Parish Office
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On 18th February a letter from Cardinal John Dew was circulated to all parishes.  In it, Cardinal John requested a review of each parish’s current  buildings, and their present financial situation. This was with a view of looking to the future. He asked us to prioritize ‘Mission.’  Each parish is required to  present these proposals by October 19th, 2019.   The following is a suggested approach I have run past the Parish Pastoral Council, the Finance Committee and Archdiocesan Offices.
Phase 1: April, May, June: Information gathering.  This is an important phrase as what follows will be based on this.  This includes the current value of buildings and realistic annual maintenance and insurance costs.  These are key drivers of rising cost in  parishes, in the case of insurance largely out of our control, and limit what can be afforded for ministry and mission.  The use of buildings, their  occupancy, whether they are ‘fit for purpose’, who uses them and how often.   Information about mass counts, funerals etc.  The financial situation of the parish, the number of Givers, AP, Envelope, Cash.  The latest Planned Giving Programme results,     especially the number of  Givers in relation to the population of the parish.  The finished document must be clear, precise,    easily read, and communicated to all, via eletter link and in the Parish website.  It must not be too long that people will not read it, or short and vague. 
Phase 2: July, August: A time of discernment.  This is a mixture of prayer and communication. There will be prayer opportunities. Also, a variety (not one) way of communicating. This could be a mixture of meetings, but also emailing of thoughts and suggestions.   This is also a time of communicating with  parishes who touch our boundaries and the  pastoral area we are in, other groups, both  religious and non-religious that use our buildings, or may in the future. Discerning what mission-oriented activity the parish might develop (or build up for the things it is already involved in). This is the reason for the process, to ensure that the parish’s assets and income are not just used to maintain the status quo, but are re-configured in ways which support growth in the parish’s mission to its own poorer people and to those in the wider community.   Phase 3: September. Decision making and proposal formulation.  This brings together Phase 1 and Phrase 2 and makes decisions / recommendations based on them.  Again, an exact process has yet to be developed.   
Fr Ron