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 THE MINUTES OF ST MARGARET MARY’S
PARISH MEETING HELD ON 30th OCTOBER 2016
Led by Lyndsay Docherty, Joe and Diane Oliver
   

 
1.WELCOME:
 
Joe thanked everyone for  being at the meeting, especially parents of the Primary School children and others  who may have been there for the first time, He introduced himself and Diane  (parishioners for over thirty years) and Lyndsay Docherty (lifelong  parishioner). Joe expressed his disappointment, as only a few parents attended  the meeting, but he said he would be addressing this later.
 
 
Diane then  started the meeting with our opening prayer.
 
     

 
2. OPENING  PRAYER
 
Father, We ask  you for the gift of Discernment,
 
That we may see  the way You wish us to go,   
 
For the gift of Wisdom,  that we may make the right choices,
 
For the gift of Courage,  that we may see decisions delivered and completed by our actions,
 
That the values  of the Gospel may determine our every step,
 
And that You,  Lord, will stay with us on our journey. Amen.
 
     
 
3.  DISTRIBUTION AND READING  OF THE MINUTES OF THE 2nd OCTOBER 2016 MEETING
 
The minutes of our last official meeting held on the 2nd  October 2016. were distributed. Diane asked everyone to please glance over  them and she reminded everyone that these minutes and other church  information can be found on our new website www.smmcc.org.uk.  
 
 
She then asked everybody  if they were happy with the minutes as they stood. She enquired if there were  any issues arising from them and invited people to raise those matters, but none  were raised.
 
     
 
4. MUTUAL RESPECT -  IT IS NOT JUST  WHAT WE DO TOGETHER BUT HOW WE DO IT
 
Joe then  addressed the meeting. He asked everyone to recall, that at our last meeting,  Lyndsay gave an account of our meeting with Bishop John on 29th September,  which is shown in detail under Item 8 on page 3 of the Minutes, just handed  out.
 
 
Lyndsay then said:  “Our meeting was characterised by  Mutual Respect” with the Bishop.
 
 
She went on to say: “But even  before we met the Bishop, this attitude of ‘Mutual Respect’ was first established in our relationship with you. You have respected us and  trusted us from the outset of this journey and we have respected you in  return, so much so, that between us all, we have created a New Character and Tone for our parish community, one  in which your contributions, written and spoken, have been respected,  valued and included equally.”
 
 
And at the end of  our last meeting, Joe asked for any suggestions of how we can rebuild our  community and very importantly, how we can enjoy our time together.
 
 
Lyndsay then  referred everyone to page 6 of your minutes just distributed, the final  paragraph of which read:
 
 
“Joe finished  this part of the meeting, by asking everyone to think of a suitable community  activity we could carry out and to approach him, Diane and Lyndsay so that  this could be considered”.
 
 
 
 
He explained that  we three had thought of the possibility of a Christmas Fayre before the last meeting,  but did not formally propose it, because we wanted this idea to come from our  Parishioners, as a project viable for them to run, wanted by them all,  packed full of their new and fresh ideas, a Christmas Fayre that would  involve younger parishioners in new ways and create a fresh pattern for this  type of event, in other words a “Fayre  for the Future”.
 
Joe then told  everyone that he and Diane were away in Wales on Sunday 9th  October. On their return, two parishioners informed them that fliers had been  distributed at mass for a Christmas Fayre.
 
 
Lyndsay discovered this on the Monday 10th  October, when parishioners approached her, assuming the fliers came from  herself, Joe and Diane.
 
 
The Fayre was arranged and a date was  decided, without the knowledge of the three of us and more importantly, without  a consultation with the parishioners.
 
 
Joe went on to say: “Mutual respect is the characteristic we want to  foster throughout our whole community, as it is our best safeguard against harmful  disunity, groups working against other groups, not in a respectful  partnership with one another for our common good.”
 
 
So he then asked  how everyone felt about the proposed Christmas Fayre and how they would like  to proceed. He stated that this project is ultimately now in the parishioners’ hands and that we  three will respect whatever they decide.
 
 
A general  discussion then took place: ( Q = Question asked   R=Response  given )
 
 
Q : Who organised the Christmas Fayre? R :Joe  said it came from SMM Presbytery but that we wanted it to come from our  community as the Canon is now retired.
 
 
He added that there  is a clear feeling from many Parishioners that Fayres and other activities  should be discussed and agreed first, not imposed as an order.
 
   
 
Q : Has the school been informed? R :  Joe replied that it had not yet been informed.
 
 
Q : Its seems late. This is the 11th  hour; it will take a lot of preparation, who are the teams, as older Parishioners  are not now capable of carrying this out?
 
 
R: Younger Parishioners responded  enthusiastically, saying they had ideas for stalls they would like to do.  Other Parishioners also said that they  would be willing to help at the Fayre
 
 
To address these  practicalities, Joe asked if it would help if a planning meeting was  organised for the following Sunday, 6th November 2016, after Mass.
 
