Our Lady of the Annunciation - Bishop Eton 

Bishop Eton Parish Council Meeting


Time:    Wednesday 8th January at 8:00pm

Venue: Hughes Room





Christopher Allmand CA Representing older parishioners
Tricia Brophy TBr Catechesis
Ann Connor AC Chair
Andy Finch AF Synod 2020 representative
Jenny Holden JH Ecumenism
Eddie McCabe          EM Secretary
Hayley Metcalfe HM Administartion
Dominic Murphy DM Finance
Frances Sibert FS Links with schools and universities
Kris Reeds KR Administration


Susan Bamber SB Liturgy
Fr Tim Buckley TBu Parish Priest
Greg Juhasz GJ Deacon
Catherine Line CL Hospitality
Margie Zilnyk MZ Links with St Marys

Vacancies                                    Representing: Parish Charities, Evangelisation, Young People 


1. Introductory Prayer 

TBr opened the meeting with a prayer.

2. Welcome, apologies, minutes and matters arising

 Actions from the previous meeting will be dealt with under the appropriate agenda item

3. SYNOD 2020

There have been 7 or 8 full parishioner responses to be considered by the parish representatives. These have been summarised and sent in to the archdiocese. A decision on whether or not to publish the detail of the responses is outstanding.  

There are still opportunities for parishioners to submit responses, but this needs to be promoted. We are aware that St Mary's have published their responses, but need to confirm Fr Tim’s approval.

We are awaiting consideration of the substantial responses to Fr Michael's questionnaire.

There was discussion about the structure/content of the Archdiocese questionnaire in light of a disappointing response in terms of numbers of submitted responses (see above). 

Some felt the questions were far too closed, hence lack of interest and nil response from many parishioners

4. Review of Christmas programmes of services

In general, the services went very well (further details in Liturgy section). The key issue for the Parish Carol Service was around the clash of dates with SFX and St Edwards which impacted a number of younger members of the parish and their families.

BE Green: By only printing the words to the Carols that were not in the hymn books and referencing the numbers of those that are, we reduced the service booklets from 3 double sided A4 sheets to 1.

Thanks to those who played and sang at all services, and to CL and the Hospitality team for the refreshments provided.

Traditional Carol Service: It was noted that the collection taken at the service raised £186.

Action: DM to ask AS to transfer collection into parish accounts as required. (DM)

Suggestion for next year

Conferring with schools on dates: We should liaise with SFX, St Edward’s and St Julie’s’ to avoid if possible a clash in dates between the Parish Carol Service and the school’s events

 Action: Dates for Parish Carol Service to be sent to local schools (see below)  (FS/HM)

5. Dates for The Diary 2020

Need to book Allerton Brass early for any events due to their increasing popularity.

Garden Party: 12th July was identified as preferred date, subject to Allerton Brass being available. The fall-back date would be 28th June.  This year the Garden Party will be a Parish Celebration of Fr Tim’s 50th Anniversary of Ordination (which will fall on 21st July).

Christmas: is on a Friday in 2020. Therefore

  • With You Always Nativity service will be on Sunday 20th
  • Reconciliation Service: 21st December
  • Parish Carol Service: 22nd December, subject to Allerton Brass availability.
  • Traditional Service: 19th December

6. BE Green Project Update

Fr Tim launched the project with enthusiasm at Masses on 5 January. 

There will be two challenges each month

  • Starting with the recycling of Christmas cards. Within the first week a huge number of cards has already been collected and they needed separating out to remove any with glitter as they cannot be recycled in the normal way. Youth J&P assisting
  • The second initiative for January will be encouraging parishioners to take a bag of things to a charity shop, preferably to Nugent.
  • The last Sunday of each month will be focused on encouraging people to walk to church.

A simple survey is to be published and handed out before mass on Sunday 12th January, with a brief pause in the service for people reflect on the Pope’s teaching and to complete after communion so the parishioners have a baseline against which we can measure progress.

Survey pulpit address, distribution and collection

  • 8.30: AC
  • 10.00 TBr
  • 11.30 CA
  • 18.00 KR

There was discussion of potential funding of the initiative by the parish in the context of the proposed tree planting initiative. KR noted that one of the mayors has a budget to cover green initiatives, so that we can apply for financial support. The Woodlands Trust also funds planting of trees, as well as being a great resource for advice on what types of trees are best to plant and where.

Action: KR has emailed information to Tim W (KR)

7. Updates from sub-groups

Administration (HM/KR)

The outstanding building work has stalled.  John B is waiting to speak to Fr Tim and Fr Andrew in respect of the approach to adopt. The PCT hoped that a phased approach to the work would remove the obstacles

Action: meet with Fr Tim to discuss approach for handling outstanding building works and best way forward. (AC/EM/DM/HM/TBu/JB)

Catechesis (TBr) 

a) The parish Nativity went very well.

b) 62 young people received the sacrament of reconciliation over the Christmas period.

c) There are 7 people actively engaged with the RCIA programme, although none is actually from within Bishop Eton parish.

