Parish Council Minutes – March 2024

12 March 2024, 7:30pm

Present: Mike Campbell (Chair), Father Kevin, Richard Bushell, Maria Levesley, David Bellamy, Sam Coldwell and Richard McQuinn (minutes).

Apologies: Deacon Stephen Parker, Stephen Spooner, Eva Kaltenthaler, Lindsay Reynolds, Sian Price

The meeting opened with a short prayer.

  • 1. Matters Arising
  • Gas Supply: Richard McQuin reported that IFM had processed the application to move into the collective Diocesan scheme for gas supply, St Francis already being in that scheme for electricity. This would lead to cheaper energy costs than could be found elsewhere.  Some alternative suppliers were requiring a circa 150% increase, however, the parish would see increased gas costs of about 25% with IFM, having been protected by the low rates under the old British Gas contract for the last 3 years.  Father Kevin confirmed he had received correspondence from British Gas that the Parish had been put on to the default standard variable rate, so he questioned if the transfer had been fully processed.  Action – RM confirmed he would take this up with IFM.
  • Parish Volunteer List: Mike Campbell confirmed he now held an electronic list (register) of all Parish Volunteers as requested by the Diocese on a password protected file on his laptop. Action – see below.
  • IT Support:  Mike Campbell confirmed the notice requesting support with the parish desktop and laptop computers and the tasks currently undertaken by John Green had not yet gone into the Franciscan. Action – MC would do this as a matter of urgency.  Note – DB agreed to do this.
  • Photo of Confirmation Group for Chronicle: Richard Bushell confirmed this had been sent to the Chronicle.
  • 2. Ongoing Synod Process and Diocesan Consultation on Parishes

The Council discussed the above 2 consultation processes that were currently underway, each currently requesting input from individual Parishes.  It was noted that the groups for Synodal discussions were often started with short Lectio Divina sessions.  The Diocesan consultation on Parishes required answers from the Parish by 5 June. 

Mike Campbell tabled a short analysis he had prepared on the Hallam Statistical Data on individual parish Mass Attendance, Baptisms and Expenditure/Income Ratio provided by the Diocese. He went on to explain that probably insufficient context had been provided with the raw data. He would work on the analysis further and submit his analysis to the Diocese.

Later in the meeting Father Kevin raised concerns about the low level of Baptisms, First Communions and Confirmations at Saint Francis.The Parish Council reassured Father Kevin that the statistical analysis showed Saint Francis was broadly typical of parishes within the Hallam Diocese who were experiencing or likely experiencing similar trends.  Saint Francis could not be considered an outliner, or his efforts be considered the cause of the fall in numbers.

Action – A subcommittee of David Bellamy, Richard Bushell and Sam Coldwell would be tasked with preparing a meeting on 8th May at 7.30 for parishioners to discuss these matters in an appropriate forum.

  • 3. Justice and Peace

Maria Levesley reported the group were now ready to launch the CAFOD Live Simply action plan after Mass on 28 April, using 3 stalls to cover the main theme of Live Simply, Live Sustainably, Live in Solidarity with the Poor.

Action – OK to proceed on 28 April

Maria also wanted to speak to the church cleaner about cleaning products used at the Church.

  • 4. Liturgy and Spirituality

In her absence, Mike Campbell reported that Lindsay was not yet ready to lead a Bible study course on St Mark’s Gospel.  Claire Byrne was keen to see some aspect of Catholic Social Teaching presented.  Sam Coldwell mentioned New Zealand’s Caritas Aotearoa had many resources on CST.

  • 5. Youth Ministry

Richard Bushell reported the youth group continued to meet monthly and that the First Holy Communion preparation was up and running.

  • 6. Maintenance

Mike Campbell and Father Kevin reported that:

  • Church Door: Efforts were ongoing to repair one of the churches main (large and heavy) doors that had recently stuck. It was going to be a two-man job and John Clarke was not able to undertake it on his own.  If required, one of the Fire doors could be used for access/egress. Action MC and Father Kevin to continue to pursue.
  • Church Windows and Roof Leak:  A number of high windows in the Upper Room and Side Chapel were to be replaced with electronic windows and certain other maintenance work aimed at resolving the roof leak into the narthex were to be undertaken at a cost of £4,800 by Messrs A J Murphy staring on 26th April.
  • Ground floor Windows and Lychgate Repainting:  Mike Campbell would approach Leo Whittaker to see if he was capable and prepared to undertake this work and what cost may be involved. Action – MC to Progress.
  • Roving Mic at Mass: It had been noticed that the roving mic was intermittently cutting out.   Sam Coldwell said he would check this with Father Kevin in the coming days.  Father Kevin new the original equipment suppliers if spares or a replacement had to be sourced. Action – SC and Father Kevin to progress.
  • 7. Defibrillator

The Parish Council noted the 200 club had offered to purchase a new defibrillator.  David Bellamy ran through the various options in respect of this equipment.  Following discussion, it was agreed David should liaise with the 200 club and source a semi-automatic version and other associated equipment at a cost likely to be in the region of £1,400.  David agreed he was perhaps currently well placed to undertake a monthly inspection of the equipment and associated material.

Action – DB to proceed. Note added DB purchased the defib.

  • 8. Social Committee: Social Events.

