PPC Minutes 7th February 2017


Minutes of the meeting held on TUESDAY 7th FEBRUARY 2017

PRESENT: Father James Walsh, John Bolger, Adrian Rudman, Robert Hardie, Carol Shippey, Chris Falla,

Becky Walker, Michael Haughton, Elaine Haughton and Secretary Clare Hardie

  1. APOLOGIES: Deacon Ron O’Toole

Fr. James began the meeting with Prayer.

Robert welcomed Elaine Haughton the new Representative for St Helen’s.

  1. It was agreed to try and finish the meeting by 8.45 p.m.

 MINUTES OF THE MEETING of the 6th December 2016 were approved


Cool Catholic Kids - Ginny Keane was unable to attend but sent the following report:

“We have now had 2 successful family masses and I have no doubt the enthusiasm will attract other families back into the Church. It is a little early yet to expect them to altar serve and read in other masses but one or two may accept an invitation to do the offertory or collection. Two families new to CCK are showing enthusiasm to join in weekly.

It’s not been plain sailing and we have had one or two weeks where I’ve had to eat more pizza than I should due to lack of or no shows at all.

However I have been listening to the parents and have agreed to meet just for the half hour before mass 10.30 to 11, and hopefully build it from there. I will be there every week, and if I can’t, I now have the support of the Ignite youth group in Norwich who have already visited us twice and will infill if required. I have a new DBS certificate but until we get more parents on board to help run the club, parents will have to stay with their children for child safety.

The children’s liturgy group in Aylsham and North Walsham are going to incorporate some of our songs to build the children’s confidence and enjoyment.

Monthly masses have been booked for the year, however I have been made aware of a problem for the April service as it is Deacon Ron’s diamond wedding and they wanted a special Mass, although I feel we could come to some arrangement together I feel that nether parties would be entirely happy. I propose we move the Family Mass to the 26th March (Mother’s Day).

So far we have ‘googled’ the Bible, written prayers and practiced songs. There are plans to cook pancakes, and I hope some will come to the family celebration in Bury St Edmonds in June. Not everyone is ready to commit to coming weekly yet but its early days I’m here for the long haul.

I would like names and phone numbers of who runs the choir, the church flowers and cleaning rota, I don’t want to tread on toes when it comes to needing their help or not as the case may be.

Thank you for your support and prayers”

All wanted to record their thanks and support for the work Ginny is doing with the children. Both the Masses had been truly inspirational and well received. All felt that Mothering Sunday was a most suitable day for a Children’s Mass

Safety of Clergy and Parishioners in our Churches – John Gowing has been unable to complete his H&S assessment at St John of the Cross as he has sustained a very serious head injury and is still in hospital. Michael Haughton is still really concerned particularly at the evening Mass at St Helen’s Hoveton as he explained there had been a couple of intimidating incidents during the course of last year. He asked that the Diocese should be asked to produce a strategy for security in our churches. Fr. James will discuss this at the next Deanery meeting with his fellow Priests and Deacons.

Parish Finances – The finance committee is due to meet shortly. Fr. James will produce a simplified income and expenditure sheet that will be circulated to parishioners so that they can see for themselves the shortfalls in income. Nick Sutherland will then speak to each community after a Sunday Mass.

Alive in Faith - Fr. James has been discussing the process for applying for funding with Fr. Denys Lloyd who explained that first parishes had to ascertain just how much money had been received as most parishioners were making their contributions on a monthly/quarterly basis rather than as a lump sum. Fr. Denys will assist Fr. James with the application process to the Alive in Faith Diocesan committee. Fr. James will endeavour to find out how much is already in the Sacred Heart ‘pot’.  Rob had received an application for funding of £1000 from the President of the North Norfolk SVP as part of our aim to ‘expand social outreach’ and Fr. James will take this to the next finance committee meeting. Rob also informed the PPC that with funds from Alive in Faith, Bishop Alan had set up Caritas East Anglia to encourage, support and co-ordinate works of social outreach in the Diocese. Michael McMahon is the Chairman. Details on the Diocesan website. Rob and Michael had had a meeting with the Manager of St Martin’s Hostel in Norwich and there is a possibility that a grant will be made to help them fund their extension which will provide a further 6 beds for the homeless in Norwich.

