Annual General Meeting - Agenda

Monday 15th May 2017 @ 1900 Parish Hall

Opening Prayer

1. Address by President

2. Chair’s Report

3.Results of the Ballot for Lay Members of the Parish Council

4. Financial Report

5. Support to the Parish & Volunteers

6. Forthcoming events

7. Open Forum

Closing Prayer

Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church Charlton
Parish Council

Report to the Annual General Meeting

Monday 15th May 2017

By way of introduction a few words about the timing of the 2017 Annual General Meeting. Previously the AGM has been held in the early autumn and frankly attendance, with the exception of Parish Council members, has been very low indeed. Those non Parish Council members who do attend are normally the familiar faces from the previous year and thanks to them for their interest. By holding the AGM in mid May I hope that the longer evenings and potentially better weather will attract more members of the Parish to attend. Last year – as this year there is a semi bribe by way of cheese and wine that will be served at the end of the meeting.

There have been some changes to our clergy since the last AGM meeting in September. Fr Damien Ozokwere CSSp has left us for West Bromwich and Fr John Abugri CSSp who was only here for a short time before Christmas has returned to his missionary duties and both of them went with our very best wishes and thanks. Fr Paul Antwi-Boasiako CSSp arrived in January as our new assistant parish priest and he has been welcomed by our whole community. At long last Fr Michael Ezenwammadu CSSp was able to come and celebrate a farewell mass and small party that he was unable to manage before he left us for his studies in Canterbury.

There have been a number of resignations and retirements from founder members of our Parish Council and I would like to express grateful thanks to all of them: Catherine Purtill, Chris O’Connell, Tracey Duodu and Tim Quinn all of whom have played an important part in serving our Parish Community. Chris O’Connell will shortly be moving back to Eire and I am sure you will join me in wishing her a happy time in The Emerald Isle.

As a consequence of the retirements and resignations an election is required to elect new members to the council and over the last two weeks parishioners have had the opportunity to nominate candidates. At the time of writing there are eight potential candidates to fill the four vacant lay members positions on the Parish Council and voting is due to take place over the two weekends prior to our AGM. I do think that the number of nominations is a very healthy reflection of the desire to assist the parish and I look forward to announcing the successful candidates at the AGM.

There is an ongoing requirement to seek volunteers to help with the numerous and varied tasks and activities that help a parish function. So if you feel you can offer some of your time then please step forward. Help is still needed for extra Eucharist Ministers, Readers, Church cleaners, members of the choir, gardeners, help with events – Parish Fun Day on 2nd July for example - and numerous other tasks. Your support and assistance will be most appreciated by Fr Josephat in running the Our Lady of Grace Parish.

As you know Our Lady of Grace Primary School has moved to the completed lower site on Highcombe and Bishop Pat will hold a formal opening service and blessing there on Friday 19th May. He will still be with us for the Confirmation Service the following day on Saturday 20th May and also for both the 1000 and 1200 Masses on Sunday 21st May.

Now that the old school site is empty we eagerly await the final go ahead to start a series of building works starting with a renovation of the toilet facilities by the garage behind the church followed by the demolition of the existing Parish Hall to allow a new build on the same site. Whilst that work is in progress the parish will be able to use part of the old school site to act as a temporary Parish Hall which will accommodate any parish events and the After School Club and some other gatherings.

As you will be aware there were no additional bookings taken for social events and hiring out the hall from December 2016 onwards. Fr Josephat took the decision due to numerous complaints received from local residents, mainly about noise and indeed a meeting was held on the 15 February to hear their concerns and allay any fears about the impending new build of the Parish Hall. Fr Josephat and members of the Parish Council were present to aid the Diocesan Architect Roger Jones explain what the new building would look like and the features that would help reduce noise levels. Also at this meeting were members of the Wyndcliffe Road Residents Association who were pleased to learn that the new hall would be built on the old site rather than behind the church. As soon as we have dates for the start of the works there will be an opportunity to view the plans.

We have had some recent events such as the Senior Citizen’s Tea Party and we eagerly await the Parish Fun Day on 2nd July as this will be the main fund raising activity for the year. It is hope to hold this event in the Presbytery garden rather than on the front lawn and there will be a need for extra help to prepare the area. Please look out for detail of how you could help with this. Later in the year we will also host the Deanery Mass following on from the success of the last occasion the Deanery gathered at Our Lady of Grace.

On the matter of fund raising Fr Josephat is fully aware of the number of occasions when both the parish and the diocese call on you for financial support. Not least the recent Clergy Support Campaign for retired priests which was an extra call on your generosity. I would ask that those members of the parish who have not signed up to the “Gift Aid” scheme to please give it their consideration as for all tax payers who contribute to our parish collections the government adds £ 0.25p to every £1 donated.