Following discussion, it was agreed Mike Campbell should put a notice in the Franciscan asking whether anybody would be happy to form a social committee to organise additional social events. Action – MC to proceed.

  • 9. Bidding Prayers

Following discussion, it was agreed the parish should continue with the format of having a brief period of individual silent contemplation following each of the individual intentions rather than a collective response such as “Lord Graciously Here Us”.

  • 10. CAFOD Visit

CAFOD (Angela Powell) had wanted to visit Saint Francis to thank parishioners for the financial support they had received in recent years. Following discussion, it was agreed that the launch of the Live Simply Campaign might be an appropriate time for such a visit. Action – MC to liaise with CAFOD and J&P group.

CLOSURE

Father Kevin read the Closing prayer.

Date of Next Meeting: Tuesday 21 May 2024 at 7:30pm.

Parish Council Minutes – January 2024

23 January 2024, 7:30pm

Present: Mike Campbell (chair), Eva Kaltenthaler (minutes), Father Kevin, Richard Bushell, Maria Levesley, Lindsay Reynolds, Sian Price, David Bellamy, Deacon Stephen Parker, Richard McQuinn, John Green (for part of the meeting).

Apologies: Stephen Spooner, Sam Coldwell

The meeting opened with two minutes of contemplative silence.

Support needed

John Green explained that he will be leaving the parish shortly. He backs up the parish computer and keeps a record of all invoices and has done this for many years. A replacement will need to be found to undertake these duties. Mike thanked John Green on behalf of the Parish Council for all his services for the parish over a period of many years. 

Action: Mike to put a note in the Franciscan to find a replacement.

Matters Arising

  • The bike rack has been installed and is already being used. The cost was £294.12 and has been paid for by the 200 Club.
  • Coming out of the car park can be difficult as there is limited visibility at times due to badly parked cars. After Mike’s note in the Franciscan, parking has improved and there is no longer a problem.
  • A Parish WhatsApp group has now been set up and phone numbers of those on the old vurch WhatsApp group added. Mike will send an invitation for others to join via the Franciscan.
  • Richard McQuin reported that he has applied to the IFM on behalf of the parish to be our new gas provider. We will initially be put on a temporary rate until the new contract starts in October. It is not yet known what the rate will be as the quote has not yet been received. When Richard hears from the IFM, he will share this with the Parish Council. It is expected that the quote will be considerably higher than what we are paying now. All other quotes received are also higher than the current rate which was set a long while ago.

Liturgy and Spirituality

Lindsay reported that she is planning a Bible study course on St Mark’s Gospel. She expects this will start after February half term.

Deacon Stephen Parker is planning a one day event on the Holy Spirit and Healing to take place during the summer.

Maria reported that the music group is planning to invite more soloists to take part in the music during Mass.

Youth Ministry

There are plans for a celebration event this Friday for the confirmation/youth group, including a meal and bowling. The expected cost will be between £250-£350. The Parish Council agreed to contribute £250 towards this. Richard B agreed to take a photo of the group for the Chronicle and will ensure he has consent to do so.

Justice and Peace

The group presented the CAFOD Live Simply action plan, which is a near final version. Actions around the three categories were discussed:

  • Live Simply
  • Live Sustainably
  • Live in Solidarity with the poor

This was approved by the Parish Council. Maria will submit the action plan shortly. The Justice and Peace Group will meet soon to develop a strategy to share this with the parish.

Any other business

Bob Levesley needs a register of all Parish Volunteers as requested by the Diocese. It was unclear as to what the definition of a volunteer is in this context.

Action: Mike to contact groups who lead volunteers to start a list.

Father Kevin mentioned some correspondence he has received. Pope Francis has designated 2024 as a year of prayer in preparation for the Jubilee year in 2025. A series of resources are available to support this.

David mentioned that he and Deacon Stephen had attended the recent Diocesan meeting on the Synod. At the meeting it was suggested that each parish consider how they might take the findings of the Synod forward in their own parish.  This will be discussed in more detail at the next Parish Council meeting.

Father Kevin read the Closing prayer.

Date of next meeting 12 March 2024 at 7:30pm.

Parish Council Minutes – November 2023

21 November 2023, 7:30pm

Present: Mike Campbell (chair), Eva Kaltenthaler (minutes) Stephen Spooner, Father Kevin, Richard Bushell, Lindsay Reynolds, Sian Price, David Bellamy, Deacon Stephen Parker, Richard McQuinn, Tim Baron, Sam Caldwell (PFC)

Apologies: Maria Levesley

The meeting opened with two minutes of contemplative silence.

Welcomes

Sam Caldwell was welcomed as the new member of the Parish Finance Committee. He reported he had been in touch with Derek Hemmingfield and the accounts were in order. Tim Baron was welcomed as an addition to Maria to report on the J&P proposals.

Matters Arising

  • The trees have been cut back and it was felt that the work was done well.
  • Maria has cleaned all the chairs in the Hall. The Parish Council thanked Maria for doing this. It was felt that there are now in a good state and new covers are not required.
  • The bike rack has been ordered by David Bellamy. Help will be needed when this is ready to fix. Sam offered to help with this.
  • The Parish walk went well. It was agreed that the walks should continue perhaps twice a year.
  • One person attending an event at the church reported difficulties with getting a wheelchair up the ramp. Most people pushing wheelchairs to the church have no problem with the ramp. The person reporting difficulties was told that help would be on offer if they came into the church to ask.

