Pandemic Stories of Hope in the Future

Thursday 17th June 2021

Over the coming weeks, we will be posting ‘Pandemic Stories’ from parish Hope in the Future teams from across the Diocese, sharing their experience of the past fifteen months. For so many of us this the pandemic has caused much suffering and disruption. When lockdown hit in March 2020, Stage 3 of our Diocesan renewal journey was also disrupted. Our planned formation and training events focusing on ‘Living the Sunday Eucharist’ were moved online.

Parishes have responded creatively by being missionary in a different way however by moving times of prayer online and through social action. This was celebrated in October 2020 in the Stage 3 Celebration Booklet. A big thank you to the leadership of our priests during this difficult time and the dedication of volunteers who have kept our churches safe and moved so much of parish life online.

A Holy Hour was led by Bishop John at the Cathedral on the 4th October, and the resource Rebuild My Church was distributed to encourage reflection.

During this time, several resources were produced to strengthen the Domestic Church through Prayer at Home and online resources for Sacramental Preparation.

In March, parish and deanery Hope in the Future Representatives gathered online to share their experience and hear about some of the plans for Stage 4, you can view the slides from that gathering here.

A survey will be sent out soon to parish teams to find out more about their experience during this period and asking how we can best support parish teams as they start to rebuild their parish community, post pandemic.

On the 3rd October, we will launch Stage 4 of our Hope in the Future journey, focusing on ‘Proclaiming the Good News’. This season of Rebuilding Parish Communities will be essential preparation for this next stage.

“During these challenging days, we have had to be a missionary Church in different ways. It has been wonderful to see so many parishes live streaming Masses, offering online formation, and providing acts of service to their communities. As churches reopen, we have a wonderful challenge of welcoming newcomers to our parishes.”

Bishop John Arnold

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