Notes from Synod meeting at St Frances of Rome 15th March 2022

At our previous meetings our parish response was to find ways that we can journey together, through listening, speaking and praying. The outcome of these meetings was the Report to the Cardiff Diocese, following the suggested format. This report is now on the parish website and was in the newsletter from Thursday 17th March.

At this meeting (15th March) there were two areas which we wanted to explore in terms of Mission in our parish. There were 18 parishioners present and we dealt with ideas that had been put forward in the previous meeting, as well as any new thoughts. The intention was to focus on what was feasible and how much consensus there was.

Focus areas:

1. Outreach to the local community and beyond
• It was felt that many of the ongoing initiatives in the town could be best served by individuals taking part rather than setting up our own groups.
• Critical to the above is raising awareness through a good parish communication system, where parishioners involved in organisations such as Churches Together can draw attention to events and projects.
• Our social events can be advertised to encourage local people to come.
• We could explore the Ross Gazette, as it does not now advertise church events other than those at St Mary’s.
• Fund raising for the wider world, although usually for Cafod could be extended to other charities, with which parishioners may have links, or have a particular connection.

2. Deepening Commitment and enhancing the life of the parish

• Although the SVP is seen as a powerful force for reaching out to the lonely, poor and sick, in our parish there are not enough parishioners to start it up again at present. This could change in the future.
• The re-establishment of the ‘Social and Fundraising’ group was seen as a good starting point for regaining parish coherence after Covid. (There was some discussion about changing the name.) Plans are already in place for this. Monthly lunches and other events could then be explored.
• There was interest in starting a prayer group. A charismatic prayer group was suggested.
• A need was seen for the church to be open for private prayer at times during the week. There was a realization that this would entail a rota of people to be present. It could be a prayer hour before or after a weekday Mass.
• It would be helpful if notices could be displayed in some of the Eastern European languages, to recognize these groups in the town.
• The Children’s liturgy group could be started up again, if there were enough volunteers.
• Stewarding is continuing at present, there was a strong feeling that this could be continued as a ‘greeters rota’, welcoming people as they enter.
• Much of the above depends on good communication, so that people can see what is happening and hopefully volunteer or take part. There was a suggestion of a monthly Parish Bulletin, separate from the weekly newsletter, where anyone with information of events or calls for involvement can advertise.
( A subsequent comment by email has been to suggest that we should develop a presence on social media, to advertise our presence)

These notes will not be a part of the Synod Report, but represent suggestions as to how we as a parish can continue our Mission.