The Parish Council has now been in place since 2012 and object of the Council remains to assist the Parish Priest in planning and co-ordinating the overall policy and function of the Parish. Even if you are not a current member of the Parish Council but some spare time or a particular expertise or skill that can be of help and assistance to Fr Josephat please make it known and step forward to help the Parish Community.

Thank you

Carl Koenen

Chair to Parish Council

2nd May 2017

Our Lady of Grace  Pastoral Parish Council Constitution


Pastoral Parish Council Structure & Constitution 


1. The Parish Pastoral Council (“The Council”) will be known as Our Lady of Grace Pastoral Parish Council.  The authority for the creation of a Parish Council is under New Canon 536.  The Parish Council, as laid out in this constitution, will function in support of the Spiritan Fathers, as responsible for the Parish of Our Lady of Grace, until such time as there is a change of Order responsible for the Parish of Our Lady of Grace Charlton. At such time it will be at the discretion of the incoming Parish Priest or Parochial Administrator to reconvene a Parish Council as he sees fit.


2. The Council is based on collaborative ministry, and assists the Parish Priest or Parochial Administrator in planning and co-ordinating the overall policy of the Parish in order to carry out the mission of Christ in the Church.  It is a consultative body within the limits of doctrine, liturgy and laws of the church.


3. The essential characteristics of the Council are:

a) It is collaborative - it acts in consultation, together with, and in support of, the clergy of the parish, the parishioners and the parish’s community.

b) It is ministerial - its purpose is to give support to those people or causes which need such support.

c) It is representative - its members do not represent particular individuals or sections of the parish but the entire community of parishioners.  


4.1. A parish pastoral council is a body composed of the parish priest, other priests and permanent deacons who work in the parish and representatives of the parish laity.

4.2. It exists so that the parish priest may fulfill his responsibility of consulting with his parishioners and that together he and they may be more effective in carrying out the Church’s mission in their local community.

4.3. Decisions affecting matters of policy are referred to the Council.  Decisions relating to their own internal administration may be made by parish committees and groups without reference to the Council except where they involve the substantial use of parish resources including funds and personnel.  In the latter case such decisions must be referred to the Council for ratification and approval of the President. 


5.1. The Council shall consist of the Clergy of the Parish and 14 lay members.

5.2. Every lay member of the Council shall be a baptised Roman Catholic person over the age of sixteen and shall regularly attend services at Our Lady of Grace Church.

5.3. The Council may at any time co-opt members but co-opted members should not at any time exceed four.

5.4. New members will be elected at the Annual General Meeting subject to vacancies arising. 

(See 7.1.).  Lay members of the council will serve for a period of 5 years but may put themselves forward for re-election.

5.5. If a member is absent for more than three consecutive meetings without prior consent of the chairman he/she will be removed automatically.  For the purpose of replacement this removal will be treated as a resignation.

Composition of the Council & Officers

6.1. The Parish Priest or Parochial Administrator shall be the President of the Council.

6.2. A lay member of the membership will be elected by the Council to serve as Chair of the Council. 

6.3. A lay member of the membership will be elected by the Council to serve as Vice Chair.

6.4. A Secretary will be appointed by the President or Parochial Administrator with the agreement of the Council.

6.5. The Deanery Representative, who forms the link between the parish council and the other parish councils in the Deanery, and between the parish council and the Archbishop, will be appointed by the Parish Council.


7.1. Elections for vacancies on the Parish Pastoral Council will take place at the Annual General Meeting. Nominations for new Council members should be sent in writing to the Parish Council Chair at least 14 days before the Annual General Meeting. 

7.2. In every year an Annual Parish Meeting shall be held:-

a) to receive and consider a report from the Council together with any proposal for 

amendment of this constitution;

b) to receive and consider accounts prepared by the Finance Committee;

c) to elect members of the Council as required by this constitution; and

d) to deal with such parish matters as the persons present may wish to discuss and of which they shall have given at least seven days notice. 

7.3. It shall be the duty of the Council to convene the Annual Parish Meeting and to give at least twenty-eight days notice by written announcement posted in the Church and on the church website.  A copy of the Annual Report shall be posted in the Church and website at least fourteen days before the meeting.

7.4. All Catholic persons resident within the parish shall be entitled to attend the Annual Parish Meeting and take part in its business.

7.5. The President or the Assistant Parish Priest, as his nominated representative, shall preside at the Annual Parish Meeting.

