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The meeting commenced at 8pm following Evening Prayer led by Fr Kieron
Present: Fr Kieron O'Brien, Fr Thomas Swaffer, Delia Floyd, Kay Howlett, Megan Hadden, Susan Line, Brian Pointer, Martin Downy, Kevin Jamieson
Apologies: John Cummins, Judy McGregor, Mary Downy
The minutes of the previous meeting (13th July 2004) were accepted.
There was general agreement that this had been better than the first session because it had been more specific on practicalities and setting out the way forward in managing parish resources. It was agreed that Barbara should be invited back for a third session, probably early in the new year.
It was reported that responses from individual parishioners had been very light. Mary Downy had been able to talk to several parents from St Richard's Primary School and had put together a composite response that had been forwarded to the diocese. There will be a follow-up meeting at DABCEC in November that Mary will attend.
There had been positive response from those who had attended but numbers at St Richard's had been low although they did fluctuate. There had been better attendance at Bosham (20 to 30 each week) where meetings are held during the day. There was a request that there should be reminders given in the notices at mass.
(reference to Item 6 from previous meeting) A meeting had been arranged for later in October to set up a group of parish 'welcomers'. Group members would make contact with new parishioners initially by phone with a follow-up visit to deliver a welcome pack that would include a parish directory with details of all organisations and activities within the parish.
It was reported that the Visiting and Support Group (formerly the Parish Welfare Group) was now being chaired by Miriam McKenna. The group were considering whether the giving of Christmas gifts to all parishioners that were visited should continue as the gifts had not always been well received. It is likely that Christmas cards will be given out but gifts only to those who were known to be in need.
A mass has been arranged for Saturday 13th November. Invitations are to be sent to all those known to have been bereaved in the last year with a general invitation through the newsletter for any other parishioners who wish to attend.
Fr Kieron reported that one of the nuns from Midhurst has expressed interest in being involved in a pastoral support role in the parish. Possible areas for involvement could be in hospital chaplaincy as part of the wider ecumenical group that undertakes hospital visiting or in a chaplaincy role for Chichester College and the University. Fr. Kieron emphasised that this idea is still at an early stage and he was looking for roles that would not duplicate existing ministries/functions carried out by parishioners. There was positive reaction to the idea from the Pastoral Team.
A delegation from the parish had met with the Diocesan Art and Architecture Committee. The meeting had been constructive and there was agreement that St Richard's Church could not remain as it is for much longer. The committee's views were that the parish's proposals were not radical enough and that, in its opinion, a better use of the site would be for the existing church to become a parish centre and a new, larger, church should be built on the area currently occupied by the presbytery and parish rooms. Such a scheme would mean that the parish priest would have to live 'off site'. It was considered by the Pastoral Team that it was probably too early for such a radical approach but the problem remained of finding an acceptable interim solution that would not prejudice a more ambitious scheme at a later date.
As usual, the feast of Christ the King will coincide with National Youth Sunday. The Saturday evening mass will involve the confirmation candidates who will be making their commitment to enrol in the programme of preparation. After the 10.00 o'clock mass on Sunday there will be a party for younger children who attend children's liturgy. Other ideas are being considered for events outside mass.
Fr Thomas briefly outlined the service which will be held on Monday 13th December 2004 at 7.30. This will follow a similar programme to previous years although, in response to comments, there may be no formal ending to the service which will continue as long as confessions are being heard.
It was agreed that further training is needed for existing and new readers and that the list of readers might have to be rationalised to make room for new readers.
i) Megan Hadden enquired whether it would be possible to hold a second collection at masses for the Catholic Bible School. Kevin Jamieson pointed out that second collections usually have an adverse effect on the amount donated in the main collection. It was felt that the Catholic Bible School would be likely to raise more income from the sort of events that they have used in the past.
ii) Susan Line reported that at a recent Event, a portable loop system had been tried out and had proved effective in helping those who are hard of hearing. It was proposed to install such a system in the parish rooms. This was endorsed by the Pastoral Team.
iii) Fr. Kieron reported a request from Prudence Dwyer for the parish to become part of the Diocesan Fair Trade initiative. Through this, the parish would make a commitment only to use Fair Trade products e.g. in catering for day to day needs and at parish events. Prudence asked for help to make this work and Megan agreed to make contact with her.
iv) Fr. Kieron reported that an issue had arisen regarding the sending of second hand clothes from the parish to the Mercy House group in South Africa. Apparently the South African authorities are restricting the import of such items. Judy McGregor would discuss options to find a way round this.
v) Brian Pointer reported that the Ethics Group had met recently and 25 to 30 people attended. The next meeting in November would address the topic of euthanasia.
Next meeting will be held on Friday 19th November at 7.30. Mary Downy had already tendered her apologies and Kay Howlett agreed to take the notes for that meeting.