The role of the Parish Pastoral Council is to support the Parish Priest to ensure the Parish runs as smoothly as possible. The updated Conditions and Terms of Reference for this Council were finalised in January 2020 and were subsequently shared with the Parish. As a result of this update, an election was held to ensure a more balanced membership of the Pastoral Council with some members chosen by the Parish congregation. The results have not been shared with the Parish because of lockdown but the participation of members of the congregation was very good.
Members also scrutinised the Diocesan Handover Draft Document and made suggestions for improvements which were sent back to the Diocese.
All redundant chairs and stools from the Sanctuary were made available to other churches in the Diocese and the Church of Our Lady of Sorrow in Peckham was able to collect them all.
When the church cleaner’s position was made redundant in November 2019, Fr Bart appealed for volunteers among all parishioners and a team of approx. 24 people formed a group of regular cleaners to carry out the tasks on a rota basis.
In September a Planned Giving Drive was introduced with training and assistance from the staff at the Diocese Finance Office. This proved to be very successful with more parishioners joining the Gift Aid Scheme and switching their offertory to Standing Orders instead of continuing to put cash in the collection every week.
Martin Smith was ordained Permanent Deacon in July and some of the parishioners joined him and his family at the Service held is St George’s Cathedral in Southwark.
A Safety and Maintenance Group was formed towards the and of 2019 and early in 2020 to take on the responsibility of looking after the maintenance and improvement of the church premises and to ensure that the parish adheres to all safety measures according to the guidelines given by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
A Parish Directory was created and made available on the parish website.
When Covid-19 pandemic caused the closing of all churches in March 2020, Fr Bart started live-streaming Masses online for the benefit of all. This continued also after the church opened for private prayers only and when it became possible to re-open the church and celebrate Mass with the public in attendance, several parishioners co-operated with Fr Bart to make this possible by ensuring that all social distancing regulations and safety guidelines where respected in order to celebrate Mass in the open air at weekends and indoors during two selected weekdays.
Fr Bart announced in August 2020 that the Bishop asked him to move to the parish of St Thomas More in Dulwich East and he will therefore leave us after four years to take up this new position on 1st September 2020. We will all miss him dearly and at the same time we are also pleased to welcome Fr Pawel Sobol from the parish of St Francis in Maidstone who will come to be our Parochial Administrator on 1st September 2020. The parish of St Simon Stock wish both of them the very best in their new positions.