Parish Pastoral Council of Belper with Duffield and Ripley – June 2022

Published Thu, 13/10/2022 by

Minutes of the meeting held at St Joseph’s Church on Wednesday 22nd June 2022, 7pm 

Present: Father Michael Kirkham,Tim Benson,Patrick McGuire, Phil Smith, Jason Guidon, Dave Wilkinson, Margaret Kirkham (Minutes secretary) 

Father Michael welcomed everyone, especially new member Dave Wilkinson ApologiesSusan King, Niels Richthof, Christine Pope-Hamshaw
2 Opening Prayer
3 Minutes of the Last Meeting 

The minutes of the 23rd March were approved with the following amendments: Paragraph 3 Amend ‘special liturgy’ to Triduum Liturgy
Paragraph 4 Capital G for Graham 

Matters Arising 

  • Phil referred to the desire of a stronger link with St Elizabeth’s School. He is helping to establish this by playing for the parish Masses celebrated there and meeting with Tim Ward the Deputy Head and RE Co-ordinator.
    Jason has been accepted as a parent governor for the school and his two children attend there. 

Fr Michael reported he had met with Hazel Boyce, Acting Head at St Benedict’s who is keen to form links with the parish. She will speak at a future Mass. Fr Michael has been asked to be Chaplain to Year 8 pupils from September. 

  • There has been no definitive answer from the Diocese regarding the covenant on St Margaret’s. Fr Michael has asked Rachael Oxspring, Property Manager who reported the Diocesan solicitors say there is nothing to deter the future development of the land. This has not been received in writing. It was pointed out that property development has risks and the top price for the sale of the land might not be realised. 
  • Graham Roberts has been thanked by Fr Michael for his work preparing the report on the three churches. 

4 Election of a Lay Chair 

Phil Smith is willing to stand as a candidateThere were no other nominations. Due to low numbers attending, Phil preferred to wait until more members were present to take a vote. Dave suggested he lead the meeting as Acting Chair. This was agreed. 

5 Divine Renovation 

Dave gave an update on progress made by the Leadership Team since January. Divine Renovation is a programme developed by Fr James Mallon in North America to help parishes become outward looking missionary parishes. The programme can be adapted to suit individual situations, particularly for sacramental preparation. Phil commented that the Sycamore Course, already piloted in the parish, can be part of this.
Fr Michael commented that Divine Renovation has been around for about twenty years and the recent pandemic has shown weaknesses in Catholic culture indicating that the faith is not passing down through the generations. 

It is a huge challenge and made more so by the reorganisation of our three churches but that is exactly what Fr Mallon did, he built a new thriving church out of three parishes.
A more detailed update will be given at the next meeting. The Leadership Team are attending a day in Nottingham on 2nd July to hear of the experiences of parishes already running the programme. There is one place available. 

6 Parish Questionnaire 

Fr Michael has read through all the responses and the data has been summarised by Dave Wilkinson. 

Overall the data showed a willingness to accept change with a loyalty to parish life from Belper and Ripley parishioners. There was recognition for the need to be one parish. 

There is anger and upset around the proposed closure of St Margaret’s with feelings running high. The parishioners who showed the strongest sense of attachment to a current building are at Duffield, 54% couldn’t see beyond that. 

27% of the Duffield congregation said they could transition to a Mass elsewhere after an adjustment.
59% said it was their intention to attend a Vigil Mass elsewhere in the parish, preferably at Belper. Three people who attended occasionally wouldn’t move but others were more flexible. 

At Belper 90% of parishioners would be prepared to travel to a new site within the parish, with 66% of Ripley parishioners being prepared to do so. It was thought important to make it clear; this would mean the closure of both Our Lady’s and St Joseph’s buildings. There was however a feeling that Belper needs Ripley and vice versa. 

Of the Duffield parishioners who indicated they would stop going to Mass or leave the parish, very few made any suggestions of action which would persuade or help them to remain active members of the parish, eg: help with transport. 

Throughout the responses from all three churches there is a strong feeling that community is more important than a building. It was recognised that although St Margaret’s parishioners are angry, help could be given to make changes work. In general comments from St Margaret’s the sense of community is important and that the closure of the building would lead to the end of this. 

