Annual Parish Meeting
for the year ending 31 December 2017
Tuesday 20 March 2018 8.00pm
Fr. Shaun Church (President), Fr. Damian Ryan, Peter Mackie (Chairman PPC), Carolyn Opie (Finance and Building Committee), Malcolm Golin (Secretary), Patsy Tyden, Jo Whelan, Monica Williamson, Toni DUrso, Maureen Fields, Juliette Hale, Patricia OSullivan, Maggie Stacey, Carlos Pierce.
No apologies were received by the Secretary.
Fr. Shaun opened the meeting with prayers.
1.Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held on 28 March 2017
These were accepted nem. con.
Matters arising from the minutes of the previous meeting were largely dealt
with under the subsequent agenda headings. Carolyn Opie raised the issue
of monies from charity events being dedicated in some proportion to the
needs of the parish; it has arisen, however, that the organisers of the
Christmas Fair wish one third of the monies raised to be donated to the
Sebeya, Connect2 project, something that Fr Shaun was delighted to
3.Parish Priests report Fr Shaun Church
Fr. Shauns full report is appended below - a summary of key points was
presented to the meeting as follows:
I have presented a full written report on 2017 to the Annual Parish Meeting. I do not propose here to read the whole report out, but rather I would like to make a few observations and reflections upon a few key points.
A flourishing parish is only possible thanks to the hard work and generosity of time, energy and enthusiasm given by so many parishioners in every aspect of parish life. I take this opportunity to thank each and every parishioner who exercises any ministry or role in the life of the parish; in liturgy, catechetics, youth ministry, social outreach, the social life of the parish and various administrative responsibilities. I am deeply grateful to all parishioners who exercise their baptismal vocation by participating actively in the life of the Church in all of these areas, which together serve to build up the Body of Christ in this place.
The generous way in which so many parishioners give of their time, energy and talents in so many aspect of our communal life, is also an enormous help to Fr Damian and I as we try to focus on our core mission of preaching the word of God, celebrating the sacraments and leading the community.
I also express my thanks to the Parish Team: to Fr Mark (retrospectively), to Fr Damian, to Kerry, our Parish Administrator and to Anke, our Parish Youth Worker, for all their hard work and commitment to the life of the parish. They are all a pleasure to work with and I am deeply grateful for all the support and encouragement that they give to me.
Generosity and Concern for the Poor
Every year I never fail to be amazed at how much this parish raises for charity, particularly through the Charity Christmas Fair and the Christian Aid Marketplace. For a small parish, we pack a mighty punch! I know very well, as I have drawn attention to in my full written report, that this doesnt happen without a great deal of planning, organisation and sheer hard work by a group of committed parishioners, who year in, year out, give so very generously of their skills, time and energy so that each years success builds and exceeds the efforts of the previous year. The contribution that this parish makes to charitable causes at home and overseas is really out of all proportion to the size of the parish, and is something that we can look on as one of the real strengths and witnesses of this parish community.
As I look back on 2017 the most exciting development, I believe, has been the launch of our vision for parish renewal. In the autumn, Fr Damian and I began to share this vision with you, and we are both very much encouraged by the interest and support that has been expressed by so many parishioners. We are delighted that so many of parishioners have taken up our invitation to read Divine Renovation and it is very encouraging that some 62 parishioners across our three parishes are currently reading and discussing the book in the Lenten Reading Groups.
At Christmas, we launched our new local custom of Prayer Partners at Mass. This seems to have been very well received and is a very tangible way of us expressing both our desire to welcome the stranger and the newcomer and to deepen the bonds of friendship, support and community.
We are currently developing our plans for the launch of a Pilot Alpha commencing in May and a full launch of Alpha across the three parishes from the autumn of 2018. Alpha will help us to play our part in being faithful to Christs Great Commission to the Church: Go and make disciples.
This process of parish renewal on which we are now embarking will be a very exciting, albeit very challenging, journey. I firmly believe its going to play a very significant role in the spiritual renewal of our parishes and in helping us to rise to the challenge that Pope Francis makes to every Catholic, namely that we truly be missionary disciples.