Other matters

1. Coming out of the car park can be difficult as there is limited visibility at times due to cars parked right on the corner of the entrance.

Action: Mike to put a note into the Franciscan to ask parishioners not to park in a manner that blocks the view to the right for people exiting.

2. The current Parish whatsapp group was developed during the time when we had vurch and is often used for social exchanges rather than parish business or information. It was felt that a new whatsapp group would be useful. All parishioners would be invited to join and it would be used to share Parish related information only.

Action: Mike to set up a new Parish whatsapp group with invitation to join in the Franciscan.

Justice and Peace

The group presented the CAFOD Live Simply campaign application. Actions around the three categories were discussed:

  • Live Simply
  • Live Sustainably
  • Live in Solidarity with the poor

It was agreed that a near final draft would be shared with the Parish Council before the next meeting so that it could be approved. It was agreed that this was an excellent step for the Parish to take and follows some actions from neighbouring parishes. There were some queries about costs from some of the actions. The launch is expected to take place in late January/early February.

Action: Justice and Peace Group members to provide an estimation of costs for purchase of cleaning products and refreshments after Mass as well as costs associated with the proposed Covenant with the Poor. Near final draft to be submitted to Parish Council before the next meeting.

Spirituality

A Lectio group has formed as a result of the Big Picture. Lindsay is also planning a Bible study group. She will start with an in depth look at St Mark’s gospel.

Action: Lindsay to put a note in the Franciscan about the Bible study group.

Youth Ministry

Seven young people were confirmed after instruction consisting of nine two hours sessions. The Parish Council agreed to pay for a celebratory meal. Richard mentioned that there should be some consideration of equipment provision in the future as there is no wifi in the church and no projector or screen upstairs in the Upper Room. The Parish council thanked Richard Bushell for leading the confirmation class.

A Lenten retreat for young people is being planned. It is expected that there will be another cohort for confirmation in two years. Richard will write an article and send a photo for inclusion in the Chronicle.

Action: Richard to submit article and photo for the Chronicle.

Maintenance

The roof is leaking after heavy rain and wind. The Diocesan Property Manager will come on Friday to inspect and recommend what action is needed.

Any other business

Bob Levesley needs a register of all Parish Volunteers. It was felt that only Eucharistic ministers who visit people in their homes need DBS checks. The list of Eucharistic Ministers is maintained by Kevin Exell.

Action: Mike to refer Bob to Kevin for names and contact details of all Eucharistic Ministers.

Father Kevin presented a number of letters for consideration. Among these were some pertaining to Diocesan banking and fuel. These were passed to Tim Baron for the Justice and Peace Group to deal with.

(Note after meeting: Richard McQuinn has agreed to deal with this)

Richard Bushell agreed to find someone to write a review of the panto for the Chronicle.

Father Kevin read the Closing prayer.

Date of next meeting ** January 2024 at 7:30pm.

Parish Council Minutes – September 2023

12 September 2023, 7:30pm

Present: Mike Campbell (chair), Eva Kaltenthaler (minutes) Stephen Spooner, Father Kevin, Richard Bushell, Lindsay Reynolds, Maria Levesley, Sian Price, David Bellamy

Apologies: Deacon Stephen Parker, Richard McQuinn,

The meeting opened with two minutes of contemplative silence.

Matters Arising

The minutes of the meeting held on 18 July 2023 were approved with the following comments:

  • The new notice board is now up. Thanks to Jenny King for organising this.
  • An agreement has been made with Arborist Care to deal with the trees adjoining 100 Dransfield Rd . The cost of taking down the trees will come to less than £1,000.
  • First issue of the Chronicle has been published and has been well received. There is a lot of content for the Chronicle which will be published bi-monthly.
  • Maria will look into the feasibility of cleaning the Hall chairs and report back.
  • Cycle rack can be funded by the 200 club. There will be place for 6 bikes. David Bellamy has looked at possible options for about £300. The cycle rack will be ordered and David Huges approached about getting it fitted.

Spirituality

A report on the Big Picture has been published in the Chronicle and the feedback comments will be synthesised and shared.  The group is looking at next steps regarding future courses/events.

Justice and Peace

The group gave an update on the CAFOD Live Simply campaign. The action plan is being developed and will include actions around the three categories:

  • Live Simply
  • Live Sustainably
  • Live in Solidarity with the poor

An update will be presented at the next Parish Council meeting. The aim is to launch the campaign during Advent.

Youth Ministry

Confirmation preparation will start this week. Seven people have come forward for confirmation. This will be a 8-10 week programme. A date for confirmation has yet to be set.

The youth group will start again soon and has about 6 members.

Other activities

Alan and Clare Wenham would like to hold a used book sale with proceeds to go to CAFOD. This will run between mid November and mid December.  This was agreed.

A Parish walk will be held on 24 September at 2pm starting in Rivelin Valley. Mike Campbell is organising this.

There was some discussion on how we can welcome new parishioners to the Parish as well as ensure we have their details for the Parish register. It was agreed that cards will be available with the hymnals to be distributed by the Welcomers to new parishioners. Mike Campbell will produce the cards.

