Update June 2017
Last month Steven Webb, Director of Development for the Diocese of Brentwood, made his preliminary observations after receiving and studying the questionnaires from all the parishes of the Diocese.
Here is a short summary of his main points: –
1. Parishes have highlighted areas where we are already doing good things and we should continue to carry out these good practices, and where we have concluded that there are things we could do even better and new initiatives that we can put into effect, we should get on with it, and not wait for the results of the Diocese-wide programme.
2. There are four main priorities that have been pinpointed by the parishes: –
a. Young People – to give them special attention, whether by separate programmes and/or greater integration into the life of the parish.
b. Adult Formation – The need to evangelise (inform, reform and transform) ourselves before we evangelise others.
c. Lay Training – To equip parishioners to do work that is either being done too much by the clergy or not being done sufficiently or at all.
d. Succession Planning – To ensure that there is no gap in provision of leadership between the established parish workers tiring and possibly giving up and the younger ones taking over.
3. The input from the parishes was not unexpected, and it is clear that the issues raised are universal and not specific to our Diocese. And he points us to the words of Pope Francis in his encyclical ‘Evangelii Gaudium’ where he raises the same concerns.
Steven Webb went on to ask the Stewards to arrange a meeting in each parish to discuss the 4 priorities listed above, and to report back our findings to him.
I have decided not to do this as it would be just a case of repeating the discussions we have already had. But if any of our parishioners at Christ the King would like to give their ideas on how we can concretely tackle the 4 priorities, please contact me on my email – firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a note in the parish office for my attention, or grab me after Mass.
Christ the King Steward of the Gospel