Stewards of The Gospel

Message from Anne Marie Fox following the Parish Meeting Below is a summary of the feedback from that meeting. click here parish-meeting-document

Message from Anne Marie Fox – Steward of the Gospel

The Stewards of the Gospel initiative has been mentioned many times over the last few months, at mass and in the parish newsletter. I’m sure you must all be wondering what it is all about and what has been happening since it was first announced in May of this year.

I am your Steward, representing Our Lady of Lourdes parish, to provide you with more information, to let you know what has been going on behind the scenes and to ask for your involvement and support please in the next stage of this extremely important initiative.
To put it into context, the number of priests in the Diocese of Brentwood is likely to reduce by 50% over the next 20 years.

I have been in this parish for more than 30 years and, to begin with there were four priests serving this community. Over the years this has reduced to just one priest again serving the same size of parish and with an ever increasing workload. It is a sobering thought that if anything happened to Fr Pat now, today there is no priest available in the diocese to cover his duties.
In line with many dioceses throughout the country this has led to Bishop Alan launching this project which has been named Stewards of the Gospel so that we, the laity throughout the diocese, can have our say on what is important to us in our individual parishes in the future.
A few examples might be: What are our priorities? What spiritual aspects might change if we have less priests? What involvement will the laity have? Do we need to collaborate more with our neighbouring parishes?
The first part of the Stewards of the Gospel initiative is to fill out a very comprehensive Parish Questionnaire document. Fr Pat and I set up a consultation group and that group has been active over the last few months seeking out this information and data which will help to build a picture of our community and parish life here in Our Lady of Lourdes.
This exercise is now almost complete and leads to the next stage where we as a parish now need to have an open discussion to reflect on the future of our parish but also to highlight good practice within our parish.
We are very fortunate here in this parish to have a high laity involvement but we cannot take this for granted. We need to make sure that we protect, enhance and perhaps expand the roles the laity has.
In the light of this we have decided to have an initial Parish Meeting at 8pm on Thursday, 22nd September in the Parish Centre and, we wish to invite everyone in the parish to attend. We want every single person in the parish to have a voice, including young people. YOU all are the future of the Catholic Church in Wanstead and Leytonstone.
So that we can provide more structure to the evening we are going to distributing a short survey for you to fill out. The email address appears on the survey and there is a link on the parish website and Facebook to download the form.

Please, please do take the time to respond. It’s not about having an axe to grind or airing individual or personal issues, rather we are genuinely interested to hear your views on how the Catholic Church should function in this area in the future. Your feedback and attendance at the parish meeting is essential to help determine the way ahead for YOUR parish of Our Lady of Lourdes.

The Stewards of the Gospel programme is expected to last at least two years. Please have no doubt whatsoever, it is being taken extremely seriously by Bishop Alan. The information we feed back to the diocese will help the bishop to discern the way forward and it will have a bearing on how we practise our Catholic faith in the future.

Lastly, I would appreciate it please if you would call upon the Holy Spirit to help and guide us all through this process.

I have been in this parish for more than 30 years and, to begin with there were four priests serving this community. Over the years this has reduced to just one priest again serving the same size of parish and with an ever increasing workload. It is a sobering thought that if anything happened to Fr Pat now, today there is no priest available in the diocese to cover his dut In line with many dioceses throughout the country this has led to Bishop Alan launching this project which has been named Stewards of the Gospel so that we, the laity throughout the diocese, can have our say on what is important to us in our individual parishes in the future.

A few examples might be: What are our priorities? What spiritual aspects might change if we have less priests? What involvement will the laity have? Do we need to collaborate more with our neighbouring parishes?

The first part of the Stewards of the Gospel initiative is to fill out a very comprehensive Parish Questionnaire document. Fr Pat and I set up a consultation group and that group has been active over the last few months seeking out this information and data which will help to build a picture of our community and parish life here in Our Lady of Lourdes.

This exercise is now almost complete and leads to the next stage where we as a parish now need to have an open discussion to reflect on the future of our parish but also to highlight good practice within our parish.

We are very fortunate here in this parish to have a high laity involvement but we cannot take this for granted. We need to make sure that we protect, enhance and perhaps expand the roles the laity has.

In the light of this we have decided to have an initial Parish Meeting at 8pm on Thursday, 22nd September in the Parish Centre and, we wish to invite everyone in the parish to attend. We want every single person in the parish to have a voice, including young people. YOU all are the future of the Catholic Church in Wanstead and Leytonstone.

So that we can provide more structure to the evening we are going to distributing a short survey for you to fill out. The email address appears on the survey and there is a link on the parish website and Facebook to download the form.

Please, please do take the time to respond. It’s not about having an axe to grind or airing individual or personal issues, rather we are genuinely interested to hear your views on how the Catholic Church should function in this area in the future. Your feedback and attendance at the parish meeting is essential to help determine the way ahead for YOUR parish of Our Lady of Lourdes.

The Stewards of the Gospel programme is expected to last at least two years. Please have no doubt whatsoever, it is being taken extremely seriously by Bishop Alan. The information we feed back to the diocese will help the bishop to discern the way forward and it will have a bearing on how we practise our Catholic faith in the future.

Lastly, I would appreciate it please if you would call upon the Holy Spirit to help and guide us all through this process.

Click here for the themes discussed at the Parish meeting on Thursday 22 September 2016 parish-survey-sept16-emergingthemes-v2  More information will be posted from time to time.

See link below for Diocesan site for Stewards of the Gospel

www.dioceseofbrentwood.net/departments/evangelisation