Yet again on Weld Day we were blessed by good weather and a congregation that grows by the year. I’m grateful to those who donated the ice cream, the wine, the strawberries and the cream, as are all who enjoyed them. Over 300 cornets and tubs of ice cream disappeared down children’s throats – help by not a few adults.
The school did a great job in tidying the garden and erecting the gazebo that protected the altar. Early Sunday morning, as a team of men set about organising the site, I reflected that most of this work would better be done the day before and as I scratched my head to remember the arrangements of last and previous years I concluded that the day needs an organising committee. The first Weld Day was overseen by a small group, but gradually over the past six years almost all the organisation has fallen back back to me.
Only a few days before, I had reported to the Parish Forum that the Bishop has asked the clergy to set about handing over the organisation of their parishes and their associated activities to parishioners. He requested this as a welfare measure to prevent burnout and illness among his priests as many take on responsibility for more than one parish and their associated schools, in a world where administration increases by the year and is accompanied by demands for greater accountability and transparency.
So, asks Bishop John of the clergy: free yourselves from administration and property management so that you have more time for the important services that are specific to you and your vocation. At the Forum, I announced that a strategy to form organising groups/committees to take full responsibility for many aspects of parish life must now be a priority for our parish with its three churches and their communities.
Many already exist: Finance, Maintenance, Website, Marriage and Baptism preparation, the choirs, Cafod, Trafficking, Flower guild, the dependable long standing Women’s group and the Knights, Eucharistic Ministers, Readers, Life, Church cleaning and SVP to mention just a number that come to mind as I type. Some of these function exceedingly well, others need reinvigorating, and nearly all need to look at membership. But even this number leaves some aspects of parish life neglected.
Please give this matter serious thought over the holidays, let me have your ideas and in September we shall begin the process.