Refugees in Norfolk - John had been to the recent meeting in Norwich and felt that there was a good network in place and the refugees due to arrive here this month would be well cared for unlike in other cities in the UK where conditions were squalid and people were unable to cope with the refugees. The Senior Citizens from St Helens had made a donation to English Plus. Chris had make enquires and explained that the Mothers Union at St Michaels had been raising funds for the Diocese of Norwich Syrian Refugee Fund and in fact were holding a Coffee Morning on the 6th March. 50 Syrian Refugees are due to arrive under the Syrian Vulnerable Person’s Resettlement Scheme and the

C of E Diocese has raised over £40,000. The Mothers Union, Sanctuary Norfolk and our Cathedral of St John’s are all involved, as are City Saints in Action and English Plus. Adrian hopes to meet with Carrie Sant from City Saints to see what more help we could offer as a Parish. Clare gave Adrian notes on the Government’s Community Sponsorship Scheme which was downloaded from the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton website. The Pope has asked every Parish to host a family but it was felt that their complex needs would probably best be served by being housed in Norwich where there were agencies to help and that we should explore what help we could give for example through Churches Together. Housing has been allocated for the incoming refugees and furniture has been donated. Questions were asked about finding housing for our own homeless!

Gift for St Francis Parish Svay Sisophon - Fr. James had asked Fr. Greg in St Francis Parish, Svay Sisophon what he would like as a gift from Sacred Heart Parish. A Chalice was purchased and Kate, Bob, Carol and Moira presented this to Fr. Greg on their just completed visit to Svay Sisophon and many other places in North West Cambodia. The Chalice was used at Mass while they were there and Fr. Greg expressed his thanks and sent his best wishes, love and prayers to all our Parishioners. Carol said the Student Hostel now housed about 31 students aged between 16-20 and she was delighted to see what a well run and happy environment it now provided for the students. They were also able to see the rice soup and baby milk projects in action. Feedback from all the places they visited will be given at the Soup, Slides and Crafts lunch in North Walsham on the 18th March.

New Evangelisation – The Deanery Proclaim Event on the 25th February had been cancelled ‘due to unforeseen circumstances.’ Rebecca Bretherton had now invited interested parties to a Parish Media Training and Communications evening with Keith Morris, Director of Communications on Thursday 23rd March. Clare and Elaine would be interested in attending but during the discussion it was realised that this would clash with the Deanery Station Mass at Poringland. Clare will email Rebecca re the problem (Rebecca has replied that they had also just realised the clash and will re-schedule the evening)


 Fr. James circulated the briefing notes (attached) from the Diocesan Director of Schools which tried to answer many of the questions people had been asking about the possibility of the Diocese being successful in bidding for several new ‘free’ schools in the Diocese. The Diocese is hoping to be ready to submit their first bids in this March’s bidding round. All welcomed the proposal, as we have been very aware in North Norfolk of the lack of Catholic schooling. Rob read out a letter from Terry McIlwee, past Chair of the PPC supporting the proposal but emphasising that the shortage of places and impossibility of gaining places for children living outside Norwich had been pointed out to the Schools Service way back in 2011 during the merger consultation for St Thomas More and St John’s Primary School. He also read the reply to him from Helen Bates the Assistant Director of the School’s Service in which she asks that parishioners do look at the Diocesan website and register their interest in these proposed schools.

All agreed that the proposals should be supported as were aware of the need for more Catholic schools. The difficulty of obtaining senior school places at Notre Dame has been a problem for many years and several local Catholic children have not been admitted. Fr. James had attended many unsuccessful appeals when he was on the governing body of Notre Dame


The Reverse Advent Calendar for the Food Banks had been a great success. Elaine asked why we weren’t doing further boxes during Lent but Adrian explained that the Cromer Food Bank Manager Ella King had had to start her maternity leave earlier than expected and they were in the process of appointing cover for her, so please just continue to donate food on a weekly basis into the boxes in each church. We will do another big collection next Advent. The suggestions that parishioners had made were being put into the parish bulletin each week. Next month there will be a ‘monitoring questionnaire’ issued, not to check up on people but just so that we can show CAFOD evidence of our progress towards changing our habits to live more simply. Rob and Clare had given a talk to the Senior Citizens in North Walsham yesterday afternoon and it seemed well received and all were on board with the ideas. The Liverpool Diocese has put together some Lenten Reflections based on Laudato Sii and Fr. James will use these as the basis for 3 Lenten Reflections and Station Masses. On Friday 17th March at St John of the Cross followed by a Soup Supper for CAFOD Lenten Fast Day. Wednesday 29th March at St Helens and Tuesday 4th April at Sacred Heart. The reflections will start at 6 p.m. followed by Mass at 7 p.m. and will replace the morning Masses on those days. There is also a Deanery Station Mass at Poringland on Thursday 23rd March. Family Fast Day is on Friday 10th March this year.



