Parish Council Minutes – Wednesday 9 January 2019

Minutes St. Francis Parish Council Meeting 9.1.2019

Present: Fr. Kevin Thornton, Anthony Rossiter, Richard Webster, Lindsay Reynolds, Nick Neale (Chair), Claire Byrne, John Green, Anne Shepherd, Mike Campbell

Apologies: Eva and Stephen Spooner, Phil Rostant, Jacquie Stacey, Deacon Steven Parker.

The meeting began with a prayer

Matters arising from November meeting. 

Youth group:

  • Richard and Richard are leading and focussing on school yrs 10-13 with a 2 hr meeting once per month. So far members have enjoyed a shared meal. Second meeting tonight with 4 expected. Happy to start small and grow. Working on right balance of social and spiritual. In due course we will invite St. Williams yrs 10-13 to join..

Music group:

  • Richard believes it is going well including doing warm up outside church. The warm-up takes place in the hall, since the stairs to the upper room are tricky with instruments. Has being trying to combine different styles. Council had a discussion about having suitable background music (no congregation singing) during communion and then a hymn once distribution finished after the ministers returned to their seats which seemed to receive a general consensus. Also discussion about whether we should have occasional quiet mass.

Parish mass:

  • Nick has a survey planned for around March, details TBC later.
  • Also there was discussion on seating and a consensus that we should we be opening the screens before Mass as a matter of course as to do so at 11 or shortly after is disruptive and often a few extra rows are needed. The screen can be moved very quickly so assume we always do so at 10.55 and have some rows of seats ready. May need a rota to do this.  This would fit in with the music group finishing their practice at 10.55.
  • Newsletters do not need to be folded to make job easier for welcomers. Nick will pass this message on and also suggest that welcomers suggest gently the sharing of newsletters and books among families to ensure we do not run out unnecessarily before mass. We should monitor in general as we may need to purchase a few extra hymn and Mass books.
  • There has been some confusion and discomfort among Eucharist ministers due to lack of clarity about who will undertake the role each week. Nick will talk to Kevin Exell.

Hallam churches

They are organising walk on Good Friday and want to call in to St. Francis for snacks enroute mid-morning. Lunch further on the walk. Council supportive and Anne agreed to take liaison forward.

School admissions

Several families who attend mass have been unsuccessful at getting their children into St Marie’s. Criteria is baptism, siblings, catchment, etc. Basic problem seems to be that genuine demand exceeds supply, so unfortunately some regular mass attendees are missing out. Solution outside of parish council remit as the diocese needs more school spaces.


  • There is a leak in narthex. Diocese sent Martin Brooks and obtained a quote for finding problem (not fixing) which is about £1500 and includes scaffolding. Problem not obvious from simple external inspection.
  • Guttering should be cleaned annually. Diocese will loan a system or we can hire a person they recommend; council agreed to the latter.
  • Hall floor will be done shortly after dance show, quote has been accepted.
  • Problem with the wall opposite the church entrance. It bilges slightly and the pointing has gone in part. Not sure who owns it so need diocese to look at deeds, issues and advise.

The meeting finished with a prayer

Future  meetings;  March 13th and AGM on May 8th.