Letter from Bishop Alan 8th June 2018
Dear Stewards of the Gospel and Friends,
It has been a very heartening experience for me to read the feedback on the First Formal Proposal for the Renewal and Restructuring of Our Diocese. I am grateful to everyone who has joined in with our discernment process and shared their thoughts with us.
Letter from Steven Webb
Director of Development For and on behalf of the DSPG June 2018
Bishop Alan and his Diocesan Strategic Planning Group have read and discussed the feedback from each parish. This is the letter referred to in Bishop Alan’s letter and I am writing it on behalf of the Diocesan Strategic Planning Group following that process. The intention is that you should share it and discuss it with your parish priest before sharing the content with your fellow parishioners as you deem appropriate for your parish. For our part we will be making the first part of this letter available on the Diocesan Website from June 15th.
Stewards of the Gospel
28th January 2018
Thank you to everyone who attended the three presentations on Renewal and Restructuring. If anyone has thought of anything they would like me to include in my report, could they email me on email@example.com
Working Together To Evangelise Our Diocese
Dear Steward of The Gospel,
First Formal Proposal
I write to confirm that the First Formal Proposal for the Renewal and Restructuring of Our Diocese has now been put onto the diocesan website.
I am also attaching a copy for you and am copying this to your parish.
There is also an introductory message from Bishop Alan posted on the website. I would suggest people watch that before reading the document.
During this week we will be delivering hard copies of the First Formal Proposal so that they are ready in your parishes by this weekend and with them you will receive a DVD of Bishop Alan’s message. This will enable you to show it in your parishes either in church or before meetings, and loan it out to anyone who has a DVD player but no access to the internet.
As you will see from the document and remember from our earlier discussions the intention is that people read it, pray about it and then discuss it within the parish and then with neighbours. After that we look forward to receiving your feedback hopefully in good time for the meeting on 24thFebruary and no later than the end of March 2018.
May I take this opportunity to wish you all a very Holy and contemplative Advent. This season is one of preparation and vigilance but it is also one of joy and rejoicing and on the third Sunday of Advent our churches will be filled with the colour rose featured on the cover of our booklet.
As we are both preparing our diocese and focusing on the joy of the Gospel Message can I ask that we keep people aware of the need for more prayer, dialogue and discernment before final decisions are taken.
Director of Development
Working Together to Evangelise The Diocese
On early August, the document setting out a draft vision and strategy for taking our diocese forward was published on:
This document is also published in the form of a booklet which has been made available in each Church (please do not remove from the booklet from the Church porch).
Parishioners are invited to go online at the above address where the document is available.
Please read through the booklet and send any comments via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or place your response in an envelope addressed to Pauline Spratt in the Church porch.
STEWARDS OF THE GOSPEL
Steve Webb the new Director for Evangelisation in the Diocese has recently completed reading through the Parish Questionnaires and he has made some preliminary observations. He feels that there are two connected but separate elements to the Stewards initiative.
The first one is finding ways for us to evangelise better at a local parish level and the second is how we can best renew our structures so that communally, across our diocese we find the best way to evangelise and provide the sacraments and pastoral care for everyone in East London and Essex.
Steve feels that Parishes have totally underestimated the amount of restructuring that is going to have to come about as a result of the decline in the number of priests.
At present there are 90 Parishes. By 2025 we will have about 76 priests to cover 57 locations and by 2035 there will be 52 priests to cover 33 locations. So by 2035 we will have about half the number of priests that we have now and they will be living in half the number of locations that they are living in now. This will impact on every Parish in the Diocese. So the challenge we have before us is how to structure ourselves in such a way as to achieve three things:-
- Provide sacraments and pastoral care
- Foster more vocations and grow our Church in order to bring more people to God.
Whereas in some Dioceses fewer priests are shepherds to smaller flocks that is not the case for us. Our priests though fewer in number will in the short term be shepherds of increasing flocks. The challenge for us is to be able to use our current resources that will serve our current needs and prepare us for future growth, without exhausting our clergy.
Arising out of the responses in the Questionnaire are four very clear and specific issues for us all to consider as priorities:
- Young people – How are we to keep our young people on board? It is essential for the continuance of the Faith that we do so.
- Adult formation – we need to be better informed about our Faith, so we can pass it on and defend it in the public arena.
- Lay training – the laity needs to be trained so that they are able to work along side the clergy. The clergy may need help in new ways of running a parish.
- Succession planning – many of the people who run things in the Parish are retired as they age they may be forced to step down due to ill health. We need to ensure that there are people capable of taking over from them
I HAVE TO WRITE A REPORT FOR STEVE AS TO HOW OUR PARISH IS GOING TO COPE WITH THE ABOVE 4 POINTS. THIS HAS TO BE DONE BY THE END OF JULY. I WOULD BE GRATEFUL IF YOU COULD THINK AND PRAY ABOUT THIS AND EMAIL YOUR IDEAS TO ME ON:
Pauline Spratt Parish Steward of the Gospel 26th June 2017
Please find below the Questionnaire for our Parish
There are two questionnaires.
The first covers both churches and each section is completed.
The second is only completed in respect of Section A Questions 8 and 9 as this relates to SWF only and cannot be contained in the first questionnaire.
Please Click on The links below to open the questionnares