The Parish Day will be held on 1 October. Mike will put a note in the Franciscan about this. Parishioners will be encouraged to bring cake and a donation for the Foodbank.

Father Kevin has received an e-mail from someone visiting the church saying that pushing a wheelchair from the car park was very difficult. There was discussion about how to make access to the church easier for wheelchair users. A range of options were discussed.

Father Kevin read the Closing prayer. Date of next meeting  Tuesday 14th November 2023 at 7:30pm.

Parish Council Minutes – July 2023

18 July 2023, 7:30pm

Present: Mike Campbell (chair), Father Kevin, Deacon Stephen Parker Sian Price, and Richard McQuinn.

Apologies: Eva Kaltenthaler, Stephen Spooner, Richard Bushell, Lindsay Reynolds and Maria Levesey

Parishioners Attending: David Bellamy, Jenny King and Miriam Mawimba

Opening Prayer: Two minute meditation

1.      MINUTES

The minutes of the meeting held on 11 May 2023 were approved.

Matters Arising

•        Parish Website: Mike had already done some work on updating the website.  Father Kevin still has a list of items that need removing. He will send these to Mike.

•        Financial Support: The parish had given Benedict Yewdall £100 to participate as a support worker in the Diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes and £300 to Isabel Ruvinski to attend the World Youth Day in Portugal later in the year.  They would be asked to make a brief report on their attendance in due course.

•        Garden Benches: These had now been removed due to their poor state of repair and as younger members of the public were using them inappropriately.

•        Hall Chairs: These still needed some cleaning. The best method had yet to be explored.  One suggestion is that Tesco’s Rug Doctor might also be used to clean upholstery.

•        Finances:  A new member of the Parish Finance Committee is being sought.  A potential candidate had possibly been identified, who would be contacted by Mike.

2.      SPIRITUALITY

•        Lenten Retreat: Stephen reported that he believed this had been a success.

•        Big Picture: This course had now been run. Lindsay Reynolds had circulated a report on behalf of herself and the other three organisers Geraldine Houlton, Diane Rossiter and Clare Byrne.  The course ran from March 21st to July 11th with 13 evening session and had an average of 25 attendees.  The verbal feedback during the course was very positive and this was borne out by the high attendance rate and the enthusiasm of the participants. Final written feedback had yet to be analysed but would be reported on in due course.

3.      JUSTICE AND PEACE

Sian Price explained the ‘Live Simply’ campaign was gathering momentum with parishioners being canvased for ideas and suggestions.  Many ideas had been received and were being reviewed such as:

•        A virtual equipment list which parishioners would be prepared to allow other parishioners to borrow and use in order to avoid additional purchase of such items that were infrequently used.

•        Green projects for younger parishioners – bee hotels, bug hotels, bird baths, rewilding patch, in the appropriate locations of the parish grounds and garden

•        Holding the Childrens Liturgy and parish meeting such as committee meetings in the parish garden.

•        Acquiring a bicycle rack of up to 4-8 bike capacity.

•        Use of Fair-Trade tea and coffee.

4.      YOUTH MINISTRY

No report was made on this occasion. The Council noted the donations reported earlier in the meeting.

5.      NEW NOTICE BOARD

It had been agreed a new wooden notice board would be sited in the parish grounds close to and on the right-hand side of the main path entrance on Sandyagte Road, sized 4 feet by 3 feet.

Jenny King had already circulated the proposed wording for the new notice board. St Wilfred’s could supply the main notice board, but it was currently understood the parish would have to provide posts and site the board.

It was noted that St Francis was one of only a few churches that was regularly left open during the day and not just at service times. It was agreed a balance had to be struck between drawing attention to the church and possibility of prayer and the ongoing security of the premises. 

Following some further discussion, it was agreed the wording of the Notice Board should be be: 

WELCOME
St Francis of Assisi Catholic Church
A Place of Peace and Prayer
Sunday Mass 11 a.m.
www.stfrancisrc-sheffield.org.uk

Jenny king undertook to get a fee estimate from Saint Wilfred’s.

6.      FINANCIAL SUPPORT OF LOCAL CHARITIES AND GOOD CAUSES

It was suggested that it might be appropriate for the parish to set aside a small percentage or fixed sum of its annual income to be donated to local charities or good causes each year.

Following discussion, the Parish Council agreed to this suggestion in principle.  It was also agreed that the Justice and Peace Group should be the appropriate body to determine which group received the payment, paying attention to suggestions from parishioners.  Additionally, efforts should be made to ensure charities and groups who did not normally receive high level of funds should especially be considered.

7.      GROUNDS MAINTENANCE

The Council noted a neighbour had reported 2 trees situated at the rear of the car park were overhanging his garden and blocking his light and enjoyment of his house and garden.

The Council also noted a further neighbour had requested the ivy and excess bush growth be removed or cut back from or close to the retaining wall, so that the wall to his garden on the St Francis side could be gradually repaired over time.  Father Kevin reported that had already been achieved by the gardeners during their latest visit.  The neighbour had also asked if the parish could contribute financially in some way to the upkeep of the wall.

The Council considered the above 2 matters as both reasonable requests from neighbours and required a reasonable response, rather than one based on strict legal necessity.

