Annual Parish Assembly
Our Annual Parish Assembly was held Saturday morning 5 September in our Parish Centre. All Parish groups were invited to prepare a report that was collated into a booklet and made available to all Parishioners in the St Anne’s Gathering Space one week before the assembly.
About 30 Parishioners attended as individuals and representing Parish Groups and our
Parish schools. Once again we thank Michael Mc Conville who facilitated the morning’s events.
Fr Kevin kicked off the gathering with a warm welcome and opening prayer. He acknowledged with gratitude the “unsung heroes” of our community who tirelessly give to the life to the Parish. To name a few he spoke of the 25 Ministers of Communion who visit our housebound, sick and those in Aged Care Facilities. He also mentioned the many who clean our churches, reducing the running costs of the Parish by about $30,000 annually.
Fr Kevin highlighted the tremendous growth of Sunbury and the intense planning that involves as a Parish. In collaboration with Victorian Government Authorities, Melbourne Catholic Archdiocese, Catholic Education Office and our Parish Education Board, the Parish is planning for 3 new school facilities.
He pointed out the benefits of the Parish Meeting Night initiative that invites all Parish groups to meet bi-monthly, hoping that it may build in 2016.
Fr Kevin spoke of the hope that the Parish will be able to repair the St Anne’s church spire and portico and also enhance the church Gathering Space with some alterations, reversing the meeting room and kitchen.
Fr Kevin introduced Jim Foran, Honorary Parish Business Manager. Jim spoke of the need to prepare for the growth of our Parish. He explained that the schools’ “families’ payment” arrangement had changed to conform with Government funding guidelines. Through good management the Parish debt had reduced from some $621,000 in 2011 to currently $125,000. Considering this performance there is a confidence, considering the growth of Sunbury, in the ability to borrow and meet future loan repayments. However there has been a drop of 10% in the Parish envelopes over the past 12 months.
Jim applauded the generous and constant support of the Bingo team who raise be- tween $30,000 and $40,000 annually for the Parish. As a focus for our Parish future a “Stewardship Program” is planned for October 2015. Much of the information contained in Jim’s report will be outlined in the Stewardship Program brochure.
Reports and Discussion
After pre-reading and scanning the booklet, participants were formed into groups of 3 or 4 to discuss the Parish Group and School reports.
Morning tea offered a break and opportunity to catch up with people and continue inter- esting discussions. The meeting then resumed to collate the small group discussions and complete the morning with open and energetic dialogue.
What were the outcomes at the Annual Parish Assembly?
- Our community is blessed with energetic, enthusiastic and committed volun- teers for whom we are very grateful
- Existing groups need to have a succession plan to pass the baton to younger parishioners for the future planning and ongoing work
- We review the Parish Target as a basis for future development
- We investigate possible fundraising and social activities
- Upcoming events be promoted well, through various avenues including the Parish Bulletin, website, Facebook and Video display in St Anne’s
- We address traffic management and disabled parking
The Assembly finished at 12 but the chatting continued…….
Minutes of the Annual Parish Assembly will be available in the Gathering Space next week.