PPC – Meeting 17 Oct 2019

St Benet’s Beccles; Parish Pastoral Council (PPC)


Summary Minutes of the Meeting in the Presbytery

19:00 on Thursday 17 October 2019


Present         Linda Last (Chair), Terry O’Brien (Secretary), Fr. Martin Gowman, Jo Hamer, Brian Lewis, Steph Madden, Tim Madden, Sue Workman.

Apologies     Rev Tony Felton, Thomas Harrison, Brigid Rawlinson. Imogen Keiley (School Rep).

The meeting opened at 19:00 with a prayer led by Fr Martin.

  1. Minutes of the Previous Meeting

The minutes of the July meeting were agreed to be an accurate record.

  1. Matters Arising

2.1 Bidding Prayers. It was confirmed that there was no problem with publishing the names of the sick, so long as the individual agreed.  It was agreed that the “Request for Prayers” should include the phrase “We also remember those who have asked for our prayers for personal reasons.”

2.2 Sacristan. The current arrangements are satisfactory and there is no need for recruitment.

2.3 Weddings; Authorised Person. The role was described more fully, and a potential volunteer agreed to investigate it.

2.4 Change to Constitution. The change in term of office will be proposed at the AGM.

2.5 Flower Festival. Two committee members agreed to meet to discuss taking this forward.

2.6 Music at 18:00 Mass A number of parishioners are helping to provide live music at this Mass.

  1. Parish Renewal

The next stage of the Renewal Programme will see us move on from last year’s individual action towards helping St Benet’s develop as a Parish Community.

To develop as a parish, we will focus on the “Year of the Word” initiative which will run through to December 2020 and which asks us to consider “The God Who Speaks” through the Bible

Our Prayer Group and the Discussion Group will lead our initial actions.  A group of parish families is working with the Vianney Mission to develop a parish Prayer Vigil, including Mass, on the “First Friday” of each month.

Some brochures about the “Year of the Word – The God Who Speaks” initiative are available at the back of the churches, and all parishioners are encouraged to visit www.godwhospeaks.uk

Parish Communication The Weekly Newsletter and the Website were both very useful and helped Parish Development; it was also agreed that the Monthly Activities Diary should be continued.  There was support for a “Quarterly Magazine” to give in-depth information on major issues.  It was proposed that we use data from the census to send news by email, to those willing to receive it.

  1. Parish Life

5.1 Charities and Fundraising. There will be a final Market Stall on Friday 22 November. The usual ballot will be held for parishioners to nominate their “Chosen Charity” for 2020.  We collect for three charities each year as Council rules do not allow collections to be held for any charity more frequently than once every three months.

It is planned to organise the Christmas Hampers Raffle again.  The next planned Parish Social and Meal will be in March for the Presentation of Cheques.

5.2 Special Masses

Mass for Deceased Parishioners will be celebrated in November, probably on a mid-week evening

Mass using theTridentine Rite will be celebrated on a monthly basis, possibly replacing the Saturday morning (0930) Mass.  This cannot be a “Vigil Mass” nor fulfil our Sunday Obligation.

5.3 Advent and Christmas

A volunteer has come forward to decorate the parish Christmas tree for the Hungate Tree Festival.

Two families and the First Communion Leaders are planning to erect a crib in St Anthony’s Chapel, and they would welcome any additional help from adults and/or children.

The Carol Service will be on Wednesday 18 December and light refreshments will be served after.

There has been a proposal to bring forward the time of Midnight Mass from 11:30pm to 10:30pm or 11:00pm – allowing Mass to end with the blessing of the crib at midnight.  The earlier start time might encourage more to attend and would make the return home less daunting.  It was also felt that the carols before this Mass should be given a published start time to avoid confusion.

5.4 Finance and Fabric Committee (FFC)

Members of the FFC have now visited St Mary’s (C. of E.) Church, Bungay to view their meeting room which has been partitioned off from the nave. This was felt to be a most useful alteration, which fitted in very well with a very old building.  Their works had been very complex for structural reasons and their costs would not be relevant to our much simpler construction.  The FFC have decided to get an outline plan prepared and costs estimated with a view to then conducting wider consultation with parishioners – probably as part of the AGM near Easter 2020.

  1. Catechists

We have only 6 candidates for First Communion in 2020; this may not make a class viable.

  1. Churchyard Spaces

All available space in the Churchyard have been allocated, some people being allocated designated plots and others have nothing specified.  Unfortunately, it does occur that an allocated space may not be able to be used – e.g. a drain was discovered under one plot.  Parishioners will have to be made aware that this situation may arise in the future.

  1. School Update

In the absence a Representative, it was agreed that a written report be sought.

10, Any Other Business

There was no other business which was not recorded earlier.

11 Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting will be held in the Presbytery at 19:00 on Thursday 16 January 2020

The Annual General Meeting has been scheduled for 19:00 on Thursday 23 April 2020

The meeting closed with a prayer of thanks by Fr Martin.

Terry O’Brien

Secretary; 18 October 2019