Venue: St Bernard’s Church, Lingfield

This meeting began after a Vigil Mass for the Ascension of the Lord followed by a short social gathering in the Hall. There were about 50 people present comprised of both OLSP and St Bernard’s parishioners. Fr Jack led an opening prayer.

The format of the meeting was informal with the written submissions to the May 2024 Parish Magazine forming the order of items to be discussed. Magazine submissions will not be written about in these notes unless commented upon during the meeting.

During the meeting it was suggested that a more formal arrangement should be considered in future with both an appointed chair-person and a written agenda circulated before the commencement of the meeting.


Full report in Magazine with Mike Hope adding that as there are so few candidates this year the programme will not run. These candidates will be added to next year’s programme.

Guild of St Stephen

Full report as per Parish Magazine. Richard Emms has taken over the role of leading the Guild for both Parishes. It was noted that he is very experienced and is doing an excellent job. He has initiated training sessions at OLSP for all servers.

Rosary group at OLSP

Full report as per Parish Magazine. Les Whittaker was present at the AGM and reiterated the time of Adoration 11am, followed by Rosary at 12.10pm. Rosary is also live streamed for those receiving the prayer document to pray along at home. There was also an interesting observation that St Mary’s CofE is running a Rosary group. Les mentioned the St Bernard’s Holy hour and Rosary group at 7.30pm on Wednesdays.

St Bernard’s Floristas

There was praise from Fr Jack for the beautiful and inventive flower displays presented in both Churches throughout the year. This sentiment was generally echoed by all those attending the AGM.

Note- Although item written in the Parish Magazine was attributed to Jonathan Jenkins this turned out to be a simple typing error in the magazine. Attendees at the meeting were left disappointed (some amazed) when it was quickly established that Jonathan is neither a florista nor author of the piece.

Ministry of Consolation

Full report as per Parish Magazine. Eleanor Johnson spoke of how consolation befrienders can offer support for the various forms of grief. A warm welcome will await anyone who attends the monthly Café in OLSP Parish centre. It was noted that there will be a Healing Mass on 15th June at 11.30am and this will be followed by refreshments provided by the Consolation Café. This Healing Mass will be specifically but not exclusively for anyone suffering from the loss of a child.

Music Ministry

Full report as per Parish Magazine. Liam was present and able to demonstrate exactly how to clap in time to “Shine Jesus Shine”. This may benefit the un-coordinated at OLSP 10.30am Sunday Mass.

Catenian Circle

Full report as per Parish Magazine. The group still going strong, and a reminder was given about the Quiz night at St Peter’s school in aid of the Parish Appeal. 17th May at 7.30pm.


Enrique commented that this is a happy, thriving active group who do a lot of fund raising but could always benefit from new members (ideally those whose hair is not yet grey). Fr Jack commented how invaluable the SVP are in supporting his visiting ministry as he is able to delegate some of the visiting to them.


Both OLSP representative (Chris P) and St Bernard’s representative (Margaret Vasey) were present at AGM. They were in accord that this is very much a joint venture. Chris commented that with regard to Missio red boxes the cash collected has reduced. This can be accounted for by the general lack of coinage around. He added that although people should donate as suits them, it might be beneficial to the charity if more people decided upon a standing order. A point was raised that possibly Missio were sending out too many mailshots or postal information which is wasteful. It was concluded that this could be eliminated by “opting-out” online.

Friends of St Peter’s School

Jordan (PTA member) was present at AGM. She talked about the 50pct Government cap on numbers of Catholic pupils in Catholic schools. Fr Jack spoke about the falling numbers of pupils in the school which greatly affects Government funding as they award per child. A request was made for more regular communication from the school for parishioners who no longer have school-age children and therefore may miss out on information.

Welcoming at OLSP

There are two new recruits for this vital ministry named ‘Justice’ and ‘Mercy’ who are proving to be excellent newcomers at 10.30am.

Lunch Club

Gabrielle Joyce said that OLSP regularly has over 20 people attending every month and parishioners from both parishes are welcome to attend for a meal and good company.

Parish Pastoral Committee (PPC)

There is a comprehensive write-up in the Parish Magazine by Mike Hope. Fr Jack added a few words in response to a query about the possible impact of the suggested changes in “The Word Who is Life” document. In Fr Jack’s meeting with Bishop Moth last week, the Bishop spoke of the Deanery becoming a Super-Parish with the Bishop moving the Clergy around to assist in other Parishes as and when needed. However, individual Parishes will still be running their own bank account and OLSP and St Bernard’s will not be losing their Parish Priest any time soon.

Street Pastors

Mike Hope spoke of how it is sometimes necessary for the SPs to go out during the daytime to assist in de-escalating anti-social behaviour in the town. He thanked people for their prayers for the group.

Parish Finance Committee

Paul Barret presented on behalf of the PFC.

2023 Financial Overview

  • 2023 income at £142k was down versus 2022 mainly due to lower legacy, rent and Gift Aid receipts. Gift Aid has increased in the year, but some payment should come in 2023.
  •  Operational expenditure has increased to £146k in 2023 mainly due to increases in Energy costs, Diocese Levy, Council tax and extraordinary payments.
  • A request was made to review St Bernard’s energy costs to clarify if more energy is being used with the new heating controls in place.
  • Parish property expenditure was £102k in 2023 driven by development work on St Bernards Project, Work on OLSP Hall, Acoustic Panels, Pre-sale work on 19 St James, Maintenance at Presbytery & Holly Cottage, and General Maintenance costs.
  • In Summary Total Income was £142k and Total Expenditure £248k with the negative balance paid from Reserves.
  • A summary of Income and Expenditure sheet was given out at the AGM.

St Bernard’s Project Outline

This was covered in detail.

Tom Clarke confirmed that Parishioners will help to decide decoration colours for the church.

Next steps in the project 

  • Obtaining contractor quotations
  • Final proposal at PFC in early June
  • Final proposal to Diocese on 20th June
  • Assuming approval the project will be progressed as quickly as possible, and it is hoped to complete the major work before Christmas.

A request was made to give a breakdown of the estimated cost of the St Bernards Project, and it was agreed that this would be communicated in the Parish Newsletter.

It was also confirmed that the PFC charts will be available upon request by e mailing Paul Barrett at [email protected]

Communications presentation

Unfortunately, this had to be abandoned due to the lateness of the hour. Jonathan Jenkins restricted his talk to telling people that changes in the paper newsletter would be happening in June. He also handed out a few proposed copies of what the new newsletter might look like.

The evening ended with a prayer led by Fr Jack

Comments are closed