 
He added that unfortunately he and Diane  would not be able to attend, but that they are willing to help on the day and  with the preparation. He said that in order to plan the Fayre, we need to  know who will volunteer for what. We also need to get new volunteers and to know  how it will be run.
 
 
He added that he would  also ask for Marie to attend the meeting as she and the Canon had initiated this  proposal in the first place.
 
 
It was agreed by  all that such a meeting should take place and be arranged and Joe said that  he would ensure it was advertised in next Sunday’s newsletter.
 
 
A Parishioner  said that at next Sunday’s meeting, a firm decision should be made as to  whether or the Fayre should go ahead, and if not, it should be  cancelled.     
 
 
 
Another  Parishioner asked who was organising it, saying that no List had gone up and  that we do not know where we should put the goods for it. Joe said all this  should be agreed at next week’s meeting.  
 
 
A Parishioner  then asked if Joe, Diane and Lyndsay could now act as our representatives.  Joe thanked her for this, but said at present it was for us all to make  decisions together, but that in the future, when our parochial status is  settled, we would need to set up our own St. Margaret Mary’s Parish Council.
 
Then another question  was asked as to whether we had met with the Canon and Marie under the terms  of our “mutual respect”. She asked what respect had we shown the Canon and  the women at the Presbytery. She stated that he is the Pastor Emeritus of the  Parish and felt that we were excluding him and them and that we should have  had the courtesy to go to him first about this. She insisted that if we need  a Xmas Fayre committee meeting, we should ask Marie first, as she had always  run it.
 
 
Joe, in response,  then referred everyone to today’s Moston R.C. Parishes’ newsletter concerning  retired priests living in the three houses in the parishes which read as  follows:
 
 
“The Bishop has made it quite clear that  they are both retired and are not to be engaged in parish liturgies in any  way”.
 
 
Joe continued that  if they want to help with the Christmas Fayre, (as this is not technically a  ‘Liturgy’) all well and good, they are most welcome to do so and to be part  of it.
 
 
But he went on to emphasise that equally, it is important that courtesy  should be shown to us as the parishioners of St. Margaret Mary’s, by raising  plans at this meeting, rather than issuing them as an order, without any  consultation with those whose good will is needed to carry them out.
 
     

 
5. OPEN  FORUM
 

 
Diane then thanked  everyone for those views and ideas, and carried on.
 
 
“We understand  that not everyone feels comfortable speaking out at a public gathering like  this.
 
 
Since the end of our last meeting,  parishioners have approached us with other good ideas, which we would now  like to share with you:
 
 
      
  • A Joint Parish & Primary School contribution       to our Remembrance Sunday in Church, on Sunday 13th November.
  •  
 
 
      
  • A Fair Trade/ Cruelty Free Stall in the       Church/ Parish Hall
  •  
 
 
 
      
  • A Weekday Coffee morning for parents       in the Parish Hall
  •  
 
 
      
  • A stall to support Sr. Rita’s work       for the Lally Centre
  •  
 
 
      
  • A quiz night.”
  •  
 
 
If the Christmas  Fayre was going ahead, Lyndsay then suggested this inclusion:
 
 
“I thought of the  possibility of a Primary School Stall, based on the Young
 
People’s Trust  for the Environment, in order to generate fresh ideas and artefacts which the  children could make and sell, to do with Themes of Creation.
 
 
 
This addresses the Pope’s request to us all  to “ awaken in young people their greatest potential as builders of their own  destiny, sharing responsibility for the future of EVERYONE”
 
 
She added that if  the Fayre is agreed upon next week, she would approach the school with this  suggestion, requesting that the children would be involved at whatever level  is manageable for them.
 
 
Diane then said that if  a Xmas Fayre was going ahead, we would need to open it up to include the  local community, such as ‘Nephra Good Neighbours’ and local Christian churches  such as St. George’s and St Chad’s.
 
 
For the Pope said of our Christian  neighbours in Evangelii Gaudium: “ We must never forget that we are pilgrims  journeying alongside one another”
 
 
Joe said that the  person who had suggested the Fair Trade stall had offered to find out more  about ethical marketing trends that could be incorporated into our own marketing  strategies, not just in terms of what we buy and sell at this particular  event, but also as a constant standard governing all the goods with which we  trade on church premises, week by week.
 
 
Joe went on to  speak about the volunteers who had come forward for the running of a Coffee Morning  in the Parish Centre, an event which is planned to take place on a weekday  morning, during the time slot of the morning school run. He added that it would  be advertised in the parish newsletter and on our website. This coffee  morning would be for all Parishioners and Parents of St. Margaret Mary’s Primary  School. The ‘Missionary Spirit’ behind it is to create a friendly social vehicle  for the encouragement of more young parents to get to know our community and  to join in our Parish Life.
 
