Parish Census and Development Plan - July 2014 UPDATE

At the Parish AGM I gave an update on the Parish Census and Development Plan. But for those who missed it, here is where we are.

We’ve now finished inputting all the 170 forms (!) covering some 372 people and we have produced reports for all areas of Parish activity : from Administration to Youth (sadly there’s no Parish Zuma (yet) so not quite an A to Z!). In all we identified some 50 different activities/areas of Parish life – some more alive than others. The most popular in terms of numbers active or interested (some data cleansing might still be needed here) are: Readers (50), Eucharistic Ministers (42), Welcoming (34), Church Cleaners (23), Music/Choir (22), Flowers (20), Social Events (18), Prayer Group (16), Counting Collections (16) and Bible Group and Visiting the Sick (both 15). We also had an interest in Child Protection and IT skills. These lists are now being sent to all the relevant Parish Co-ordinators and organisers for them to follow up. From all this information, we intend to create a Parish Development Plan to help realise our Parish Vision: “To proclaim Christ to the world – empowering all around us with the presence and joy of the Holy Spirit.”

You also gave us your views on what you would like to see happening in the Parish. Some of the most popular were: social events to bring us all together, Days of Reflection, a Catholic “basics”/refresher course, Healing Masses, and Parish Pilgrimages. So we will be looking into all these (and other) areas. And you gave us your thoughts on how we can evangelise more effectively since that is what we are all here for after all. As Pope Francis recently said : “Christianity is not a school of ideas or a collection of beautiful temples or lovely art. It is a living people who follow Jesus and give witness to Him every day.” You said we need to begin this Witness by looking at ourselves and especially developing our prayer life. We need to identify our particular gifts and then use them effectively to serve God. We need to be confident in our Faith and be ready to speak up for it. So the next few months should be quite full! If you’ve not completed a Census form, you can still download one here. Guidance notes may be downloaded here.

And, to quote one comment on being an effective Witness to Christ: Don’t forget to smile!

Ian Honeysett

Our Parish Vision Statement and Parish Census 2014

 You may recall that our Parish adopted at our last AGM a Vision for the future of the Parish:

Proclaiming Christ to the world: empowering all around us with the presence and joy of the Holy Spirit.

Here in Godalming we seek to become more fully a community of disciples able to state our Mission to the world with imagination, clarity and without fear.

In order that the Gospel may be lived through the Power of the Holy Spirit and our Parish may become a community where all who love Jesus act together to build a better more human world, we the people of  Godalming Parish pledge ourselves that we will become more fully
  • A learning Church
  • A celebrating Church
  • A caring Church
  • A living Church
  • Partners in service 

This Vision pledge is very close to but goes a little deeper than the Diocese Vision Statement of 1995 and is designed so as to invite each member of our Parish to own it and act on it.

It also echoes the powerful homily of Bishop Kieran at his Mass homily in St Peter and Paul’s on 3rd February last:
"Be a real presence in Godalming - live out being together in Christ’s body - embrace this wonderful vision. Let us go out and tell others what Godalming is doing."

This is all in line with the inspirational teaching and encouragement of Pope Francis:
"The Church is called to come out of herself - to surge forth to the peripheries like a sweet and comforting mother who offers the joy of Jesus to the world - to be a more participative church."

In the light of the above the Parish has carried out a Parish Census, designed to bring up to date:
  • personal family details
  • what part you do play in Parish life
  • what talents and gifts you might further offer to the Parish to implement its Vision for the future
It also gave an opportunity to comment on changes you would welcome in the Parish.

We are creating a database of the responses and will publish a report on the findings (no names mentioned of course!) The database will be held securely on the Parish computer and used only for Parish purposes. Co-ordinators will follow up on anything relevant to their areas. If you missed out on completing a Census form please download a form here.