MAY 2019 – Snippets from the Parish Council meeting in the Parish Hall

Each month the members of Parish Council look back on the month that has passed. The highlight of April was the very moving Easter services guided by Father Paul.  The services: the meal and Eucharist on Maundy Thursday, the solemn liturgy on Good Friday followed by the ecumenical Stations of the Cross and finally the Easter Vigil and the Eucharist on Easter Day were well attended.  Those who participated felt that the suite of services offered new understanding and appreciation of the meaning and significance of Christ’s death and resurrection for them as Christians.  We are grateful to Father Paul for his preparation and guidance and for the way he encouraged involvement on our part.

Financially the Parish Council can report that at the moment we are able to meet our debt to the Diocese as we have reduced our overheads primarily because Father Paul is here on a part time basis. As well we have had generous support from parishioners over the last month and a successful day selling Devonshire teas and books.   It is planned to seek information about the possibility of renting out the Rectory for six months while the search for a permanent priest for the Parish is underway.  This has been made possible because Father Paul has been appointed as locum until the end of February.  We are grateful to him for agreeing to undertake an extension of his work with the Parish.  We thank him for the care and hard work he has put into providing spiritual guidance to the Parish over the last nine months.

At our next meeting, Parish Council will review the work done on the Strategic Plan initiated at the end of 2017.  Work continues on the plan in major areas.  Jane Freemantle has provided information about Parish Outreach, especially about how to reach young members of the community.  As well, members of the parish are engaged in meetings to promote ecumenical worship in the Mansfield area.   Parish Council was reminded of the ecumenical service to be held at the Catholic Church (June 5th) to celebrate Christian unity and calling on Christians “to move from shared prayer to shared action”.

Many events are in the pipeline including the rescheduling of the Bridge/Mahjong day for 25th June.  As well, all are invited to partake of the delicious scones, jam and cream and browse through the great collection of good secondhand books on sale next Saturday, 8th June at St John’s Hall from 9am until 1pm.  Bonnie Doon parishioners continue to hold their Seniors Lunches this year with three successful lunches already done.  They are also suffering from the trials of having a resident possum creating damage in the Church, a problem not unknown in Mansfield as well!

A very important reminder to all is that the Emergency Relief Programme has started and will continue over the three months of winter.  Donations of non-perishable food and blankets can be left at St. John’s Church.  We have also commenced our soup after Church on Sundays, donations from which go to the appeal.

Trish Gilson
5th June 2019