Mike Campbell and David Bellamy undertook to explore the cost of removing, crown thinning or pollarding the trees at the back of the car park with a local tree surgeon.  This should probably be best undertaken in the autumn and would involve some expense; it being noted £3,000 had been spent on similar activities three years ago.

Mike Campbell undertook to explore with Ed Whitaker whether it was appropriate to make any financial contribution to the retaining wall renewal given the retaining was the neighbours property and responsibility.   

8.      ANY OTHER BUSINESS

Prayers For Peace: It was suggested that a more formal Prayer for Peace could be introduced at the end of Mass.  Father Kevin pointed out that this was perhaps best left in the biddings prayers, as was already done on a regular basis.

Tabletop Sales: It was suggested that the Parish could occasionally organise Tabletop Sales at which parishioners could pay to take a table and sell unwanted items, keeping the proceeds themselves or donate items to a parish table for which proceed would go to the parish.  It was decided this suggestion need some further thought as it would require some organisation.

Parish Newsletter:  It was suggested that a Parish Newsletter could be published in addition to the weekly Franciscan.  This new newsletter would be to include more details of parish activities.  Jenny King and David Bellamy undertook to explore this in more detail.

Parish WhatsApp:  Mike Campbell agreed to investigate the status of the parish WhatsApp group formed during the covid pandemic and whether new parishioners were being invited to join the same.  

Father Kevin read the closing prayer.

At the end of the meeting, the Parish Council and attendees inspected the wall, the trees that needed pruning as well as the potential sites for the new Notice Board and the bike racks

Date of next meeting 12 September 2023 (Thursday) at 7:30pm.

Parish Council Minutes – May 2023

St Francis of Assisi Parish Council Minutes

12 May 2023, 7:30pm

Present: Mike Campbell (chair and minutes), Maria Levesley, Sian Price, Father Kevin, and Richard McQuinn.

Apologies: Deacon Stephen Parker,  Eva Kaltenthaler  Stephen Spooner, Richard Bushell, Lindsay Reynolds

Opening prayer was said by Father Kevin

Matters Arising

The minutes of the meeting held on 14 March 2023 were approved. The reading of the notices by the Readers has improved the audibility of them, and no reader has demurred.

Parish website

Mike has sent some updates to Paul Middlemas.  Father Kevin has a list of items that need removing. He will send this to Mike

Finances

The annual financial report was presented at the AGM. The Parish is in good financial health. Some members of the Finance Committee would like to stand down. Replacement members are being sought.

Spirituality

  • A Lenten day retreat run by Deacon Stephen Parker was held on 22 April 2023.
  • The Big Picture course started on 21 March and is running successfully.
  • A Taize evening was held on 29 March.

Justice and Peace

Maria Levesley explained the ‘Live Simply’ campaign and requested permission for a notice board in the Narthex to advertise it, with a few minutes after the notices at Mass on Sunday to point it out.

There is currently no CAFOD representative for St Francis so Angela Powell will send Mike a monthly update and he will highlight any important items for the Franciscan.

Youth Ministry

The Council considered requests from Jonathan Yewdall to fund students from St Francis to World Youth Day and on the Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes. It was unclear what the costs were from the template letter from Sue McDonald and Mike said he would clarify. (Note after the meeting : Sue replied and the cost per student is £1200 for WYD and we have 1 student going. The Diocese has already paid for 12 students). Mike to ask Jonathan about numbers of students and amounts requested. (done)

Any Other Business

Notice board

Mike reported that Jenny King would facilitate a Church notice board on the church border with Sandygate Rd. St Wilfred’s can make one. The Council thought this was a good idea but suggested that it was designed so that it was flexible in what it displayed. Fr Kevin suggested an invitation to come in and pray, since the Church is open for prayer during the day but is rarely used. Mike to encourage Jenny.

Garden

Fr Kevin reported that there had been a few young people who appeared to think the church car park garden was a public space and had sat on the garden benches. The Council looked at the benches, which most of the Parish would be unaware of, and thought they should be removed, either to a dump, or somewhere on Sharrow Vale to recycle. The gardeners have a van and may be willing to do this for a fee.

Also the exterior paint work of the Church needs redoing, but unclear whether this was the Diocese’s responsibility.

Hall Chairs

Lindsay mentioned (by email) the poor state of the Hall chairs. Maria said she would be happy to help clean them, as was Sian. Perhaps a small working group could be set up to do this?

Father Kevin read the Closing prayer.

Date of next meeting: 11 July 2023 (Thursday) at 7:30pm.

St Francis of Assisi AGM 2023

27 April 2023, 7:30pm

Attendees

Mike Campbell (chair)        Stephen Spooner
Llindsay ReynoldsDeacon Stephen Parker
Jacinta CampbellBobbo Levesley
Derek HemmingfieldJayne Middlemas
Father KevinPaul Middlemas
Jenny KingRichard McQuinn
Edmund KingBelinda Barber
Angela Powell (for CAFOD)Richard Bushell
Clare ByrneEva Kaltenthaler (minutes)

Father Kevin led the Opening Prayer.

1. Financial Report

Derek Hemmingfield presented the financial report. Edmund King asked if we are receiving any income from renting out the Hall and if the Hall will be used again. Groups who have used in the past are no longer meeting so don’t require the use of the Hall anymore. The Dance Club are meeting elsewhere now.

