Parish Pastoral Plan


Sacred Heart Parish Plan

Priority 1: Improve our Prayer and Worship, particularly with respect to the liturgy
Carry out a review of the liturgy, research current teachings on the liturgy and study examples of good practice in other parishes
Establish sub-groups representing each of the Sunday Masses to:

 encourage greater participation by each congregation in, for example, a structured programme of themed homilies, the development of bidding prayers and use of music
Seek views from parents as to how the parish community at that Mass could support them to pass on the faith to their children

Find ways of involving more young people in the development of the liturgy
Consider ways in which non-Catholics attending Mass can be included in a more proactive way

Consult the parish on other forms of devotion (e.g. Benediction) they would welcome

Priority 2: Develop opportunities for all to deepen their knowledge of their faith
Provide a range of learning opportunities that meet the needs of the wide range of interests and ages of the adult congregation
Provide courses/learning programmes that encourage greater knowledge and discussion of moral theology as it pertains to current social issues
Examine the possibility of parish retreats

Priority 3: Prepare for a future with a significantly reduced number of  priests and religious
Carry out an audit of the current range of lay ministries (e.g. Eucharistic, SVP, Bereavement Team) to determine the resources available to free-up the clergy to focus on their pastoral and sacramental duties.
Provide support and training for all involved in lay ministries and recruit more parishioners to join them on a voluntary or paid basis
Build on the work done across the Deanery (in preparation for the Deanery Mission) to identify and develop other opportunities which enable collaborative working between Merton parishes
Review the roles and effectiveness of the Parish Pastoral Council and Finance Committee in order to assess their ‘fitness for purpose’ as the number of priests reducesPriority 4: Continue to build a more open, welcoming, inclusive and outward-looking community across the parish
Consider ways in which new parishioners and others can be more effectively welcomed into the parish. For example:
Devise an attractive welcoming pack and other literature to support enquiries about participating in the parish, joining parish organizations, baptisms, weddings and funerals
Identify ways to improve our signage and notice boards
Look at the opportunities offered by new technology and social networks, e.g. Facebook
Establish ways of identifying excluded and vulnerable people within the parish, including those with special needs, and develop ways in which existing parish organisations can support them
Encourage our many church organisations to identify ways in which they might reach out to the wider community with their activities
Develop systematic parish and hospital visiting by the clergy and lay pastoral visitors

Build on the existing neighbourhood groups and outreach visiting initiatives to create local communities of Catholics (and others) to provide mutual support and care and opportunities for prayer and faith development within the local neighbourhood
Promote ecumenism and Christian Unity Week more actively 

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