The Parish Forum meets on Wednesday in the Social Centre at 7.30pm.
Parish Forum is our parish council, though it differs to most parish councils in that meetings are open to any parishioner who wishes to attend. All who attend have the right to speak and to vote. Minutes are published on the notice board and are emailed to those who leave their e-addresses.
Forum offers me the opportunity to report on past and future events, to seek advice, to listen to new ideas and to receive complaints. For parishioners it is your opportunity to own your parish. Reports are also received from various parish committees and organisations. Invariably there is a full agenda but the Chair does endeavour to ensure that we finish by 9pm for tea and biscuits. This Wednesday, among others, we shall receive reports on last year’s accounts from the Finance Committee and a progress report on the Parish Centre in addition to planning forthcoming summer events. So, do come along and be your Parish Forum.
One thing that we must begin to discuss is Evangelisation – a word that makes us want to run a hundred miles away but which basically means: faith sharing. The following is an extract from a speech made by Pope Francis in June last year.
“I want to tell you something. There is a beautiful passage of the Gospel which tells us about the shepherd who realized that one sheep was missing. He left the ninety-nine others and went in search of it. He went off to look for one! But brothers and sisters, we have only one sheep; we have lost the other ninety-nine! ‘We must go out, we must go out to them! In this culture – let us tell the truth – we only have one; we are a minority! And do we feel the fervour, the apostolic zeal to go out and find the other ninety-nine? This is an enormous responsibility and we must ask the Lord for the grace of generosity, and the courage and patience to go out, to go out and preach the Gospel. Ah, this is difficult. It is easier to stay at home, with that one sheep! It is easier with that sheep to comb its fleece, to stroke it. But we priests and you Christians too, everyone, the Lord wants us to be shepherds, he does not want us to fuss with combing fleeces. Shepherds!