7.6. Election of members at the Annual parish meeting shall be by ballot of the members of the parish. Members shall be proposed for election by two eligible persons, submitted in writing to the Parish Office at least twenty-one days before the date of the meeting and will be included in the Annual Report.  Ballot papers including the names of the proposed members shall be circulated to parishioners and must be returned at least eight days before the Annual Parish Meeting. In the event that there are the same number of candidates for the number of vacancies, those proposed will be adopted as council members automatically.

7.7. Confirmation of the result of the ballot shall be submitted to the Annual Parish Meeting.

7.8. After any annual parish meeting at which members of the Council are confirmed or this constitution is amended, the person presiding at such meeting shall certify in writing the result of each election or the text of such amendment and shall lodge such certificate with the records of the council and post a copy of such certificate in the Church and website.


8.1. There will be at least 4 meetings of the Council per year.  Extraordinary or emergency meetings may be convened when required at the discretion of the President or the Chair.  . Prior to each meeting the Chair will meet with the President to set an Agenda, which will to be sent to all members of the Council seven days before the date of the meeting.  The agenda should be placed on the Porch Notice Board and also on the relevant section of the parish website.

8.2. The Chair, or in his/her absence the Vice-Chair, shall preside at meetings of the Council; but if neither shall be present at the meeting, the members present shall elect one of their number to preside at the meeting.

8.3. The quorum for an ordinary meeting will be 50% of the members.

8.4. An Annual General Meeting (AGM) will take place once per year and election of new Council members will form part of the proceedings. The election will be by ballot.

8.5. The Secretary shall keep minutes of the business transacted by the Council which shall include a record of all appointments, resolutions and formal decisions of the council.  The minutes of every meeting shall be authenticated by signature of the person presiding at the next meeting.

8.6. Subject to the provisions of this constitution, the Council shall regulate its own proceedings.


9.1. The Council shall prepare and submit to each Annual Parish Meeting a report, in writing, of its activities since the previous meeting and a copy of such report shall be posted in the Church Porch and website at least 14 days before the Annual General Meeting. 

9.2. The Finance Committee shall prepare and submit to each Annual Parish Meeting, the accounts of the finances of the parish for the period since the previous meeting and a copy of such report shall be posted in the Church Porch at least 14 days before the Annual General Meeting.


10.1. At the discretion of the council, it may appoint from its members or other suitable persons, a special committee to undertake particular business and may delegate to such a committee any of the functions of the Council but so that all such acts of such committee shall be reported to the Council and considered by it.

10.2. The Council may appoint members as representatives to liaise with and attend meetings of other parish committees or bodies.

10.3. The Council may also establish sub committees on matters of special pastoral concern onto which other persons with particular expertise and competence may be co-opted.


11. This Constitution may be amended by a proposal of the Council approved by a vote of not less than two thirds and provided notice of the amendments shall have been given with notice of the meeting at least seven days in advance.

March 2016

Parish Council AGM 2016

Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church Charlton
Parish Council: Chair’s Report to the Annual General Meeting
Saturday 24th September 2016


Once again my Chair’s report starts with the changes within the Clergy at Our Lady Of Grace.  Fr Uche took the decision to see his vocation move into the role of a Diocesan Priest and we had a very well attended farewell and good luck function for him in January this year.  And we wished him well as departed.  Now down to two priests it was almost looking like a return to pre Fr Michael Leach days until we were delighted to welcome Fr Damian Ozokwere to bring us back to three priests. 


Last September Fr Terry was selected to sit on the Provincial Council of the Spiritans in the UK with special responsibilities for the works in Scotland, Justice & Peace, and REVIVE, a programme for assisting Asylum seekers and Refugees in Manchester.  Then in October last year he was also elected President of the Catholic Missionary Union for 2 years. This is the body for all the Missionary Congregations in England and Wales.   So Fr Terry is often away from the parish but with good reason.


The actual confirmation of Fr Josephat as our parish priest did not come through for a while after Fr Uche’s departure – administration being essential of course.   So on 4th June 2016 we were joined by Bishop Pat Lynch, our Auxiliary Bishop for Southwark, to officially inaugurate Fr Josephat as Parish Priest and Fr Damian as the Assistant Parish Priest.


The Parish also help to host a safeguarding training day for parishes within the Deanery and we will also host the Deanery parishes on 15th October for a mass to close the year of Mercy.


Bishop Pat was back again for the Sacrament of Confirmation under very trying circumstances due to major road congestion in south east London.  One Confirmandee actually walked to church and made it in time having walked a considerable distance to beat the traffic jams.