 
Joe then mentioned  that a parishioner had recently raised a question with him about the  individuals who comprise St. Margaret Mary’s School Governing Body, with  particular regard as to whether or not they were Catholics. This parishioner gave,  as her reason for asking this question, the strong impression that they seem  to have played a significant role in the breakdown of the relationship between  school and church.
 
 
Diane addressed  this point by stating that the Governing Body comprises the following  members:
 
 
The Chair, the  Vice Chair and four further governors who are appointed by Salford Diocese.  She added that the Head Teacher is also a member, along with one Staff  Governor and two Parent Governors. There is also a further Governor appointed  by the Local Authority.
 
 
She concluded that if anyone needs to know  further information about the structure and membership of the SMM School  Governing Body, they can find this on the school’s own website.
 
 
Joe said we had  no way of knowing if they were Catholics or not. A Parishioner said that as  far as could be known, they would be Catholics.
 
     
 
6.THE  BISHOP’S EXPECTATIONS OF US
 
 
Lyndsay then addressed this issue: “Please remember that the Bishop is looking to us to prove that we have  sustainable strength inside the  heart of our community so that we can reach out to others in a  missionary spirit.”
 
 
“What does this term: “Missionary Spirit” mean?”  asked Lyndsay.
 
 
She continued that Pope Francis  gives this explanation in  his own words:
 
 
 
 
 
“Dear Sisters and  Brothers,
 
 
Let us ask ourselves: do we tend to stay closed in on ourselves, on our  group, or do we let the Holy Spirit open us to mission?
 
 
This is the Mission: Make the  Church a place where all feel  welcomed, loved, forgiven and encouraged to live, according to the  good life of the Gospel.
 
 
And in order to  make others feel welcomed, loved, forgiven and encouraged, the Church must  have its doors wide open so that all  may enter. And we must go out through these doors and proclaim the Gospel.
 
 
For each of us has a part to play, a gift to share, a service to offer, for building up  the Body of Christ in love – this is very important as we all have a role to  play.
 
 
The Pope then goes  on to say: Let us ask the Lord to help us reject every form of divisiveness and conflict in our  families, parishes and local Churches.
 
 
At the same time,  let us ask for the grace to open our hearts to others, to promote unity and to live in harmony as members of One Body of Christ.
 
 
 
In this great  work, never doubt that each of us has  a part to play; each of us, is a “living stone”, is needed for the growth and the beauty of God’s  holy temple.”
 
 
Lyndsay concluded  that is the directive of Pope Francis to us all.
 
 
     

 
7. NEW  PAROCHIAL LOGO TO REFLECT OUR IDENTITY
 
Diane then addressed the issue of the unity and harmony of which Pope Francis speaks, saying that it needs to be a hallmark of St. Margaret Mary’s.
 
 
She went on to say: “To this end, Sister  Gabriel and Lyndsay together have designed a Modern Parochial Logo for our  parish of St. Margaret Mary’s.”
 
 
Lyndsay then explained this by holding up the New Parochial Logo. She said:
 
 
“It has a motto which came to Sister Gabriel in  prayer: ‘Cor unum in Christo’ which means  in Latin: ‘One Heart in Christ.’
 
 
Lyndsay then explained  its symbolism, as follows:
 
 
“The three red  flames represent the three elements of Home, School and Church which are  ignited from the burning Heart of Jesus, revealed to our Patroness, St.  Margaret Mary.
 
 
The Heart of Jesus is depicted as an open  heart. Our three flames,(representing our Homes, our School and our Church, )  stand at the entrance of the open heart, welcoming all to pass through these  channels to a personal encounter with Jesus.
 
 
The Heart is set in a sphere to express St.  Margaret Mary’s as a globally inclusive community.
 
 
Four flames, shown in green, the colour of  our living earth, leap out in cruciform shape, to the four corners of the  world.
 
 
They remind us of  our Mission Statement’s pledge to become that Light and Fire of Christ for  the world around us, through the commission of our Baptism.”
 
 
She concluded  that we hope to include this Logo in any future Parish Publications.
 
     
8.PROGRESS  OF OUR LINK WITH THE PRIMARY SCHOOL
 
 
Diane then addressed the meeting, to say that we would like to inform  everyone of our success in connecting with SMM Primary School  and that we had informed the Bishop last week of this important development.
 
 
She said:   “1/ We wrote to the  School Governors pledging our support in bringing the community together  again.
 
 
2/ The school kindly advertised our parish meeting today by using their  own channels to reach all the parents.
 
 
3/ The school has agreed for our new parish website to be connected  with their own website.
 
 
The  Headmaster and the School Governors have been very supportive to us, which we  greatly appreciate.
 