Fr. James said the day would be celebrated with a Mass and Buffet Lunch at Sacred Heart on Saturday 22nd July. He has asked Clare and Mark Rushall to provide the Starters and Puddings and would like parishioners to produce the main courses, hot and cold once he has planned the menu. He is also in the process of organising a Parish Trip to Northern France from the 1-7th October and so far has 48 names on the list. In June he hopes we will be able to have Mass in Oxburgh Hall followed by supper in a local pub. During the Aylsham Twinning Week there will also be a Garden Party in Father’s garden in North Walsham.



St. Helens - Michael circulated the Parish Newsletter from the Parish in Grand Cayman where he and Elaine had spent Christmas. It was a most impressive newsletter with a Parish Mission Statement on the front page. He felt we should have our own Mission Statement. The newsletter is obviously subsidised by selling advertising space inside the front and back covers and he wondered if we should consider doing the same as a way of increasing parish finances. Michael and Elaine also thought that to add ‘Please remember the Parish in your will’ on the newsletter each week would help to increase Parish finances. Fr. James pointed out that this newsletter was from a much larger parish than our own with a large parish staff and large weekly collections and it would be difficult to replicate in our parish.   St Helen’s is due to have a Forum in next few weeks.

St. John of the Cross - At the last Forum the social committee had circulated a list of social and fundraising events for the year, the first being a Quiz and Puddings evening next Saturday 11th February, a Spring Concert on the 22nd April, Rotary Garage Sale on 21st May, Barbeque and Boules on the 24th June, Harvest Supper on the 7th October and a Wine and Cheese on the 14th December. The main fundraising is for the new organ at St John of the Cross, possibly a bid could be submitted to the Alive in Faith fund for this. Next Forum is due on the 26th February.

Sacred Heart – A defibrillator is to be purchased for the Parish Hall. Becky will investigate the costs. A few more Eucharistic Ministers are needed for the team at Sacred Heart


  1. A.O.B.

Adrian queried the future for the Fairtrade stalls at Sacred Heart and St Helens. This year they had made a small loss, as it was difficult for Traidcraft to compete with the costs at which Fairtrade products were offered in the supermarkets. Fr. James said that the Finance Committee had questioned continuing with Fairtrade last year. St John of the Cross had stopped their monthly stall last year, as no one was willing to take over the responsibility from Wendy and Peter Adamson who had run the stall for many years. Fr. James said that a way forward would be for each of the parishes to ensure that they only served Fairtrade tea and coffee from their kitchens. The local undertaker provided supplies of tea and coffee at the Sacred Heart so Fr. James would ask that they provided Fairtrade products.

Rob had received a letter from EACH asking if we would have a parish collection for the Children Hospice but Fr. James had also received a request from a Polish family at the Cathedral asking for help to raise the money for their daughter Victoria, aged 18 months, to be able to travel to the USA for surgery to reconstruct her lower limbs. She suffers from a condition called Tibial Hemimelia and the only help on offer in this country would be amputation, whereas the surgeon in the US could offer them a guarantee that he could enable Victoria to walk after the year long reconstruction was completed at a cost of £1.5 million. Fr. James said he would like to make this project a Lenten appeal for our Parish.

A parishioner from the Cathedral had telephoned Fr. James asking if he could come and discuss setting up a Vianney Prayer Group in the Parish to pray for more priestly vocations.

The Sacred Heart church is to be redecorated this year and money has been allocated for this. Fr. James has had lots of suggestions for colour schemes. He circulated a picture of some new Stations of the Cross he would like to buy to replace the present ones which are not in keeping with the Art Deco interior of the Church. The plans for the redecoration will all have to be submitted to the Historic Churches commission for approval prior to the work commencing.


Monday 3rd April 2017 at St Helens, Hoveton at 19.30 p.m.

Annual Parish Meeting will be on Monday 22nd May at 19.00 p.m. in the Parish Hall at North Walsham.  

Fr. James was asked if he would talk about his 50 years of Priesthood at the Annual Meeting. This year St Helens’ parishioners will be responsible for the Main Course and Sacred Heart parishioners will be responsible for the Puddings. Clare will book the Parish Hall with Annabelle

 Fr. James then concluded the meeting with a prayer.




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