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01235 520375

Rev Phil Carroll
 Lisa Paterson

1 Radley Road, Abingdon, Oxfordshire. OX14 3PL


01235  520375. 


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The Church in Abingdon


Our Lady and St Edmund of Abingdon Parish Council

The Parish Pastoral Council of Our Lady and St Edmund (“PPC”) normally meets monthly in the Presbytery at 7.30pm on the second Thursday of each month, except August and December. It consists of  the following: the Parish Priest, who is the permanent President, the Chair of the Parish Finance and Fabric Committee, two senior representatives of the schools in the Parish (ex-officio members), and twelve ordinary parishioners, reflecting the whole parish community in terms of age, gender and cultural diversity.

The PPC is a collaborative structure, whose main purpose is the continuation of the mission of Jesus Christ in our time and place.  It is thus pastoral, in the sense that its primary concern is pastoral issues, not administration, buildings, or finance, which are the responsibility of the Fabric and Finance Committee. The PPC is also consultative to the Parish Priest, who has ultimate responsibility for decisions regarding the overall mission of the Parish.

Each PPC member is a practising Catholic , involved in  the growth of the whole Parish, rather than focussed on the needs of one particular section, committed to participating actively in the meetings, able to work as part of a group, able to listen to others and value differences, and responsible for the decisions  and actions collectively  undertaken.  

You can read about the latest discussions from the Parish Council by checking the minutes kept in the  brightly coloured folder marked “Church Documents” on a table at the back of the church. We also welcome ideas for agenda items – details of how to submit ideas and for information on meeting dates, please check the weekly newsletter.


The current list of members can be found below:

Vicky Attridge
Debbie Brooks
Ewa Grus Dowckynska
Donie Kearney
Terry O’Brian
Stephen Oliver
Elaine Pony
Bernie Pratt
Anna Radaelli
Hilary Webb   

Ex Officio members:
Father Jamie McGrath
Maria Delany-White/Bernadette Pratt
(St Edmund’s Primary School)
Stephen Oliver (OLA School)
The Chairman/Vice Chairman of Fabric & Finance
E-mail address: stedsppc@gmail.com
Meetings are held monthly, and the minutes are to be found in the Church red documents folder at the back of church.


Parish Pastoral Council Constitution

1. The Parish Pastoral Council of Our Lady and St Edmund (“PPC”) is a collaborative structure, (established in accordance with the Diocese of Portsmouth Handbook for Parish Pastoral Councils, May 2005, and  Guidelines for Pastoral Councils, Sept 2010), which exists to ensure that the focus is on the continuation of the mission of Jesus Christ in our time and place.

The PPC is ‘Pastoral’;. its primary concern is pastoral issues, not administration, buildings, or finance, which are the responsibility of the Fabric and Finance Committee.

The PPC is ‘consultative’ to the parish priest, who has ultimate responsibility for decisions regarding the overall mission of the Parish[i].


2. The duties of the PPC are to:

 -search out and respond to the hopes, ideas, needs and concerns of parishioners.

-grow in knowledge and awareness of what is already happening in the parish.

-encourage and support the good work of existing groups in the parish.

-evaluate carefully information gathered in order to contribute towards the making of decisions that reflect the values of the gospel and the teachings of the Church.

-set long-term and short-term pastoral goals for the parish.

-provide opportunities for parishioners to grow in their relationship with God and with each other.

-develop, implement and improve parish initiatives that assist parishioners in their continuing efforts to live as effective Christians in society.

-promote the aims of the parish’s Covenant with the Poor.

-support the work of the Church in Abingdon.


3. Membership of the PPC.

3.1 The PPC consists of

- the Parish Priest, who is the permanent President of the PPC.

-twelve members, reflective of the whole parish community in terms of age, gender, and cultural diversity. New members will be chosen by the Co-ordinating Group (see below 4.4) and approved by the PPC.[ii]  Each year a third of the membership changes, with no member serving more than three consecutive years.

 -ex officio members, being the Chair (or Deputy Chair) of the Parish Finance and Fabric Committee, and a senior representative of the schools in the parish.

3.2 New members will be introduced to the community by the Parish Priest at a Liturgy of Commissioning.

4. Officers of the PPC

 4.1 The President of the PPC is the Parish Priest. He shares his understanding of the pastoral needs of the parish, including his hopes and aspirations for the future. He also enables the members of the PPC to exercise and develop their own gifts.

 4.2 The Chair is selected by the members and is responsible for-

 -maintaining a good working relationship with the Parish Priest.

-ensuring that significant time at meetings is given to prayer and formation.

-keeping the focus of the PPC on its aims.

