Parish Council

Parish of The Sacred Heart and St Joseph
Annual General Meeting of the Pastoral Council

14th June 2018, in The Sacred Heart Hall, 7.00pm

Present: Father Anthony, Bernadette France, Elizabeth Smith, Paul Stuart, Janet Ward, Hazel Duffield, Peter Jordan and Barry Palmer.
Observers: Raymond Ward and Christine and Paul Woodgate.

Father Anthony opened the meeting with a prayer.

Apologies: Jane Dent

Minutes from the A.G.M 2017 were accepted as a true record – P Stuart and B France.

Parish Pastoral Council Constitution:
The Constitution had a few alterations and had been agreed at the PPC meeting and now with the approval at the AGM. A copy will be given to all members of the PPC and any new members in the future. Accepted by P Stuart and P Jordan.

Chair’s Report:
The past year has been a busy one for our Parish. July 2017 saw the first designated International Mass in the Parish. Parishioners with family connections spanning the globe came together to give thanks to God. Readings were heard in Polish and Malayalam with intercessions in Italian, Polish, Shona, Tagalog. The children of both our parish schools joined together as one to sing in Zulu and Latin. Adding colour to the occasion were the many parishioners who wore national dress. 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 second International Mass planned for the 30th June this year it is hoped that it will become an annual event.

Continuing with recent tradition, in September there were the special Sunday Masses where the Sacrament of Anointing and Healing was received by a number of parishioners. In October 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. Our parish schools were able to use this opportunity to talk to potential parents. Also in October was the Mass where 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. The Masses to remember deceased family and friends took place in November with this year families being invited to light candles and place them near the sanctuary. Mothering Sunday was marked this year by a distribution of daffodils to women in the congregation. At our two Sunday Masses this provided a nice opportunity for the First Sacraments children to be involved in the distribution. More recently, we have welcomed the BKCAT Choir to join the congregation and sing at our two Sunday Masses.
As in 2016, 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 lots of adults and some children who had not been in to the church before. Former parishioners who have moved from the area but were back for the Fayre were pleased to be able to visit the church.

This year saw changes across the Diocese to sacramental preparation for children. Almost thirty children received the Sacrament of Reconciliation for the first time and they will begin preparations soon for their First Holy Communion which will take place on the first Sunday of Advent. 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. It is fantastic to see so many young people serving our parish in this way.

As well as being great social occasions, this year’s Christmas Fayre and Summer Garden Party raised in total more than £3500 which was a fantastic amount. In Advent the parish raised more than £800 for CAFOD for the victims of the storms and floods in the Asian Sub-Continent earlier in the year. In Lent, just over £800 was raised which was divide equally between the Open Heart Memory Café and Bible Alive which provides religious material to prisoners.

Following an appeal at Sunday Masses from our parish schools’ Mini Vinnies, in July there was a joint collection from our parish and both schools for food for Westfield Foodbank. There was a very generous response from parishioners and school children. Some of the Mini Vinnies later visited the Foodbank to learn more about its work.

We continue to have a group of parishioners meeting weekly at a prayer group. They have recently started sending prayer cards to the housebound to let them know they are being prayed for – this initiative has already brought positive feedback.
The Seniors group has around a dozen 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.
Following on from the talk on creating a dementia friendly parish in the Autumn, a monthly group has started catering for those with dementia. The Open Heart Memory Café now meets every 2nd Friday for those affected by dementia and their families.

A major financial undertaking for the parish was the new kitchen which was installed at Sacred Heart. Many parishioners gave donations towards this and we are grateful for Caroline Copeland who was sponsored to run the London Marathon to raise funds. The new kitchen is a big improvement and I hope it will be well used.

This year was not without sadness for the council. John Gill who had served this parish for many years died in the Autumn. Our 2 younger PPC members who had served us well resigned last summer, we thank them for their service. We were pleased to gain 3 new members to the council including a youth representative.

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. Accepted by P Stuart and P Jordan.

Father Anthony’s Report
Thank you to all those many people that help and support our Parish in so many different ways.

There are not as many Polish people coming into the country and some leaving therefore this will affect the school and Parish.

With the changes being brought in by the Bishop with the age of Confirmation coming down there will be a lot of young people getting confirmed.

A new group for our teenagers will hopefully be formed and suitable activities arranged, by Caroline Donovan, Oskar Godlejewski and Brian Taylor.

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.

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

Date and time of next Parish Pastoral Council 13th September 7.00 pm at St Joseph’s

All present were invited to stay for refreshments.

The meeting closed with a prayer.