Portstewart Parish Pastoral Council
Meeting on Friday the 20th March 2015 Parochial House
Attendance: Sally Andrew, Terry Butcher (Chair), Aaron Doherty, Arlene Duffy, Sean Farren, James Harley, Ernestine McKeever and Fr Austin.
22.1.1 The opening prayer and reading was led by James Harley.
22.1.2 The minutes of the February meeting were adopted.
22.1.3 Arrangements for events to mark the Golden Jubilee of his
ordination to the priesthood of Bishop Farquhar were discussed and
approved. The events will include evening Mass on Friday 19 th June
followed by reception in the Parish Centre where presentations will be
22.1.4 Centenary: the possibility of a Gala event were discussed as well
as the suggestion that a well known personality be invited to appear.
Members of the Council are to follow up. Sean reported on progress
with the centenary book which it is hoped will be available from mid-
November if summer deadline for completion of text is met.
22.1.5 Walk of Witness: Fr Austin reported that arrangements are well
in hand for the Walk of Witness on Good Friday. The walk is being
organised by clergy from all local churches and will commence at
2.00pm on the Harbour Hill and proceed to the Diamond with a number
of stops on the way for prayers and readings.
22.1.6 Men’s Shed: Fr Austin reported that premises have been acquired
and that firm planning can now proceed for the opening of the ‘shed’.
The shed is being developed by the Portstewart Inter-Church Civic
Project and is modelled on a concept already working in other areas.
22.1.7 GIFT: Terry reported on the completion of the first GIFT
programme in which 17 local year 8 students participated. The end of the
programme was marked at the 11.00am Mass on 15 th March when the
young people actively participated in the liturgy. Next year it is planned
to run two programmes. Terry also reported that the Flame Club has
increased its membership and is proving quite popular among the age
22.1.8 Pastoral Area Team: Fr.Austin reported that the Pastoral Area
Team is currently considering how to manage the inclusion of five more
parishes. Training sessions for lectors and Eucharistic Ministers have
been held and some more are planned. The aim is to enhance
participation in the Mass.
22.1.9 Youth Survey: Terry reported that the survey has been
successfully piloted and with some amendments as a result will be soon
ready for wider distribution.
22.1.10 Welcome Ministry: a lengthy discussion took place on how to
implement the Welcome Ministry. While several parishioners attended a
training programme there are some problems implementing the
programme. Fr Austin agreed that he would attend a special meeting of
those involved and hoped that problems could be successfully addressed.
22.11.1 Training sessions for a Baptism preparation programme will
begin soon in Ballymena.
22.1.12 The next meeting will take place on Tuesday 21st April at
22.1.13 Fr Austin led the closing prayer and the meeting ended at 9.00pm.