THE MINUTES OF
ST MARGARET MARY’S
PARISH MEETING HELD
ON 30th OCTOBER 2016
Led by Lyndsay
Docherty, Joe and Diane Oliver
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.
started the meeting with our 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.
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
4. MUTUAL RESPECT - IT IS NOT JUST
WHAT WE DO TOGETHER BUT HOW WE DO IT
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
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.
referred everyone to page 6 of your minutes just distributed, the final
paragraph of which read:
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.
discussion then took place: ( Q = Question asked R=Response
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.
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
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.
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
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
“The Bishop has made it quite clear that
they are both retired and are not to be engaged in parish liturgies in any
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
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.
Diane then thanked
everyone for those views and ideas, and carried on.
that not everyone feels comfortable speaking out at a public gathering like
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
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
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
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.
this point by stating that the Governing Body comprises the following
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.
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
“What does this term: “Missionary Spirit” mean?” asked Lyndsay.
She continued that Pope Francis
gives this explanation in
his own words:
“Dear Sisters and
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
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
that is the directive of Pope Francis to us all.
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.
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
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.”
that we hope to include this Logo in any future Parish Publications.
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
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.
Headmaster and the School Governors have been very supportive to us, which we
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
Also a Godparent at today’s meeting said that
she had attended last year’s registration and that she was appalled.
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
A Parishioner then mentioned DBS checks and also raised the issue of Safeguarding
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
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
Joe then closed the meeting and thanked everyone for attending and
asked Diane to say our final prayer.
Diane asked everyone to refer to Page 7 of the Minutes
handed out today, and join in with us in our concluding prayer: -
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.