The Catholic Parish of
Saint John Henry Newman

 Covering most of East Leeds

Parish Pastoral Council for Blessed John Henry Newman 4th February 2016

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Meeting was chaired by Sheelagh Pickles (The Chair).

The meeting started with a Prayer prepared by Liza Valentine-Jonsson.

Apologies from Philip Dyson (Birthday boy)

Welcome to Alison Armitage & Ben Science. Sheila Kennedy has stood again for a further 3 year period due to no other volunteers from Corpus Christi church.

Everyone introduced themselves.

The Chair gave a brief outline of what the Parish Council is and how it works. Also explained that the Council meet regularly and also meet once a year to pray together and then meet socially together afterwards.

Minutes from previous meeting were read and were agreed to be correct.


John Hutchinson was present at the recent Youth & Family Ministry meeting.

Youth & Family Ministry Update from Patrick Bradley

  • Improve Parish & School links - Fr Ghebreyesus asked the children if they attend Mass on a Sunday. They say St Gregory’s too early. They don’t wake up early. Fr G asked them to attend another Mass in the parish. Fr Paul wonders if there is some confusion about if they are making their First Holy Communion at St Gregory’s. It does not matter where they go to Mass.
  • Youth Mass Liturgy and organising Parish Family & Youth Mass / Social - Fr Emmanuel has met with Wendy Walsh of Corpus Christi regarding having school Masses.
  • What can we do as a Parish for Teenagers - Fr Paul was recently speaking with Caroline James, the Vicar of Manston regarding the lack of young people at their church. Caroline is considering running parallel services for the young and the older generation to meet the needs of each group separately. A suggestion was that we have a teenage Mass. Possibility of having the young people doing volunteer work in the parish. This has happened in the past and all involved enjoyed it.
  • All groups are short of volunteers. This is not just here in the parish but a national problem.
  • Recent baptism course had people who were not interested in the church or faith but just wanted their children baptising so they can get into Catholic schools.
  • More children are coming to church because they have to before making their First Holy Communion and after this we will not see them again.
  • Teenagers are different from the young children. The have a different social life. It is not an easy problem to solve. Teenagers come to Mass reluctantly.
  • First Holy Communion preparation does bring some families back to church and also the Marriage preparation course brings families back.
  • There is no involvement / engaging for the young people. More lively music and involvement for everyone is needed.
  • Children Liturgy groups to get together. St Gregory’s Sunday Children’s Liturgy is helped by Year 6 children from St Theresa’s primary school. All enjoy engaging together.
  • Children to be encouraged at home to read The Word and say their prayers. The Home has a lot to do with children’s faith rather than leaving it to the church and clergy or the schools.
  • Safeguarding is an issue but as a parish we should take this as a challenge and get children involved with the church.
  • Youth & Family meeting before Christmas talked about taking the children on a trip (a big event) but include some spiritual prayer time.
  • Target the children and ask them to complete a questionnaire about what they want. ACTION To be arranged by Fr Emmanuel and Josephine Abby Phillips.

Parish volunteer visitors to visit all families of the First Holy Communion children from both our primary schools. In 2015 it was very well received by all families. Only about 6 families opted out of having a visit. Each child was given a Mass book and the family received a copy of a prayer card and encouraged to read it together. Visiting should start in March. It was thought the Youth & Family meeting will be taking this forward.

The next Youth & Family meeting is on 23rd February at 7pm in the Newman centre.

Year of Mercy - What can we do as a parish?

  • We have been saying the Year of Mercy Prayer before all Masses since December.
  • We should consider pilgrimages not around the world but to local places.
  • Lourdes is a place which many visit. There is the Holy Door in Rome.
  • Fr Paul has a course which he could run. Course on Justice & Mercy based on the film 'Les Miserables'. First week you watch the film at which you identify 5 characters and then discuss a different character each week over a 5 week period. It was agreed this would be accepted by many in the parish.
  • Sheelagh picked up a “Pilgrimage Guide around a church in Sheffield”. Is this something we could do around our parish? The members agreed this would be a good idea. It is suggested that the Youth & Family meeting may take this on. ACTION A group from the PPC Alison Armitage - Ben Science - Marion Waller to attend the meeting on the 23rd February.
  • Westminster Cathedral has something like a journey across the parish which could involve the young people with art work.
  • St Theresa’s primary school has a welcome banner for the Year of Mercy.
  • When visiting we should encourage people to pray and you should join with them.
  • No General Absolution in the Year of Mercy.
  • Churches are to be asked about an all-night vigil with a substantial time for Confession. The Holy Year is not just about Confession.

Listening to and engaging with Parishioners

This came from the parish AGM when it was felt that we did not engage with one another.

It has been suggested we have 3 open meetings one in each church so that parishioners have a voice and say what they like or don’t like and a chance for everyone to share their views and concerns.

This idea has come from the way Leeds Citizens operates. The idea is to get people in pairs and to get to know others in the parish that you don’t know.

3 questions are to be asked and then talk about them.

The PPC members should attend the meeting at the church they represent. Refreshments should be provided.

The PPC agree this is a good idea and this is another opportunity to reach out to the people of the parish.

Fr Paul asked do you think he should have some input into the meeting. The Citizens model is you listen to the people then you bring back comments to another meeting but somethings could be commented on at the first meeting.

The 3 dates suggested are to be put into the diaries. Corpus Christi 21st April St Gregory’s 12th May St Theresa’s 9th June.

Arrive at 7pm for refreshments followed by meeting at 7.30pm finishing no later than 9pm.

Children also have something to offer. These meeting should be communicated to the schools so parents can be advised via the newsletters and text system.

ACTION Working party will be Sheelagh Pickles - Deacon Sean - Fr Paul- Meeting arranged for 24th February at 10.15am


Annual Covenant - 1% to Home & 1% to Overseas Charities. Last year our home covenant money went to Leeds Citizens. This cost £1,100 per year for membership. It was agreed prior to the PPC meeting to carry this on again for another year. This to reviewed again at the end of the year. We should consider this year on year not assume we will carry it on each year.

In view of the many second collections some of which are for overseas charities we already give a lot of money to these causes. Also the amount from the Peru bottle is considerable over the year.

The Overseas charity to be put on hold for 12 months.

There are many parishes in the Diocese running at a loss of which we are one.

Reluctantly it was agreed this year we will continue to pay our subscription to Leeds Citizens but will not support an overseas charity.

Lent 2016

Stations of the Cross will be weekly at St Theresa’s then once per week at 9.00am before Daily Mass at St Gregory’s & Corpus Christi.

4 Fridays during Lent there will be a Mass at St Theresa’s primary school at 8.30am for staff.

Churches Together looked to the clergy to run this again. Lay people should start to take responsibility for some of these duties. The new chair is Rev Matthew Peat, Vicar of St Mary’s Whitkirk.

The meeting closed with a prayer at 9.00pm

Josephine Abby Phillips & Sheila Kennedy will not be at the next meeting.

Prayers for the next meeting will be prepared by Marion Waller

Next Meeting
17th March 7.00pm

Published Wed 10th Feb 2016 16:05:59
Last Modified on Wed 10th Feb 2016 16:36:43

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