Vision Document - Shaping our Future
This important document outlines the way forward for our diocese in the coming months and years. It has two main parts:
Renewal and Restructuring.
The Renewal section contains themes which should be at the heart of Catholic Life anyway and have been identified by contributors throughout the diocese as being of essential importance to us all.
The Restructuring section outlines parish partnerships; in our case, the five parishes of Collier Row, Gidea Park, Harold Hill St Dominic, Harold Hill Most Holy Redeemer and Romford. Nothing is set in stone; we are being asked to explore ways in which we could collaborate and share together. This process is being led by the Stewards of the Gospel and the priests of the parishes. It is likely that each Partnership will develop differently from others; we are asked to decide what would work best for us. Our long - term plan needs to be finalised during the coming year, with Easter 2020 being the absolute deadline for these plans to be submitted to the Bishop.
The Partnership of Romford Parishes (the five parishes of north Havering) - planning for the future
The Vision Document, published at the beginning of Advent 2018, asks that Partnerships throughout the diocese look at ways of collaborative working and sharing of resources. In our Partnership the clergy and Stewards of the Gospel are meeting frequently to look at the sort of issues raised in the Vision Document, these include:
Sacraments: What new ways can we find to prepare for and celebrate the sacraments? Are there things we can do together? For example: preparation for Confirmation, preparing adults to be baptised or received into the church, marriage preparation.
Service: Are there ways we can exercise the ministry of charity more effectively or together?
Buildings: Do we want or need to keep every building open (churches, halls, presbyteries)? Do we want to use them in the way they are currently used or do we want to close some or put them to new uses? Are there some churches that could become ‘Chapels of Ease’?
Masses: What will our Mass schedule look like in the future (within the next decade or so, it is anticipated that there will be only two or three priests to cover the five parishes). How will we manage to provide each church with Sunday Masses?
Priests: As parishioners, we need to start thinking about our priests’ working lives; how can the Partnership best care for and sustain our priests in the future? What do we expect from them now? Will this be fair or realistic when they have to serve two or more church communities?
In the coming months the group will begin to formulate a long-term plan for the five parishes. Future articles, here and in the parish newsletter, will keep you up-to-date with developments and with information about the parishes in our Partnership.