Our Consultative Procedures
The Priest in charge of a parish is the local arbiter in all decisions relating to the parish and its activities. At Beccles, and at our sister parish at Bungay, the priests are responsible to Downside Abbey, as well as to the Diocese of East Anglia.
To assist the Priests, there are two consultative committees in each parish as well as a Parish Annual Meeting.
The Parish Annual Meeting (PAM)
A meeting, open to all parishioners, is held annually. The previous year’s Accounts are presented; parish Activity Groups have the chance to report on their activities; and Topical Issues may be discussed.
The accounts; group reports, and issues proposed for discussion, must be notified to the Priest at least two weeks before the meeting, to enable an agenda to be circulated. Items not notified cannot be discussed in detail at the meeting.
The Parish Pastoral Council (PPC)
The PPC is chaired by a lay person and exists to help the Priest to foster pastoral action and develop the life of the parish. In addition to six elected members, others may be nominated occasionally by common consent, whether for a specific project or to ensure that the PPC remains as representative as possible.
Although the members may take part in the decision-making process, the PPC is a consultative body which assists the Priest by making him aware of the opinions and feelings of the laity on matters being discussed
The Finance and Fabric Committee (FFC)
The FFC, whose constitution is agreed with the Abbot of Downside, exists ‘to help the Priest in the administration of the goods of the Parish’. The committee communicates with the Abbey, and with the Diocesan Finance Office, through the work of the Parish Treasurer.
The aim of the FFC is to maintain the church buildings and grounds in good order while ensuring the parish remains solvent. It seeks to balance the need for confidentiality with the desire for openness and disclosure
The Priest ensures that the two committees work in tandem, where-ever possible, and through the PPC, the FFC can relate to all parish activity groups.
The names of current committee members are posted at the back of the church. The names of the current committee secretaries are included in the “Parish Contacts” page.
To communicate effectively, we need to know who is in the parish, and this information makes up the Parish Register. It contains details of parishioners and their interests – as well as recording children’s progress through the Sacraments.
If you have not already done so, we ask you to keep us up-to-date by completing the attached “Welcome to St Benet’s” form.
Please keep and make use of the Parish Handbook, to remain aware of the scope of our activities. The Website and the weekly Newsletter also contain additional, up-to-date information.