THE MINUTES OF ST MARGARET MARY’S
PARISH MEETING HELD ON 4th DECEMBER 2016
Led by Lyndsay Docherty, Joe and Diane Oliver
Joe thanked everyone for
being at today’s meeting and introduced himself, Diane Oliver and Lyndsay
Docherty. Joe said he was anxious about coming to today’s meeting at the
prospect of encountering all the United fans following City’s loss to Chelsea yesterday, but had been uplifted after attending
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.”
3.DISTRIBUTION AND READING
OF THE MINUTES OF THE 30th OCTOBER 2016 MEETING
The minutes of our last official meeting, held on
the 30th October 2016, were distributed. Diane asked everyone to
please glance over them and reminded everyone that these minutes and other
church information can be found on our new website www.smmcc.org.uk.
issues were raised from the Minutes. Diane then told everyone that she,
Lyndsay and Joe would themselves like to raise some items from those Minutes
which were as follows:
A/ Diane requested everyone to turn to the section
on PAGE 2 concerning the staging of the Christmas Fayre. It was
proposed to have a planning meeting to that effect on Sunday 6th
November. Diane confirmed this meeting went ahead but said she and Joe were
unable to attend. As Diane and Joe and many other parishioners had been
involved in SMM Xmas and Summer Fayres for the past 30 years, they had created
a preparation sheet to aid our team of volunteers. It listed the practical
stages that have been found to be useful in the lead up to the creation of a
Fayre, as well as further tips to help with the organising of the day itself.
Many new volunteers came forward and it was therefore agreed that we could go
ahead with the Xmas Fayre.
then asked everyone to please note from the Agenda sheet, Item 4, that we
would have a specific discussion about the Christmas Fayre at that point in
B/ Diane then referred
everyone to Page 3 of the Minutes,
Under Item 5 entitled: “Open Forum”. A
number of ideas were raised which Diane was happy to say in many cases were
A suggested Joint Parish & Primary School contribution to our
Remembrance Sunday in Church, on Sunday 13th November: The response was the School’s Remembrance
and Holy Souls display included at the Xmas Fayre.
A proposed Fair Trade/ Cruelty Free Stall in the Church/ Parish Hall: This was looked into, but due to the
high initial cost of purchasing stock, it was decided to leave this until a
A suggested weekday Coffee morning for parents in the Parish Hall: Thanks to Patricia and Brenda, we
have had two Coffee Mornings, one on Wednesday 16th November and
one on Wednesday the 30th November, with more to come in the
A proposed stall to support Sr. Rita’s work for the Lalley Centre: The response was not taken up in terms of a stall at
the 2016 Xmas Fayre. Also the collection for the Lalley Centre, at the back
of the church, was terminated shortly before the appeal for goods towards the
Diane then asked how everybody felt about reinstating the Lalley Box
at the back of church again. People were in agreement to this.
A quiz night? Would anyone like to run such an event?
C/ Lyndsay then referred everyone to Page 6 where you will
see a report on the Progress of Our
Link With the Primary School.
Lyndsay reported that
in paragraph 6, from which she quoted, Joe had talked about the low number of
parents at the last meeting, adding his comment that after reading the 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.
Lyndsay continued to
say that Joe asked for everyone’s permission, that he, Diane and Lyndsay
should send a letter to Fr Saunders requesting this, and everyone had agreed.
went on to report that we duly sent an email to Father Saunders (also copying
in the Headmaster and Chair of Governors) that evening, Sunday 30th
October 2016, which she read out to the meeting as follows:
“Dear Fr. Saunders, Mr. Sutton and Mrs. Ager,
We had a Parish Meeting at St. Margaret Mary's today which was
attended by approximately seventy people.
At this meeting, Diane, Joe and I were happy to inform everyone
of the support we have pledged to the school on behalf of our parishioners.
