Diocese publishes formal proposals for change
The First Formal Proposal for the Renewal and Restructuring of Our Diocese has now been published here: 17.11.17_01_Diocese_Working-Together_Advent_2017.
You can watch an introductory message from Bishop Alan below.
As you will see from the document 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 24th February and no later than the end of March 2018. Under the resources section you will find feedback from other parishes, a summary of the Question Time session in September and an aid which sketches different scenarios to help you with your deliberations. These resources are also available on the Stewards page.
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 we will have our churches featuring the rose colour seen on the cover of this booklet.
As we are both preparing our diocese and focusing on the joy of the Gospel message can I ask that we keep in mind the need for more prayer, dialogue and discernment before final decisions are taken.
Steven Webb, Director of Development
Bishop Alan's message
Diocese asks parishes to comment on renewal and restructuring proposals
On 7th August the Diocese of Brentwood published a Draft Working Plan putting forward ideas for its future renewal and restructuring. In his foreword to the document, Bishop Alan Williams sm reiterates the challenges facing the church in a changing world and his desire to collaborate and consult with the lay faithful on the difficult decisions to be made. “With your help and prayers and with confidence in Christ and Mary I am sure that we can find a way to build on the strong foundations of the last 100 years,” he says.
Steven Webb, Diocesan Director of Development, wrote to the Stewards of all parishes to launch the proposed strategy, which aims to maximise the opportunities for evangelisation and sacramental provision across the diocese, given the resources available during the decades to come.
He said: “This document explains how we recommend that we move forward together in order to evangelise our diocese, care for one another, exercise the ministry of charity and celebrate the sacraments. It sets out principles for how we could work together to achieve our vision through our objectives and a strategy that combines both renewal and restructuring.”
He asked that all parishioners read and discuss the Draft Working Plan, which is available on the website and in hard copy form. “Try to consider what is best for our diocese as a whole rather than just what is best for your parish alone. Please bear in mind that renewal and restructuring are equally important and try to look beyond the obvious possibilities that first spring to mind. There is always more than one way in which we can do things in every location across our wonderful diocese.”
He invited people to be creative with ideas and feed them back to the diocese. “The framework we are proposing does not necessarily lead to one outcome rather than another. We want people to think how their church might look in their locality. Be bold, be creative and let us know your ideas before we begin to make proposals for individual locations.”
He added: “Later in the year we will set out the First Formal Proposals for the Renewal and Restructuring of the Diocese but first we want feedback from you on the strategy and framework we propose in this document.”
Download the document: Diocese-of-Brentwood_Working-Together (2)
A message from the Director of Development
The work of the Stewards of the Gospel is key to the development of our diocese and everything will be done with two clear purposes in mind; namely ensuring that together and with the help of God we can:
- evangelise our diocese as well as we can;
- offer the best possible pastoral care to all Catholics across our diocese.
For these reasons there is a considerable overlap with the work of the Episcopal Vicariate for Evangelisation and you are warmly encouraged to visit its pages at http://www.dioceseofbrentwood.net/departments/evangelisation/
You will find there all manner of information and resources specifically relating to evangelisation; this development section of the website will be kept for all other aspects of our work along with links to other sections of the website.