Minutes of St Laurence’s Parish Forum : 24 April 2017

The meeting began with a prayer.


Apologies were received from Christine Knight, Mary Jane O’Sullivan.

Minutes of last meeting

The minutes of the last meeting were unanimously agreed as a true record.

Matters arising

Large format bulletin was well received. A special thank you to Stephen/Pat. It was decided to continue to produce it on an occasional basis. No date yet for next one.

No update on the database.

Welcoming returning Catholics

Virginia presented a talk about ‘Catholics returning to the church’. She had been studying a book called: ‘When they come home’. It uses a very positive approach, not using the term ‘lapsed’ Catholics. She explained that it concerned itself with how to approach people who are often returning to the church in a very low key manner and suggests meeting elsewhere and not on church premises. She suggested we should arrange a team of maybe 6 people to work out how to communicate with people about returning to the church. This could include electronic communication. She explained that there are workshops for people who wish to find out more about electronic communication:

Subsequently James McQuillan spoke to us about some of the facts and figures of ‘lapsed’ Catholics and the reasons why people may lapse (based on Brandon Voit).

A discussion ensued. Father Pat pointed out that a ‘positive attitude’ is attractive and we have to feel good about our own faith in order to attract others to our faith. We should ask ourselves ‘what does the holy spirit want me to do’! He pointed out that we must allow people to have the freedom to ‘lapse’ and that we cannot attract ‘everyone’ and our faith is not for everybody.

A suggestion was made about a poll issued this summer by the Vatican for young people and it would be useful to ascertain the views of young people what attracts them to the church. Karen spoke about ‘what talents do I have’ and ‘shining’ by using them.

Publicity and social media

Joe Tucker pointed out that the website is not all up to date and we may wish to share the diocesan website for ‘latest news’.

Stephen Warde explained that he thought a stand with a welcoming flier at the back of church, would be a good idea and is intending to produce one in the future.

Sarah Sykes spoke to us about the St Laurence’s ‘Facebook’ page and what a useful resource it is for reaching out. She gave a slide show, demonstrating examples of the varied information the Facebook page allows us to access. She stressed that you have to type in ‘St Laurence’s Roman Catholic Church’ into the search bar as there are a number of different websites with a similar name. Sarah and Virginia have recently joined Justin as editors of the Facebook page. There is also a closed group page for the 9.30 mass group to disseminate information relevant to that mass in particular.

It was agreed that Richard would link the Facebook page to the website and possibly if technically possible, add 2 or 3 of the latest posts on the Facebook page. A discussion took place about data protection and it was pointed out that photos of children should not at any time be posted and that when photographs of people during events are used, that best practice should require participants to be asked at the beginning of the event whether photos can be taken and used online. Sarah to put something into Pilgrim about how to access Facebook for beginners and key information re social media.
Action: Richard/Sarah


Thanks was extended to both our deacons and Fr Bob for a wonderful triduum celebration and also to Simon who sang Exultet at very little notice. Vote of thanks also to the volunteers that organised Stations of the Cross for the children on Good Friday.

Eucharistic Ministers

Stephen pointed out that distribution of the Eucharist has improved greatly with distribution to the sick and in the Narthex. Training set up for Eucharistic Ministers to be advertised in the bulletin. Fr Bob mentioned that he would like an altar server at each of the services.
Action: Stephen

It was felt that Eucharistic ministers going out to the sick should to be called up the altar to take out the communion and asked who they are going to be visiting.


A formal meeting of the finance committee had been held and figures were passed by the committee.

Social Life

It was felt it would be a good idea to start a group to organise low key social events within Cambridge eg cycle rides, picnics, walks.


We were informed that there are now around 20 candidates for Confirmation. The group was visiting the Ignite festival recently. Confirmation is on June 26 and it is hoped that after this, the group will turn into a youth group.

Buildings and grounds

A discussion about the provision of rubbish bins took place. It was felt that people should be encouraged to take their own litter home with them.


We were told that the school has now returned after Easter holidays.

Parish Groups

Senior citizen luncheon planned for 6th May at 2pm.

Ablaze mass 7th May.

Any other business

Virginia asked whether we could have some thoughts about a pilgrimage for 2018 or 2019. This will be discussed further in the future.

Karen Rodgers noted that the children’s resources box at the back of the church is very untidy and we need to ‘begin’ to engage the children with ‘special’ resources attractive to them and that this encourages them to experience mass at their level. We should ensure that it is not used as a rubbish tip. Resources are being depleted and need to be replenished.

May crowning of statue in garden - 7 May.

Dates of future meetings