-encouraging the active involvement of all members at meetings.

-giving members opportunities to use their gifts and skills.

-dealing constructively with conflict when it arises.

-managing meeting time effectively.

-working collaboratively with all other members of the PPC to set realistic short term and long-term goals for the PPC.

-ensuring there are outcomes for each agenda item.

-maintaining two-way channels of communication between the PPC and the people of the parish.

4.3 The Secretary is selected by the members and is responsible for-

 -taking the minutes, being a brief record of issues discussed with outcomes, and name of person who will take responsibility for proposed action and by when.

-distributing these draft minutes within a week of the meeting.

-communicating the meeting of the PPC to the people of the Parish. Because the notes of the PPC meetings will make little sense to those who were not part of the meeting, a brief summary will be issued in the Newsletter within one week of the meeting.

-advising parishioners of the date of the next meeting.

4.4 The Co-ordinating Group, consisting of the Parish Priest, the Chair and the Secretary of the PPC, work together between the regular meetings of the PPC to identify items for the forthcoming agenda, to ensure that agreed actions are being undertaken, and to monitor progress against the agreed vision for the Parish. The Group does not initiate any course of action which has not been considered and agreed by the PPC.

4.5 Sub-groups. The PPC’s work is not to carry out the parish plan, but to encourage, invite and support others throughout the parish to do so. This may take place through the setting up of sub-groups (usually including at least one member of the PPC) which take responsibility for particular areas of action, and report back to the Council regularly on progress.

5. Developing a parish plan

Through consultation with the people of the parish, the PPC will develop a plan for the parish which identifies priorities for action and energy, and builds on previous initiatives in the parish, so that what has already taken place is respected and used as the foundation for further growth. Regular and ongoing communication and consultation with all members of the parish (including schools) is vital, both during the development of the plan and in its implementation and evaluation. This ensures that the plan reflects and responds to the hopes and concerns of the people of the parish, and that the PPC finds willing co-workers to enable the plan to be made a reality.

 6. Agenda for meetings.

When compiling the agenda for meetings, the Co-ordinating Group should ensure that items relate clearly to the overall purpose of the PPC, and be realistic about how much can reasonably be considered during a meeting in a way that enables next steps to become clear.

Prayer is an essential part of PPC meetings, and is never omitted from the agenda.

 The agenda should be circulated to members at least seven days in advance of the meeting, to enable them to begin prayerful consideration of the matters that will be discussed.

7. Consensus at meetings.
It will always be the aim to reach decisions by consensus, that is, a group decision, which some members may not feel is the best decision, but which they can live with and support, arrived at without voting, through a process whereby the issues are fully aired, all members feel they have been adequately heard, and in which everyone has equal power and responsibility, so that all are satisfied with the process.


8. This Constitution comes into effect on 10th July 2014, and replaces any earlier constitution. It may be amended by a future PPC meeting after members have been given one week’s notice of the proposed change.


[i] While there may be very rare occasions on which the Parish Priest will choose not to follow the advice of the PPC, he will not usually ignore their advice because he has participated fully in the prayer, discussions and deliberations leading to the decision.

 [ii] It is important to ensure that members of the PPC are appointed who possess the skills, experience and expertise necessary to carry out their ministry. The following process is suggested:

 -the parishioners are informed that new members need to be appointed to the PPC. Information about the role of the PPC and the skills and qualities desired of members is circulated, and Parish Priest preaches about this over a number of weeks.

 -the Parish Priest encourages people’s involvement through prayer and the opportunity to suggest anyone they think would be suitable.

 -those who have been put forward are invited to an information evening which outlines the role of the PPC, and what is expected of members, and gives the opportunity for questions. They may be given the opportunity to speak for a couple of minutes about their background, their hopes for the Parish and the gifts they would bring to the PPC.

.-the Parish Priest works with the Co-ordinating Group to discern who should be invited to take up the ministry, taking account of those suggested and any others with suitable gifts.

 Each member of the PPC will be a practising Catholic who is

 -committed to the good and growth of the whole parish, rather than focussed on the needs of one particular section within the parish.

 -committed to participating fully in the meetings of the PPC.

 -able to work collaboratively with the Parish Priest and lay people.

 -open to the purpose and role of a PPC as defined here and more fully outlined in the Diocesan Guidelines.

 -prepared to share prayer and faith with others.

 -alert to the presence and action of the Holy Spirit within the Parish and their own life.

 -able to work as part of a group.

 -willing to share their gifts and identify and draw out the gifts of others.

 -able to listen to others and value differences.

 -responsible, with all other members, for the way of working and decisions of the PPC, and actions arising from these.


St Edmund's Day Celebration - PPC Report