Our Lady of the Annunciation - Bishop Eton 

Bishop Eton Parish Council Meeting


Time:    Monday 16th September 2019 at 7:30pm

Venue: Monastery Library





Fr. Tim Buckley TBu Parish Priest
Ann Connor AC Chair
Catherine Line CL Hospitality
Dominic Murphy       DM Finance
Eddie McCabe          EM Secretary
Frances Sibert FS Links with schools and universities
Jenny Holden JH Ecumenism
Greg Juhasz GJ Deacon
Hayley Metcalfe HM Administration
Tricia Brophy TBr Catechesis


Andy Finch AF Synod 2020 representative
Christopher Allmand CA Representing older parishioners
Kris Reeds KR Administration
Susan Bamber SB Liturgy
Margie Zilnyk MZ Links with St Marys


1. Introductory Prayer 

TBu opened the meeting with a prayer.

2. Welcome, apologies, resignations and matters arising

  • AC/TBr action on ensuring housebound parishioners are covered by Eucharistic Ministers continues
  • Defibrillator bought and training given to in excess of 120 people by Dr Daniel who secured a 25% discount on the cost of the device.
  • FS and Elisabeth N will run the Alpha course
  • MZ provided pictures of PCT members for the proposed photo board
  • MZ provided feedback on social media apps – see relevant section below.
  • Garden Party was a great success with excellent attendance from parishioners of all ages. The event raised £ 2496.27 for Project Zimbabwe

3. Forthcoming Term - Dates for the diary

  • The Children's Nativity will be 15th December
  • Parish Carol Service will be on 17th December
  • 21st December is the Traditional Carol Service lead by the parish organist, starting at 14:30.
  • Blue Christmas evening will be either 13th or 20th December. Date tbc by organisers. The church will be used for the event, with the Fisher More Hall(FMH) afterwards for refreshments.
  • The annual Parish Social will be 10th January 2020.

4. Property/Site Issues

Tree management at the rear of the car park.

Costs of maintenance would be the same as removal. There was a sub-group meeting to review the issues around this area. Maintenance of the evergreen trees would cost around £3600 per annum. The decision was taken to keep the deciduous trees and remove the Leylandii as they are not maintenance free and have become a hazard. We have written to the neighbour who had expressed reservations to explain our decision based on financial realities.

Maintenance Schedule of FMH Works

Following receipt of the quotes for various works on FMH it is proposed that we pause planned works to undertake a review of the hall in its entirety. We will approach parishioners who are architects/builders to ask them to review how the hall is structured versus its function. If approved the aim will be to bring conclusions back to the next meeting. Suggestions for people to undertake the review are welcomed.

Action: All to consider options (All)

In the interim the work list for John B has been out on hold.

We have had a response from the Archdiocese about what the parish is allowed to spend on remedial works.  The initial response is that we can spend up to £122k on identified activities.

5. BE Green Project/CAFOD

  • The Creation Mass at 10am on 30 June went very well. Creation Mass article
  • BE Green – in response to the Common Home project launches tomorrow evening (17th). It is a 12 month programme aiming to deliver against objectives set out by CAFOD over a 12 month period. Hoping for a good attendance to support.  The project’s patron is Fr Casey and its leader is Tim W ()
  • Harvest Family Fast is 4th October

6.  Items Arising from Bulletin 

A request had been made by the parish organist to move the midnight Mass start time at 21:30 so that older parishioners and the Redemptorist community could have more sleep.  The matter had already been considered in 2018. After discussion it was agreed that the service would be brought forward by 30 minutes to start with carols at 11:00 and Mass at 11.30, therefore straddling the midnight hour.

(Editor’s note: Subsequent to the meeting it has been clarified that this in effect simply confirms the arrangements that were already operational.)

7 Updates from sub-groups

Administration (HM).

  • HM reported that we are considering using the new confessional as a permanent home for the Piety Stall with a view to making this permanent, to reduce the issues associated with constantly moving the materials back and forth to FMH.
  • Health and Safety review of the site reported that everything was well managed, the only concern being with the decking at the rear of FMH.
  • The Oriel Singers have approached the parish about using the church for musical concerts on either 28th March or 4th July. The PCT considered whether the choir would provide its performance to the parish charities and work out the financial details with the group. The PCT’s preference is for the July date, as the lighter nights will enable more people to attend.

