Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting 13th June 2023
Fr Colm, Joe Hughes, John Thompson, Leanne Heseltine, Tom Hoban, Kathleen Murray, Margaret Wallace, Tony Power, Mike McNally Maria Melia, Emma Turnbull.
1. Fr Colm opened the meeting with a prayer.
2. Apologies – Mary Harrison, Tom Harrison, Joanna Pallister.
3. Review of last meeting – The minutes of the March meeting were accepted as a true record there were no matters arising. Chair’s feedback – Fr Colm requested the opportunity to update Council on the status of the Parish. Fr commented on how he felt the Parish was performing well in the many areas of parish life and activity over the past three months and referring to the Eastertide services. The services in both churches were well attended and well received, however, a return to St Leonard’s school for the Christmas mass requires consideration as this can accommodate larger numbers and brings together parishioners from across the Parish. Alter server numbers remain low and there is a need to encourage Parishioners to take on the various Ministries within the Parish. It was noted that the gradual return to Lay led services particularly in St Bede’s Chapel were proving popular with the school children from St Godric’s School attending the Monday service. St Godric’s choir were expanding and it was hoped that there would be more to follow.
4. Finance feedback – an update was provided on the current financial status of the Parish, a verbal report was unavailable, however, a summary was provided. A credit/debit card payment system as an additional method of financially contributing to the Parish will be introduced on Saturday 15th July. A simple instruction guide will help with the use of the machine.
5. Building Committee feedback – a written report was submitted by the Buildings’ committee, ongoing maintenance continues across the Parish. Issues with St Godric’s roof continue, with a further leak appearing in the storage cupboard. Lighting will change from Halogen to LED once the various quotes have been submitted. St Joseph’s church and presbytery are awaiting a decision regarding the replacement of windows, quotes have been received and are now with the Diocese. Drainage problems around St Joseph’s is ongoing and further work is required.. Ground maintenance is continuous across the Parish of the Durham Martyrs including St Bede’s presbytery, St Godric’s Church, St Joseph’s church. Discussions are taking place regarding work on St Bede’s Cemetery. Dream Heritage is a charity which assists in the restoration of area such as cemeteries and have offered to assist in restoring St Bed’s cemetery. A liaison group has been established to link with DH.
6. As referred to in Fr Colm review there was positive feedback from the Easter services which were held in both churches, however, there was agreement that consideration should be shown to holding a central service in St Leonard’s School for the Christmas service. A venue that enables the whole Parish to come together.
7. Discussion took place regarding the receiving of the Blessed Sacrament under both kinds. It was agreed to reintroduce the Chalice at each mass from the 1st July 2023, it is up to the individual as to whether they wish to take the Blood of Christ. Parishioners who continue to take precautionary measures, are not obliged to receive the Blessed Sacrament under both kinds. The format for receiving Holy Communion will remain the same with the ciborium at the side aisles, there will be one Chalice in the centre aisle.
8. A report from the support fund was provided, funds remain available, for those in need of support. St Godric’s steering group reported on the fact that the Heritage open days will be held on the 8,9,14,15 and 16 September 2023, a request for volunteers will appear shortly.
The Memory Café is making a gradual return to the situation prior to Covid with around 10 – 12 attendees. Links have been established with St Cuthbert’s Hospice and social prescribers working in the area. There is still room for more volunteers and support in running the Café. Activities available include craft and games. An invitation is offered to individuals to come along and sample what is on offer.
The presence of a welcoming team to meet and greet people arriving for mass is well established and reflects the friendliness of the Parish towards visitors. Supplementary literature will be available shortly in the form of posters and an information seeking form which can be completed voluntarily by new Parishioners.
The International Meal proved a success, and we look forward to this becoming a regular event.
The next PPC meeting will be on 19th September 2023.