4.PPC report Peter Mackie (Chair)
The PPC chair summarised the main points of his report which is appended
below. No points or questions were raised by those attending.
5.Finance Committee report Carolyn Opie (Chair)
The main points highlighted by Carolyn Opie were as follows:
Following the Planned Giving Campaign (PGC) the Offertory income had increased by 23%. A further tax refund for the financial year from HMRC was expected. A legacy and donations (derived from Growing in Faith and the PGC) had led to an income of over 11,000. With respect to expenses, there had been some 5,000 of property repairs and renewals but we have still to pay the retention sum of the renewal works. 41,500 has been repaid on the loan for recent church and flat works - largely from drawing down on monies received through Growing in Faith - however although this represents a considerable percentage of the total loan to be repaid, we could not afford to continue repaying it at this pace; we might expect to pay off around 18,000 a year hereafter.
There remains, of course, the necessary work to be carried out in the corner of the church behind the organ (a mixture of penetrating, rising damp, and flat roof leakage): new drain pipes, and sealing of the joint between an external gully and the wall behind the organ are some of the requirements here. Once the external works have been carried out the damaged plaster will be removed, a damp treatment will be applied before repainting. These works are likely to last 9-12 months and could cost in the region of 10,000. Chimney related repairs, including renewal of flashing, are also separately needed; we are awaiting a quote to retile the porch over the front door.
Following the refurbishment works a final snagging inspection has been carried out and faults rectified. Most Health and Safety works are complete. We have purchased 11 new chairs in the church, a sunscreening blind for the organist, and panels for privacy during the Childrens Liturgy.
We are trying to find a contractor to remove the old notice board and erect the new one which was funded by a generous legacy.
We would like to thank Peter Mackie and his team for his tremendous work in looking after the garden.
We are delighted to have excellent tenants for the flat who share the building very well with us.
The secretary asked if we might be covered by insurance in regard to the damp issues aforementioned: this seemed uncertain but Fr Shaun hoped a donation from the Trinity Fund might be forthcoming on application.
6.SVP report Maureen Fields (Chess Valley Conference President)
This report is appended below. The considerable work of the SVP, carried out
by a relatively small number of dedicated volunteers was praised by all
attending, and Fr Shaun also proferred his congratulations.
7.Election of PPC members
Fr Shaun thanked the three PPC members, Duncan Farnsworth, Maureen Fields, and Patricia OSullivan, who were standing down from the PPC, for all their hard work, and reiterated the process by which the three PPCs would transform into one. He had received two nominations for the two vacancies, thus there was no requirement to vote and Toni DUrso and Maggie Stacey
were unanimously elected.
8.Social Life of the Parish
A discussion was held regarding social activities - the following were the main ideas raised - a pre-Lent social, possibly with cheese and wine so as to keep food simple; a childrens Christmas party; a group theatre trip; a parish countryside ramble. It was agreed that a dedicated social events team was required for which volunteers would be needed. It was planned to address these needs more fully after Easter.
Jo Whelan proposed a vote of thanks on behalf of all the parish for Fr Shaun and Fr Damians ongoing hard work as our parish priests. This was unanimously endorsed.
10.Date of next Annual Parish Meeting
Fr Shaun commented that the next APM would most likely be in late February or early March 2019, so as to coordinate with the other two parishes. The three PPCs will individually consider the requirements of the transition period and meet together in June or July 2018. In the autumn of this year an open meeting will be held in each parish to report progress and plans to the parishioners. Fr Shaun is very aware of the need to address how, under the new arrangements, we might best deal with practical matters relating to each specific parish.