Edmund asked if any maintenance work needed doing.  The carpet at the altar needs cleaning and probably replacing. Flooring throughout the church and house will at some stage need replacing. The upper room is a bit dated.

Stephen Parker said that although there is currently a surplus in the accounts it is expected that heating and lighting costs will increase as well as the payment needed for the Diocesan assessment so caution is needed before we start spending. Father Kevin said that there are some issues in the church and house that need sorting out and asked that there be a maintenance person on the Parish Council to look at getting these done.

Action: Parish Council to identify a member to organise sorting out maintenance issues.

It was agreed that there are some dangers with keeping a big surplus so we may need to spend some of the surplus to avoid it being taken away. Mike thanked Derek for presenting the financial report.

2. CAFOD

Angela Powell from CAFOD thanked the parish for their support to CAFOD, especially Stephen Spooner. Angela described some of the resources available for parishes and activities of CAFOD. Angela asked if a speaker from CAFOD could come and speak after Mass to help find a new CAFOD representative for the Parish. This was not considered to be useful at this stage as there have already been many months of effort to find a new representative. It was hoped that eventually a new representative will come forward. In the mean time Angela will send all CAFOD information directly to Mike.

It was noted that the Dance Club has raised £1800 for CAFOD as well as £2000 for the air ambulance and the Children’s Hospital.

3. Reports from Parish Council Subgroups

Justice and Peace – Stephen Spooner

Stephen described the CAFOD Live Simply campaign which is just getting started in the Parish. The group is looking at ways to get the Parish on board with this initiative. Maria Levesley will lead on this. Stephen also mentioned how well the Foodbank donations are going. There are six dedicated drivers who take the donations to S2 Foodbank and the shopping trolley in the Narthex has helped to encourage parishioners to increase their donations.

Liturgy and Spirituality – Deacon Stephen Parker

Stephen said that we have an active Baptismal preparation group with more people coming forward for Baptism. A new confirmation group will start soon.

Stephen thanked all those musicians, readers, altar servers and others providing support to the liturgy. 

Other activities have included the wonderful Taizé evenings.  Sister Helen gave a series of very well received Advent Talks.

Lindsay Reynolds gave an update on the Big Picture course which is currently running. Thirty people have signed up to take part. The group has been very enthusiastic.  Both St William’s and St Vincent’s were sent invitations to take part. The course will run until July.

Pastoral Care – Mike Campbell

Anne Shepherd has led this group for many years and would now like to stand down. She has actively liaised with other churches in the area. Father Kevin said connections with the local churches are good. Mike thanked Anne for her dedicated service to Pastoral Care.

Action: Parish Council to identify a replacement for Pastoral Care.

Youth Ministry – Richard Bushell

Richard said that the Youth Group currently has 8 members.  This group is for those in year 10 and over. Young people are very involved in many aspects of our Parish, Including as altar servers and musicians. The aim is to have a Youth Mass twice each year. There are 11 children signed up for First Communion and eight for confirmation. 

Clare Byrne gave an update on Children’s Liturgy. There are currently between 4-12 children regularly attending with four adults assisting. Clare is hoping to recruit more helpers and stand down herself.

Father Kevin mentioned a request for donations for young people to go to Lourdes and attend the Youth Day. This will be discussed at the next Parish Council meeting.

Action: Parish Council to discuss donations to Lourdes and Youth Day attendees.

4. Chair’s Report

Mike mentioned that the screens between the church and Hall are now closed due to the reduced COVID risk but may need to be opened up again in the future.

Mike thanked all those who do so much to support the Parish including those who serve tea and coffee after Mass, readers, flower arrangers and those involved with safeguarding.  Mike thanked the Parish Council members and mentioned that the Parish Council had recently agreed to funding new music stands and robes for the altar servers.

5. Views and Suggestions from the Parish

No concerns were raised. Bobbo gave a brief update on safeguarding in the Diocese. 

Jenny King asked if the notice board on the road could be made a bit more welcoming and visible. Stephen Spooner suggested that St Wilfrid’s had a workshop and could make a new sign for us.

Action: Parish Council to discuss getting a new sign made.

Father Kevin read a few notices which will be dealt with at the next Parish Council meeting.

No new members came forward so the Parish Council will need to look at recruiting new members.

Action: Parish Council to recruit new members.

The Closing Prayer was read by Father Kevin.

Minutes St Francis Parish Council meeting March 14th 2023 at 19:30

Present: Mike Campbell (chair), Eva Kaltenthaler (minutes) Stephen Spooner, Father Kevin, Richard Bushell, and Richard McQuinn, Anne Shepherd, Lindsay Reynolds

Apologies: Deacon Stephen Parker, Maria Levesley, Sian Price,

Opening prayer was said by Father Kevin

Matters Arising

The minutes of the meeting held on 11 January 2023 were approved with the following comments:

  • David Hughes is replacing light bulbs as they go.
  • The Baptism Team consists of Geraldine Houlton, Vicky Igoe, Richard McQuinn and Louise Garnett.

Parish website

Many of the items on the website are out of date. For example, the Dance Club no longer meets at St Francis and Little Fishes no longer takes place. Father Kevin has a list of items that need removing. He will send this to Mike who will discuss suggested revisions to the website with Alan.

