St Patrick’s Parish in Council Notes

PC/PPC reorganisation –
• Parish Council is now joint between the 2 parishes as we share the same mission.
• PC deals with that mission, all matters spiritual and pastoral.
• Finance and Fabric Committees remain separate in each parish (for legal reasons) but work close together.
o Deal with all the admin, secular issues, finance buildings, property, health and safety etc!
• Website and email have to be our primary communication means but we must also cater for those who are not IT comfortable.
• We are regulated by data protection laws for all communication, including hard copy and phone calls.
o Therefore, we need registration and consent from everyone to hold their personal data and to use it.
• We have had a big registration exercise but have not captured everybody, particularly those who are not computer comfortable.
• But we need registration in order to deliver pastoral care legally (data protection and safeguarding)
• A lot of effort has gone into the website and Facebook but many people only look at the bulletin which is restricted in the amount of information it can hold.
• We need a better way of getting the bulletin in hard copy to those who cannot access it online and cannot attend Mass – personal visits?
• We have adopted the use of ChurchSuite, a UK based (important for data protection laws) software package for church management.
• We use it for registration and email management.
• Has other functions we may take up in the future.
• It ensures we comply with data protection.
• We are learning how to use it for safe and legal pastoral care.
Doing More
• Good discussion, several suggestions. Both spiritual and social.
o PC to take forward as these are things we need to do together across both parishes.
o Early action on
 Restart Children’s Liturgy of the Word
 Eucharistic adoration and devotions
 Access to the church for prayer
• Still shortage of volunteers to do things.
• Early days so parishes still learning best practice from each other.
Pastoral Care
• The “old ways” of doing things are no longer suitable as data protection and safeguarding restrict what we can do and how we do it.
• We do not yet have a fully working system for identifying the sick, distressed and housebound who need our help and, what that help is or for recording what help has been given and what we will continue to do.
• This is tightly linked to data protection, registration and permission to hold and use personal data.
• We need to build a larger network of people willing to take communion out and/or provide other aspects of support (e.g. talking, visiting, practical support)
• But all helpers who go to potentially vulnerable people in their homes need safeguarding clearance and may need to work in pairs. This in itself is a significant task.
• St Patricks needs volunteers to take on the safeguarding tasks as Jane who has carried out this role for 9 years wishes to stand down and concentrate on the pastoral role.

Covid Precautions
• We have returned to normal singing and use of hymn books.
• We cannot yet relax the use of masks at Mass as there are extremely vulnerable people who remain concerned about the risk of catching Covid.
• Incidents of the disease continue to be high among members of both congregations.

The Church building
• Both parish churches are, at times, close to or at capacity (particularly CHIPH)
• This will get worse as the impact of the shortage of priests increases.
• Fr Michael could have to take on a 3rd parish in the future.
• Our buildings needs a lot of money spent on them and there is little potential to increase capacity.
• We are “thinking outside the box” and are looking into the investment potential across both sites and the potential to relocate as a combined church that will potentially serve us for the next 50 years with few priests.
• No definite plans or ideas but these investigations are necessary before any decisions can be made about repairs to the existing building as we would need to seek external funding.
• The proclamation of the Gospel and evangelisation has to be at the heart of all we do.