Parish Pastoral Council Meeting – January 2019

Summary of the Parish Pastoral Council Meeting.




Chris Boyes (Secretary)                Tim Madden

Fr. Martin Gowman                       Brigid Rawlinson

Linda Last                                       Chris Scott

Brian Lewis (Chair)                       Pam Storey

Steph Madden                                Sue Workman


The meeting opened with a prayer at 6.30pm


Parish Database & Census.

Currently there are about 80 responses.  There will be a last note in the upcoming Renewal leaflet and in the Newsletter to encourage people to respond.  It was suggested that there must be many parishioners who feel that their information is on the old database and that they don’t need to complete the form again which is incorrect.  It was confirmed that the new database will be checked against the old, which will then highlight those that have not re-registered and they can then be contacted after Easter.  In answer to a question from, Fr. Martin stated that average Sunday mass attendance was 150 (40 at 0800 Gillingham, 80 at 10.30, 30 at 18.00).


Parish Pastoral Life – The Sick & Elderly.

The Welfare Group has rather ceased to function as the membership of the group has been depleted.  Efforts will be made to get it going again.

There was a discussion about providing transport for parishioners to get to a mass.  The meeting was reminded that it was best for this to be arranged by family/friends otherwise drivers will need to be vetted under the Safeguarding process.

Fr. Martin was asked, in future, to mention who each mass is being said for.

It was suggested that the Newsletter should be sent (by post or email) to those that could not attend mass.

Fr. Martin said that he hoped to arrange for some of the housebound to attend the mass and anointing of the sick at the cathedral on February 9th and he also thought that it would be possible for St Benet’s to have its own similar service.

The meeting was reminded that the Beccles Diamond Jubilee Committee was available for financial assistance to those who might need it, providing they lived within the boundaries of Beccles.

The Finance & Fabric Committee are currently examining a moveable ramp for wheelchair access from the church into the hall.


6.0.         Parish Pastoral Life – Families.

1st Holy Communion will be 5th May.  The group has been very good and has provided some altar servers.  There is no Confirmation group this year

A parishioner has some cartoons on bible stories, which might be available for other children to see.  The quality of these is good and they may in future be used at Children’s Liturgy when appropriate.


7.0.         Catechists.

We have two parishioners in training as catechists and both have young children. They could act as a link between 1st Holy Communion and Confirmation.


8.0.         School Update.

Unfortunately the school link governor was not in attendance to report on the school.  Sam Barlow is now Headteacher of the primary schools and an Ofsted was done towards the end of last year.


9.0.         Social – Charities & Events.

Last year £2,439.2 was raised for the chosen charities, however the presentation evening was not well attended.  This year it might be best to combine it with an Italian Evening perhaps on March 30th.  Publicity will again be sought from the Beccles & Bungay and the Diocesan newspaper. In future the money raised should be equally split between the charities.  For 2020 the charities might be chosen by putting up a list of 4 or 5 on a board at the back of the church and asking people to tick their preferences.

There was a request that a training session be provided on how to use the defibrillator, provided jointly by the church and school, which will be put on the hall porch wall.

There will be a Flower Festival 23rd to 26th August and we need to look for sponsorship.

It was noted that the letterbox in the church porch was being well used.


10.0.       Council Membership and Chairperson.

Linda Last was unanimously elected as the new Chair of the committee, taking over from Brian Lewis who is stepping down.  Chris Boyes will also be leaving as the secretary.


11.0.       Parish Annual Meeting  & PPC AGM.

The 16th May at 7.0pm was proposed for a combined meeting and it was further agreed that there should not be a speaker.  The accounts will be presented and there will be refreshments.


12.0.       Any Other Business & Date of Next Meeting.

The parish Discussion Group has now been meeting for the last three and half years. Wide ranging discussions take place and there were 14 people at the last meeting.  The Prayer & Spirituality Group last met at the Quaker Hall and was led by Cindy Barnes 15-20 people came.