Families of Parishes vision unveiled
minute read
October 9, 2023

The Archdiocese of Liverpool is setting the stage for a transformative shift in the way the Church operates, introducing the concept of "Families of Parishes."

This initiative is at the heart of the archdiocese's Pastoral Plan, promising a more connected and dynamic approach to faith and community.

The archdiocese invites all parishioners to explore this visionary plan through a series of upcoming roadshows.

The Pastoral Plan, unveiled earlier this year, outlines a path forward for the archdiocese that emphasises pastoral collaboration. It envisions the creation of "Families of Parishes" as the next step in strengthening our faith community.

To provide a comprehensive understanding of this concept, the archdiocese has scheduled three informative roadshows, open to everyone interested in the future of the church. The roadshows will take place at the following locations and times:

·       Saturday 4 November: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM at St. Margaret Clitherow Centre, Sefton Park Liverpool.

·       Tuesday 7 November: 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM at St. Anne's Pastoral Centre in Ormskirk.

·       Wednesday 8 November: 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM at St. Julie's Eccleston, St. Helens. 

The vision that emerged from the 2021 Synod of the Archdiocese of Liverpool places Christ at the centre, emphasising His mission shared with all the baptised. This mission unites individuals to each other and to Christ during the Mass, creating a sense of community and purpose.

To bring this vision to life, the Archdiocese commits to:

·       Immersion in Contemporary Humanity: Engaging with the joys, hopes, griefs, and anxieties of today's world.

·       Adaptive Leadership: Developing leadership that responds to changing needs.

·       Synodality Integration: Embedding synodality in every aspect of archdiocesan life.

·       Innovation in Local Structures: Being bold and creative in renewing local church structures.

At the core of this vision lies the commitment to establish Families of Parishes. Contrary to misconceptions, this initiative is not about closing churches but addressing both financial and pastoral realities.

 Each Family of Parishes is ideally structured to include:

·       Buildings: This includes a "mother church" and potentially one or more "daughter churches." These churches will undergo repairs, maintenance, and enhancements, while others may focus on essential maintenance for short-term use. Additionally, each family will have designated spaces for social gatherings, catechetical events, a parish office for administration, and places for priests to live.

·       Personnel: Families of Parishes will be staffed by priests (full-time, part-time, or retired), deacons, pastoral workers, administrative staff, and volunteers.

·       Community Engagement: Decisions about Families of Parishes will consider their relationships with schools, local councils, and other public bodies, ensuring contributions to the common good and fostering ecumenical discussions.

·       Financial Viability: The structure will be designed to optimise resources and control costs, ensuring financial viability. This may involve wealthier areas supporting those in need.

If you have questions or seek further clarification about this emerging strategy, please do attend one of the upcoming open meetings. Together, we embark on a journey toward a more connected, vibrant, and sustainable faith community, guided by the principles of Families of Parishes.

Like this article? See this and more in the latest edition of the Catholic Pic. It is available to pick up from parishes, and can also be read online here.