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The Churches of St Austin's, Wakefield, Est. 1828 & English Martyrs, Wakefield, Est. 1932

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Parish forum June 2019

Parish Forum Meeting on


Thursday 27 June 2019 at 7 30 pm in the

English Martyrs Centre




1          Opening prayer led by Fr Smith


2          In attendance – Brian Hamill, Barbara Johnson, Eileen Worton, Angela Caines, Rebecca Hamill, Anne Lowrie, Bernard Lowrie, Fr S Crawley, Mgr D Smith, Pat Brown, Bernard Martin, Anne-Marie Granger, Paul Granger, Angie Deevy, David Willis and Anne Blackburn


3          Apologies:  Margaret Long, Mary Matthews, Agnes Hoban, Catherine Barber, Joan Gossner, Vanessa Hunter and Peter Noble


4          Minutes of previous meeting:  were reviewed by David Willis and approved.


5          Matters arising:

            [a] Bethany House - despite best efforts it had not been possible to arrange a meeting and no one had managed to attend the Bethany House project.  If a meeting could be arranged it may be possible to further this idea.  Peter Noble had said that for success it needs someone prepared to drive this project

            [b] Angela Caines asked if inviting a speaker to the Parish Forum was appropriate when delicate parish matters may need to be discussed.

            [c] Pat Brown said there is a need for bereavement support.  Bernard Martin said there are many ways of achieving this and he would be prepared to pass these details on to anyone concerned.


6          “The God Who Speaks – The Year of the Word 2020”  initiative is scripture based and will commemorate the 10th anniversary of Verbum Domini – Pope Benedict XVI’s  Apostolic Exhortation on “The Word of the Lord” and the 1600th anniversary of the death of St Jerome who translated the Bible.  Throughout the year there will be a range of events, activities and resources to participate in all around the country.  Gregory Stacey is our diocesan “Scripture Champion” assisted by the soon to be ordained [Saturday 29 June 2019] Henry Longbottom.  It will be launched on 30 September the feast of St Jerome and the beginning of the campaign year starts on 1 December – the first Sunday of Advent.  In 2020 monthly web updates, activities and resources will be rolled out and in December 2020 Cardinal Nichols will celebrate the achievements of the year.  In 2021 a report will be published evaluating the campaign and providing a strategy for building on “The God Who Speaks”.


7          English Martyrs Centre – an item from “Matters Arising” is included in this part of the agenda as advised by the Chair.  At the last meeting of the Parish Forum on 7 March 2019 it was decided that priority should be given to new chairs for the Centre  over the request for new hymn books, the cost of which was to be borne by fund raising.  The UCM agreed to co-ordinate these efforts by holding cake stalls after the Sunday morning Mass.  One cake stall was arranged and this raised £110 approximately and this money was spent on musical items.  Angela thought that Jody had mentioned this to Fr Smith.  When sufficient funds have been raised funds will be directed elsewhere.  Bernard Martin asked Fr Smith to consider refurbishing the centre which is in a poor condition.  It was felt that a more welcoming place would encourage others to use it.  Pat Brown said that when the church was refurbished much of the work was done by volunteers of the parish and Bernard  Martin said he knew someone in the parish who can fit double glazing windows and he is happy to be involved.  It was suggested that a meeting be arranged to invite volunteers and others interested in taking this project forward and this will take place on Wednesday 10 July at 7 30 pm in English Martyrs Centre – a note to this effect will be placed in the bulletin.  It was noted that the Parish Centre at St Austin’s is self-financing and is a net contributor to parish funds.


8          List of useful number to be placed in the narthex in St Austin’s Church for those requiring social help.  Paul Granger thought this may be useful for parishioners who are approached by people for help..  There are several places in the City which might be able to offer help to those in need but caution was expressed at publishing details of these.  It was suggested that the Council and Social Services are contacted for details of those agencies willing for their contact details to be published in an A5 flyer which could be placed at the back of the church.  It was also suggested that Wakefield Cathedral be contacted to see how that city centre church copes with people in need.  Angela Deevy will make the necessary enquiries.


9          Mgr Smith overview – The Bethany project offers a sort of “home” for those in need of social support.  Already this goes on in our parish with the Singing for Pleasure Group, the various ladies group, the trips out that we go on and the retreat all provide way into the church without going to church itself.  Last year at the end of the parish mission we had Mass for the sick and housebound.  Can we do the same again this year to give those who are unable to come to church an opportunity to do so?  This was proposed for a Saturday in August at either church – volunteers would be required to provide refreshments.  Fr Smith to have a word with Mike Starford of the SVP who helped arrange transport last time.


10       Date and time of next meeting – Thursday 24 October in St Austin’s Parish Centre at 7 30 pm


11       Closing Prayer - Fr Sean closed the meeting with prayers.


Other items of information

[a]       those parishioners who buy flowers for the churches at the weekend are reimbursed if they choose to be so. 


[b]       The Parish Retreat – in The Briery at Ilkley 27-29 September 2019 – Bernard Martin has produced a flyer with details of the forthcoming retreat for distribution at the weekend Masses. The cost is £115 for the weekend.  Can be paid in instalments. 


[c]       Pat Brown proposed a note of thanks to Fr Sean Crawley who will leave us at the end of August.  We will all be very sorry to see him go but wish him well in his new post at St Anne’s Cathedral in Leeds.


[d]       Unfortunately no coach will be arranged to take parishioners to Bishop John Wilson’s installation as the Archbishop of Southwark on 25 in July 2019 at 12 noon in St George’s Cathedral – although Fr Smith and Fr Crawley will be going!