Catechesis (TBr) 

  • TBr reported that the With You Always programme has started again, but not as smoothly as we had hoped. Attendance was 11 parents from one class and 12 from another. This year the dates were communicated via the church bulletin, and not via the school, which is seen as a cause of the lower numbers. The Parents’ launch meeting will be repeated
  • There is an extra family that has been added to the Family Readers group
  • There is a DBS related issue due to delays in the process. The lack of access to the computer is holding things up.
  • The Enrolment Mass for Bishop Eton Primary is 29th September. On that day the reception children will be invited to Mass and a barbecue. The school will buy the barbecue and wanted to know if the parish wished to share the investment for the garden party. The PCT view was that using the caterer removed a lot of stress from the garden party, so the decision was to not to share the cost with the school.
  • The Archdiocese has asked parishes to put forward confirmation leaders who may also wish to coordinate the Pastoral Area team. Sharon P, who formerly led BE confirmation programmes, will be approached in the first instance to see if she would be interested in taking on the role.

Action: TBr to discuss with Sharon. (TBr)

  • TBr raised the concern over BEAP doing events during Holy Week. The matter was raised with the school last year. Often the children who are altar servers and in BEAP have been unable to attend the Eucharist on Maundy Thursday because of BEAP performance times clash. . The PCT felt that this is a matter for Mrs Bostock to address, as it is a school based project. Suggestion is that the BEAP production could move forward a week to avoid Holy Week. TBu agreed to discuss with Mrs Bostock.

Action TBu speak to Mrs Bostock (TBu)

Finance (DM)

  • DM reported that there are total reserves of £205k, of which £55k is a legacy with specifically targeted capital expenditure usage, leaving £150k that can be used on general day to day cost.
  • DM circulated the 6 monthly parish financial statement. The figures do not take account of contribution made to the archdiocese or the gift aid rebate, which suggest we are likely to break even over the year. We are reviewing how and where we fund building costs from; whether it should be from income, or possibly using the legacy.
  • The auditor has reviewed parish financial processes and is satisfied that we operate in an appropriate fashion.
  • AC noted that on the website the "current" financial statement relates to 2016, so needs updating. We will upload the 2018 statement and remove all others.

Action: DM to arrange for 2018 financial statement to  be uploaded to the parish website and to write the introductory paragraph (DM)

Hospitality (CL)

CL reported that the last event was the celebration of Greg's ordination, which was well received.

Liaison with schools (FS)

  • FS reported that a lot had happened, including four members of the Youth Justice and Peace Group going to London for the awards ceremony for the Faith In Action gold award, and a large group going for Silver.  The gold awards were presented by Cardinal Nicholls
  • The group has raised around £2000 for various causes over the year. The have also worked with CAFOD and Nugent.
  • The sponsored floor tiles are now laid in the school in Zimbabwe

Liturgy (SB)

  • Advent Leaflet/Booklet

SB suggested that we have an Advent leaflet/booklet   - this could include services and events over the period (eg. carol services, reconciliation service, SVP healing mass etc) and include details of the Christmas masses. This should be ready to distribute on the last Sunday before Advent.

  • Just Sing!

Just Sing will be one of the events as Advent will provide a good framework and theme to build the event around.

  • Synod Sunday 2019

SYNOD Sunday will take place on the weekend of 12 and 13 October 2019: As highlighted in the bulletin, there is a "clash" on Synod Sunday, but there may be resources that can be incorporated into the services that day to at least mark the occasion (eg. bidding prayers). There will be be liturgy and prayer resources available on line here :


  • Parish Musicians in Action

Amy C (organist and singer at 11.30am) and Andrew S (Parish organist) will be in action at All Saints' Childwall as part of their Heritage Weekend on 21 September at 12.30pm and Sunday 22 September at 2.00pm. They are both providing informal organ recitals.

  • Novena

The Novena in June was a great success thanks to work of Fr Michael and the committed team of parish volunteers who assisted him. It was a very enriching experience for those involved in the planning and delivery of the services and also for those who attended any of the services across the 9 days. 

