During 2011 we have been sharing our vision of how our churches could be. “Our Vision” is a summary of those dreams. It’s not a Mission Statement as such, so it does not try to say everything. Rather it describes how we would like to be.
We will build our Church into a vibrant and confident community which will grow as we share together worshipping, praying, caring and serving.
• Be a welcoming community where everyone feels that they belong.
• Be an inclusive community which offers a variety of opportunities for people of all ages, gender, ethnicity and circumstances. We will seek to focus on young people and families.
• Celebrate liturgy and worship which inspires people.
• Reach out to the local and wider community so that we share our talents and put our faith into action.
• Make our buildings bright, comfortable and welcoming so that they support us in working towards our vision.
We have all signed up to the above statement and our “Vision” process outlines what we have all resolved to do in order to put this into action.
To achieve this, our 3 Churches Pastoral Council have been working hard to collate the decisions taken at the Forum meeting in September 2011 at Corpus Christi School.
The action plan
The Action Plan contains (a) those things to be implemented as of now from our four headings of Welcome, Parish Life, Liturgy and Outreach, (b) our further medium term actions also from the same four headings and (c) our big ideas.
(a) To begin now
1. A more welcoming mind-set for all. To be more welcoming in church by, for example, speaking to someone different each week, sitting in a different place. A welcome five minutes before Mass (at first by priest, later by parishioner) (Welcoming and Liturgy)
2. An introduction pack for new parishioners by Christmas, further literature to follow (Welcoming)
3. Challenge to everyone to “bring a friend” to at least one of Advent/Christmas services (Liturgy)
4. Develop our 3 Churches bereavement ministry (Parish life)
5. Develop the involvement of parishioners in general pastoral care. In St Brigid’s and St Paul’s a new ministry is beginning of people prepared to visit parishioners at home. At Christ the King a ministry is being developed of contact with people via telephone. (Parish life)
(b) Medium term
• A welcome/newcomers/info desk or similar facility in each church (Welcoming)
• Tea & coffee after Masses to be encouraged as a way for people, new and otherwise, to get to know others (Parish life)
• An induction programme for ministries, where none now exists (Parish life)
• A continuing system for ongoing faith formation (Parish life)
• To investigate pastoral care/area groups across parishes (Parish life)
• A men’s breakfast group (Parish life)
• Social Committee at Christ the King (Parish life)
• Regular ministry appeals, with 3 year commitment for those involved (Parish life)
• To ensure that our liturgy includes worship, especially for newcomers, that is accessible and easily understood (Liturgy)
• To inform and celebrate what is already happening in outreach, leading to more involvement. An opportunity for organizations to explain to fellow parishioners what they do and how they do it, by display boards at the back of each of the three churches for a two week period on a rota basis (Outreach)
• An open “Over 50 Group” to meet during the day on a regular basis in one of our Church halls. A social gathering with activities, the details to depend on the number of volunteers (Outreach)
• To improve the youth aspect of our website (Parish life)
(c) Our big ideas
• Evangelization : Why are we here? “We cannot sit in church waiting for people to come to us – we need to go to where they are” To review parish life under the heading of evangelization, then explore and adopt new approaches. (Liturgy and whole Council)
• Youth : A review of all our ministry with young people, leading to action such as the appointment of a paid Youth Worker (Parish life and whole Council)
Welcoming : Cath Riordan 2076 4223 Ann Sherry 2074 7683
Parish life : Maureen Greening 2076 2818
Outreach: Stephen Jones 07970 826 283 Gabriel Servini 2075 3544
Liturgy : Liz York 07825 700687