Minutes of St Laurence’s Parish Forum : 16 October 2017


Fr Pat Cleary, Stephen Warde, Serga Collett + 19 forum attendees.

Stephen Warde introduced himself as the new Chair.


Apologies were received from Mary Watkins, Mary-Jane O’Sullivan, Christine Knight, Pat and Geoff Cook, Helen Allen, Martine Walsh.

Minutes of last meeting

These have been displayed on the parish website and on notice board, and were approved.

Matters arising

Live streaming of Mass on the internet: Martin Avery, who looks after sound system in church has been involved in this and explained that ‘Church Services TV’ have looked at the existing provision. We would need a better camera than the current CCTV and the estimate for 1 camera was just under £3000, if installed under the balcony. Running cost would then be £90 per month for basic streaming and £150 for full streaming (which includes recording as well as live streaming).

There was concern by the music group regarding licensing of songs for public broadcast. Currently we are permitted to have music live in church for no additional fee. There was some discussion about ‘What is regarded as a live service’. It’s likely that the licensing would not be a problem, particularly if the service is not recorded – but it may be worth confirming that further.

Other concerns regarding confidentiality would need to be addressed, e.g., to ensure recording would be switched on and off at beginning and end of each service.

It was questioned whether the ‘recording’ option is needed: the subgroup had assumed not, and the Forum generally agreed. But it was pointed out that there could be some benefits - people who have missed the service, or adults who miss the homily every week because of accompanying children to children’s liturgy. Worth considering whether we want the option to record sometimes.

All Masses could be covered. Recording would have to be carefully monitored and particularly the role of children, e.g., as servers would have to be addressed.

Visit www.churchservices.tv for streams by other churches.

There is a subcommittee looking into this: Christine Knight, Ronald Hayes, and Chris Avery. Group to further research this option and address above points, also obtain further quotes. Martin, however has found it difficult to source further companies to approach and would welcome any leads.

Parish Life and Welcome leaflets

These were circulated – smaller one shows general parish information e.g., Sunday Masses and larger version has all parish groups etc currently being reviewed by groups regarding correctness. It was pointed out that by default only email addresses should be published and not phone numbers for privacy; unless the person concerned wanted their phone number shared.

Children Liturgy Leaders

Appeal for more leaders had gone out at Masses and was reiterated.

Returning Catholics

We will be screening a video series on ‘Catholicism - what Catholics believe and why’ presented by Bishop Robert Barron, author, theologian and podcasting priest. It covers what Catholics believe and why, while being immersed in the art, architecture, literature, beliefs and practices of the Catholic tradition. The first 4 episodes will be shown on 3 Nov., 17 Nov., 24 Nov. and 1 Dec. with a further 6 episodes on dates to be confirmed after Christmas. It will be followed by something to eat and drink and informal discussion. To be publicised in newsletter and by word of mouth.

Fr Bob spoke about the current evening talks as very successful – the group is currently studying Romans. He also told the Forum about ‘Charity as Friendship’ according to St. Thomas Aquinas’ - a long conversation at Blackfriars, Cambridge, led by himself on Saturday 21 October.

Parish database

This has been used for the first time for a number of events. Thanks was expressed to Richard Birkett for organising setting it up. Now the database will need to be maintained and kept up to date. It was felt that there needs to be a process in place for maintaining it eg. if people wish to unsubscribe. Facilitation Group to follow up with Fr Pat, Richard, and the office.

The 60th Birthday of the Building of St Laurence’s

This was discussed. Ideas included a permanent memorial, a bring and share event in the garden, some sort of display of photographs throughout the year in church and online, a Songs of Praise service (invite other local Churches), an invitation to the bishop and past priests to a service on St Laurence’s day. We could organise these ideas into a series of events between March and August and also ask parish groups to integrate them with their activities throughout the year. E.g., the confirmation group could incorporate this, or it could be included in a planned new banner for the parish. A particularly popular idea was a board in the Church with a list of priests throughout the years. Could link this all in with other celebrations (e.g. Fr Bob’s anniversary). Such a programme would be a good thing to do, not only for our community to celebrate, but for evangelisation – e.g., “60 years at St Laurence’s” could lead to articles in the local press. Can we get a group to organise a programme of events between March (anniversary of first stone being laid) and August (anniversary of dedication)?


There was discussion that some individuals are having difficulty hearing the sermon. Whilst there is a loop system in place, it was felt that it may not be working as well at the back of the church as at the front. Martin Avery to check back of church.

Timing of weekday Masses: Father Pat suggested there should be a 2nd midday Mass on a Wednesday in addition to the Friday one – this should start on first advent.

Christmas - Fr Pat pointed out that Advent only consisted of three Advent Sundays as Christmas Eve/4th Advent fall on the same Sunday. Therefore only three house Masses.

Fr Pat suggested that the Mass times should be the same as last year: 5 pm children’s Mass, 9 and 11am the next morning with a few carols, no school Mass, and Midnight Mass at midnight.

Carol service a week before (17th) at 4 pm as 4th Advent/Christmas Eve fall on a Sunday. Christmas tree in place after 3rd Sunday of Advent in time for carol service.

Ideas were discussed regarding a New Year’s Midnight Mass. Father Pat pointed out that he is not going to be there but he would look into it.


Father Pat told the Forum that there was not much to report.

Social life

St Laurence’s Feast Day party and parish picnic were reported to have been successful.

Social group to go to fireworks after 6 pm Mass on 4 November but Fr Pat pointed out that the 6 o’clock Mass will not finish in time.

Epiphany party after the vigil Mass, including a bring and share was discussed. Virginia Bird is organising.

Father requested that groups put dates in diary for every instance so there are no clashes.

29th June 2018 will be the 50th anniversary of Fr Bob’s ordination – Parish room to be booked for a celebration on Saturday 30th.


Fr Pat would like to record a special thanks to Sue Price for all the wonderfully imaginative things she had been doing with the children in preparation for their First Holy Communion this year.

This year children to gather with parents present, and there will be separate parallel sessions for parents, so they may learn how to teach their children in preparation for first holy communion. First meeting with parents and children on 4 November at 10.15 am.

New date for first Holy Communion Masses still being discussed.

Confirmation: 8 confirmation candidates so far this year.

Buildings and grounds

Virginia asked for people to help ‘shovelling gravel’!

Spending project – floors to be considered, walls to be looked at, as well as carpeting on altar steps. To be focused on at next meeting.

Report from Parish Groups

CAFOD: Teresa gave a report from CAFOD. Harvest appeal was once again very successful (raising £1060 from Harvest appeal). Connect 2 Peru project continues to attract regular funding and the group are busy putting together a photo album to send to their partners. The Minnie Vinnies at the school are recording a CAFOD song to send to the children of the areas supported.

Little Way Healing Ministries leaflet was circulated. Suggestion for sending a group on a 6 day Healing of Memories training course. Invitation was extended to individuals at the Forum to attend an outreach day at Clare Priory on 11 November.

Any other business

There were no other matters raised.

Dates of future meetings

All at 8 pm in the parish rooms

Meeting closed at 9.20pm

All action points marked in yellow.