Minutes of St Laurence’s Parish Forum : 3 October 2016

The meeting was attended by Fr Pat and Jay Magpuyo, with Jim O’Sullivan in the Chair and 21 members of the parish.


Apologies were received from Fr. Bob, Paul Simmons, Steve Warde, Nora Darby, Mary Jane O’Sullivan.

Minutes of last meeting

Minutes of the last Forum have been publicised in the Narthex, on the website and are on offer to anyone who wishes to have them emailed − contact forum@saintlaurence.org.uk.

Matters arising

Parish registration forms have been issued and about 260+ returned. These will be held in accordance with the Data Protection Act. Uses for this data will include the Alive in Faith campaign, other information held in the parish office and an email circulation form for those who wish to be kept in contact for all sorts of things including emergencies.
Open church.
This is being well used and the new CCTV system has picked up one individual, not known to the parish, behaving in a suspect manner.
Structure of the Forum.
The present set up was agreed last time to be satisfactory. After the last meeting a set of bullet points were sent for the notices but for some reason did not get given out. Next Sunday a brief summary of the purpose of the Forum will be given at each Mass to try to raise awareness and to extend the reach. The Facilitation Group will now be called the Forum Facilitation Group to tie it clearly to the Forum. It was stressed that the Forum Facilitation Group does not undertake all the plans but helps see that things are actioned by others. To further publicise the group a poster will be placed on the boards in the Narthex and on the website with photos of current members. All Masses except the 8am are currently represented. It is planned that members of the group should serve for 2 or 3 years to assist in active recruitment and to prevent it becoming a stale or closed group. Pat Cook was asked if she would like to become involved to make a closer connection with the Parish Office. Distribution of rotas for readers, Eucharistic ministers etc. via email would be a great help.
The proposal for a larger format bulletin was discussed. This remains a controversial subject with discussion re how it would be used, use of paper etc. Emailing to all those who requested could reduce the paper. Sarah Sykes asked if hymns etc for 9.30 Mass could be included. A smaller individual hymn sheet like that distributed at 11am was thought to be better. Richard Birkett will set up a template for large format bulletin for use whenever needed. Fr Pat prefers the smaller format.
Alive in Faith fundraising campaign.
Fr Pat talked to this diocesan project, the aim of which is to raise a large sum of money (£185,000 from St Laurence’s alone) to pay for seminarians training and retired clergy care. In addition a good proportion of the money raised by each parish will be returned to that parish for local projects. Fr Pat thought that 50% of this money should be administered by SVP for outreach and social care work. The other half should be ring fenced for replacement of Church roof. Money over and above this could be used for other projects. There was general support for this proposal. Martine Walsh suggested training for the laity should be an important part of this. Sarah Sykes suggested money to support youth work would be excellent. Parishioners pledge a sum over 5 years. The campaign should be completed by December.
Implementation of the new connect2 Peru project will be delayed until the New Year to give time to get Alive in Faith off the ground.


Advent is nearly upon us. There was discussion regarding house masses which are liked but leave many out who would like to attend. It was felt that it would be good to target areas of the parish so that different villages etc have an opportunity to take part and this could encourage new hosts etc. The office will coordinate this.

Chioma Ubajaka is organising the Posada this year. She will make a rota for people to sign up and present it well before the beginning of Advent.


Heating. The heaters were on during the summer so Fr Pat looked into having thermostats fitted but they would have cost about £4000 which was ridiculous so now the pilot light is just blown out when the weather is hot.

The parish will look at making BACS payments for those for whom it is more convenient and cheaper. It should also prevent some of the muddles that have arisen over major payments.

Social Life

A party for the parish musicians will be held as usual on St Cecilia’s day on November 22nd


The Diocesan New Evangelisation Project is now known as Proclaim. There will be a deanery meeting to help parishes set up a team to carry the project through, to be held on 5th November at Sacred Heart Church, St Ives. Anyone who is interested is welcome. Posters and leaflets are available.

There will need to be a new person to head up the Confirmation preparation next year. Helene Judd who is part of the Ablaze Mass has been asked to take this on with Chrissy Brierly helping.

Sue Price continues to run the First Communion preparation.

There is a new diocesan Marriage preparation programme.

Helen Allan and Rosina Abudulai continue to run the Baptism preparation which remains voluntary and very successful.


A leak from the shower in the presbytery has damaged the ceiling in the disabled toilet. A new shower will be installed. The damage should be rectifiable and payable through insurance.


The school has a lovely new website. Mary Watkins is very pleased to be able to do more with CAFOD in school.

The new road outside seems very good after the disruption of August.

Parish Groups

SVP are setting up Mini Vinnies groups for children. The group has been initiated at the school by the headteacher. Hopefully more groups can be set up throughout East Anglia and even in schools other than Catholic schools. Volunteers are needed to help spread this. The focus is on spiritual development with groups meeting once a week and, once in each term, doing a fundraising or volunteering project. Further details can be found in the Pilgrim.

Topic for next Forum

None was proposed.


Jim O’Sullivan gave notice that he was stepping down as Chair of the Forum at the end of 2017 and that Virginia Bird would like to be replaced as minute-taker at the same time.

Jim O’Sullivan will represent the parish on the Laity Commission.

November 5th − Everyone is invited to join Fr Pat walking down to Midsummer Common after 6pm Vigil Mass on 5th Nov to watch the fireworks. Nice for people who would like to watch but don’t have anyone to go with.

Jay Magpuyo is visiting the BUPA Home on the old Chesterton Hospital site. There will now be a weekly Mass there. Masses have stopped, for the time being, at Bramley Court as there are no Catholic residents at present.

Dates of future Forums