The meeting concluded with prayer led by Fr. Shaun
Malcolm Golin - PPC Secretary, 23 March 2018
ST JOHN FISHER, CHORLEYWOOD
PARISH PRIESTS REPORT ON 2017
I hereby report on the events and activities that have taken place here at St John Fisher during the course of 2017.
parish Pastoral Council (PPC)
During 2017 I met with the Parish Pastoral Council four times, in February, May, September and December. In July, for the first time, the PPCs of the three parishes met in a joint session. This was a very successful and interesting meeting as we shared experiences, thoughts and ideas. It was at this meeting that we jointly agreed to build a link to the community in Sebeya, Ethiopia through the CAFOD Connect2 scheme. At our autumn meeting pastoral council meeting, along with those of our sister parishes, we agreed that in 2018 we would begin a transition from three pastoral councils to one joint PPC to serve the three parishes, with the new joint PPC coming into effect in February/March 2019.
Im deeply grateful to all the PPC members for the generous ways in which they give of their time and energy in working with me in develop the pastoral, spiritual and social life of the parish. I record here my sincere thanks to Patricia OSullivan, Maureen Fields and Duncan Farnsworth, whose terms of office now come to a conclusion. All three of them have served on the PCC for three years and I wish to thank them for the very valuable contribution that each of them has made to the work of PPC. I express my thanks to Peter Mackie, Chair of the PPC and to Malcolm Golin, its Secretary, for all the hard work and energy that they have, and continue to, put into these roles.
In January and September I met with the Chairs of the Pastoral Councils of the three parishes. These meetings were highly successful and a great opportunity to share news and experiences across the three parishes, as well as exploring new ways that we can work together.
LITURGY AND ADULT FORMATION
Lent, Holy Week, Easter, Advent and Christmas
For our Lent 2017 programme we followed Bishop Robert Barrons course Conversion and we prayed the Friday Stations of the Cross, which alternated around the three parishes. For Advent 2017 we had some evenings of Lectio Divina reflecting on the readings of the Sundays of Advent.
Our Holy Week and Easter celebrations were very well celebrated. I am particularly grateful to Patricia OSullivan for the preparatory work that she did with the Choir before Holy Week and to Sue Treanor, Caroline Holly and all the choir for their hard work in preparing for, singing and playing for the Holy Week liturgies.
For Advent 2017 we had some evenings of Lectio Divina (one of which had to be cancelled because of the icy conditions) reflecting on the readings of the Sundays of Advent.
Our 2017 Christmas Masses were equally well celebrated. I think particularly of the beautiful Christmas Eve Mass and the carols which preceded it. I express my thanks to Patricia OSullivan, the musicians and the choir for all the hard work that they put into preparing for this beautiful celebration.
Also at Christmas, we introduced what has now become a local custom Prayer Partners at Mass. This simple gesture is a sign and reminder that we are present at Mass not as individuals, but as part of a community a community that is called to be welcoming to the stranger and the newcomer, a place where the bonds of communion and fellowship are always meant to be being built up.
Thanks to a generous donation we were able to give a copy of Matthew Kellys book, Rediscover Jesus to everyone who attended one of the Christmas Masses across the three parishes.
I take the opportunity to thank Patricia, Sue and the Choir for all that they do throughout the year to make our parish music so uplifting.
I express my sincere thanks also to our sacristans, altar servers, readers, ministers of communion, welcomers for the ministry that they offer to the parish for Holy Week, Easter, Christmas and throughout the year.
I thank Rosemary Ellis for her beautiful flower arrangements and to Maureen Foggo and Juliet Hale for preparing the rotas for the various ministries.
On 26th May the Confirmation Mass for the young people of the three parishes was celebrated at St Johns, Mill End, by Bishop Paul McAleenan. I am very grateful to our team of catechists for all their work in helping to prepare the young people of our parishes.
On 28th May we had beautiful celebration of 1st Holy Communion, with three children and their families. I am very grateful to Elena McBride, supported by Jennifer McEwen, for her wonderful work in preparing the children so well for the sacraments.
During the year one baptism and two funerals were celebrated in the parish. The October Mass count showed an average of 95 parishioners attending Sunday Mass each week, down one on last years figure of 96.
SOME SIGNIFICANT EVENTS OF 2017
On 22nd July, St Johns, Mill End hosted a music afternoon for the musicians and choirs of our three pari...