Present : Eva, Stephen, Sarah B, Sarah L, Sian, Tim
Apologies : Margaret, Susanne
The key issue for discussion was how as a parish we can support the food bank and how we support CAFOD. There is also the question of how we disseminate info to the parish about issues to do with the charities we support.
CAFOD will lose maybe £5000 of fundraising from St Francis’ through the Dance Club not happening and also the panto which looks inevitably to be cancelled. Food banks are also experiencing high demand, demand that will only increase.
Eva has spoken to Alan who said he could adapt the church’s website to ensure we could have info such as about how to support CAFOD on the front page. Vurch would be another way, to have announcements after Vurch. Eva has also spoken to Mike Campbell who confirmed the church is closed and so donations to the food bank would be difficult.
Sarah B talked about the food banks of Sheffield. All had a poor start during lockdown but since then things have improved quite a lot. Currently none of the food banks are really struggling but S2 have said they would still like donations of food and of cash. S2 are doing 100 parcels a week from the door (no deliveries). Sarah suggests at this time just ensuring there is info about food banks on the website. Currently what is there is quite a general list of what donations are suggested; she would suggest the current needs are on FaceBook so people could check there. Also, there is no suggestion as to how we could give money directly, that might be useful. Things are likely to deteriorate in the future, certainly when furlough ends, but at the moment they’re not so bad. It was agreed the best thing might be to have info on the website as to how to donate but also could give info about how to drop off food in case anyone wanted to do that.
Eva agreed that it would be good to put info on website as to how to give or drop off, but maybe take the list off but refer to FB as to where to find most up to date needs. She could also Alan to change website to show how to make donations, which may be easier given our distance from the food bank.
Sarah L mentioned that of course donations can also be made by dropping off at your local supermarket when shopping.
All agree need is only going to increase so keeping people alert to that would be important.
Stephen : on the CAFOD website there are focuses on Syria, the DRC, and the Rohinga camps where Covid is running riot. For now until we can come up with any fundraising, we could put something on the front of the website, pointing out that CAFOD are desperate, St Francis normally very generous. People could be reminded of all the money they’ve saved on not commuting, buying lunches, holidaying, shopping, not going out. It could also be raised at the notices section at Vurch – Stephen agreed to do that.
There was a discussion about what fundraising might be possible. Sian wondered if we could do equivalent of the May Day walk, ask for virtual sponsorship. Eva felt best thing immediately was to get people to donate. We could then look at how could help make up shortfall going forward. Panto people could look at online performances [need to enquire of them]. Could look at virtual summer fair, a virtual quiz via Zoom, a virtual dream auction [although there are some restrictions on what could be offered due to social distancing], a wine and cheese evening where bring your own but pay, a sponsored virtual walk [six in a walk].
The issue was raised about how to contact those who aren’t coming to Vurch given our lack of contact details. Eva pointed out this is the responsibility of the Parish Council. In the current situation the only way to communicate is email. We believe the PC to be looking at this in relation to letting people know about mass arrangements when the church can reopen.
Sarah L commented that we can begin now but we need the circulation list to be bigger before we get any events up and going. If we meet in Sept/Oct when we have a bigger contact list we could discuss what else we might be able to do.
Eva mentioned that Fr Kevin is worried about the lack of support for other charities we ordinarily support. Again, the problem is how to make that known to people which takes us back to the website as the only option at the moment.
We agree that our initial focus is on getting something on the front page of the website about CAFOD and the food bank. – I don’t think we agreed who would take this forward, was it Eva and Stephen (like everything else!)?
Talk to Nick Neale and/or Fr Kevin about need to have a way of communicating with the parish.
Tim mentioned that Nick Neale and others were to be delivering leaflets to parishioners who don’t go to Vurch or have email addresses, we could use that as a communication method. Comment was made that it would be good to have a bulletin again and to deliver hard copies.
Stephen will liaise with the parish council about whether we can piggy back on the list to share information. If not, they could maybe share info for us.
Agree we will meet again on 9 September and Eva will circulate the Zoom link nearer the time.