Finances

The music group has now purchased the required items and they are in use. There was also a request for new vestments for altar servers for £308 from Jonathan Yewdall. This was approved by the Parish Council.

A financial report will be presented at the AGM. Some members of the Finance Committee would like to stand down. Replacement members are being sought.

Spirituality

A number of Spirituality activities have been planned:

  • A Lenten day retreat run by Deacon Stephen Parker will be held on 22 April 2023.
  • The Big Picture course starts on 21 March. Thirty one people have signed up to attend including some from other parishes. The 200 Club will pay for the books. The Parish Council thanked the 200 Club for paying for materials and the organisers of this course for all the hard work they have put into making this possible: Lindsay Reynolds, Clare Byrnes, Geraldine Houlton and Diane Rossiter.
  • A Taize evening will be held on 29 March.

Sacramental preparation

The confirmation programme will start in September. There are currently six candidates and this may go up to eight. Richard Bussell is leading this.

Pastoral Care and Community

Ann Shepherd mentioned that there have been no events scheduled over the past few months. She is in contact with the other churches. There is currently some interest in the Antioch Church and the ecumenical publication Arise. There focus is on praying for every street in Sheffield.

Justice and Peace

Stephen Spooner reported that the group have started work on the CAFOD Live Simply campaign. The group has several new members. There is currently no CAFOD representative for St Francis.

Youth Ministry

The youth group has regular meetings every month. They are planning another Youth Mass sometime over the next few months.

Other activities

The soup lunch on Ash Wednesday did not take place due to road works outside the church. It was agreed that a cake afternoon will be held after Easter. There will be a Parish Walk after Easter.

The hut in the garden has blown over in the recent bad weather. There are a lot of gardening supplies which now need to be given away. A new hut is not needed.

It was noted that some people have said they are unable to hear the notices read after Mass. It was suggested that the readers could read the notices highlighted by Father Kevin. Mike will e-mail Alan Wenham to let the readers know about this. This will begin after Easter.

We may need more Eucharistic Ministers. Mike will e-mail Kevin Exell to see if he might find enough Eucharistic Ministers from those who served in this role pre-covid.

A replacement for running the 200 Club is needed. Hopefully someone can be found soon. Ann Shepherd indicated she had someone in mind.

Note after meeting: Mike emailed Kevin Exell with suggestions for Eucharistic Ministers and thanked him for his work with the 200 club.

AGM

The next AGM will be held on 27th April at 7:30pm. All group leads to send a brief summary of activities over the past year to Eva for inclusion in the Annual Report. Mike will contact Derek Hemmingfield about presenting a financial report at the meeting. All Parish Council members were asked to bring cake. Tea and coffee will be provided.

Father Kevin read the Closing prayer.

Date of next meeting 11 May 2023 (Thursday) at 7:30pm.

Minutes St Francis Parish Council meeting January 11th 2023 at 19:00

Present: Mike Campbell (chair), Eva Kaltenthaler (minutes) Stephen Spooner, Father Kevin, Sian Price, Maria Levesley, Richard Bushell, Deacon Stephen Parker, and Richard McQuinn..

Apologies: Anne Shepherd, Lindsay Reynolds

Opening prayer was said by Father Kevin

Matters Arising

Minutes of the meeting held on 8 Nov 2022 were approved.

Parish Council starting time.

It was agreed to start the meetings at 7.30pm in future.

Church maintenance

David Hughes has replaced all light bulbs with LED bulbs.  

Parish Walk

The next Parish walk will be held around Easter time.

Spirituality

A number of Spirituality activities have been planned:

  • A Lenten day retreat run by Deacon Stephen Parker will be held on 4 March 2023. This will be on Centering Prayer
  • There will be another Parish retreat held in autumn on St Paul. Deacon Stephen Parker will lead this.
  • The Big Picture course will be held in the Spring.
  • A Taize evening will be held in Lent. The Parish Council thanked the musicians who ran the very welcome Taize event held in Advent. It was suggested that the Taize evenings could be more widely advertised in the future.

Sacramental preparation

We now have a Baptism preparation team to prepare families for baptism.

A note will go into the Franciscan to find out how many people are ready for confirmation. A date for confirmation will be agreed with Bishop Ralph. Stephen Parker and Richard Bushell are leading this and hope to get at least one female volunteer to help. Once it is clear how many people are interested, the course will be designed. Still to be discussed is the level of parental involvement. Depending on numbers, we may join up with St Williams for confirmation.

Pastoral Care and Community

Ann Shepherd attended the Carol Service on 11 December at Tapton Hill Congregational Church.

Justice and Peace

Plans for starting with the CAFOD Live Simply campaign were discussed. The group are meeting with the St Vincent’s group tomorrow. The Justice and Peace Group agreed to keep the Parish Council informed of their progress.

Two CAFOD World gift water supplies will be purchased from the funds raised during the Advent fund raiser. The Panto raised £2400 for CAFOD. The Parish Council thanked all those involved in the panto, which was excellent.

Stephen Spooner announced that he will be resigning as the Parish CAFOD representative after serving in this role for many years. He will put a note in the Franciscan to see if anyone is interested in taking on this role. If no one comes forward, he will inform the Parish Council at the next meeting.

Youth Ministry

The youth group has regular meetings and were involved in the Advent Taize service. They are still planning to hold a Parish evening event in the next couple of months.

