Parish Pastoral Council Meeting – July 2019

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

Notice Board Minutes of the Meeting on Thursday 18 July 2019

Present         Linda Last (Chair), Terry O’Brien (Secretary); Rev Tony Felton; Jo Hamer, Thomas Harrison, Brian Lewis, Steph Madden, Brigid Rawlinson, Sue Workman.

Apologies     Fr. Martin Gowman, Tim Madden, Imogen Keiley (School Rep).

The meeting opened at 18:30 with a prayer led by Rev Tony.

  1. Minutes of the Previous Meeting

The minutes of the AGM on 16 May were agreed.

  1. Matters Arising; Bidding Prayers

The PPC discussed the suggestion made at the AGM that the “names of the sick”, should be included in the Bidding Prayers, instead of “those whose anniversaries occur this week”.

The consensus of the PPC was that we should continue to be reminded to pray for the deceased. In addition, we should mention by name, anyone just added to the list of the sick, or who was known to be experiencing significant problems at that time.

It was noted that the permission of the individuals concerned should always be obtained before their situation was mentioned in public.

It was suggested that the list of the sick be reviewed regularly, and that additions to the Newsletter be high-lighted more strongly.                   

  1. Parish Renewal

Two papers on Parish Renewal had been circulated.  The PPC were asked to study these before the next meeting and consider ways to take the Renewal initiative forward.

A short discussion took place about a suggestion to celebrate a “Latin Mass”; there was general agreement that while this might be welcomed. The PPC recommended that if such a Mass were to be celebrated, it should not replace any of the Sunday Masses.

  1. Finance and Fabric Committee (FFC)

A summary of the most recent FFC meeting was given, as follows.

4.1 The parish had received a very generous legacy from the estate of a deceased parishioner.  The FFC intended that this should be “ring-fenced” for a specific purpose, rather than being absorbed into the Parish’s general income.  This was endorsed by the PPC.

4.2 The order for a portable ramp has now been placed, to improve access between the Church and Hall for all our “less mobile” parishioners.

4.3 Improvements to the Hall were being examined, specifically 1) a suspended ceiling to improve acoustics; 2) storage of all the surplus chairs and Gymnastic equipment; and 3) re-decoration.

4.4 Consideration was being given to some form of sliding doors to enable the St Anthony’s area to be used for committee meetings and other actives connected with the church.

All members present supported this initiative and it was agreed that FFC & PPC members should speak with parishioners to identify what other uses could be made of such a facility.

  1. Catechists

Three Catechists are progressing well with their training course. The PPC congratulated them all on their commitment to the process and looked forward to their graduation.

  1. Database and Census

The work to date was reviewed.  This is based on the Parish Database Policy, which is a legal and Diocesan requirement. (See

The input of existing data from paper to computer is progressing well. To confirm the accuracy of our records, every parishioner will be sent a copy of “their” data.

  1. Constitutional Change; Duration of PPC Service

It was suggested that the duration of any Council member’s service should be limited to two terms of 5 years, not two terms of 3 years as at present.  This would give better continuity, with a reasonable turnover of membership. This was acceptable and recommended for adoption.

  1. School Update

A PPC member will contact the school to arrange a meeting.

  1. Planning for the Year Ahead – Flower Festival

It was agreed that the previous Flower Festivals had been well worthwhile. A description of the work that was involved and the commitment that would be needed was given. As a key first step, there would need to be a dedicated person to lead the project and manage the process.  Other avenues should be explored e.g. sharing with other churches.

10, Any Other Business

10.1 St Michael’s have asked if they could exhibit a banner on St Benet’s railings advertising a forthcoming show. The PPC were in favour,

10.2 The Market Stall should have a banner advertising it was run by: “St Benet’s Parishioners – Raising Funds for Local Charities”.

10.3 We need some-one to decorate St Benet’s Tree for the Christmas Tree Festival.

10.4 Following the good reception last year, the do Rozario families had offered to provide and construct a larger Christmas Crib, using all the altar space in Our Lady’s Chapel.  Some of the older parishioners regretted the loss of Our Lady’s Chapel, but the Council suggested that the traditional crib could be installed in front of the “Sacred Heart Statue”.

10.5 Some concerns have been raised about the quality of the singing at 18:00 Mass.  It was felt that this could be improved with the presence of some live musicians – at least for some Sundays.  Choosing hymns that were more familiar to parishioners would also help, together with the use of recordings of choirs and/or singers, rather than just music.

10.6 It was asked if Pastoral Care Group was still functioning as some housebound parishioners had not been visited.  Everyone was encouraged to relay information Fr M or the Deacons

10.7 Additional help with the preparation of the Church and altar for masses and other services was required.  Also, another person should be trained to take on the role of “Authorised Person” for the recording of weddings celebrated at St Benet’s.

11 Date of Next Meeting

The next meeting will be held in the Presbytery at 19:00 on Thursday 17 October 2019

The meeting closed at 19:50 with a prayer of thanks led by Rev Tony.

Terry O’Brien

Secretary; 20 July 2019