Stewards of the Gospel

'Stewards of the Gospel'

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Bishop Alan Williams has invited lay people within the Diocese of Brentwood to put themselves forward to play an important role in shaping its future. Called ‘Stewards of the Gospel’, these volunteers will use their talents to work closely with clergy, parishes and schools as part of the diocesan planning process.

Appointed in each parish, a Steward will, with local clergy and parishioners, assess the resources available in the parish and locally to maximise the opportunities for evangelisation and sacramental provision. He or she will encourage discussion and be an advocate for their fellow parishioners, communicating their ideas, thoughts and concerns to the Diocesan Strategic Planning Group.

Fr Brett has asked Mrs Lucille Parker to be our 'Steward of the Gospel. We offer her our thanks and support. As part of her new role she will join our Parish Pastoral Council as a co-opted member. This will enable her to feedback the Diocesan initiatives and more readily share any Parish based tasks.

The key tasks for the Stewards of the Gospel are:

  • To examine their own parish, to find out what is going on and plan for better evangelisation in and by the parish.
  • To begin to discern “which parish belongs to which” when it comes to working together in future.
  • To be a source of creative inspiration, looking for new ways to evangelise.
  • To be the voice of the laity when it comes to discerning the principles and priorities on which future plans will be based.
  • To be the voice of the laity when implementing the agreed principles in the local situation of their own parishes.
  • Bishop Alan is very much in favour of collaboration. He says: “It is ‘our diocese’ not ‘my diocese’. We have to steer a course forward together for our common future and I would much rather do it in dialogue with people than present it as a fait accompli. Hence I want to invite people to discern, together and with me, a way of going forward as Catholic Christians. That discernment involves respectful listening, sharing information, being in tune with the issues and needs of our community and a willingness to be open to God’s will.”

The Formal Proposals for Change
The First Formal Proposal for the Renewal and Restructuring of Our Diocese has now been published. Download it HERE.
An Introductory Video Message from Bishop Alan View it HERE (9 mins)
Latest Video Message from Bishop Alan (May 2018) View it HERE (11 mins)

As you will see from the various documents the intention is that people read it, pray about it and then discuss it within the parish and then with neighbours. After that we look forward to receiving your feedback. Under the resources section you will find feedback from other parishes, a summary of the Question Time session in September and an aid which sketches different scenarios to help you with your deliberations. These resources are also available below and on the Stewards page of the Diocesan website.

Steven Webb the 'Director of Development' says, 'As we are both preparing our Diocese and focusing on the joy of the Gospel message can I ask that we keep in mind the need for more prayer, dialogue and discernment before final decisions are taken.'

'Downloads Section'

'Working Together Advent 2017' - Renewal and Restructuring First Formal Proposal
Advent 2017 Video Message (9 mins) Bishop Alan
'Working Together Summer 2017' - Renewal and Restructuring
Evangelisation Resources - from the Bishops Conference
Diocesan Questionnaire - Parish Questionnaire
Parish Questionnaire - Part A (completed)
Parish Questionnaire - Part B (completed)
Parish Questionnaire - Part C (completed)
Caritas - Pope Benedict's Commentary
Amoris Laetitia - Full Text
Amoris Laetitia - 2 Page Summary
Evangelii Gaudium - Full Text
Introductory Video Message from Bishop Alan View it HERE (9 mins)
Latest Video Message from Bishop Alan (May 2018) View it HERE (11 mins)