Special thanks to the flower arranging team for the beautiful displays and also the hospitality team for organising the event after of the final service.

MZ has included pictures from the services on the parish website: http://www.bishopeton.org.uk/photos/category/137-novena2019.html\

  • Bereavement Mass

A group of musicians and singers from the 6pm music group supported the service - Their participation was very much appreciated by the Bereavement Team. The musicians felt it was a privilege to be able to support it.

Links with St Marys (MZ)

  • SVP Healing Mass

St Mary’s next healing Mass will be on 12 October, followed by lunch.  If anyone can help with transport they will be most welcome.

  • Rosary Exhibition

Planned for October – the exhibition will consist of small display on each mystery  (created by parishioners) which will remain in the church throughout the month.

  • Exploring our Faith

Starting this Thursday 6.30pm to 8.00pm, and continuing of the third Thursday of subsequent months.  At each session a one hour episode from the DVD Catholicism – a Journey to the Heart of the Faith’ by Bishop Robert Barron will be viewed which will be followed by a discussion.

  • Pilgrimage

The Pilgrimage to Rome and Assisi is fully booked. It will take place from th Oct to 2nd November and be led by Fr Tim.

  • Social Media Site and Parish Apps
  1. Choyr from its adverts looks ideal but the lack of users is a concern
  2. Social apps - in summary all those found are US based and it cannot be guaranteed that they are GDPR compliant.  It might be better to approach one of the UK companies that create school apps and look at whether they could produce something for us. )

Ecumenism (JH) 

  • The Women's World Day of Prayer preparation day is planned for the Quaker Meeting House.
  • The Farmer's Market on Allerton Road includes 2 stalls sponsored by the Liberal Democrat councillors for local charities. Churches Together in Mossley Hill has agreed to host a stall.

The proposed dates are November 16th and December 21st. The stalls are given to charities to use as they see fit. JH would be pushing the message of churches working together.

Resettlement (AC)

  • The UNHCR visited the parish to meet the family   in July over two days. , The family played a full and active role along with steering group members. The report from that is still awaited.  Visits were made to 5 families nationally. 
  • The family had a holiday in Anglesey thanks to a generous parishioner, and it was a great success.
  • Their daughter is now in year 7 at school and enjoying it greatly.
  • The family is settling really well and are now beginning to assert their independence.
  • The steering group has also supported St Charles/St Annes, St Bartholomew's Rainhill, St Anne’s Ormskirk and the 3 Catholic parishes in the Kirkby Lonsdale area.  Each is either getting their families shortly, or have just got them. Bishop Eton documentation has been used by all the parishes.  BE members have also given talks at the parishes
  • Liverpool School of English has very generously offered to provide 2 student places once our family has moved on. They have also offered 12 places over the year on ESOL courses to enable people to train in the skills of teaching English to foreign students.
  • There will be a parish celebartion to mark the 1 year anniversary of the  family arriving in the UK.

Synod 2020 (AF)

The PCT expects to support the objectives and activities of the parish representative and awaits his report.

Action: AF to attend PCT meetings (AF)

TBu is in Wigan at the weekend for Synod related training.

8. Outline of Strategy for the Parish

TBu intends to lay out his thoughts on what has happened over the last 8 years and what it means for the two parishes.  Looking forward for the next 4 years, he has been asked to continue as parish priest. TBu does not wish to restructure Mass times at the moment given the support of members of the community.

The lack of vocations both in the Redemptorist community and in the diocese means that the issue is unavoidably approaching a critical juncture.

We need an honest conversation with the parish and the archdiocese.

Th PCT was of the opinion that we should engage directly with parishioners about how they must become active in the parish if they wish the community to continue, and seek more active involvement from new members of the parish to provide support to the Redemptorist community in discharging our pastoral mission.

Action: All to consider how to bring new people into parish groups as active participants

9. Any Other Business

TBu’s Golden Anniversary of ordination to the Priesthood is 21st July 2020.PCT to consider how best to celebrate as a parish.

Action: All

AC noted that there is a programme about the Vatican on BBC2 on 20th September, which has a substantial role for Archbishop Paul Gallagher, a former SFX pupil.

10. Date of Next meeting

     Wednesday 6th November at 8pm Hughes Room