* New Post 1st Nov 2019* Stewards Of The Gospel

New Post 31st October 2019

Diocese of Brentwood Vision Document October 2019

To open the vision document Please Click on the link above


News Post 27th October 2019

Dear Parishioners of the Dengie and Blackwater Parish Partnership,
After nearly a year of prayerful discussion and discernment, the Stewards of the Gospel and priests of the five parishes in our Parish Partnership, are preparing the report for Bishop Alan’s consideration and final decision. The report tells the bishop what we think will work within the challenges presented by the Vision Document and our hopes for renewal and restructuring within the Dengie and Blackwater peninsula.
From the Vision Document we know, that where today there are four priests, in 15 years only two priests will have the care of the souls of the entire five parish partnership. The precise timing and many other factors remain unknown of course, and the bishop will maintain three priests for as long as possible before 2035.
Bishop Alan has advised that a priest may say a maximum of three Sunday or Saturday Vigil Masses per week. Therefore, by 2035, the number of Sunday Masses will go from 12 to 6 and most of our present 9 Mass centres will no longer have Sunday Masses.
The Stewards and priests are very much aware of the individual beauty of and the desirability of keeping open all the churches in Danbury, Maldon, Silver End, Burnham, Kelvedon, Coggeshall, Witham, South Woodham Ferrers and Tiptree. We have prayed and discussed alternatives, being sensitive to finances, the care of our priests, the difficulties of parishioners having to travel further and many other considerations.
The report will suggest to the bishop that when there are only two priests, they will live in separate presbyteries, but near one another to allow fraternity and mutual support. These presbyteries will be Maldon and Witham. Maldon and Witham churches will each have two Sunday morning Masses. Additionally, there will be two Vigil Masses on Saturday evenings, one at Kelvedon, the other at either Burnham, Danbury or South Woodham Ferrers. As long as there is a third priest, he will maintain three of the present Sunday Masses, at one of the above-named churches. It is not envisaged that there will be Sunday Masses at Tiptree, Silver End or Coggeshall once there are only three priests. Weekday Mass schedules have not been finalised.
It is important now to grow a community of faith within the partnership that blossoms out of the various individual communities which already exist. It is time to be practical, such as organising travel for those unable to go such distances alone; to share social opportunities like the recent joint pilgrimage to Aylesford; to pray for our priests, seminarians and for vocations to the priesthood. And always remember that what we do is for the worship of our loving God and to have Jesus Christ as the centre of our lives and prayers.
Any helpful thoughts we should consider as we finish the report to the bishop are best presented in writing (so we don’t forget) to your own Steward of the Gospel or priest and no later than next weekend, 2/3 November.

Monsignor Gordon Read                Angie Hart           Ruth Rata
Canon Peter Connor OFS               Pauline Spratt     Mary Mann
Father David Prior                           Kate Prior            Pat Ezra
Father James Joseph                      Simon Burwood  Marcella Murphy
Ann Williams     Sylvia Lanz


New Post 9th September 2019

Diocese of Brentwood Vision Document September 2019

To open the vision document Please Click on the link above


New Post 2nd August 2019

Diocese of Brentwood Vision Document July 2019

To open the vision document Please Click on the link above


New Post 7th June 2019

Diocese of Brentwood Vision Document June 2019

To open the vision document Please Click on the link above


New Post 31st May 2019

Diocese of Brentwood Vision Document May 2019

To open the Vision Document Please Click on the link above


New Post March 2019

Diocese of Brentwood Vision Document
March 2019

To Open the Vision Document Please click on the link above


New Post February  2019

Diocese of Brentwood vision Document 
February 2019

To Open the Vision Document Please click on the link above


New Post January 2019

Diocese of Brentwood vision Document January 2019

To open the Vision Document please click on the link above


Diocese of Brentwood Vision Document January 2019 Power Point Presentation 


New Post 28th November 2018

Diocese of Brentwood Vision Document Advent 2018

To open the Vision Document please click on the link above


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.

To read the full letter please click on this link 


Letter from Steven Webb
Director of Development For and on behalf of the DSPG June 2018

Dear Steward,

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.

To read the full letter please click on this link



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 paulinespratt2@gmail.com

Working Together To Evangelise Our Diocese

Please Click this Link to Open Working Together to Evangelise Our Diocese Proposal

 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.

Kind regards
Steven Webb
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 paulinespratt2@gmail.com or place your response in an envelope addressed to Pauline Spratt in the Church porch.


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:-

  • Evangelisation
  • 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




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