Parish Partnership Meeting
South Woodford, Wanstead, Woodford
27th January 2019 –St Anne Line’s Parish Hall, South Woodford
Attendees: Meeting Chair & Steward of the Gospel Our Lady of Lourdes: Anne Marie Fox; Stewards of the Gospel for St Anne Line: Mary Busk Stewards of the Gospel for St Thomas of Canterbury: William Yeung Fr Patrick Sammon (Our Lady of Lourdes); Fr Neil Brett (St Anne Line); Representatives of St Anne Line Parish Council; Representatives of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish Council, Representatives of St Thomas of Canterbury Parish Council.
- Welcome and Opening Prayer: Led by Fr Neil in St Anne Line Church.
- Introduction and why we are here: Anne Marie Fox expressed thanks to all for coming and to Fr Neil for hosting the meeting. She explained that the process was started in 2016 – there have been several discussion groups, major consultations and a questionnaire contributed by each Parish. The feedback led to a draft working plan, which then became a first formal proposal. The purpose of this meeting would be to discuss how we might like to collaborate in the future.
AMF advised that a written plan was due for submission to the Diocese by Advent this year.
- Group Introductions: Representatives from each Parish were mixed between 3 groups. Each table spent time introducing themselves to each other.
- Table discussions in relation to 12 strand plan: The Vision Document (first formal proposal) outlined the following 12 Strands of Renewal. Each table was asked to identify and discuss the 3 themes most important to each Parish:
Charity Justice and Social Action
Christian Life and Worship (Liturgy)
Prayer and Spirituality
Priests and People
Vocations to the Priesthood
- Feedback from each table: A representative from each of the 3 tables presented feedback of their discussion as follows:
- It was requested that agendas be circulated in advance of meetings in the future.
- It was requested that contact details be circulated amongst all members of each Parish Council.
- The table didn’t feel able to go into detail about the 12 strands without knowing more about how each Parish addresses each theme. It was therefore suggested that each Parish lists its provision under each category so that this can be shared with the other Parish Councils.
- The table questioned whether it was necessary for all members of each PPC to meet on every occasion, or whether the PPC Chairpersons could meet and then provide feedback to their PPC members.
- Some of the themes overlap and are closely related to each other. It was suggested that categories be grouped together and be allocated a sub-committee.
- The information collated by each PPC could then be fed back to the Stewards.
- The following 3 Strands were identified by all PPC members on this table: Liturgy, Family and Formation. This table also agreed that the themes overlap.
- The table felt that Young People were a key Strand as the youth members of a parish are key to the success of all 12 Strands.
- More time and money should be allocated to vocations in the Church other than Priesthood.
- The following 3 Strands were identified by all PPC members on this table: Young People, Family and Education. All these themes overlap.
- Young people are key to sustaining the Church.
- It was worth pointing out that no one specified the Strands concerning Material Assets or Integration. Not to say that these are unimportant, but they were not highlighted as priorities by any PPC members present.
- Priests and People was also an important Strand. It was noted that the reason the meeting was being held was due to the shortage of Priests.
- What might Parish Partnership look like?: AMF asked all present to contribute possible answers to this question – discussion as follows:
- Youth could activities be shared across Parishes.
- Father Pat envisaged one large pastoral area, serviced by 2 Priests, hopefully supported by Deacons and lay people.
- Next steps:
- AMF suggested that Steven Webb, Director of Development, could be invited to the next discussion. It was decided that this should take place at a later date, once further discussions had taken place between the 3 PPC’s (i.e. taking a ‘bottom up approach’ rather than a ‘top down’ one).
- Sub committees could be organised (as suggested above, Item 5).
- Stewards from each Parish to compile a list detailing how their Parish currently provides for each of the 12 Strands.
- AMF advised that the Vision document suggested a social event for all Parishes in the summer. However, it was agreed that a large event may mean that members of each Parish socialise mainly with each other rather than mixing. It was therefore agreed that with immediate effect, Parishes should invite one another to smaller events. St Thomas of Canterbury planned to hold Lenten lunches in the lead up to Easter, which would be an ideal occasion to invite other parishioners to. Stewards would be responsible for communicating these events to each other.
- It would be of great importance for parishioners to meet together in prayer as well as for social events.
- The website of each Parish could feature a page for the PPC’s to share information.
- AOB and date of next meeting:
- It was agreed that the next meeting would take place in March, and would comprise of the PPC Chairs and Stewards.
- All PPC members would then meet again around Easter time.