THE MINUTES OF ST MARGARET MARY’S
PARISH MEETING HELD ON 22ND JANUARY 2017
Led by Lyndsay Docherty, Joe and Diane Oliver
Joe thanked everyone for
coming to us today.
Joe informed everyone that
immediately after today’s meeting, Lyndsay has been given a musical role in the
Churches Together Service at Holy Cross in Eccles at which Bishop Arnold is
giving the address. Hopefully, such missionary and musical projects like this
will be on our agenda again in the future. We wish Lyndsay good luck at this
special occasion with the Bishop, remembering with gratitude his last meeting
with us here in this parish hall.
Diane then started the
meeting with our opening prayer.
2. OPENING PRAYER
We ask you for the gift of Discernment,
we may see the way You wish us to go,
the gift of Wisdom, that we may make the right choices,
the gift of Courage, that we may see decisions delivered and completed
by our actions,
the values of the Gospel may determine our every step,
that You, Lord, will stay with us on our journey. Amen.”
then continued the meeting.
3.DISTRIBUTION AND READING OF THE MINUTES OF THE 4th
DECEMBER 2016 MEETING
Diane reminded everyone that as they came into the
hall they received copies of the minutes of the last meeting. She hoped they
had a chance to scan them and wondered if anyone had any issues arising from
Joe then added that if anyone had something they
wanted to raise, this could be done at the end of the meeting under ‘Any
Diane continued with a reminder that these minutes
are already on our website. www.smmcc.org.uk.
4. DIANE: THE PASTORAL LETTER FOR THE PARISH OF ST. MARGARET MARY, NEW
MOSTON – FROM JOHN ARNOLD, BISHOP OF SALFORD
Diane began the distribution of the Bishop’s
letter to our parish, giving everyone a chance to fully appreciate what was
She pointed out that one paragraph had special
significance for our identity and for our future role, namely the third
paragraph down, reading it out as follows:
“In the case of this parish of Saint Margaret
Mary, New Moston, it is proposed that it amalgamates with the Parishes of St
Dunstan, Moston and St John Vianney, Moston, to form ONE NEW PARISH.
This will formalise the current working relationship between these Parishes.
There is no proposal to close any of the three churches, but this can be
considered when consulting further about this amalgamation.”
She continued to explain that this has now led us
to break down the elements which are particularly significant for us in the
At this point, Joe distributed a written breakdown
of these important elements prior to Lyndsay’s delivery of their key points.
ADDRESSED THE NEW PROPOSAL FOR THE RE-STRUCTURING OF PARISHES WITHIN THE
began as follows: “The document that came our way last week has given us much
pause for thought as to WHAT WILL BE OUR RESPONSE?”
She continued under the heading of ‘Embracing AMALGAMATION’:
the issue of the parity of status between our three churches.
She expressed a wish to clarify what amalgamation
means, quoting the document: “The formal canonical process requires that each
constituent parish becomes extinct and that a completely new parish is formed
by their union.” P. 18)
She went on
to say that with this as understood, we need to address the following items,
using the document again as our source, where it clearly outlines the Canon
Law requirements for the administration of a parish (page 6).There needs to
Equal Representation from each church on the Joint Parish Council.
Equal Representation from each church on the Joint Parish Finance
Equal Representation from each church on the Joint Parochial Buildings
Equal Hosting between the three Church venues of all liturgical events,
namely; Vigil Mass and Sunday Masses, Weekday Masses, Holy Day Masses,
Baptisms, Weddings, Funerals and all elements of the Sacramental Programme.
She added that the document clearly states on
p.19, that this stage of our journey rests largely on the redistribution of
responsibilities. “Priests must invite members of the parish communities to
administer many more aspects of parish life. The priest’s primary role must
be one of pastoral care, providing sacraments and encouragement. It must be
the priority of the priest to know the people of his community and their
needs. It must be for others to maintain buildings and administer the
She reflected that this is a big light shining out
to us, our mandate, our open door. She asked: “Do we take those first
outward-facing steps towards that door, to offer all that we are to these new
She continued that with this in mind, Joe would
like to suggest a possible first step, something which must precede all other
initiatives, namely to establish our pastoral relationship with Father
Saunders, our designated parish priest.
JOE: Joe then addressed the meeting and referred everyone to the Agenda, as
it states clearly under item 5, the response just explained by Lyndsay.
He asked if everybody was happy with what we are
doing and if so would they give Diane, Lyndsay and me the authority to go and
see Father Saunders by no later than Tuesday 24th January 2017 and
to put this before him.
A parishioner suggested we did this by a show of
hands. This was done and the verdict was unanimous.
Joe then addressed the issue of Joint Parish
Councils. Appointment protocols have been researched by Lyndsay, who has prepared
a paper entitled ‘A Pastoral Plan for the Future’. This has been on hold
until we knew what was going to happen to St. Margaret Mary’s Church.
For us to be pro-active, Joe asked that the names
of volunteers for these committees be given to us as the end of today’s
meeting. People asked when these meetings were. The St Dunstan Hall Committee
would next be held on 6th February and a St Dunstan’s Finance
Committee would be held also in the first week in February, as shown in their
newsletter. He added that we are currently unaware of when the St Dunstan’s Parish
He added that we need to go to these meetings as
observers, so that we are aware of what to do when the joint parish councils
Joe asked if Marie was still at the meeting and
was informed that unfortunately she had left. Joe told everyone that he was
going to put her name forward as a representative for St. Margaret Mary’s, as
she has done considerable work for the church over the years. Joe said he
would ask her after today’s meeting.
