Fr Tom Egan, Gerard Barden, Patrick Bolger, John Donnelly, Sean Carroll, Michael McGowan, Edoardo Albert, Ramon Landi, Greg Howard (minutes).

Apologies were received from Felicity Brown, and Libby Biberian.

Opening prayer
Fr Tom opened the meeting with a prayer.

Minutes of last meeting
The minutes of the meeting on 22 September 2014 were agreed.

Finance/fund raising
The Finance Committee meeting had taken place immediately prior the Parish Council meeting.

The council was told that offerings via loose plate, standing orders, and the envelope scheme have all increased over the 9 month period up to 30 September 2014 when compared with the same period in 2013. Offerings by envelope increased the most, by nearly £5000. The parish’s Gift Aid tax refund arrived earlier this year – in 2013, it did not come until December.

Recurring expenditure for the nine months up to 30.09.14 was £153,400, as opposed to £130,734 in the nine months up to 30.09.13. This increase is mainly due to expenditure on repairs and renewals, nearly £23,000 in the first nine months of 2014, up from nearly £7,000 in the first nine months of 2013.

The parish’s balance is up from nearly £335,000 at the end of September 2013 to over £408,000 at the end of September 2014. The parish is in a healthy financial position, but has an expensive site to maintain.

The paper shop and repository have had a successful last quarter. Some newspapers purchased by the shop are unsold, but these are returned for credit. It was pointed out that we are currently in a busy period for the sale of cards and other Christmas-related items.

Fr Tom reported that the advent talks on the accounts of the birth of Christ in the four Gospels have been popular and well-attended. Edoardo enquired whether it would be possible to hold the talks on any day other than Tuesday as this would make it easier for him to attend. However, as things stand, Tuesday evening is the only slot available.

Fr Tom added, in response to an enquiry from Gerard, that Fr Martin had found giving the
talks a rewarding experience.

It was reported that a carol service, jointly organised by Our Lady of Lourdes with St Paul's, New Southgate, was held on 14 December, and was a very enjoyable event.

Parish hall
The work on the floor of the parish hall has been completed. The work took two days and was done over half-term at the end of October.

Michael said that some of the tables in the hall have lost their rubber feet and wondered whether it would be possible to replace these, to minimise the possibility of damage to the repaired floor. Fr Tom said that he will ask Clyde Webb to look into this.

It was also reported that a light slopes down on the Blessed Sacrament side of the church and that the cover of a fan at the door of the church has been lost. These will need to be repaired and replaced respectively.

IT and Security
Edoardo reported that he is working on the lists of parish contacts with Jane Landi. There are going to be two lists: one for the church notice board and one for the parish website.

Fr Tom was wary of making individuals' contact details publicly available without their consent. Michael suggested that the publication of email addresses is a relatively secure way of making peoples’ contact details available. The lists will be finished in the New Year.

Fr Tom suggested that the Ask a Theologian section should be deleted from the parish website. He also said that the CCTV has not been working but has been repaired. He added that using wi-fi, he can view images of the church on his i-phone and laptop from anywhere on church premises.

Any other business
Gerard reported that a parishioner had suggested that the parish should install black-out blinds in the big hall to facilitate the showing of films/slides etc on a projector screen during the day. The blinds would probably be installed all the way round the hall. Fr Tom mentioned the possibility that a modestly priced TV/DVD player could be acquired by the parish for use in talks in the small hall. It could be kept on a small table or trolley so it could easily be moved elsewhere if necessary. Gerard said he that he would look into this.

Gerard also said that the Scouts have asked permission to put up a sign at the entrance to the church, stating that the 22nd Southgate Scout Group meets here. However, Fr Tom was concerned that if the Scouts are allowed to put up a large prominent sign, other parish groups may want to do the same, and said that the Scouts are only one of a number of groups who use the church premises. He said that he may permit a sign, but it would have to be located more discreetly.  This would be reported back to the Scouts.

Gerard also told the meeting that the Scouts would like, with Fr Tom's permission, to invite parishioners to donate their unwanted books to a charity which supplies books to libraries, schools, etc in developing countries. The Scouts would organise the collections of these books around the masses on a given Sunday. Fr Tom agreed to this.

Fr Tom said that Ten Ten Theatre have come to him with a proposal. They suggested that they would pay the parish £10,500 in return for various things, including:
·    their own doorbell
·    a portakabin at the rear of the church
·    a cupboard in the kitchen to which they have exclusive access
·    their own car parking spaces
Fr Tom said that he did not want to grant this to Ten Ten and that they may need to look elsewhere if they need facilities in addition to those they already have at Our Lady of Lourdes.

John Donnelly said that he would like to put on hold his work on the forms for the renewing of the safeguarding children protocol, owing to personal circumstances and that Nicki Madigan was well in control of this matter.

Various other matters were raised including:
·    The Parish Support Network. This has many volunteers but few people approaching it with needs.
·    The recent drive to recruit volunteers for church cleaning and other duties was successful.
·    The Bereavement Friendship Group finds that surviving members of families do not necessarily live in the parish and that as a result there is not always much demand for its services. It was suggested that a form setting out the services offered by the group, and their contact details, could be handed, as a matter of course, to people arranging funerals at Our Lady of Lourdes. Details of the group are on the parish noticeboard.
·    Michael said that many of the older people in the parish have had remarkable lives, and very interesting stories to share. He said that it would be wonderful if these people could be interviewed, and their experiences written down and collected.
·    It was suggested that a sign should be put in the car park inviting people to park politely, and show consideration to other users of the car park.
·    John enquired if it is still possible to hear mass at our Lady of Lourdes by telephone. Fr Tom confirmed that it is.
·    It was also suggested that the family mass on Christmas Eve would be an excellent opportunity to use the projector in the big hall. Showing the service on the projector would enable people who could not get into a crowded church to follow mass.


Dates of next meeting
The next finance committee meeting will take place on Monday 9 February.
The next parish council meeting will be on Monday 23 February, at 8.15 pm in the small hall.