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Parish Council Meeting Minutes 28th April


Fr Colm, Margaret Wallace, Graham Donachie, Joanna Pallister, Fred Hayward, Kathleen Murray, Tom Hoban, Tony Power, Erica Smith, Peter Thompson, John Thompson, Mike McNally, Chris Parker, Katie Flood, Leanne Heseltine, Maria Melia

Apologies John Lavery, John Reilly O’Donnell

Summaries of the reports from SVP, Lunch Club and Inclusive Church Group had been forwarded prior to the meeting

Fr Colm opened the meeting with a prayer

Actions arising from the last meeting

Review of parish Registers

The digitisation of all the available paper lists was complete and comprises of 508 names

Dealing with Mental health Issue

John Thompson lead the discussion on this difficult subject.

A number of members had watched and taken part in the workshops of: Citizens UK event: Helping Communities Deal with the Mental Health Crisis in COVID-19. This will be followed by a further session this Thursday 30th

It was felt that the session was informative, tremendous amount of information was available but the scale of the task dealing with mental problems was huge.

The question was posed as to who we would set out to help Young, Old, Children, Teenagers, those finding it difficult to cope during ‘lock down’ the list was endless. It was suggested that we should be there for all individuals

Do we have the skill necessary to help in these situations? Are there parishioners who already possess mental health experience? Not only nurses but also first aiders who have had mental health training. It was important that willing people did not get out of their depth

How do we target those needing help? Existing parish groups were thought to be an ideal vehicle. The bereavement group and SVP were mentioned. Despite the perceived need and the close links that has been established with parishioners there had been no requests for help in this field

The illness is not one that is spoken about freely. There was still a reluctance on the part of those who may need some support of discussing their difficulties.

John Thompson read out what was thought to be an apt quotation from Kitty O’Meara, the poet who wrote, People Stayed Home

And the people stayed home. And read books and listened and rested and exercised and made art, and played games and learned new ways of being and listened more deeply, some meditated, some prayed, some danced, some met their shadows. And the people began to think differently

Graham Donachie was asked to look at how we as a parish go forward with this initiative.


Assisting with technology

There was little time to discuss this topic in any depth and it was something to be returned to in further meetings, it was felt that it was a worthwhile task with a great need in the present climate.

The requirements were diverse, made doubly difficult by not being able to sit with a person and show them ’how it is done’ The rewards were great, the ability to communicate with people using new technology such as Zoom lessened the isolation being felt by people.

Fr Colm’s Summary

Father thanked everyone for their cooperation and support for the life of the parish. He had other concerns that would become more pressing as the present situation changed. Schools, was one of the topics that he wished to be considered and he thought that it may be helpful to invite Emma Turnbull along to take part in a discussion.

Next Meeting

Wednesday 29 April 7pm via zoom



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