St James' Church Renfrew Parish Council Meeting Monday 18th June 2020

Present – Gerald Melvin, Marie-Jo Brown, Evelyn Coyle, Gerry Higgins, Margaret Morrison, George Smith, Mary McCulloch, Chiya Steytler, Father John, Harry Tunstead, Máire Dobbin, Martin Hagen
1. Opening Prayer
2. EC proposed the minutes from the previous meeting, seconded by GS.
3. MJB advised that the response received in relation to the letters sent out by FJ had been very positive. FJ sent out approx. 300 letters between the two parishes but there were a lot of addresses missing.
4. There was discussion surrounding reopening.  The regulations suggest in phase 2 the church can open for a limited time, there was discussion around opening for a limited time on a Sunday around 3pm for a few hours and then again the following Sunday.
There was discussion surrounding the need for volunteers, volunteers should be over 18 and under 70. GS & MM both agreed that a lot of people over 70 will want to help and will be feeling helpless.GM agreed that the people who would be in a position to volunteer would have to be excluded.
FJ advised that there were around 12 volunteers between the two parishes.
It was agreed that this Sunday (subject to Scottish Government announcement) would be too soon to open, as there are still things to be organised, such stewarding and instructions on how to sanitise the church before and after prayer.
There was discussion around the number of stewards that would be needed, blocking of pews and numbering seats.A minimum of four volunteers would be needed at any one time.
MMcC asked if people would be allowed to light candles.FJ advised candles would not be made available; it would be silent prayer only, a maximum of 15/20 minutes initially, with a maximum of 16 people allowed in the church.
GH asked about ensuring people sit in the assigned seating, there was discussion around marking off the seats and stewards showing people to a specific seat, ensuring no one sits in the same seat.
EC asked who would the volunteers, MJB advised there was a lot of material available on websites and instructions can be given out.
MMcC advised the volunteers would all need a set of equipment each, MJB cleaning material has been ordered and will be divided up.
EC suggested people wouldn’t feel confident coming to the church if the volunteers aren’t confident.GH advised that under H&S regulations they would have to be properly trained.MMcC advised there would need to incident forms available under COSHH regulations.FJ asked in MMcC and GH could organise this and liaise with MJB in relation to the chemicals in the cleaning products.
HT advised he would be happy to show people the correct cleaning procedures and it would be beneficial to do this in the church.
HT has printed off and laminated signs for both churches and has agreed to do numbers for the seats. HT advised the signage would be ready in a few days.
There was discussion around the need to clean the church before it could be marked off, MJB to co-ordinate for St James’ and HT to arrange for St Columbas.
There was discussion around a one way system in both churches and how that would work.
GM advised that Our Lady of Lourdes in Cardonald had a video on their Facebook page showing the layout of the church.MD volunteered to do a walk through in both churches, can be uploaded to Twitter and the websites.
FJ advised he had counted out the seats in both churches, a maximum of 42 people in St James and 55 in St Columba, with a further 40 in the hall in St Columbas.Consideration will have to be given to numbers when the churches reopen for Mass.GH asked if the hall in St James’ could be used, FJ advised the technology is not in place for that.
GS asked about confessions, FJ thought it would take place in the big hall, with a limited time, possibly between 10-11am on a Saturday morning.
FJ advised we would also need to consider Baptisms, Weddings and Funerals.MJB consideration would have to be given to what is safe and what FJ feels is safe.
5. AOCB: CS suggested organising a mass for those who have lost people as a result of COVID-19, it was agreed this was a good idea but it was unlikely ‘normal’ services would resume before Christmas.
GM asked about the Parish Finance Committee that was to be established and if FJ required assistance with anything in this regard.FJ advised that there hadn’t been much expenditure between the two parishes and the parish would be financially fine for approx. the next 6/12 months.FJ agreed to get the Finance Committee sorted soon.
6. Date of Next Meeting: Monday 13th July  7.30pm
7. Closing Prayer
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