Turning to Parish Council matters: You will see from the Financial Report that the Parish finances are once again fairly robust and this is partly down to our valuable fundraising work.  I want to mention in particular the successful Parish BBQ held on the 10th September.  With over 80 members of the parish attending on a rather wet and dreary evening, the BBQ itself and the Tombola raised £755.52.   Thanks to everyone who organised and helped at this event – particularly Shirley, Steve who was our Master Chef for the evening, and the Tombola Team.

Last year I reported that there had been some attempt to smarten up the Church Hall with a painting group and in the short term this has helped the presentation of the hall.  However, we are still waiting for the final go ahead for our new church hall which is dependent on the move of Our Lady of Grace Primary school in January next year.  The plans for the new hall are almost there, they still require certain authorisations, and once these have been completed the plans for the hall itself will be made public.


On 13th September a celebratory mass was said to recognise the 56th Anniversary of the dedication of Our Lady of Grace Church.  Fr Josephat has decided that this will be an annual event in the Parish calendar.


I also need to mention the work of our Catechists who lead the children for First Holy Communion (there was a record number of children involved this year) and the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  In addition, there are a number of people who give their time as Eucharistic Ministers, Catechists, Liturgists, Sacristans, Readers, Organist and choir, Altar servers, collectors, Parish Council members and carpenters and handy men.   On the practical side there are church cleaners, flower arrangers, Offertory counters and Gardeners.  It is important to note that some of these tasks are undertaken by the same individuals.  So if you feel you have something to offer then please let Fr Josephat know.  I would also like to mention the Nigerian Ladies Association who often help with some of the food preparation for functions in the hall.  They will be celebrating Nigerian Independence Day next Sunday following the 1200 Mass.


Before closing I think it would be helpful to just reiterate that the object of the Council is to assist the Parish Priest in planning and co-ordinating the overall policy of the Parish. In essence, the Parish Council works with and for our Parish Priest.  Fr Josephat is the President of the Council, and supported by a Chair, Vice Chair and Members.


It was suggested at out last Parish Council meeting that we need to find some way to encourage more suggestions and comments to help guide our work - so to that end for two weeks before each Parish Council meeting – there are four per year – there will be a suggestion box made available for comments and suggestions which can be put forward at Parish Council meetings.  I do hope that Parishioners will feel able to use this facility to raise points for Fr Josephat and the Parish Council to consider.


Carl Koenen - Parish Council Chair - September 2016

Our Lady of Grace Parish Council 2015 - 16

Aims & Objectives 

The object of the Council is to assist the Parish Priest in planning and co-ordinating the overall policy of the Parish. In essence the Parish Council works with and for our Parish Priest.  Fr Uche is the President of the Council, and supported by a Chair, Vice Chair and Members. 

President:   Fr Josephat Ezeanolue C.S.Sp 
Chair: Carl Koenen 
Vice Chair: Shirley Bigwood 
Secretary: Denise Morley

Fr Terry Donnelly C.S.Sp
Tracey Duodu
Jennifer Enebi
Ezinne Ezechi     [Parish Hall Representative]
John Hillier
Steve Maddison 
Chris O’Connell
Marion Openshaw
Fr. Damian Ozokwere C.S.Sp
Catherine Purtill
Tim Quinn
Ed Scolding
Erin van der Maas

Parish Council Secretary: Denise Morley

Sub Committees

Fundraising:  Shirley, Erin, Tracey, Ed Scolding
Eucharistic Ministers & Liturgy: Catherine Purtill
Deanery Representative: Shirley Bigwood & Maria Quinn
Church Hall Committee: Ezinne Ezechi and Antoinette 

The Parish Council holds four formal meetings per year and an Annual General meeting for the whole Parish, normally in October. 

Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church Charlton
Parish Council Lay Member Vacancies

The Annual General Meeting of Our Lady of Grace Parish will take place on Monday 15th May at 1900 in the Parish Hall.

There are four vacancies on the Parish Council for Lay members and therefore nominations are required to fill these posts.

All members of the Parish over 16 years of age my take part.  

Two Parishioners are required to nominate an individual.  

Nominations forms are available at the back of the church.  

Please post these through the Presbytery door.


Nominations due by 30th April

Nominations announced 2nd May

Ballot Opens 6th May

Ballot Closes 14th May

Successful candidate announced at

AGM 15th May


Our nomination for the vacant post of Parish Councillor is:

(Please use block capitals)

Name of Nominee:.....................................................................................

Nominated by::.........................................................................................


Seconded by: :.........................................................................................