Finance (DM)

a) DM provided an estimated year end position of parish finances for 2019, as not all December transactions have been fully reconciled as yet. Income has generally held steady over the last four years at around £150k but the impact of property costs means that, as in 2018, 2019 will show the parish running a deficit, expected to be no more than £15k.

b) There was discussion about how we can increase income, e.g. by using the bulletin to encourage parishioners to review their standing orders. Further discussion needed.

Hospitality (CL)

The primary concern from the hospitality side was that the parish celebration on Friday 10th January is ready to go with confirmed volunteers to help set up and clean up.  Thanks to Sue T and hospitality team

Liaison with schools (FS)

a) The Youth Justice and Peace Group sang carols at Spring Oak old peoples’ home which was well received.

b) There will be some changes to the makeup of the group as some of the older members  go away to college/university. The chemistry between older and younger members of the group is excellent.

c) KR asked if any of the older members might consider becoming a representative for youth and parish charities on PCT.

Action: FS to approach potential candidates and give names, contacts to AC (FS)

Liturgy (SB)

a) The new Advent-Christmas leaflet set out the different events and services that took place and many parishioners took the opportunity to participate in one or more of these. The leaflet provides a good model for a Lent/Easter edition. Thanks to KR for putting the leaflet together.

b) The SVP Healing Mass and Parish Reconciliation service were well supported - both were very special and reflective occasions and most appreciated by parishioners - thank you to everyone involved. The SVP also passed on their thanks to the parish musicians who were able to support the service.

c) The SVP food collection on one of the Sundays also produced a good response from parishioners. We can add this initiative to the advent leaflet next year to ensure that it receives maximum publicity and build on this year's success.

d)The Blue Christmas service was not able to go ahead.

e) The WYA nativity, parish carols and traditional carols were popular once again and the Christmas Eve and Christmas Day masses were also well attended.

Thanks to TBr and the WYA team and all the readers and musicians who were involved in these services. Special mention for the efforts of the 10am music team who supported the WYA nativity, parish carol service, family mass on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day mass in addition to their usual Sunday duties. 

Thanks to all those who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to facilitate and prepare for all these advent and Christmas services and events (and carry this work out week in, week out)  - in particular the sacristans, flower arranging team, laundry team, the cleaners, our deacons John Keeley and GJ, HM and KR in the office.  A truly monumental team effort! Thanks to MZ who devoted a lot of time to photographing many of the services as well as keeping the website updated with all the events.

Links with St Marys (MZ)

a) A Carol Service for HCPT was included in this year’s Advent offering

b) This year’s Parish Helpers thank you will take place on the 25th following a Parish Celebration Mass. It will take the form of an Italian evening. However, this clashes with our Project Zimbabwe fundraiser, and some people are disappointed they can’t attend both.  We have been asked to look at ways to prevent this from recurring.

c) This Sunday (or the Feast of the Epiphany) the church door was blessed with 20*C+M+B+20 "Christus mansionem benedicat" which means "Christ bless this house".  Copies of the blessings were available for parishioners to take home and do the same.  – Perhaps we could consider making the blessing available here next year.

d) As part of Christian Unity week St Mary’s will be hosting an Ecumenical Service on Sunday 19th Jan at 4pm.  All welcome to the service and to the refreshments afterwards.

e) The Exploring our Faith series will recommence this month, following the cancellation of the November & December sessions due to unforeseen circumstances

Ecumenism (JH) 

a) Farmer's Market : 

  • 56 knitted angels were given at farmer's market stall.
  • The cost of banners and 5000 cards giving information on the different church services times came to £290, Bishop Eton gave the maximum donation of £30.

b) Disappointingly nothing is planned for the week of Christian Unity this year.

c) Investigating links with Alpha Group taking over St Barnabas church on Allerton Rd later this year.

Resettlement (AC)

a) The first anniversary party went superbly well, with many parishioners and others attending, FMH was full.  Thanks to everyone who made the evening such a success

b) On 17th January Archbishop Malcolm, as part of a day engaging with Nugent and the resettlement programme in the archdiocese, will visit our family in their home with AC and TBu and Nugent Trustees.

c) The long outstanding Gift Aid issue with LACE continues unresolved, and with little positive engagement from LACE.

d) AC gave background update on a family that are friends with our family who have just been resettled in Worthing, and who the family visited between Christmas and New Year.

e) Support is also being given to a Syrian PhD student who has acted as an interpreter for our family but has recently been made homeless.  A parishioner has offered her a home in the short term, other parishioners are helping her find work.

Synod 2020 (AF)    (see agenda item 3 above)

8.  Any Other Business

There was further discussion around the deployment of a webcam in the church which would support isolated parishioners who would wish to feel more part of the community and liturgy. It was agreed that issues around use of a webcam need to progress for the benefit of all the parish community.

Action: AC to procure updated costings from the supplier. (AC)

9. Next meeting

Wednesday 11  March at 8pm