Shared Leadership moving from Maintenance to MissionThursday 22nd July 2021
Here is an article from Tracey Williams, a member of the Senior Leadership Team at St James and All Souls parish in Salford. The parish are working closely with Divine Renovation on a journey of renewal tying to respond to Pope Francis’ invitation to be missionary disciples in a missionary parish.
In the parish of St James, we pivoted early in the pandemic with our Senior Leadership Team regularly meeting up via Zoom. During the time whilst church was closed, Zoom allowed the team to reach out to parishioners to grow the parish teams setting up a strategy team and ministry leads team.
Our parish’s first Alpha course was coming to an end when the pandemic broke in March 2020, so the final two weeks of the course was completed online. Since then, we have held a further four courses online and being online has not inhibited discussion and it has allowed some parishioners with family commitments the time to join the course from home. The team managed to share their hospitality with guests on Alpha Saturday by delivering coffee and pastries with guests joining the course from overseas.
Originally set up at the start of the pandemic to reach out to vulnerable and isolated parishioners, we set up a team of Guardian Angels. Those who wanted some support during the pandemic were linked up with a member of the team. The angels made regular calls offering a friendly voice at the end of the phone, sometimes offering an ear to listen and also offering prayers. We found that this has been a great comfort especially during a time when some felt isolated, and this will be a service that will continue once the pandemic comes to an end.
Shared Leadership Models – At a Glance
In April 2019, Bishop John asked each parish to establish a Shared Leadership Team. Shared Leadership will be essential in supporting priests in the task of Rebuilding Parish Communities which are synodal and mission orientated. All teams are advisory to the Parish Priest. You may use any of the suggested models, a combination of models or a different model. If you would like a facilitator to help set up a Shared Leadership Team in your parish, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.