Parish Council

Parish of The Sacred Heart and St Joseph

Annual General Meeting of the Pastoral Council

13th June 2019, in The Sacred Heart Hall, 7.30pm

Present: Father Anthony, Bernadette France, Elizabeth Smith, Paul Stuart, Janet Ward, Jane Dent, Teresa Williams, Jim Kirwan and Barry Palmer.

Observers: Raymond Ward and Paul Woodgate.

Father Anthony opened the meeting with a prayer.

Apologies: Hazel Duffield. Peter Jordan

Minutes from the A.G.M 2018 were accepted as a true record – P Stuart and B France.

Chair’s Report:

The past year has been a busy one for our Parish.  We held our second designated International Mass in the Parish. Parishioners with family connections spanning the globe came together to give thanks to God. Readings were heard in Malayalam and Spanish with intercessions in Italian, Polish, Shona, Tagalog and English. After Mass the hall was very full as parishioners lined up to sample fare from across the world. It was really pleasing to see how this event brought parishioners together with many families staying to chat long after Mass had finished. With a third International Mass planned for the 222nd June this year it is now an annual event.

Continuing with tradition, special Sunday Masses were held this year. In the Autumn, the Sacrament of Anointing and Healing was received by a number of parishioners. The Masses to remember deceased family and friends took place in November with families being invited to light candles for loved ones and place them near the sanctuary.  In January there was the annual Thanksgiving of Baptism Mass. Parents of children baptised within the last 5 received an invitation to attend Sunday Mass where children received a special blessing. In February married parishioners were able to renew their dedication to marriage, with a special invitation for those married in our churches in the last few years. Mothering Sunday was marked this year by a distribution of daffodils to women in the congregation.

As for the last 2 years, Sacred Heart Church remained open during the Christmas Fayre this year and more than 50 children with parents / adults completed a trail around the church. Of these, there were several adults and children who had not been in to the church before as well as grandparents bringing grandchildren for the first time.  Former parishioners who have moved from the area but were back for the Fayre were pleased to be able to visit the church.

Sacraments

Last year saw changes across the Diocese to sacramental preparation for children. In 2018 almost thirty children received the Sacrament of Reconciliation for the first time and most of these continued with the programme, making their First Holy Communion on the first Sunday of Advent. This year just over 20 children have received the Sacrament of Reconciliation for the first time and should make their First Holy Communion on the first Sunday of Advent. For the first time this year, the First Sacrament Catechists will implement the family catechesis model during the preparation for First Holy Communion.

The family catechesis model was successfully used this year for the first time by our Confirmation catechists.   Thirteen secondary school students were confirmed in May. From now on Confirmation will take place in the final year of primary school. 

Altar Servers

Both our churches continue to be well served by very able altar servers many of whom are members of the Guild of St Stephen. Six of those children who received their First Communion in December have trained as servers and are now regularly serving at Mass.  It is fantastic to see so many young people serving our parish in this way.

Fundraising

As well as being great social occasions, this year’s Christmas Fayre and Summer Garden Party raised in total just more than £3200 which was a fantastic amount. In Advent the parish raised more than £1000 for Inn Churches who provide support to the homeless in Bradford through the use of local churches.  In Lent, over £1600 was raised for Mary’s Meals which was a fantastic figure. This donation was boosted by just over £600 thanks to the efforts of 3 of our newly confirmed who were sponsored to run and walk for the charity.   

Parishioners continue to support Westfield Foodbank with donation boxes at both churches.

Groups

We continue to have a group of parishioners meeting weekly at a prayer group.

The Seniors group has around 15 regular members who come together for tea, chat and often a game of Bingo.

Our Parish SVP group continues to meet regularly and offers support to those in need in the area.

The Open Heart Memory Café now meets every 2nd Friday for those affected by dementia and their families and has over 30 regularly attending. 

Finally, we are very blessed to belong to a parish in which so many people give of their time so freely.  I would like to thank everybody for their contribution in making our parish what it is.

Financial Report: 2018:

Father Anthony passed out copies of the report for the year ending and a brief explanation given. 

 Father Anthony’s Report

Thank you to all those many people that help and support our Parish in so many different ways.

It’s important that the PPC try and encourage new people of all ages to volunteer to help in so many different ways, a lot of our volunteers are of an age and not as physically agile as they were.

It would be good to get younger people involved in Parish Activities, this is difficult when people are working, we always need more Catechists, Church Cleaner, Readers, Eucharistic Ministers and many more volunteers.

We need to reflect in the coming months about the Prayer Life of our Parish, possibly to reintroduce at different times of the year, Stations of the Cross, Evening Prayers and Morning Prayers, and/or other devotions old and new.

Items for the PPC:  There were no items.  The Parish are given the opportunity to pass items to the PPC via Father Anthony, Elizabeth Smith and Janet Ward before the meetings.

Date and time of next Parish Pastoral Council 12th or 26th September 7.00 pm at Sacred Heart Church (depending on whether the Chair of Bkcat can attend one or the other)

All present were invited to stay for refreshments.

The meeting closed with a prayer.