We also reported the school's kind assistance in advertising, through their
own channels, today's parish meeting and for agreeing to connect our new
Parish Website to their own School Website. We also told all present that we
had relayed this good news to Bishop John.
A particular issue which was raised, the resolution of which we
feel would assist our progress towards the church and the school becoming a
community again. It concerned this announcement in today's Moston R.C.
Registration will take place after half term for the
children of the three parishes. As last year, the registration will take
place in St. Dunstan's, as it seemed to go very smoothly and families from
different parishes and schools were able to meet with each other. The
catechists will meet to work out the fine details."
There was unanimous assent that such an event should actually
take place in St. Margaret Mary's Church, to familiarise the children and
their parents with their main place of worship. It was pointed out that the
Diocesan Restructuring Proposal links St. Margaret Mary's with St. John
Bosco's rather than with St. Dunstan's. It was felt, therefore, that families
should get used to attending the churches which will be their spiritual homes
in the future.
All our parishioners felt this issue was so important that they
wanted us to convey this information to you as a priority.
Thank you in anticipation for your attention to this
matter. Your time and trouble is greatly appreciated. If we can assist
in any way, please do not hesitate to contact us.”
then added that we had sent a further email to Father Saunders about this
communication on Thursday 10th November 2016, but up to this point,
had not yet received a reply to any of these communications. As Father
Saunders has not been very well recently, she said that we presumed this was
the reason why he has not been able to respond to us.
continued to say that it has since been announced in the recent newsletters
that Registration will take place at
St. Dunstan’s early next year, with no mention as to whether or not SMM’s
children may be presented here before their own community, as well as being
merely registered at St. Dunstan’s.
replied to the questions that arose, confirming that we had not received any
form of reply from Father Saunders. The school had stated verbally they had
seen this letter. She added that we would pursue the issue by trying to
contact Father Saunders about this again.
D/ Joe then referred everyone to ITEM 9 at the bottom of page 6
entitled: FURTHER BUSINESS & ARRANGEMENT OF OUR NEXT MEETING
He said: “In paragraph two, from which I quote, ‘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.’ We had discussions about this, and whilst it was agreed totals
of collections should not be published, they should at least be read
out as an important part of the inclusivity
and openness missing from our community.
Joe had asked Marie for this information, which
she had kindly brought to the meeting. Marie gave a resume that since Canon
O’Connor’s illness; the reading of weekly collections had not taken place, as
visiting priests did not always want to read notices out. Marie also told us
that collections had gone down and that covenants promised by parishioners
were not being honoured.
Last week’s collection was £318 (previously over
£500 was received) and the recent CAFOD collection totalled £377 and also a
further £35 was also given in (previously we would have received £800 to
Joe thanked Marie for this information and asked
if the collection amounts could be announced in future.
Parishioners would now be able to address this
problem. It was also brought up that covenants should be reviewed in
accordance with the guidelines concerning people’s changing tax statuses, for
example, at the transition into retirement. Also, it was mentioned that only
having one mass now reduced the weekly collection.
Marie stated that she was put in charge of SMM
Parish Finances by Father Saunders.
of these issues, collections would be brought up as an agenda item at the
E/ Diane referred everyone to PAGE
7, paragraph two, where we had mentioned DBS checks and that this was the
reason why we have not recently done the Children’s Liturgy. Both Diane’s and
Lyndsay’s DBS checks are now renewed and therefore she and Lyndsay are fully
authorised to work with children in church and are happy to be able to renew
the children’s liturgies at Mass, starting from today.
F/ Diane again referred everyone to PAGE 7, paragraph
three, regarding the timing of the Bishop’s “Final Decision Document”. We now
know that the decision has been delayed.
went on to state that at last Sunday’s mass, a letter was read out from the
Bishop. She said she understood that parishioners attending that mass were
unable to hear any of the content properly. She added that Joe had retrieved
the main information from the Salford Diocesan Website and that we have
copies of the Bishop’s letter for people to take home. In this letter, it
told us that the final decision will not now be announced until Sunday
January 15th 2017. She concluded that we will all be praying hard
for St Margaret Mary’s.
