Strengthening and Revitalising Parishes: Collaboration Key to Growth

Several parishes are now in the process of gearing up to once again come together with the aim of better understanding how they can strengthen their collaboration.

The collaborative initiative, known as Parish Hubs, exist between the parishes of Mount Lawley, Joondanna and Highgate in the north, and in Baldivis, Kwinana, Port Kennedy and Rockingham in south.

The Strengthening and Revitalising Priority Area of the Pastoral Plan 2016 -2021 is now heading into a new phase of the initiative, which to begin with, involves three Gatherings in May for members of Parish Pastoral Councils.

“Parish Pastoral Council members who attend the Gatherings in May will then be given the opportunity to share this information with their parish communities in June,” Fr Vinciguerra highlighted.

A different strategy is being followed for parishes of our country areas.

It is hoped that the Gatherings on the 11, 18 and 25 May will create stronger awareness of the initiative and ultimately generate more interest, Parish Pastoral Councillors will be the first to learn about the initiative, take the information gained back to their parishes, and present it in June to their parishioners.

Our hope is that by informing and engaging with their parishioners this will encourage parish pastoral councils to take on being part of a Hub.

The next step, which is the final phase, would be to collate data from all parishes and see how this can further grow the implementation of these hub formations.

Fr Vinciguerra emphasizes that while the independence of parishes needs to be thoroughly respected, and that parishes that choose to be part of the Hubs retain their operations and independence, they will also have the opportunity to work collaboratively with other parishes in several areas such as parish retreats, Adult Faith formation, preparation courses for Sacraments and perhaps even host youth or young adult events together.

The Parish Renewal Implementation Group aims is to have at least six sustainable parish Hubs by the end of this year and perhaps even eight or more Hubs.

As Bishop Sproxton, the Episcopal Vicar for Parish Renewal, says, “At the end of the day, we want to be able to consistently grow, connect, renew and work together as the one people of Christ”.