A general discussion then took place as to who
should serve on the committees.
A parishioner suggested that people who wanted to
serve on these committees should put their names on a list at the end of the
meeting so that we can offer a pool of talent to illustrate our support to
this new parish.
Further discussions and views were put forward
about what we could offer in the future and about how could improve our links.
A long standing parishioner, who was unable to
attend today’s meeting, sent a letter, of which the following extracts were
read out: -
“Yes, for the amalgamation of our new parish from
the three churches that make up that parish, to be a successful one, it
requires a solidity of purpose and attitude from all the people of the three
churches. The aim will be to make every person of the new enlarged parish
feel of equal value and opportunity. Together, as the Bishop hopes, let us
become stronger by caring for each other.
St. Dunstan’s, St. John Vianney’s and St. Margaret
Mary’s should look to fostering good inter-church relations. Liturgical and
social events at each church should be supported by members of all three
Joe continued to explain that St. Margaret Mary’s Newsletter
was formed to keep us aware of Anniversaries, Deaths, Sick of our parish and
advertising our meetings, whilst also including the Mass details of all three
churches. He added that it is expected, that once the amalgamation is
complete, we will only need one parish newsletter.
He expressed the feeling that people were aware
that Father Saunders needs more help in running the three parishes, so we all
hoped the Bishop will give him appropriate assistance.
The nuns were asked about their future position in
our community. They confirmed that, as far as they were aware, they would not
be leaving St. Margaret Mary’s parish and they asked everyone to keep on
praying that this proposed new amalgamation works. They also appealed for
concerted prayer that we receive an additional priest to help to manage this
three church amalgamation.
Someone raised the issue of the high repair costs
of St Dunstan’s, with a concern about the drain on our finances in sharing
these astronomical costs. Joe responded that the principle of amalgamation implies
sharing mutual expenses.
Diane then addressed our links with school.
6. DIANE – MAINTAINING LINKS WITH ALL THE PRIMARY SCHOOLS WITHIN THE
RECONSTITUTED MISSIONARY PARISH
began by highlighting that in last Sunday’s Newsletter, it stated that Mr
Sutton’s father has recently deceased. She offered our sincere condolences to
him and his family in behalf of our parish.
went on to affirm that the school link remains a high profile target for us,
as it is a vital missionary outreach to much needed young people and their
continued to say that as the Christmas holidays are over and that we also
know that our church has a future, we can now pursue many opportunities to
bring this generation back into our church, for example by ensuring that St.
Margaret Mary’s Church is used equally, alongside the other two churches, as
a venue for the children’s emerging sacramental life.
on, she introduced Joe’s proposals for some practical remedial work which
needs our attention in the Parish Hall.
7. JOE: - PARISH HALL OF St. Margaret Mary’s
began by suggesting that prior to attending the St Dunstan’s Hall Committee, we
should select the date of Saturday the 4th February 2017 at 9.30am,
to give the parish hall a good clean up. He asked people to volunteer to help
with this. He added that Marie, Rosemary and Anne had done a lot of work in
maintaining the Parish Hall, but we want to repair lights, clean the kitchen,
He explained that this was the first stage in a
practical response, one which relieves the Priest of these matters (as
previously explained by Lyndsay,) and it is also a useful preparation for our
future involvement with the ‘Joint Parochial Buildings Committee’, based on
our need to know our buildings thoroughly.
Lyndsay then took the next item.
8. LYNDSAY: - ANY OTHER BUSINESS
She asked if anyone had any other business they wished to raise.
1/ A parishioner said he had heard that all the priests were
going to meet the Bishop on Wednesday – nobody was aware if this was
2/ Ideas for Future events were expressed as follows:
a/ Have an Easter Fair to include an Easter Bonnet Parade. This
would involve the primary school children and would replace the usual summer
b/ There is a possibility of having a concert by a trio of
singers here on the 19th February 2017 as part of a ‘Sunday Afternoon Tea’.
All parishioners, parents and children would be invited to come.
c/ Missionary outreach to the vibrant Christian Communities
around us who already include us in their many social events. Lyndsay said
she will be organising a concert at St Chad’s Anglican Church in April 2017
and hoped everyone would come along.
3/ A parishioner raised the need for more church cleaners and
also two new hoovers. It was agreed that we would advertise this in the
4/ A parishioner said that as well as encouraging the primary
school children, we should also be involving the senior school children at
our high schools. We hoped this would be possible to achieve in the
5/ Lyndsay was given a written breakdown of an existing
parochial council structure by a parishioner who has extensive experience in
serving on these committees.
9.JOE - SUGGESTIONS FOR THE DATE OF OUR NEXT MEETING
Joe first thanked everyone for sharing their time
and valuable contributions with us today, adding that the meeting took 44
minutes rather than the 30 minutes he had hoped for.
He continued that we now need to pencil in a
convenient date for the next meeting. Sunday the 19th February
2017or Sunday 26th February 2017 and said that we will update you
Diane finished the meeting with our final prayer.
10.DIANE - CONCLUDING PRAYER
Diane referred everyone to look at the back Page
of the Minutes and join in with us in our concluding prayer: -
the Living Body of Christ,
we open ourselves with docility and humility
the newness of God which surprises and surpasses us, but never disappoints
we take up the challenges of our present time,
did Mary our Mother and St Margaret Mary our Patron,
with a new apostolic vision, Amen.