4. Joe then addressed a REVUE OF
LAST SUNDAY’S XMAS FAYRE
Joe referred to the flyer that had been
distributed at mass that morning and said how well the Fayre had gone. It was
also good to see parishioners there from St Dunstan’s.
then asked for people’s views of the Fayre.
QUOTES AND RESPONSES:
good crowd of people, excellent attendance.
said it would be nicer with music.
Another parishioner did not want music.
any parents there? A parishioner said four were helping on stalls and Joe
said from small acorns we would grow.
summed this up by remarking: “We must be welcoming to all new
parishioners. No-one should be put off. All should be shown our good wishes
and that we are happy for them to join us.”
mentioned the excellent Father Christmas who had enhanced this important
aspect of a welcoming atmosphere which in general was a very happy one and it
cheered everyone up.
Joe reiterated the key point
about not welcoming people and quoted, “Ultimately to BLOCK people from joining in
fully at a social level, also BLOCKS them from taking part in sacramental
life. If they are debarred from the one, they will not approach the other. If
they are discouraged from playing their part in our social life, they are
unlikely to play a part in our worship.”
5.DIANE then addressed a REVIEW OF TWO PARISH COFFEE MORNINGS HELD ON
WEDNESDAY THE 16th November AND WEDNESDAY 30TH NOVEMBER
said that she would first like to pass on our thanks to Patricia and Brenda
for putting on these two excellent social events.
Headmaster and his Deputy promoted the events for us and attended along with
the parents and parishioners.
and Brenda hold the coffee mornings from 8.50am to catch the parents when
they have dropped their children off at school and they keep it open for an
hour to an hour and a half.
explained that for future occasions, we will be creating more reminders to promote
consistently good numbers, adding that we know that the healthy growth of our
social life will foster the growth of our community’s life of worship. This
is why all efforts to encourage a thriving social life are so important.
of our parishioners suggested that we could have a Christmas Coffee Morning
on Sunday 18th December, after the 10.30 Mass, in order to
celebrate our own Parish Christmas together, before we are all absorbed into
our own busy family Christmases. This was agreed by all to be a good idea.
6. LYNDSAY: - PROGRESS OF OUR IMPROVING LINKS WITH THE PRIMARY SCHOOL
told everyone that we addressed this in our last meeting,that it is shown in
the minutes on Page 6, in which can be read that we were very successful in connecting with SMM Primary School, and
that we also have informed the Bishop to that effect.
then gave a further update, as follows: -
1/ We wrote to the School Governors pledging our
support in bringing the community together again.
RESPONSE: The Head teacher, Staff and Governors have
been most supportive. In my telephone calls, I am greeted by the words: “What
can I do for you, Lyndsay?” or “How may I help you?” The help requested has
been both readily offered and carried out with a sense of genuine good will
towards our future partnership.
2/ The school kindly advertised our parish meeting
by using their own channels to reach all the parents.
RESPONSE: The school has been true to that
promotional partnership with us and has continued to advertise all our
meetings and events.
3/ The school has agreed for our new Parish Website
to be connected with their own website.
RESPONSE: As you will know, there are very complex
issues concerning cyber-safety on school websites. Luckily we have our expert
parishioner who set up our own parish website and he is looking into this, in
conjunction with the school’s IT department, so as to ensure protection
against any inadvertent link to something dodgy from another source. Very
dark materials can sometimes piggy-back their way into schools during the
establishment of external links. So we hope this is sorted out and that we
will be connected in the very near future.
