Pastoral Council Meeting 26th February 2015

Minutes of St Cuthbert’s Parish Pastoral Council

26th February 2015

 1. The meeting opened with prayer.

Present:  fr
Ben Earl, Cliona Kear, Gil Bolton, John Marsland, Susan Penswick, Margaret
Doyle, Marianne Fleming, Norma Brown, David Hughes, Margaret Harvey

Stephanie Brown, John Urquhart, Michael
Laing, David Crookes,

3. Minutes of
the previous meeting were accepted.

4. Matters
– None

5. Reports from sub-committees/groups:

a.              Building committee report to St
Cuthbert’s Parish Pastoral Council 
Period ending 26th February

Choir loft balustrade. 

Details for fixing the balustrade extension have been drawn up and the
architect is getting costs for the work.

Works carried out since the last PPC.

Making good to the plaster in the porch was completed just before
Christmas and decoration is due to start week commencing 9

The lights in the church have all been re-lamped and one faulty
fitting had to be replaced.

Trace heating has been installed in a problematic section of gutter to
prevent, in bad weather, a build-up of ice resulting in water seeping/pouring
into the church.

The installation of the shower to the first floor bathroom is almost

The ground floor kitchen has been cleaned but some areas were not
  After much negotiation
the contractor returned on Tuesday 24
th February to finish the


Proposed work.

Porch and narthex

Next stage is to design the cupboards and obtain prices.

The church roof.

The high wind over winter has taken its toll on the church roof
resulting in some repair being required (more scaffolding), work is planned
to begin on Monday 2nd March and will last about one week weather


There is a considerable amount of making good to decoration which as
noted above is to begin week commencing 9th March.

Other maintenance continues as and when required.

Gil Bolton

Chair Building Committee.

b.                     St. Cuthbert’s
Fundraising Committee
Report to PPC 
period ending 26th February 2015

Events since the last PPC

Durham Ghost

David and Pauline Butler led two groups on this walk which took place
on Tuesday 28th October and raised £250.00.

quiz night
hosted by Liz and
Martin Donbavand was held on Saturday 22nd November at St Oswald’s Institute
and raised £270.00.

organised by Angela and Mike
Galloway was held on 21st January at the Seven Stars
Shincliffe.raising a total of £300.00 pounds.

. Angela Galloway had tea towels
made up with designs depicting prominent features of the church.

Initial sales of towels realised £700.00

organised by fr Ben, went on
sale before Christmas and together with tea towels are on continuous sale.

Initial sales of cards raised???


Andy and Margaret Doyle held a book sale on 14th February
which realised approximately £500.00.

fund raising events,

Miners’ Gala 11th July

Summer garden party with BBQ 28th June

Christmas raffle (local businesses to be approached
for prizes) ideas please?


Lumier is to take place in November, if there is
an installation close to St Cuthbert’s we will serve refreshments which did
very well at the last event.


At the last Fund Raising Committee Meeting it was
decided that “Stonework Project” should be renamed “Restoration Fund”.  This has come about due the continual work
needing to be carried out on the church and presbytery to keep it maintained.

of Fund Raising Committee.

The committee needs more people to sit on it and
help organise events particularly to promote events, sell tickets or to take
on an event attending to some or even all the detail.

Gil Bolton

Chair Fundraising Committee

d.  Catholic

In the absence of a report fr Ben said that the
Sunday evening Mass is very well attended and that the Chaplaincy Choir has
really taken off with 12-16 decent singers. 
The retreat to Ampleforth went really well.  Fr Ben is the Convenor of University
Chaplains and there is a rotating roll of 15-20 Chaplains.

e. Churches Together in
Elvet & Shincliffe:

of Elvet & Shincliffe Churches were encouraged to attend the Ecumenical
Service on 15
th November at St Mary’s Cathedral marking the 50th
Anniversary of the promulgation of Vatican II’s Decree on Ecumenism (
Unitatis Redintegratio)

Cuthbert’s hosted a Prayer Breakfast during the Week of Prayer for Christian
Unity on behalf of Durham Churches Together. 
On the same day, though in the evening, Elvet & Shincliffe held a
service at St Oswald’s which included a short presentation from each church on
what they treasure in their own tradition.

