y St. Hugh of Lincoln - Parish - Council

Parish Pastoral Council

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In autumn 2004 Bishop Kieron asked parishes to consider how they might function in the future without a dedicated parish pries when he launched a period of consultation.  Among other things, St Hugh of Lincoln parishioners came up with a firm and widely felt need for a properly constituted Parish Council.  A Steering Group was set up in the spring of 2003.  After much examination of parish structures in other Dioceses, the Group proposed that a Parish Pastoral Council was required with a written constitution (relatively unusual).  There would be 12 members (there were 12 apostles), with Father Richard Blythen and the Chair of the Parish Finance Committee as ex officio members.  There would be a democratic election of members willing to stand.  The constitution was drafted and submitted to the Bishop for approval.  This was given and the signed original was presented to the Parish on the feast of St Hugh in 2003.  Elections were held in early 2004 and a full Council appointed.  

The inaugural meeting took place on 24 March 2004.  A Chair and Secretary were elected by ballot among Council members.  Six of the twelve members represent the communities, interests and liturgical structures of the three weekend Masses at St Hugh's and the other six represent the parish's general interests and outreach to the wider catholic and Christian communities.  The meetings in March and April 2004 surveyed what was being done in the parish, what needed to be done and how best to approach these activities.  A number of sub-committees were established, eg the Care Group, the divorced, separated and bereaved group, a liturgy group, the social group, some of which already existed, but one or two had needed re-starting.  These activities, together with RCIA, Justice and Peace, the confirmation, first communion and baptism programmes, were seen as important building blocks to the spiritual, liturgical and pastoral work of the parish and in building up a sense of corporate community.  This collectively represents the core objectives of the parish enshrined in the constitution.  The other objectives of the PPC are to have responsibility for the stewardship of the parish, to support and cooperate with the Parish Priest, to facilitate and maintain effective communication and to build up outreach to surrounding communities.  

In May 2004 the PPC held an "away day" to form stronger bonds in an environment away from church premises (in fact, it was the tropical venue of St Hugh's school which greatly pleased the Finance Committee because it cost nothing !) and to formulate strategies for the future.  To expand the idea of stronger communication, a sub-group was formed to consider restarting the magazine.  The result was positive.  Initial planning for mission was begun, a Cafe course was run in 2005, following redecoration of the Hall.  

The Council needed to know who the parishioners were and what they might be interested in supporting actively.  A social programme was circulated in the summer, together with a request for names and addresses to update a rather outdated database.  The response was great and gave the PPC a renewed confidence, as well as providing the Presbytery with a much improved idea of our parishioners.  

From this we were able to ask Father Richard to invite new and much needed Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist and Ministers of the Word and of Welcome.  At the same time a parish Bulletin was circulated notifying actions taken and views reached by the PPC.  Four have so far appeared.  The Mission in November 2004 impacted intensely on the spiritual life of the parish and created a much greater sense of community, which has to be maintained and built on if we are to enjoy lasting "value added" and "value for money" from this event.  

An AGM takes place in May at which the Chair delivers an annual report.  The Chair sits ex officio on the Parish Finance Committee.  Some significant actions taken by the PPC during the first three years of operation have been the expansion of the numbers of Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist, Readers and Welcomers, together with appropriate training and a successful attempt to involve many more young members of our parish community in these ministries.  Two members of the PPC attended a seven months course in Volunteer Management at DABCEC in Crawley, because the Bishop wanted to build up a more professional base for parish management against the likelihood of fewer priests in the future.  The course awarded an Advanced Certificate in Volunteer Management to those judged to have attained the level of knowledge required.  The Handbook for Volunteers was produced for the parish as an outcome of this course and includes up to date information on health and safety, which assumed greater prominence in 2006.  The PPC arranged the programme for the induction by the Bishop of Father Jeff, our new Parish Priest in November 2005, at which seven former parish priests concelebrated.  His Worship the Mayor of Woking also attended.  In the summer of 2006, a Planned Giving approach was made to parishioners, which resulted in a magnificent extra 18,000 per annum being pledged for parish funds.  This was a great help in taking forward all the work needed to maintaining the church and estate.  

Now that the PPC has reached its third anniversary, the constitution requires one-third of members to step down to enable fresh blood to be brought in.  The four vacancies were advertised and spoken about from the lectern, but only two replacement members have come forward.  We need a full complement of 12 to keep the parish firmly focused on what needs to be done.  If there are peole reading this on the website, who think they could commit themselves to serving the community by sitting on the PPC for three years, please come forward.  Any member of the PPC will be glad to describe what is involved.  

Chairman's Report 2014

The following link provides access to the PPC Chairman's Report of the parish of St. Hugh of Lincoln, Knaphill.  .  .  

Chairman's Report 2014

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Parish Constitution

The following link provides access to the constitution of the parish of St.  Hugh of Lincoln, Knaphill.  .  .  

Parish Constitution (PDF, 75kb)

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