MINUTES OF THE PPC & PARISH AGM MEETING.
Held on Thursday 16th May 2019.
The meeting commenced with a prayer at 7.00pm with Fr. Martin and Rev Tony Felton representing the clergy, members from the Finance & Fabric committee, PPC and parishioners. Some 30 people in all.
Fr. Martin thanked everyone for attending and apologised for the gap of about a year and a half since the last AGM.
1.0. Apologies for Absence.
Apologies were received from those unable to attend due to ill health and Fr Martin said that we should pray for all those who were unwell.
2.0. Minutes of the Last AGM.
Linda Last read out the minutes of the PPC meeting on 31.01.19.
3.0. Matter Arising.
There were no specific action points but many of the items discussed then were on the agenda for this AGM.
4.0. Finance Report.
Pamela Saint-Mart (Parish Treasurer) issued a set of annual accounts from January to December 2018 comparing them to the same period in the previous year.
Grounds Maintenance. Fr Martin pointed out that great savings were being made on the ground’s maintenance because of the hard work of volunteers, Gabriel Doll and Andy Bradley. He asked Gabriel to tell the meeting about their work.
Gabriel explained that when they had first started there was some catching up to do and clearance of overgrown areas and removal of rubbish. A skip had been hired and filled with both the rubbish from the grounds and from the kitchen clearance that Andy dealt with. Privet hedging has been planted to fill gaps around the perimeter of the churchyard. Plants were also cleared from around the hall escape door to make it easier for Mike Wells to use his wheelchair.
Finance & Fabric Committee. Brian Lewis explained that it met 4 times a year and Pamela Saint-Mart presented a quarterly financial report which the committee reviewed. The meeting also looked at the state of the building and grounds. Recent work has been examining and complying with, the last Diocesan Quinquennial Survey which documented any work necessary for the upkeep of the building. This work has been monitored by Chris Boyes who is a retired architect and much of this work has been carried out by David Read. The committee is also looking at providing a mobile ramp to provide wheelchair access between the church and hall.
Gift Aid. Chris Boyes spoke briefly about Gift Aid and how anyone who was a taxpayer could increase the value of their donations (at no cost to themselves!) by Gift Aiding them. He will be advertising this further on a future Sunday.
5.0. PPC Report.
Linda Last explained that she had been elected to succeed Brian Lewis as Chair of the committee. This committee acts as an advisory/consultative forum to help the priest and provide him with a forum to discuss pastoral programmes. The members of the committee need feedback from parishioners and comments and suggestions are very welcome. Feedback is also needed from the many groups meetings and activities that happen in the parish.
Committee members can serve up to two terms of three years each. Brian Lewis set up the committee in 2012 working very closely with Fr Martin and some other members will also have served their 6 years. Chris Boyes will also be stepping down as secretary. So new members are needed and more will be said under item 9 below.
6.0. Parishioner Speaker.
Cindy Barnes gave a very moving talk on the need to share our faith. She took her initial subject matter from a book by Fr James Mallon who wrote of the sinking of the Titanic and the inaction of the lifeboats that were launched in going back to save those in the water. This was taken as a metaphor for the church whose mission is to save. The church exists to rescue people and are we doing enough in our own lives to live up to this goal?
7.0 Up-Dates from Parish Groups.
Social & Fundraising Events. Pam Storey stated that this year’s fund raising would be on behalf of The Waveney Centre, Clinks Farm and The May Centre. The recent Italian Evening was a great success and she will be organising a Bingo Evening. She has received a framed photo from the Guide Dogs Association in recognition of last year’s work and it was suggested that this should be put up in the church.
Congo School of Peace. Mary Ellwood spoke for the Congo School of Peace Support Group. There is a new newsletter now out showing on the front the library that is being built. She thanked all those that sponsor children, £11,500 is currently being raised in this manner and expressed her gratitude for all those that have supported the group since the late 1990’s She said that there is now a WhatsApp group which provides instantaneous news from the school. Because of the dangerous situation in Congo the next trip from here in June will be going to Zambia where there is also a mission set up by the Sisters.
CAFOD. Sydna Playford spoke about all the money raised for CAFOD from coffees at the 6pm mass and the wall box at the back of the church. Between 1st October 2017 and 28th April 2018 £1,121.86 was raised. This money is sent on to CAFOD in £500 cheques each time the account reaches that sum. The current balance stands at £416.47 so another £500 will shortly be sent.
Mary’s Meals. Helen Hemming spoke about Mary’s Meals. The Christmas appeal was very successful raising £1,459.50 which would feed 105 children for a year. This money was doubled by a government contribution. Our school children are currently donating filled pack packs to be sent out to Malawi.
Parish Website & Census. Terry O’Brien spoke about the parish website. We should think of it as an electronic Newsletter with unlimited space for articles, news and events, so please could he have information to fill it. The Parish Handbook is also on the website and any information that was sought could generally be found by typing a question in the search box.
He also commented on the Parish Census. The old parish register listed 276 families. Currently 94 new census documents have been returned.
8.0. School Report.
Imogen Keiley was unable to attend the meeting. Linda Last has met with Sam Barlow, the headteacher and her deputy to discuss bringing the children into the church. She had found a greater involvement with religious instruction
9.0. PPC Membership Elections.
Tom Harrison and Jo Harmer were nominated by Cindy Barnes, seconded and elected by a show of hands.
10.0. Parish Renewal Programme.
Fr Martin stated that many individuals had contributed to this ongoing programme and the Payer and Discussion groups were both instrumental in the progress that has been made.
11.0. Flower Festival 2020.
Linda Last commented that there have been many successful Festivals in the past but that they required a very dedicated organiser and Rona Baxter feels that she can no longer rise to this challenge again although she would offer support to anyone taking on this role. The Flower Guild needs new people to come forward to join them.
12.0. Any Other Business
Chris Scott mentioned that the Friends of Beccles Hospital (for whom we have raised money) can help with funding towards disabled access and might be prepared to financially support the ramp between the church and hall. We should write to either himself or Dr Bubb. He also reminded the meeting that the Diamond Jubilee Committee have funds for cases of hardship and if anyone knows of cases, the details are on the noticeboard in the porch.
Mary Ellwood asked the meeting is anyone had a paperback bible, 3 copies are being sought that could be taken out to Zambia.
Cindy Barnes asked if the names of the sick could be read out at Mass instead of those of the dead. It was suggested that this could be raised at the next PPC meeting.
13.0 Dates for Next AGM and PPC Meetings.
Next PPC Meeting – 7pm Thursday 18th July 2019 in the presbytery.
Next PPC AGM – 7pm Thursday 16th April 2020 in the hall.
The meeting concluded at 8.45pm.