“Rebuild Parish Communities” in a post-Covid worldThursday 5th August 2021
We have released a new resource to help rebuild parish communities following the pandemic.
As part of the diocese’s Hope in the Future programme – a five-stage initiative to make our parishes hubs of missionary discipleship within our communities – this valuable resource looks at the opportunities and challenges we face as we head into a post-Covid world.
Announcing the launch of the Rebuilding Parish Communities resource, Bishop John said: “In his book, Let us Dream – the path to a better future”, Pope Francis challenges us to dream a fairer and stronger Church and World.
“This resource is designed to be a ‘living document’ to help individuals and communities as we rebuild and strengthen our Faith and communities, while we emerge from the pandemic.”
The document aims to guide parishes and Hope in the Future teams as restrictions begin to lift further and more parishioners return to in-person worship.
Through the Rebuilding Parish Communities resource, Bishop John invites us to reflect on which aspects of parish life have altered during the pandemic, and what this means for the future of our communities. What has been lost and must stay lost? What has been lost but must be regained? What has been gained that opens the door to new opportunities and growth?
A significant part of this reassessment is looking at the changes in how people engage with the Church and identifying ways to encourage parishioners to return to in-person worship, in addition to welcoming new parishioners who have become engaged through the digital channels that became available during lockdown.
Supporting this is a helpful guide on the practical steps parishes can take to continue the reassuring and welcoming environment established by priests, volunteers, and stewards during the pandemic, alongside highlighting valuable resources that offer mental health and bereavement support to those in need.
An integral part of Rebuilding Parish Communities is the focus given to the sacramental life of the Church, and how schools and parishes can work together to continue their work preparing young people for their First Reconciliation, First Holy Communion, and the Sacrament of Confirmation.
The full Rebuilding Parish Communities resource is available to view online now and will be updated on our Resources page as and when changes are made.
Bishop John said: “There are many suggestions in this resource, but it will be up to parish communities to discern which aspects of parish life should be resumed and which shouldn’t. This work will need to be done in stages and priests and parish teams should take care to look after themselves too.”