Lyndsay added that we actually wrote that letter to the
School Governors on the most meaningful day to our School Convent and Parish
combined, that is: on the Feast of St. Margaret Mary, October 17th
, pledging our assurance that we would support the Head teacher and his
Governing Body in their two-fold tasks of:
'bearing witness to the faith in all aspects of
· 'preserving and
developing the school’s religious character’
we all know that a collective expression of our Catholic Faith is so much
more powerful than what we can do alone. It is that truly great sign of witness, for which Our Lord prayed at the
Last Supper, on the night before He died, when He asked His Father: “THAT THEY MAY BE ONE” .
concluded that only in a Parish/Home/School
partnership can we unreservedly hand down our Faith, which is the most
precious heritage that one generation can confer upon another.
7. JOE then addressed the USE OF THE PARISH HALL
Joe wanted to mention the actual premises of our Parish
Hall, with which on the occasion Bishop John visited him, Diane and Lyndsay, he
showed a most favourable impression.
then read out an enquiry about using our Parish Hall, that he had received
from a Dance teacher called Jayne Jackson: -
‘My name is Jayne Jackson; I run dance classes
for children which are based in Chadderton. Many of the children I teach
attend St Margaret Mary's primary school. Prior to our classes being held in
Chadderton, we held them at the church hall of St Margaret Mary's, where we
did shows and danced at the School Fair, to help fundraise. A parent
told me that your hall may become available again, so I thought this would be
a good opportunity for us to bring a few classes back to where we started
from. The parents, children and I would be very grateful if you could
consider us for a Thursday, early evening, for a few hours. There is also a
possibility of starting a fitness class for children and adults.’
will tell Jayne that we cannot make such a decision until after the 15th
January 2017 By that date, we hope to have been given details of who our new
Parish Priest will be. Joe added: “That’s me being Positive to You!”
he continued to explain that if we are going to carry on using the Parish
Hall and thinking about hiring it out , we will need to consider the
following essential practicalities, to take place after Christmas:
Carry out a thorough clean up and get everything working properly.
Establish a Parish Hall Committee to run it.
Make sure we have the correct insurance and that all the legal requirements
are fulfilled. (Joe would talk to other people who run Parish Halls about how
this is done.)
Manage its financial administration responsibly and produce yearly accounts.
mentioned that we only have one key holder, and that is Marie alone, but she
firmly states has she alone has been entrusted with this responsibility. He
added that this is a heavy responsibility for a sole individual and that we
want to support Marie as a community together with her.
detailed and in-depth discussion then took place about the possibility of
someone having a spare key. Other issues concerning the use of the Parish Hall
and other events which people had taken part in were also discussed.
The running of the Parish Hall will be revisited after we have
received the Bishop’s Final Decision Document.
8.Joe then asked if anyone had ANY OTHER BUSINESS TO RAISE
No other business was raised at the meeting.
9.Lyndsay put forward a SUGGESTION FOR THE DATE OF OUR NEXT MEETING
Lyndsay said perhaps we now need to a rest from
our formal meetings so we can concentrate our prayers to the Holy Spirit, for
however long the machinery of the Salford Diocese Review continues its
trajectory towards its conclusion, in early 2017.
We therefore propose to have our next official meeting
on Sunday the 22nd January 2017, after Mass as usual. This will
give us a week to think carefully through our responses to the Bishop’s final
decision which will know by Sunday the 15th January 2017, whatever
that may be, so we can have a productive and considered meeting.
But she added that Joe told her that she must be
sure to calm your worries about any interference with the football, as both
City and United are playing the previous day on Saturday the 21st
January 2017. This she affirmed by stating that we all know by now that
football is not a matter of life and death. It is much more important than
But on a more serious
note, she said that if something comes up which parishioners
feel is imperative for us to address, we will call an emergency meeting.
She thanked everyone for sharing their time and
valuable contributions with us today.
She concluded by saying that she, Diane and Joe would
like to wish you a very Happy and Holy Christmas and a Jolly New Year, living
to the full this great new spirit we have revived among us! She hoped to see everyone
again in 2017.
Then she invited Diane to finish our meeting with
our final prayer.
Diane referred everyone to look at Page 7 of the
Minutes they were given today, and asked them to 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.