As announced at last weekend’s Masses, on 10th May at the Parish Forum we shall discuss how best we may respond to the Bishop’s request that we rearrange the weekend schedule of Masses so that one priest is able to celebrate the current two Masses in Clitheroe and one each in Dunsop and Sabden.
My hope is that during this meeting a consensus will develop that will enable us to make a firm decision.
Two questions have been asked of me. Could we experiment with Mass at different times and then choose the most appropriate? Will we have a ballot? The answer to both is: No.
Experimentation with times of Mass would only cause confusion, so we must work to agree a final and binding decision.
There will be no ballot because I’m looking for a consensus. For this to emerge there should be a frank exchange of views coupled with a generous willingness to give and take a little on all sides. If necessary a show of hands, only by those attending the meeting, may be required to move the discussion along.
A few parishioners have mentioned that since Clitheroe is the largest community, has two Masses and that the Masses on Sunday morning will remain at the times agreed with Sabden over seven years ago, then Clitheroe should be willing to offer some form of concession.
So, a reminder of the options which are under review.
5pm Saturday evening Mass in Dunsop necessitating the Clitheroe evening Mass moving forward to 6.30pm or possibly transferring to Sunday evening, at a time to be agreed.
Or a 4.30pm Saturday evening Mass in Dunsop followed by the usual 6pm Mass in Clitheroe.
To be honest, having two Saturday evening Masses would not offer a real choice to the parish as a whole and I’m not too sure that the Bishop would be happy with this suggestion.
Nothing is decided, so let’s talk about these and any other possible options not yet suggested.
Above all I ask you to pray that as a community we arrive at a reasonably satisfactory consensus.