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Diocese of Brentwood

What is and who are the Diocesan Pastoral Council?

The Council was established by our current Bishop in the 1980’s and is made up of about 120 predominantly lay people who are involved at parish and deanery level and who meet all together twice a year to discuss issues affecting our diocese.

The councils’ aims are to act as a forum for discussion and reference; promote co-operation and communication between groups and at all levels across the parishes, deaneries and diocese; support pastoral development; provide practical advice to the Bishop and undertake specific work at his request.

We have a lay member in virtually every parish and active deanery pastoral councils in approximately half the deaneries. The majority of parishes now have a parish pastoral council.

Our role in the parish involves supporting new and existing parish pastoral councils through good practice and offering practical help to ensure their continued growth and importance. Keeping the work of the council and its’ activities relevant to parish life is essential and increased/improved communication, resource and information sharing will strengthen this.
We also have responsibilities to help encourage all the baptised to be aware of their active responsibility in the church’s life through participation and commitment and addressing pastoral issues in the parishes.

Our role as regards the deaneries is to establish and support effective deanery pastoral councils which address the needs of their own parishes. The practice of real collaborative ministry needs to be addressed here!

Our role in the diocese is to help the implementation of the Future Planning and Vision document to be launched later this month – this will be a momentous task for the council members and the whole of our diocese. We will be actively involved in ensuring a smooth transition through the changes which face us all by increased involvement and discussion with the Bishop and the Committee for Future Planning. The Diocesan Support Team will be part of the council and the lay representatives on the council will be major players in their parish and across the diocese. Liaising and acting as a link with external organisations that can offer help and support will be important as will the need to re-evaluate priorities as changes occur in the diocese. We will be able to again offer valuable feedback to the Bishop, the Future Planning Committee, the commissions and other dioceses.
If you feel you would like to know more or even be involved in our work, please do make contact with (your own parish representative if it’s you speaking!) your parish priest or with Sarah or Lucy in our main office in Brentwood. Thank you for your listening time.