Parish Pastoral Meetings

Parish Pastoral Meeting  -  Tuesday 13th. May 


There were sixteen people present with apologies from a further eight people. 

The meeting opened with a prayer led by Fr. John who then introduced Simon Clark from Brigg parish who had been invited to speak about  Parish Cells for Evangelism. 

Parish Cells are groups of friends who come together weekly for fellowship, prayer and praise, talk and general formation and support.  The groups are small, perhaps six to eight people and they meet in a house, but they are part of the parish and parish life and the meetings have a very definite structure.

The cells are lay groups with lay leaders, but they are commissioned by the parish priest and come under his authority. They are more structured than a prayer group and are open to people of all faiths and none although the prayer, formation and ethos are specifically Catholic. Parish cells are not related to the RCIA programme nor are they intended as a feed for RCIA.

It was suggested that with numbers in the Church declining, attending Mass may not be enough and that people may feel isolated and in need of support.

The cells may also provide encouragement and support to those looking to return to the Church.  

Fr. John thanked Simon for coming and giving us something to think about. 

Update & matters arising:

Social & Fund-raising  - Three people came forward to form a core group, Josiane, Tonia & Tess and their details are in the n/letter on the first Sunday of each month. They have a calendar of fund-raisers, events and collections. Please contact them if you have any ideas you would like to put forward in order to avoid congestion and donation fatigue.

Catechists – one person came forward with an interest in adult formation, however there remains a need for catechists able to work with children in the future.

Lay ministers of Communion – no one came forward to undertake this work. Fr. John suggested that we encourage those whom we think might be suitable to come forward as more ministers are needed, especially in Woodhall, and even more so if, in the future, the parish is linked with a parish in Lincoln. He also mentioned that H/castle could do with some more readers.

Fr. John reminded us that we renewed our baptismal promises at Easter and that we are responsible for sharing and passing on our faith in the parish. Passing on and sharing require communication and he urged those present at the meeting to tell others about what had been spoken about.

Ecumenism  -  Churches Together in Woodhall was carrying on as usual and H/castle Area Churches Together leaders are holding a meeting at the end of May with a view to re-launching after a period of inactivity.


Food Banks:

Unfortunately the person who raised this issue was not present to speak about it. There is a food bank in H/castle to which the parish could make donations of food etc. However what about W/Spa? It was agreed that the whole issue would be looked into and the results published in the n/letter.


Counting the Sunday collections:

Fr. John would like to form a rota for counting and asked for people to come forward. Once again, with an eye to the future, if there is no resident priest people will be needed to count the money, so volunteers please.

Fr. John gave an update on the progress of the Retired Priests Appeal as several parishioners had enquired.

The Appeal started one year ago, the target for our parish was to raise £25,000 over four years by means of pledges and fund raisers. At the present time pledges have raised £16,000 and fund raisers £1600 which equals 63% of our target and leaves us with £9000 to find. There was a suggestion that everyone who has pledged a monthly donation could be asked to increase that donation by £1.00 in an effort to make up the shortfall.


Health & Safety:

A Health & Safety audit has taken place recently and the result is on the notice board in the porch. The audit noted that there are loose chairs at the back of the church which are considered a danger in the event of fire, therefore new chairs which link together are on order. The fire risk is considered to be low.


First Sunday Coffee:

Next month there it is hoped to have a plant sale and people were asked that if they had any spare bedding plants etc. to bring them along.  


Fr. John thanked everyone for attending and set the date for the next meeting in six months Tuesday 11th. November.