Fr. Tom Egan, Edoardo Albert, Sean Carroll, Gregory Howard, Joe Wilson, Joe Sutton, Pat Madigan, Dave Clark, Celia Webb, Marianne Ahearne, Clyde Webb, Fr. Kevin Moule, Ramon Landi, Jackie Reddington, John Donnelly and Jane Landi.  Also present:  Felicity Brown.

Brian Hunt, Pat Bolger, Vincent Malone, Gerard Barden and Anuli Igboaka.

The meeting started with a prayer.

The minutes were signed as correct following the addition of Jane and Ramon Landi to the list of apologies.

.  An objection was raised to the sending of thank you letters to particular parishioners for their work around the parish.  It was pointed out that the Christmas Party is Fr. Tom’s “thank you” to all our volunteers, and it would eventually be necessary to send letters to everyone.  It was agreed that doing this was unnecessary and no more letters will be sent.

NEW HYMN BOOKS have arrived and are being kept in a metal cage at the back of the church.

The Finance Committee met last Monday.

(From summary of financial statements handout – page 1)

Offertory was £184,000 for 2009 compared with £186,000 for 2008.  Overall income was down from £248 to £238, although (as mentioned before) 2008’s figures include Christmas offerings from 2007 that was banked in 2008.

Expenditure was down from £204 to £180 – the Diocesan Assessment was lower last year, and we spent half on repairs and renewals that we spent in 2008.

Net recurring income was £44,000 in 2008 and £58,000 in 2009.

With other income/expense taken into account (page 2) the bank balance decreased from £196k to £188k.  The loss of £7,500 is partly due to the expense of the benches and chairs, which cost over £80,000, but this is a good figure considering this expense and repairs that were done to the church roof during the year.

The finance meeting agreed to go ahead with the sanctuary flooring, which consists of wood for the steps and marble for the rest of the floor.  All together this should cost in the region of £25,000.  The wood will be stained to match the existing floor.  We have been advised that if the steps were also marble it would be too overwhelming for the church as a whole.  This work will be done in a manner that leaves the church free for use at the weekends.

Information about our Lenten projects has been put on the website.  Relevant links and other useful material can always be sent to Eddie.

The Lenten talks will feature different aspects of Luke’s Easter story, as that is the Gospel for Palm Sunday.

There will be exposition during Lent, but there will be two Sundays without it – 28th Feb. and 28th March.

We are not using the large candleholder – we don’t need all the candles, two are enough.

Ten Ten are organizing “Born for This”, a play for Good Friday.  About 50 parishioners have volunteered to take part.  It will take the place of Stations of the Cross on Good Friday.

The Parish Lunch on 14th February was very successful.  £1,015 was raised for the Sanctuary floor.  A free band had played background music.  Celia and Clyde and their team were praised for all their wonderful efforts.

Nothing else is planned at the moment.

Felicity Brown has taken over the task of spokesperson for Churches Together as Mary McMullan has resigned.  Felicity is also our representative with the Compass magazine.

Problems with children running around on Sunday mornings, whilst other people are carrying hot liquids etc.  They are not our responsibility, but we might be liable if someone is hurt.

The small toilet is leaking.

Baby changer.  We need a changer that is free-standing as it was difficult to attach it to the wall of the toilet - this has already been attempted.  Greg has been asked to see if he can change the item he bought for a free standing one.  We need to consider how it would be kept clean, and especially free from transferable germs.

Some members of the parish council are not aware that there is a demand for this item, although there has been some discussion at the mother/toddler group and it has been brought up before at Parish Council meetings.

Still meets on a Monday.

There has been a lot of trouble with the Confirmation group, who are particularly rebellious this year.  It is very obvious which ones don’t want to be there and they are spoiling the course for the others.  The group is very heavily male-oriented with 31 boys to 9 girls.  Unfortunately we could lose our excellent catechists, who do not have to put up with bad behaviour.

All candidates are interviewed with their parents before they begin the course.  We don’t ask them to agree a code of conduct.  The age of the candidates is at the heart of the problem, but it is set at Diocesan level.  This is not the only pairsh who is finding it difficult, and the matter has been raised at Deanery meetings.

Should we be confirming people who don’t want to be confirmed?  How do we get them to want it?

KNIGHTS OF ST COLUMBA.  Have been recruiting recently and had a favourable reception.  Two people were enrolled at mass.  They are going to collect old spectacles for charity in a couple of weeks.  They could do with some ideas of how they can help around the parish, which would also raise their profile.

The Knights was founded in Scotland as a reaction to the Orange orders, and it’s function is to help the parish priest, and to raise money for charity.

NEW SAINSBURY’S STORE opposite the church.  Might this cause problems in our car park?  Hopefully not – most users would probably come on foot.  It is not the sort of store you do your big weekly shop in.  The staff might use it – the officers of the new police station have been given permission to park here.

Use of the car park is a problem, especially on days when there is a lot on in the church buildings.  Wheel clamping could be difficult.  We would need someone to police it.  A lot of people use the car park on the off-chance, some ask, some don’t.

YEAR OF THE PRIEST.  The Parish Council has organised a mass and a reception on Friday, June 18th.  Invites have been emailed to all past and present clergy and some replies have been received.  Fr. Kevin said that the Deanery had been very impressed to hear of our plans and both priests offered their thanks for this event.

We will ask the Folk Group to do the music.

ECOFRIENDLY.  Can we do more to meet our “green” targets?  We recycle as much paper as we can, via the council’s black box.  We use energy saving lightbulbs where we can.  There may be other things we can do with the electricity and gas.  There are companies that will come in and do an assessment.

PRECISION, the health and safety people, have sent a report with a list of things that need looking at.  Some things are more important than others, but all should be attended to.


Finance committee meets on 19th April.

Parish Council meets on 26th April.