St Francis of Assisi Catholic Ramblers Clu

Minutes of the 86th Annual General Meeting

held at St Mary Moorfields, Eldon Street, London EC2M

at 4.10pm on Saturday, 8th October 2016


22 Members were present at the meeting.


Apologies for absence were received from Paul Connolly, Antoinette Connolly, Mary Maxwell Ann Milner, and Henriette Van Zaelen.


The meeting was chaired by Fr. Chris Vipers, the new parish priest at St Mary Moorfields.


  1. The Peace Prayer of St Francis was recited.


  1. The Minutes of the 85th AGM (2015).

These were read out and agreed. It was signed off by Fr. Chris.


  1. Matters arising from the Minutes.

When asked why the Club had no legal requirement to produce a full set of accounts, John Burbage explained that as he did not have all the information to hand it would prove difficult to produce accurate accounts.


  1. Secretary’s Report.

This was read out by Maurice Hickman. The report will be published in the next Programme of Ramblers/Events Winter 2016/17. Whilst Maurice is undergoing cancer treatment, Ben Sealey has agreed to help him out with the administrative work. Fr. Chris thanked Maurice for his work on the Committee.


  1. Membership Secretary’s report.

Antoinette Adkins reported that she had received 48 enquiries since the last AGM – an increase from last year – and 2 new members have since joined the Club. Thanks was given to David Crundall’s efforts in publicising the Club, including extending the publicity in local parish church newsletters where the rambles would take place.


A discussion on how the Club could increase its membership, and in particular ways to attract younger people, produced the following suggestions: Tom Gilmartin said we could email the Members to ask them for thoughts and ideas; although the Westminster Record continues to carry a notice on the Club, Fr. Chris suggested liaising with Mary Maxwell to include the Club’s details in the Cathedral’s free bi-monthly magazine Oremus which has a wide circulation; the Club was still waiting for agreement from Westminster Cathedral to hand out flyers publicising the Club to members of the Young Catholic Association after mass at the Cathedral; Fr. Chris said that he would be happy to hand out the Club’s flyers, including details of upcoming rambles, to the young Catholics who meet up at St Mary Moorfield’s once a month; he suggested contacting Cannon Peter Newby (former parish priest at St Mary Moorfield’s), the chaplain at St Mary’s University in Twickenham, to promote the Club to its students. Fr. Chris said that in order to attract the student crowd, the Club needed to tell them how by joining, it could enrich their lives.



  1. Treasurer’s Report and Independent Examiner’s Report.

This was read out by John Burbage. The Public Liability Insurance, which had not been paid for a number of years, had been renewed. The Committee was looking at ways of producing one-off membership cards. Robert Slater asked if there was an easier way of paying walk leader’s expenses. At the moment John Burbage pays the expenses in cash to the walk leaders when he meets them on a ramble. John would look into this matter. As the cost of printing, stationery and postage continued to escalate, the Committee would look into the possibility of charging Members, who received their newsletter by post, a higher membership fee. The Committee would defer the decision until next year.


  1. Ramble List Compiler’s Report.

This was read out by John Burbage in Paul Connolly’s absence. The attendance on rambles had generally been good. Paul has continued to produce a full and varied programme of walks due to the efforts of a few members. Although a couple of new walk leaders had joined the fold with a couple returning, it was still vital to have more members leading to lighten the load on the regulars. Whilst most of the walk leaders were in reasonably good health, he stressed that, it would only need for one or two to hang up their boots and the Club would face some major challenges. The Committee had agreed to introduce Saturday rambles to take place every 3 rd Saturday of the month – in place of a Sunday ramble. This would be on a trial basis to see if it proves to be popular. Members were agreeable to this idea.


  1. Election of the new Committee.

The Committee remains the same: Antoinette Adkins, John Burbage, Paul Connolly, David Crundall, Maurice Hickman, Ben Sealey, Henrietta van Zaelen and Maria Vaz.


Election of Independent Examiners: Paul Connolly has had to step down. Denis O’Mahoney has been elected to this role.


Fr. Chris thanked the Committee Members and the walk leaders for all the work they do for the Club.


  1. Any other business.

Fr. Chris confirmed that the Club would have use of the hall at St Mary Moorfield’s at a peppercorn rent.


Members discussed ways to revive the Club’s social scene and thereby increase the social events organised by the Club. Ideas put forth included holding a barn dance and a tea dance. The discussion also highlighted the Club’s need for a dedicated social secretary: someone who could commit their time and had the drive and initiative to come up with ideas, liaise with Members for their input and organise the social events for the Club.   Maria Vaz suggested placing a notice, that we are looking for a Member who would be willing to take on this role, in the next Programme of Ramblers/Events. Ann Brooks suggested we extend the invitation to the Club’s social events, especially those held at the church hall, to Fr. Chris and his parishioners.


A wooden plaque created for the Club, in its early days, had been found by Fr. Chris. This was passed around to Members to have a look at at the meeting.


  1. Date of next Annual General Meeting.

The date of the next meeting will be on Saturday 7 October 2017 at 4pm.