Catholic Parish

Parish Meeting Minutes


PRESENT: Elaine Hook, Dee Avery, Karen Petho, Cathy Collins, Steph Blackburn, Margaret Holme, Ana and Geoff Wild, Ian Butler, Ruth Trant, Paula Thornton, Jenny Barrow and Fr Peter
1. OPENING PRAYER: Fr Peter opened the meeting with prayer.
2. APOLOGIES: Fiona Clayton, Shelley Cornish, Peter Avery
3. MINUTES FROM THE LAST MEETING: These were accepted.
4. MATTERS NOT ON THE AGENDA: Parking problems (School); magnolia tree (Bldg & Maintenance); prams parked in front of the church doors (Health & Safety).
5. REVIEW: Candlemas and Ash Wednesday: Both feasts were very good and the leaflets provided at the Ash Wednesday mass were excellent. The mass prepared by the youth for the evening mass at Candlemas was very good and they are a really good group. Father thanked the children’s liturgy group for organising the Christingles. Fr Peter said that the pre-school children were very good at the Ash Wednesday mass and that both the mass at St Simon Stock and the evening mass were well attended.
Deanery mass for the sick: This was well attended. The southern area parishes will hold another mass for the sick after Easter.
6. PLANNING: Churches Christmas Cards: Dee produced several bundles of Christmas cards which had remained at the back of the church, undelivered, last Christmas. It was agreed that this item will be put on the agenda for the November meeting to decide how the matter should be approached in future. Elaine will speak to people who are in West Malling. Paula said she would find a use for the cards. Action: Elaine
Mission Appeal (16th/17th September): The mission priest will stay here and cover while Fr Peter is away. The office will check a few weeks beforehand what his requirements are regarding       meals.
Choice of charity for Lenten alms: It was agreed that these should go to the Hospice as they are losing their funding.
Holy Week and Easter: Palm Sunday will be on 9th April and there will be the children’s procession. There will be the usual procession at all other masses. Tuesday 11th April there will be 9.30 mass and stations of the cross with an evening adult penitential service. The Chrism mass will be held at the cathedral on Wednesday 12th April. There will be a service of compline at Paddlesworth at 7.30 p.m. On Maundy Thursday the children’s mass will be at 5pm with the mass of the last supper at 8 p.m. followed by a vigil at 10-11pm. The Walk of Witness will take place on Good Friday starting at St Thomas More church at 11 a.m. The Good Friday liturgy will start at 2.50 p.m. and the youth group’s passion play will be at 8 p.m. The Easter Garden will be set up on Saturday at 10.30 a.m. The Easter mass will start at 8.30 p.m. and the family mass will be on Sunday at 10 a.m.
Front Door to the Priest’s House: - see Building & Maintenance report.
Fund raising - Paula reported that £66,019.37 had been raised with £18,974 still outstanding. Forthcoming fundraising events are a Pudding evening on 17th June; Pimms and Proms on 8th July;  Lucia’s concert on 30th April; Summer Fayre on 24th June. The school are holding a Mothers’ day afternoon on Friday 24th March. Ann McFadden’s family had made a donation to the fund via the pre-school – a thank you card will be prepared by the pre-school children.       
Building & Maintenance – Ruth has been given the names of some Donate8 volunteers and she has spoken to them as there are various tasks which they can be asked to do. The front door of the priest’s house is one such task. Karen said her husband would be able to do it and Fr Peter has already chosen the door he’d like. Karen will send in the measurements and get a quote – a figure of £1,000 was agreed. Action: Karen
Someone has volunteered to paint the seat outside and someone else has offered to paint the seats in the orchard. The need for the magnolia tree to be professionally cut back was discussed and it was agreed that Cathy would speak to a mum at pre-school whose husband has done this before. She would ask them to contact the office about a suitable time to carry out the work. Other items which need attention are the damp in the house and the lighting in the church porch. Ruth says she needs to chase up the people about the alarm system. Fr Peter thanked Ruth for her work. Action: Ruth
Finance – Ian circulated a statement of receipts and payments as at the year end and although we are in a much better position than two years ago, the fundraising will have to continue in order to pay off the outstanding amount of £19,000. November 2018 is the final date for repaying this amount and it was agreed that that information should be included in future fundraising reports. Ian advised that we are now in a position to pay off a further £10,000 of the loan to every kind Parish who helped us with this. It will have to be sent via the diocese.
Pre School – Cathy reported that they will be holding an Easter event next week. She said there were currently lots of meetings about government funding although it is still not completely clear as KCC don’t have the final proposals. They are speaking to parents to try to accommodate as many as possible. She said that Pat (Rita Wilson’s husband) is coming in to sort out the plumbing problem. Karen said she may have the phone number of Mr McCarthy (a plumber) as he may be able to sort out the problem with the pipework. Action: Karen
DPC – Fr Peter says he really needs someone to help with this as, when he is unable to attend meetings, the parish is not represented. He asked everyone to think about this and suggested a note in the newsletter. Action: Office
