© 2023 by Skyline

In an exciting new development for our parish, we now have a 'Parish Leadership Team'.  Such a team is one of the lynchpins of parish renewal, as envisaged in many of the current books and resources on parish life (see here).

Our new team consists of:

  • Fr Dylan James

  • Bob Griffin

  • Emma Brookes

  • John Paul Ugwu

  • Maris O'Brien

  • Mia Knight

  • Veronica Massey

These individuals bring a variety of ages, genders, and personality types to the team.

What ideas will influence the team?

The team will first seek to form itself before seeking to form the parish.  We'll use the CASE approach (Copy And Steal Everything -following the best practice we see in others)!  We'll do this by drawing on some specific resources that are currently being looked at by many across the country:

  • The Amazing Parish (website, see here) which describes a leadership team here

  • Rebuilt by Michael White and Tom Corcoran, see here

  • The Benedict Option by Rod Dreher, see here

  • Divine Renovation by James Mallon, see here

  • Forming Intentional Disciples by Sherry Weddell, see here

You can see the reading list of the above arranged for our first 8 meetings here

What might be expected of such a team?  

  • To take one example, the recent Alpha course was initiated by our parish priest, acting largely as an individual.  In contrast, the purpose of such a team is that it will, as a team, provide leadership for our parish.

  • The two chief tasks that the team will work on are:

    • first, creating a vision for the parish, and

    • second, developing a set of strategies to guide the parish,

      • all this working within the overarching goal of fostering The New Evangelisation (as called for by popes from Pope Paul VI onwards). 

  • The above focus makes the team very different from old-style parish pastoral councils, which were typically bureaucratic and procedural, and frequently were seen as a forum to represent competing parish groups.  A leadership team has a different focus.

  • This said, networking with parishioners and receiving and discussing ideas will be an important part of how the team might function.  The Amazing Parish website describes the way team members might communicate with each other discussing vision and strategy by saying: "Team members need to engage in two primary kinds of communication: advocacy (making suggestions and lobbying for ideas) and inquiry (asking questions and probing for better understanding of other people’s ideas). On great teams, more inquiry takes place than advocacy."

While this model (i.e. a parish leadership team) is proposed to us in the above books, its basically untested in our Diocese and so it is difficult to specify how it will work in practice.  Nonetheless, we hope we'll have the support of the parish in this attempt at renewing the life of our parish.

 

We had our first meeting 31st May 2018 and started meeting regularly in the Autumn.

You can download the above text as a Word document here