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Message from the Deanery Synod Council


Each of the parishes in our Deanery was invited to select a parishioner to be a member of the Deanery Synodal Council, and we have a representative from each parish now on the council.

The role of each member is to ensure that the voices of all our parish communities are heard.

Our common task is to ensure that the Pastoral Plan, that was produced as a result of the Synodal Council is not ‘merely a document’ read by the few and ignored by the many; but is in fact a living document, a catalyst, that supports us in ‘becoming the Church God is calling us to be.

The Pastoral Plan is very clear.

As an Archdiocese ‘we cannot continue as we have been doing.’

It is no longer possible for any one parish to have all the resources needed in terms of people, skills, buildings or money to do all that must be done.

When we use the phrase ‘becoming the Church God is calling us to be’ it does not mean that we are going to abandon all that we currently love about our parishes.

Rather this is an opportunity to take stock, to celebrate what is going well in each of our parishes and endeavour to make them even better.

At the same time however, we also need to look at those things in our parishes that are perhaps not working as well as we would hope; or are no longer fit for purpose.

We must ask ourselves:

are there people in our parishes that do not feel that they have a part to play, or do not feel welcome?

What can each of us do to ensure that we become a fully inclusive community, one in which the needs of our whole, diverse, parish community are considered?

This may be a painful process, but Jesus was quite clear.

In the Parable of the Fig Tree, Jesus instructed the owner of the fig tree to ‘cut it down’ as it was no longer bearing any fruit.

We must have the courage to look at our parishes in the same way.

We must trust that with Jesus at the centre of all that we do, and inspired by the Holy Spirit, our parishes will become inclusive, welcoming places for all, ‘bearing much fruit’.

This is the work of the whole parish community.

We are all called to use our God given talents, gifts and skills to help our parishes to flourish and grow.

Each one of us can play our part in helping this parish in ‘becoming the Church God has called us to be’ and one that bears much fruit.

This message is to encourage each of you to get involved, not just the person sitting next to you in the pews, or the person behind or in front of you, but you!

You may also be aware of members of our parish community who for whatever reason are not here in church today.

We ask that you also encourage them to get involved.

How all of this might look in practical terms and exactly how we will be inviting you to get involved in the future is still uncertain; and may very well be different in each parish.

The Council members do not have all of the answers, and in fact, at this stage, we do not even know some of the questions!

But this will be a journey in faith that we all take together.

We trust that God will continue to guide and support us; and the Deanery Council asks each of you for your much needed co-operation and prayers.

God bless.

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