It was suggested that the PPC plan a timeline to facilitate the closure of Duffield. This could be as long as two years but would consume energy and prolong the idea of becoming a unified parish. The majority of questionnaire responses support a shorter time frame, possibly one year. It was felt this would help manage reorganisation rather than manage 

decline. It is important to set out to people positive outcomes which would come from being a unified parish and it was suggested a discussion could begin with the Diocese to explore the possibility of one new church; a new beginning for everyone. 

Dave Wilkinson will prepare a commentary of the consultation for general circulation amongst parishioners which will also include positive actions any changes would facilitate. 

The results of a Health and Safety Inspection on 29th June may also have a bearing on reorganisation. 

The decision regarding reorganisation has been made by the Diocese and this will affect many churches over time. The Parish of Belper with Duffield and Ripley are well along the road of becoming a unified parish. The need for joint finance will need to be addressed. 

7 Health & Safety 

To be revisited at the next meeting when Maureen Kingman will speak about her role as H&S Representative and Safeguarding Officer.
Fr Michael mentioned that Sherri Medcalf has indicated her intention to stand down as Parish book keeper at the end of March 2023 and Maureen has shown an interest in this role. A new H&S & Safeguarding Representative would therefore be needed. This is an essential role, currently voluntary, but could possibly become a paid one. 

Andrew Huckerby, H&S Consultant from Worknest (formerly Ellis Whittam) will carry out a H&S inspection organised by the Diocese at Belper and Duffield Wednesday 29th June 10am and Ripley Friday 22nd July (time tbc) 

8 Ministries currently exercised by Parishioners 

a) The information collected shows a great many ministries are already being carried out but there are significant gaps. 

  • Lack of pastoral visiting, no SVP group. Could evolve out of the Divine Renovation programme 
  • No structured link with Hope for Belper. Possibly have a parish representative as a trustee 
  • Ecumenical outreach in Ripley. Churches Together in Ripley beginning in July with work on fundraising and supporting those in financial hardship 
  • Debt counselling 
  • Counting teams at Belper 
  • Team to help with funerals at Belper 
  • Provision of refreshments after Mass at Belper 
  • Children’s Liturgy leaders and helpers for Belper and Ripley (a joint resource?) 
  • Justice & Peace/ Cafod – would appeal to young people 
  • Evangelisation – need for people in the Market Place 
  • Catechetical team – will evolve out of Sycamore and other courses 
  • Appropriate training for volunteers, the church has a duty of care to all volunteers. 

The Leadership Team will consider the above during their Saturday morning meetings. The Sycamore course encourages people to identify and use their own gifts and talents. 

Communications Agreed that the weekly bulletin should continue to be emailed out. Due to the development of the Diocesan E-News the provision of the Diocesan Newspaper will be phased out. 

PPC members are asked to consider the list below and rate in their view of importance. Please submit to Phil Smith, Acting Chair of the Pastoral Council, by Friday 16th September, together with any other items for future consideration. 

Reinstate offertory procession This will now be done with a covered ciborium. At Belper the children return at this point.
Exchange of the Peace There are no restrictions on shaking hands but as not everyone is comfortable with this, a wave or similar gesture, will be used. 

This needs to be communicated to parishioners
Garden Contract A firm has been employed at Belper for grass cutting. To be referred to the Finance Committee. 

Upper car park at Ripley There are ongoing issues of neighbours parking without permission, refusing to stop when reasonably asked and showing abusive behaviour towards parishioners. Possibility of using bollards discussed but not ideal due to the sharp turn off the main road. CCTV also mentioned. 

Signage regarding use of the car park needs to be displayed. Susan King and Terry Meakin are to be asked to look into this and consult with David Barlow as to the best way to deal with the anti-social and malicious behaviour.
Air Ambulance Clothing Bank A request for this has been made from the charity and although it would be a good community facility it was agreed there is no space for people to drive in with donations. The area of the nearby former charity shop was suggested. 

Embedding Synodal values in our parish structures and life (see attached Synod Conference notes) Outcome of the two H&S inspections in later June and July 

Further planning with regard to the renewal of the parish along the principles of Divine Renovation Advancing the development of timelines with regard to church plant
Maureen Kingman to advise the Pastoral Council on her role as Parish Safeguarding Officer and current issues the Pastoral Council need to know about

Contactless payment on entrance to church – or resume collections?
Developing a manageable job description for Margaret in her role as parish assistant 

The next meeting will be on Tuesday 9th August, 7pm at St Margaret Clitherow’s, Duffield 

Closing Prayer 

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