Inspired by the teaching of Pope Francis in Evangelii Gaudium, Bishop John desires to encourage the development of missionary parishes.
A missionary parish is a community called to be open to the Holy Spirit so that the Good News of Jesus Christ can be known to all through welcome, engagement and outreach.
- Creating a place of joyful welcome and belonging, accessible to all
- Building an active and inclusive Parish Leadership/Enabling Team
- Safeguarding all parishioners through implementation of proper procedures
- Meeting the needs of children and young people
- Encouraging participation in parish activities
- Keeping all parish buildings in good repair
- Providing a prayerful ambience through church decoration and cleaning
- Celebrating well-planned and prayerful liturgies
- Providing opportunities for prayer and devotion outside of Mass
- Forming people for liturgical and catechetical ministries
- Catechising for Baptism and other Sacraments
- Engaging with schools and colleges within the parish
- Training in discipleship, including adult formation, RCIA and opportunities for growing in our Christian faith
- Preparing engaged couples for marriage and supporting those who are married
- Educating parishioners in the social teachings of the Church
- Overseeing parish finances with transparency
- Maintaining good collaboration across all parish activities
- Communicating well through newsletters, websites and social media
- Serving the particular needs of the local community
- Creating social outreach groups open to all
- Linking with Caritas, CAFOD, SVP and similar organisations
- Caring for the local environment
- Inviting participation in activities such as parish missions or Alpha courses
- Reaching out to parishioners who do not regularly attend church
- Participating in ecumenical and interfaith dialogue and action
A missionary parish will have a focus on Evangelisation: deepening our relationship with Jesus Christ and inviting others to get to know him and the Gospel message.
The lists above are not in priority order and not exhaustive. There will be a variety of ways in which the Pope’s vision, already particularised by Bishop John for the Diocese of Salford, is then further expressed through the individuality of each parish community.
We are called by Jesus to ‘make disciples of all nations’. This can be a challenge and sometimes we don’t know where to start but here are a few suggestions which you can try in your parish to share the Good News of Jesus in your community.