May I just remind everybody that in march 2018 the parish needed to explore selling the parish house, as we had been unable to acquire government funding to re-establish it as an independent community hub to address needs for community growth in West Rhyl. This meant the departure of the larger 4thecommunity groups and activities, which have since then become independent and found new premises. By August 2018 I had set up a representative parish team to look at (1 )future parish building needs and (2) Parish governance and the need to involve the whole parish in future needs and priorities, especially young people.
Another reason this process was needed was because Bishop Peter’s Into the Future plan would also be affecting parishes. Within this overall plan, each parish needs to work to determine its own future. The parish team reflected at length on developing a process. Early on they unanimously decided that as parish councils had not really worked well in the past, we would experiment instead by continuing the parish team model, without a parish council. This has worked well and the team has also conducted its own learning and prayer. A main agenda given to the team in any case, is to facilitate a conversation whereby the whole parish has a say in its future leadership and direction.
Over this last year therefore, the parish team has:
- Reflected on the variety of issues at stake if we are to help the parish continue to develop and form its faith life.
- Overseen the plans to build a presbytery and new meeting rooms, working with the parish finance team. They have also developed an excellent buildings team
- We looked for an outside facilitator with the requisite gifts and relationship to advance these agendas. About a month ago we commissioned Rob Walsh to undertake this task. Rob is a professional community development worker who has worked closely with Fr Charles and the parish as Chair of 4thecommunity for four years. Rob has provided guidance and ideas and the parish team have now sketched out a process to take things forward.
With a decision imminent from Bishop Peter to take building plans forward, the parish team are also now ready to begin the process of parish self-determination. Regular updates will take place from September onward as we work towards the first major discussion/ consultation event on the First Sunday of Advent