Parish Council Minutes – Tuesday 17 March 2015


  • Fr Kevin Thornton
  • Stephen Spooner (Chair)
  • Belinda Barber
  • Jacinta Campbell
  • Gill Foster
  • John Green
  • Eva Kaltenthaler
  • Jayne Middlemas (minutes)
  • Greg Ryan
  • Anne Shepherd


  • Jim Conway
  • Stephen Parker

1. Fr. Kevin led the prayer.

2. The minutes of the last meeting were approved.

3. Arrangements for AGM in May.

We discussed whether to hold the AGM on a Tuesday evening as last year or to move back to Sunday after Mass instead. It was agreed that having a single Mass on a Sunday didn’t work very well and the preference was to keep to Tuesday evening. The date was agreed as Tuesday 19th May 2015. The evening Mass would be moved to 7pm and the AGM would start at 7:30pm.

Stephen mentioned that several parishioners had felt that last year’s AGM was too brief and that there should have been verbal reports from each section. It was agreed that each sector would nominate a member to speak for a couple of minutes about their sector’s activity over the previous year and also any plans for the coming year. Stephen would also speak about issues the Parish Council would like to address in the future and invite further ideas. Derek Hemmingfield would be asked to present the financial accounts for the past year. Written reports would be produced and displayed on the Church wall and website as usual.

It was agreed that wine and soft drinks should be provided at the start of the meeting and tea, coffee or wine and cakes at the end of the meeting. Stephen agreed to arrange the drinks and several Parish Councillors agreed to bake cakes.

It was agreed that the AGM should be publicised in the Franciscan and also that there should be a poster in the narthex advertising it. Jayne agreed to produce a poster.

It was also noted that six Parish Councillors were due to step down which would leave only five members. The constitution states that there should be a minimum of nine Parish Councillors (in addition to Parish Priest) so there is an urgent need to recruit at least four (preferably more) new members. It was agreed that Jayne would put a note in the Franciscan requesting new members and that existing Parish Councillors would try to recruit new members personally. If sufficient new members could not be recruited then the Parish Council would need to look at changing the constitution and combining some of the sectors or leaving them without a representative.

4. The Call, the Journey & the Mission.

Parish Councillors had read the document prepared by the Bishops of England and Wales. It was agreed that individual responses were more appropriate than a joint response collating views from across the Parish. It was agreed that we should continue to encourage parishioners to respond by including it in the Franciscan.

5. Church maintenance.

The first stage of the refurbishment had been completed. This included new lights and hand dryers in the toilets and the fitting of a dishwasher in the kitchen. John was still trying to identify a suitable time for the work on the floors to take place.

John had received a request for redecoration of the hall, new curtains and the fitting of blackout blinds for the roof windows. It was agreed that blackout blinds should be fitted and that the hall, kitchen and toilets did need repainting. However, the existing curtains were felt to be adequate. Stephen agreed to contact a local decorator for a price for the repainting work. John agreed to find out prices for suitable blackout blinds.

Jim had been looking at getting a notice for the car park. St Wilfrid’s had said they could make one but that they wouldn’t be able to put it

6. Communications.

Jayne reported that she had been asked whether the children’s sheet could be added to the church website each week as a way of encouraging children to understand the Gospel if they didn’t come to Church each week. She sought the views of the Parish Council on whether they thought that people would use it enough to justify the time involved. The Parish Council didn’t feel that many people would use it and so decided that we should not put it on the website. Jayne will inform Louise of this decision. Jayne also agreed to explore existing internet resources explaining the Gospel to children and consider providing a link to these from our website and also occasionally in the Franciscan.

7. Pastoral Care and Community.

There is a poster in the narthex about an Ethiopian afternoon in April organised by Hallam Churches Together. There will also be the ‘Good Sing’ at Nether Green Methodist Church in May.

8. Justice and Peace.

The next Justice and Peace meeting will be at the end of April.

9. Spirituality.

There is a Taizé service next Tuesday and a day on ‘Music and Spirituality’ on Saturday 18th April.

10. Nurture

Nothing new to report.

11. Any other business.

Stephen reported that there is a band within the Parish who would be willing to play at a Parish Social though they would prefer to use the Parish Centre at St John’s Ranmoor rather than the Assisi Hall as the acoustics were better. It was agreed that it would be good to have some social events for the Parish but the current Parish Councillors felt that it would be better to hold them in the Assisi Hall to reduce costs (St John charge £50/hour so the cost for hall hire was likely to be £250 to allow rehearsal, setting up and clearing away time). It was agreed that the Parish Council should try to form a social committee after the AGM and they should consider this further.

Greg Ryan suggested considering some type of lay formation within the parish.

Father Kevin reported that British Gas had contacted him offering to remove the standing charge if he would sign a two or three year contract. As this was a considerable saving he had agreed. The Parish Council endorsed this decision.

The contract for the photocopier ran out in August. We will be getting a new photocopier for a slightly lower fee.

12. The meeting closed with a prayer at 9:30pm.

Next meetings:

AGM – Tuesday 19th May. Normal meeting – Tuesday 21st July.

Action points.

  • Each group to produce a written report for the AGM and send to Jayne by Sunday 3rd May.
  • Jayne to format sector reports, add to church website and print for church wall.
  • Stephen to ask Derek Hemmingfield to present the financial report.
  • Stephen to arrange drinks for the AGM.
  • Volunteers to bake cakes for the AGM.
  • Jayne to produce a poster advertising the AGM.
  • Jayne to put a note in the Franciscan requesting new Parish Councillors.
  • All to speak to parishioners and encourage them to join the Parish Council.
  • Stephen to obtain a price for repainting the hall, kitchen and toilets.
  • John to find out prices for blackout blinds.
  • John to continue to liaise with Clare Gavin to identify a suitable time for the work on the floors.
  • Jayne to inform Louise that the Parish Council don’t think the children’s sheet should be added to the website.
  • Jayne to explore internet resources explaining the Gospel to children.

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