 
Joe then talked about the low number of  parents at today’s meeting, and said that after reading today’s Moston R.C.  Parishes’ Newsletter, he had noticed an article about the Sacramental Programme,  which was highly relevant to these parents. The article stated that the Registration  for the children’s Sacramental journey would take place at St Dunstan’s.
 
 
Joe asked if it would be better if it took  place at SMM Church, so that rather than just registering the children, they  could be formally presented to their own community, as was done throughout  all the years in which a Sacramental Programme was run in all our parishes.
 
 
Another parishioner pointed out that this  made sense, as in the Bishop’s Document, we are proposed to be twinned with  St John Bosco’s rather than with St Dunstan’s.
 
 
Joe asked everyone’s permission for him,  Diane, and Lyndsay to send a letter to Fr Saunders, drawing his attention to  this matter and requesting for this parochial presentation at St. Margaret Mary’s to happen. All gave their assent.
 
 
Other parishioners said that last year, all  that took place was simply a registration of children’s names on a list and  nothing else.
 
 
Also a Godparent at today’s meeting said that  she had attended last year’s registration and that she was appalled.
 
 
     
9.FURTHER  BUSINESS & ARRANGEMENT OF OUR NEXT MEETING
 

 
Joe then addressed the meeting. He told the  parishioner who had earlier raised the issue about Marie and Canon not being  informed, that he would address this by going to see them immediately after  the end of today’s meeting.
 
 
A Parishioner then asked why we have not been given the totals of the  weekly collections or any other collections taking place within St. Margaret  Mary’s Church, such as the CAFOD collection.
 
 
Another person defended this by saying that a decision was made, in  order to protect clergy, that these considerable sums of money on the  premises should not be published, but simply read out.
 
 
The Parishioner, who had originally asked this question, said that  this was precisely his point. The totals are not read out and this should  happen as an important part of the inclusivity and openness, missing from our  community.
 
 
A Parishioner then mentioned DBS checks and also raised the issue of Safeguarding  Officers.
 
Diane addressed this matter by saying that they have safeguarding  officers at St Dunstan’s and St John Vianney’s and that there was a long waiting  list for DBS checks to be carried out at Diocesan level. This was the reason  why there is currently no children’s Liturgy on Sunday at St. Margaret Mary’s,  as Lyndsay and Diane were awaiting the renewal of their own DBS status.
 
 
Joe pointed out that in last week’s newsletter, it was stated that  the Bishop has this week informed all the Clergy that he hopes to produce his  ‘Final Decision Document on Closures before Christmas’.
 
Fr Saunders also quipped: ‘He obviously won’t be dressed as Santa for  the event!’
 
 
It was suggested, therefore, that we have our next meeting on Sunday  4th December 2016, which was agreed.
 
 
A Parishioner asked what would happen if we were shut. Joe said that  we all hope that this would not happen and that we must remain proactive and  positive, and not be pessimistic.
 
 
Another Parishioner said that we must carry on with these Parish Meetings,  with all of us involved, as we are all valuable members who must not retire  into our homes, but try to keep this spirit going.  
 
 
Following this theme of the involvement of the Laity becoming more  and more evident, Joe informed everyone about the recent Sunday Mass they had  attended whilst they were away in Anglesey.
 
Pre-consecrated bread and wine  were used, not just within the format of a Eucharistic Service, but within a  full Mass structure, with all the prayers of the Mass .The whole act of  worship was led entirely by parishioners, as no priest was available. A  general discussion then took place about this issue.
 
 
Joe raised a further point arising from today’s Joint Parish  Newsletters, indicating  how wrong it  was that on All Saints Day and All Souls Day, two very holy days in our  Liturgical Year, both masses were taking place at St Dunstan’s, with nothing  happening at St. Margaret Mary’s or at St. John Vianney’s.
 
He said that these important masses should be shared with all three of  the joint parishes and  added that this  fair spread of service is what we expect in the future when we are joined  with St John Bosco’s.
 
 
With regard to the new weekday Coffee Mornings, a parishioner also  raised the point as to whether vulnerable people could be brought to them, for  company and to combat loneliness. Everyone thought this was an excellent  idea.
 
 
Joe then closed the meeting and thanked everyone for attending and  asked Diane to say our final prayer.
 

 
10. CONCLUDING  PRAYER
 
Diane asked everyone to refer to Page 7 of the Minutes  handed out today, and join in with us in our concluding prayer: -
 
 
Dear Lord,
 
As the Living  Body of Christ,
 
May we open  ourselves with docility and humility
 
To the newness of  God which surprises and surpasses us, but never disappoints us.
 
May we take up  the challenges of our present time,
 
As did Mary our  Mother and St Margaret Mary our Patron,
 
Blest with a new  apostolic vision, Amen.
 
 
 
Copyright 2016. All rights reserved.
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