Stephen P and Richard will discuss Confirmation. Other Parishes have started Confirmations again. We may have joint Confirmation classes with St Williams.

Other activities

It was agreed that the standard procedure will be for welcomers to leave the door to the church open during Mass. The door to the outside should remained closed, at least during the colder months.

Action: Mike to e-mail Alan to inform the welcomers of this decision.

As the system for opening the screens at the back of the church is quite fragile and not many people seem to be using the Hall during Mass it was agreed that the screens will remain closed after this Sunday.

Action: Mike to put a note in Franciscan about this.

The Nativity children’s service was very well attended this year and very well organised by Nathaniel Dingle. Mike will send a letter of thanks on behalf of the Parish Council.

The Parish website is very out of date. All Parish Council members to look at the webpages to identify what needs changing.

Action: Mike to compile a list of changes needed.

There has been a request for a soup lunch to be held on Ash Wednesday.

Action: Mike to find someone to organise the soup lunch.

Father Kevin read the Closing prayer.

Date of next meeting 14 March 2023 at 7:30pm.

Minutes St Francis Parish Council meeting November 8th 2022 at 19:00

Present: Mike Campbell (chair), Eva Kaltenthaler (minutes) Stephen Spooner, Father Kevin, Sian Price, Maria Levesley, Richard Bushell, Deacon Stephen Parker, Anne Shepherd, Lindsay Reynolds and Paul Middlemas.

Apologies: Richard McQuinn

Opening prayer was said by Father Kevin

Parish Council E-mail address

Paul explained that the Parish Council has an e-mail address that is currently being managed by Anthony Rossiter, who is no longer on the Parish Council. A discussion was held as to whether or not it was necessary to keep this e-mail address as it was not used much at all. It was agreed that the Parish e-mail address would be used instead and all relevant e-mails received would be directed to the Parish Council. Paul will make the necessary change to the website to reflect this.

Matters Arising

Minutes of the meeting held on 13 Sept 2022 were approved.

Church hall hire:

The checklist is under development. At present only the History Society is renting the Hall and as this is run by a Parish member a checklist is not required.

Church maintenance

David Hughes is replacing some lamps with LED ones. However, the purchased lamps do not work with the current fittings. The fittings may need to be replaced.

The flooring in the church is worn and stained in places. Replacement of the carpet will be considered in the future.

Lifts to Mass

Clare Morgan has kindly agreed to coordinate lifts to Mass. One person came for two weeks and Clare transported them. Currently there is no one offering or needing lifts to Mass. Information on lifts to Mass will go on the website. Paul will organise this.

Parish Walk

The Parish Walk took place on 6 November and was attended by 23 people. It was agreed that walks for the Parish would be held about three times each year. The next one will take place after Christmas and then around Easter organised by Mike and Nikki Kearsley

Spirituality

A number of Spirituality activities have been planned:

  • A Lenten day retreat run by Deacon Stephen Parker will be held on 4 March 2023.
  • A Taize evening in Advent to be led by Maria Levesley, date to be announced shortly.
  • The Big Picture course will be held in the new year. This is a 12-week course and may be split into two parts.

There was some discussion about holding an evening session on the Synod. The evening would be focussed on listening to each other and how we would continue with the Synodial process. In the first instance the Parish Council might meet to do this.

Pastoral Care and Community

Events are starting to happen again across the Christian community in the area. There will be a Carol singing and coffee event on 28 November at Stephen Hill Methodist Church.

On 11 December Tapton Hill Congregational Church will have a Carol Service at 2:45pm with the Loxley Silver Band.

St Luke’s has a new vicar. Anne Shepherd will keep us up to date on planned events in the area and how St Francis Church might contribute to these.

Justice and Peace

Maria talked about the Eco church movement. The Justice and Peace Group had recently agreed to sign up to this scheme. However, as a Catholic church we will need to follow Live Simply instead. This will be taken up by the Justice and Peace Group at their next meeting in January.

Stephen S spoke about raising funds for a CAFOD World Gift this Advent. He suggested a water supply costing £750. He will make a poster of a Christmas tree and sell stickers after Mass for this. A JustGiving page will be set up for this. Information will go into the Franciscan soon.

Youth Ministry

The youth group now has seven members and they meet once a month. They will be running a Youth Mass for Christ the King on the 21st November. The group will be working on a Board Games event for the Parish in the New Year.

Stephen P and Richard will discuss Confirmation. Other Parishes have started Confirmations again. We may have joint Confirmation classes with St Williams.

Other activities

The Screen will remain open at the back of the church for the time being as it is still being used by Parishioners who feel vulnerable. It was agreed that there should be a standard procedure each Sunday as follows:  the door to the Narthex should stay open and the screen remains open. The main door to the church and windows will remain closed. Welcomers should be informed about the standard procedure.

Action: Mike to e-mail Alan to ask him to inform the welcomers of this decision.

At the beginning of Advent the Offertory procession and collection will resume.

There has been a price increase for the gardeners who look after the grounds around the church. The cost will now be £24.50/hour. This was agreed to be acceptable.

There may be another cake and Foodbank drive after Mass between Epiphany and Lent.

Father Kevin read the Closing prayer.

Date of next meeting 10 January 2023 at 7pm.