Health & Safety – The incidence of prams being left in front of the church doors was discussed and it was agreed that a note be put in the newsletter. Ruth will check whether a pram zone in feasible. It was noted that occasionally the heating in the porch has been left on. It was agreed that an email be sent to Eileen Scholes to ask her to make tea/coffee makers aware of this. Action: Office and Ruth
Catechists – Stephanie Blackurn reported that the first communion classes are going well. They are a group of 26 lovely children.
Churches Together – Margaret reported that the AGM was held in February and Joe Shepherd was re-elected as Chairperson with Rev Jonathan Hall as Vice Chair and Valerie Thornewell as secretary. The treasurer John Jackson will stand down and Jenny Barrow has volunteered to take his place. The Walk of Witness will take place on Good Friday, starting at St Thomas More at 11 a.m. Joe Shepherd has offered to make a new cross as the previous one has disintegrated. A donation of £100 will be made to Pilsdon. St Peter & St Paul’s are holding a Talent Show on Saturday 25th March. Rev Jonathan Hall is looking into setting up a website for CTiM to provide a link to the member churches. He his looking for a part-time chaplain to support police staff at the Coldharbour site.
Snodland: A unity service at Christ Church was attended by a number of parishioners. They are holding a meeting next Tuesday. There will be a Palm Sunday procession and service of compline at Paddlesworth.
School – Niall Fox sent a report in which he noted that the good links between the school and parish continue. Besides for the Ash Wednesday mass and the school/parish mass on 11th March there had also been a St Patrick’s mass held in school which was followed by a display of Irish dancing. Charities supported by the school this year include Save the Children, Shelter Box and the Mental Health Foundation. They are supporting Cafod’s ‘Turn little fish into Big Fish’. During Book Week funds were raised which will provide new books for the library which is being updated with the help of parent volunteers. Work, which is being funded by the PTA, will take place during the Easter break on a redevelopment in the playground with artificial grass and seating.
Elaine said that she and Peter and Dee Avery had had a meeting with Mr Fox about the parking problems but felt he is not fully aware how serious it is. The letter which he’d sent to parents was read to the meeting. It was agreed that consideration should be given as to how to deal with frequent offenders. It was noted that there would be a problem should an emergency vehicle require access and it was agreed to check whether bishop’s house knew whether such access was always available. Action: Office
Safeguarding – Shelley reported that at the last meeting she informed the committee that she would be retiring from the role as parish safeguarding representative after Easter. The committee have drawn up a list of four names and this is being discussed with Fr Peter. It is possible that two people may share the role.
Mother Teresa Group – Dee reported that they are still looking for a volunteer to take over organising the group. Currently about 18 people attend but they need someone with enthusiasm.
Children’s Liturgy – This is going well and is well attended. The organisers meetings are also going well.
Youth Groups – Paula reported that Porchlight had attended a meeting in February. The penitential service they’d had was one of the best ever and they are a very good group. Paula said they are applying for a grant of £2,500 from Malling Memorial Initiative which would enable them to acquire some equipment. They were also hoping to set up a website and are considering getting their own sweatshirts or T-shirts. They had some recruitment ideas in order to boost numbers – one was to ‘bring a friend’. She will update the photos on the board and maybe do a talk in church to encourage new members.
Baby & Toddler – This is thriving and is good in that it leads into pre-school and then primary school.
Donate8 – Adrian and Sally had given a talk at all masses recently. A few groups have had enquiries since these talks.
Area Groups – Stephanie Blackburn reported that they’ll be having a meeting tomorrow night and will do a sponsored walk when the weather improves. West Malling group had a fish and chip supper which was well attended. Larkfield plan to do something after Lent. The area group masses have all been sorted out.
8. A O B
24 hour vigil at St Francis – Ian Whitehead has all the paperwork. Those attending will meet in the car park at 11.50 p.m. on Friday 24th for our 2-hour slot.
The flower guild will meet on 4th June 2018 – Fr Peter will give a welcome.
9. The meeting closed at 9.20 with a prayer and blessing.
10. Next meeting – The next meeting will be held on Wednesday 10th May 2017
11. Future meeting dates: 5th July; 13th September; 15th November.
Christmas Cards: Elaine will speak to people in West Malling about delivering these. Elaine
Building & Maintenance: Karen will send in the measurements of the door to the priest’s house. Karen
Building & Maintenance: Ruth will chase up the people about the alarm system. Ruth
Pre-School: Karen will check if she has a phone number for Mr McCarthy (a plumber). Karen
DPC: A note re the need for a DPC representative to go in the newsletter. Office
Health & Safety: Check if a pram zone is feasible. Ruth
Health & Safety: Email to Eileen re switching off heating in porch. Office
School: Contact Bishop’s house to check if they are aware of emergency access at all times. Office


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