Parish council meeting, September 23, 2021

Minutes of parish council meeting on Thursday, September 23, 1900 parish hall

Present Fr Joseph Welch, Sue Manley, Mim MacMahon, Lisamaria De Pasquale , Stephen Donaghy, Sue Devlin

Apologies Stephen Griggs

Judy Fell was having respite care, Kathleen Vidal deterred by car park barrier

1 Minutes of previous meeting were accepted, proposed Sue Manley, seconded Mim MacMahon

2 Matters arising, taken under agenda

3 Financial report

Renewed efforts are to be made to revive/launch finance committee. Parish council cannot realistically comment on spending decisions without report on finances. Return is made to diocese every six months so that might form basis for reporting.

Donations have been offered to the statues of Our Lady of Grace (previous minutes say Nettuno) and St Pancras. Proposal would be not to order until at least half the funding had been pledged.

4 Altar , no movement and none expected until administration assistant appointed, possibly after Christmas, who could manage the project.

Building work on house. Kitchen finished meaning office, study and kitchen have been completed in nine months. En suite is to be installed in guest room, house needs to be decorated (two rooms have been done). The lean-to at rear is to be converted into a conservatory to improve entrance for office. When work is finished an open day is planned to show parishioners what has been done.

Organ, £30,000 project will be helped by Faith Alive funding. Work has been delayed with problems removing a radiator but a fresh attempt was due week after meeting. When completed the plan is to celebrate with a recital.

Fr Welch was seeking opinion on what work should be done in hall. Cost prohibits plastering. There were plans to paint in November and Fr wondered what people would feel about, for example keeping/removing tapestry of John Paul II.

Fr said change was inevitable after Fr Leeder had been parish priest for more than 40 years. The parish hall had been little used as parish groups – eg Scouts, toddlers, cathechetical – had become moribund. The hall had been used for few parish activities other than coffee after mass and tavern evenings. Additionally many parishioners had decided during the pandemic to stand down from roles such as running hall bookings.

Parishioners had contacted parish council members to express concern about statues of St Joseph and St Mary being removed from the church. Fr said he should have communicated why he had removed the statues. He felt they were not religious and had nothing supernal or spiritual about them with nothing pointing to heaven, which is the point of religious art, to show us something of God. The replacement statues have hands joined in prayer, pointing to heaven. Sue Devlin pointed out that she and other parishioners had often focused their meditation and prayers on the statue of St Joseph. Fr Welch said the removed statues could possibly be returned to the church as a shrine to holy family.

5 Rotas: Coffee rota had been relaunched. Fr Welch wondered if more people might be attracted with better quality coffee with a Cafe St Pancras plan and had details of a coffee machine costing £1,500 to £5,000. Council agreed to assess demand for dearer, better-quality coffee by providing cafetières or percolators Parishioners who did not stay after Mass were also to be asked what it would take to encourage them to stay and socialise after Mass.

Where people had taken on responsibility the rotas were being revived.

Members of the stewarding rota were to be approached to keep it going.

Relaunching the parish council might need to wait.

6 Synod. Awaiting information from the diocese

7 Car parking – appears to be making progress

8 Standing item: Health & Safety report Car park to be marked up to make safer with space for fire exit from sacristry and clear access from entrance to church door.

While choir is robed nearby candles should be extinguished.

Food safety certificates are needed for people on the coffee rotas.

Fire alarm checks need to be carried out.

9 Crib and decorations – might have to be in slightly different position as Fr wants to keep the crib until Feb 2, while Masses are said at the Lady altar. One possibility might be to have the crib at right angles to the Lady Chapel with its back to the sanctuary.

10 Archives Minutes, when approved, are put in the archives. MM was concerned that some newsletters were missing. Fr was keeping a 2021 archive and would liaise with MM over any missing newsletters.

11 Facebook/social media/Contact Bernie Wood had written asking if someone else could write column for Christ Church’s magazine and consider administrating the St Pancras Facebook page as she and James Spencer were no longer attending St Pancras. StephenD to take on Comment column and discuss Facebook page with Fr.

12 Standing item: safeguarding report DBS check being completed

13 Any other business Hope to get mother and toddler group up and running.

14 Date and time of next meeting. Monday, November 15