are looking to host a short series of Lenten evenings but are encountering
problems – please look out for details.

year’s pilgrimage to Holy Island will be on Saturday 20th June.


f.            Justice and Peace
Committee Report


are continuing to collect toilet rolls and biscuits for Failed Asylum Seekers
on the first Sunday of the month. We’ve asked Ciara to put a reminder in the
bulletin in advance.


continue about the lack of progress in getting money that we raised for
Belpahar actually to the intended recipients. 
It was suggested that alternatives be sought with the funds raised
divided between a local and an international charity. We were going to look
into the Colombia project supported by the Durham Martyrs Parish and perhaps a
prison charity.


Shared Harvest raised £128.77 for CAFOD.


Toilets:  Posters and collection boxes
have been placed in each toilet.


collection of Toys for Prison Visitors was very sparse this year and so it was
felt that we need to increase the publicity next year. 



Advent collection in aid of CAFOD:  the
young people raised £476.55 (a camel, 2 goats and some chickens for the virtual
farm). A semi-permanent display about what had been achieved was produced by
Judy McLean and can be seen during Lent in the narthex.


addition to Lenten Family Fast Day, we decided to embark on a parish ‘Carbon
Fast’ for Lent 2015. A sheet was produced and a notice of the weekly target
will be in the bulletin each week.

young people were asked to do the bucket collection again and proceeds will go
towards wood-saving stoves and a greenhouse for the virtual village.

g. Liturgy & Music:

Liturgy & Music Group has met twice since the last PPC.

response to some of the issues arising from the re-timing of the Carol Service
since the advent of the year-round evening Mass, we sounded the parish out and
transferred the service to a Friday evening. 
Numbers were up but it was notable that some who we would expect to see
did not attend.  We will be evaluating
this further.  We also continue to review
the Christmas Mass times but made no amendment in 2014.

the 10am Mass during Advent, we prepared a composite music sheet so as to
reduce the number of separate pieces of paper which the congregation can
sometimes have to handle.  This seemed to
work well and has been repeated for Lent.

has been mentioned in the bulletin, the weekday recitation of the Responsorial
Psalm at Mass has been reviewed.  It has
long been the custom here at St Cuthberts for all to say the psalm together.  This is not a common practice and can lead to
issues where people cannot see a Missal. 
As such, we have now moved to the more widespread practice of repeating
a response after each verse.

Liturgy & Music Group has arranged a series of Stations of the Cross
services, immediately following Vespers on the Friday evenings of Lent.

for Holy Week and Easter are in hand.  As
usual, we wish to emphasis the unity of the Triduum services and we are pleased
that there shall be a baptism at the Easter Vigil.

continue to deliberate as to how to increase the number of people on whom we
can call for the many lay ministries which support our celebration of


h.  Diocesan Meetings:


There have not been any meetings since the last PPC
meeting.”Forward in Hope” to next Council of Laity meeting in three weeks time.
Margaret Doyle is only on “The Council of Laity” now. 


6. Financial
: Deposit Account £22,400. Current Account £30,073.  The Diocese has put a moratorium on spending
so the lights cannot be done i.e. a new system. 
There is still the need to raise £25,000.  On the Quinquennial Report the stonework to
the Presbytery needs to be done which will be in the region of £40,000 and the
lighting £15,000.

7:   Parish
Retreats and Study Days – fr David

In fr David’s absence the following dates were announced:

Parish Retreat Day is 25th April – fr John Farrell

Study Day is 30th May – fr David Sanders from Blackfriars,

8.  Forward Together in Hope – fr Ben

Whilst Michael Laing is unavailable Margaret Doyle is the contact for the
Parish. There is an update on the Diocesan Website which is: or contact 0191 243 3304.

9. Items from the Parish Priest: All items have been covered

10. Any other business: 
There was a question re the Church heating – why has it seemed to be
colder this winter?  Fr Ben said that
under Health and Safety regulations the door between the porch and the Narthex
does have to be left open. 

11. Date of next meeting: 28th
May 2015 at 7.30 p.m. in the Parish Room

12.  The meeting closed with prayer