaudium
About 16 people met regularly to read this Papal Document. It is a fantastic document though extremely full of ideas for parish and prayer life and development.

Synod Consultation

This was widely promulgated in the Pilgrim and insert to the Bulletin. Only 8 responses were received covering a wide variety of opinions from very traditional to liberal. The question is now what to do with these as the period of consultation has finished. On the Catholic Bishops synod website there is a document outlining the discussions to be pursued at the Synod. Fr Pat commented that he always believed in these discussions that “grace builds on Nature”.


This is in the upstairs room and is up and ready to run with new bookshelves and a large number of books covering areas like: Spirituality , Theology, Bible Study, History, Biography and even a couple of fiction (though these are only of a religious theme - but good none the less!). It is proposed that a small display of books following a theme, or ones that were reviewed in the Pilgrim, is set out in the Parish Room about once a month to encourage people to borrow.


Nothing for this meeting


Lynda Macintyre, the Parish Treasurer, has been ill over the past year hence the late arrival if the Accounts. Although they were not complete on this day Fr Pat felt they should be presented to the meeting. Comparison figure with last financial year will be disseminated via the Bulletin. The accounts are available here. Last financial year the parish had an overspend of £25,000 but the reserves remain at £200,000.

Display in Parish Room

The removable notice boards in the Parish Room proved to be too heavy and awkward to safety. A grip display bar is proposed to replace them. This would be fixed to the wall and temporary displays, flip chart paper etc can be put up during meetings etc.

Social Life

There will be a picnic bring and share lunch on 10th August after the 11am Mass to Celebrate St. Laurence’s Day. All are very welcome. Please come and enjoy yourselves.


All is going ahead as usual.

The Confirmation was a lovely service and the Bishop talked with each candidate as he blessed them, asking about their chosen names etc.

Buildings and Grounds


Clare Clark has been appointed at the new head teacher. She is a practising Catholic and was appointed after a rigorous interview process. She has met with Jan Southgate for a handover process. As she cannot start until January 2015 Maria Miles will be acting head for the autumn term.

Facilitation Group

All items covered elsewhere.

Topic for next Forum

It was proposed that Evangelii Gaudium be discussed in greater detail and proposals for action to follow be examined.



Date of next meeting

8pm on 20th October, 2014