Parish Council

Parish of The Sacred Heart and Saint Joseph

Parish Pastoral Council

Annual General Meeting of the Pastoral Council

29th June 2022, in The Sacred Heart Hall, 7.45pm

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

Father Anthony opened the meeting with a prayer.

Apologies: Paul Stuart and Peter Jordan

Minutes from the A.G.M 2019 were accepted as a true record –   B France and T Williams.

Chair’s Report:

It’s only nine months since last year’s AGM, nevertheless, it has a been a busy period for the parish as we returned to a more ‘normal’ life since the start of the pandemic – track and trace and QR codes seem a distant memory.

More parishioners are returning to weekend Mass where they are assured of a warm welcome for from our welcomers. Restrictions have, in the main, been eased while still trying to keep a safe environment for the vulnerable.

Families are returning slowly to Mass  – a new initiative is to try and get family groups more involved through the offertory procession. There has also been a steady number of children being presented for Baptism.

December saw 23 of our children receiving their First Communion and for the first time since 2020, they were able to have a traditional bun fight after the Thanksgiving Mass in January.

Fifteen children are enrolled on the First Sacraments programme for this year and they made their First Confessions in Lent.

Eleven children were confirmed in January. Having already experienced family catechesis during the First Sacraments programme, children and parents were much more at ease with discussing matters of faith.

Altar server recruitment goes from strength to strength with both our churches being well served by very able altar servers many of whom are members of the Guild of St Stephen. It’s a very impressive sight to be at the weekend Mass and see so many children and young people taking an active part – it’s a real encouragement to parishioners.

A new social event was held in February  – a Pancake Party after the Saturday evening Mass on the last weekend before Lent. Lots of families attended including those who had had children on the sacramental programme over the last few years. Children and parents decorated pancakes tested their tossing skills and played bingo.

Our Parish family encompasses all ages, over the last few months is being wonderful to hear that groups such as the Seniors, Memory Cafe and SVP are meeting again.

In Lent our Open Days for prayer in both our churches were well attended.

Although only a few parishioners attended the Parish to Mission meeting others completed their feedback online. A follow up meeting was held last month which highlighted just how many initiatives the parish is already involved in as well as generating ideas for the future.

The return of people to church has not only brought spiritual and emotional benefits to the Parish but had also meant the return of the raffle – always a favourite. Great prizes were donated for the Autumn raffle which raised over £750 for Parish funds.

In Advent we raised over £900 for the Diocesan Peru Mission Fund. Pour Lent project supported the Prince of Wales Hospice and over £1600 was raised including just over £400 on the chocolate raffle which received tens of donations of chocolate prizes from parishioners!

As we learn to live in a Covid world we need to continue to support each other with spiritually, emotionally and practically. We need to seek out the opportunities to spread the gospel message. The recent Parish to Mission meetings have reminded me how blessed we are to belong to a parish which is very welcoming and where so many people give up their time so freely. I would like to thank everybody for their contribution in making our Parish what it is and I would especially like to thank Father Anthony for his leadership and support.

Financial Report: 2022:

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

Thanks to Mike Withers and Jackie Ventom for their work on the Parish Finances.

Accepted by B France and J Dent.

Father Anthony’s Report

Father Anthony would like to thank all those many people that help and support our Parish in so many different ways.  

Different times over the last two years, we are thankfully emerging from this, numbers are going up at Mass with lots of new families.

Evangelisation got knocked back as we couldn’t meet. Sacrament programs have been restored and back on track, Sycamore to hopefully start again.

The Diocesan Parish to Mission Process going slowly, we will continue our own programmes.

We need volunteers with all different talents.  Grounds work – two hours a week, Baptism Programme – New people, four sessions a year, FHC – Catechists. Plus many more volunteers needed for our Parish.

We also need to have a Census this year – Names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, skills and qualities.

Constitution

The Constitution had been emailed to all PPC member after updates added, discussed at the last meeting. Everyone was happy with the updates and this was approved by B Palmer and B France.

Items for the PPC:  Hedges at Sacred Heart, and Angela from Cafod to talk to PPC at September meeting. 

The Parish are given the opportunity to pass items to the PPC via Father Anthony, Elizabeth Smith and Janet Ward before the meetings.

All present were invited to stay for refreshments.

The meeting closed with a prayer.