A Future Full of Hope - Reflections on activities
At the beginning of 2017 Bishop Declan wrote a pastoral letter asking all the people of the Diocese to reflect with him on the future. Founded on the many responses, his Future Full of Hope project aims to use the resources the Lord has given us so that we may build up the life and work of our parish communities.
Each of the three years ahead of us will focus on one aspect of the Bishop’s threefold vision of Mission, Prayer and Communion. This is the Year of Mission, in which we are asked to reflect on the ways we are called to build the Kingdom of God in our world:
The Church is created by God to live,
not for itself, but for others;
to be a people who share in the mission of Christ,
to proclaim the Kingdom
and to make disciples
so that the world will be transformed
according to God’s plan.
Details of the Bishop’s plan are on the Diocese’s website at
This reflection is to be outward-looking, and will take different forms. But part of it will involve looking at the activities we undertake in our parish: the ministries listed on the front page of our Bulletin and many other activities as well.
We shall need to celebrate the things we are doing well, and ask ourselves what we could do better, or what else there may be that God is calling us to. We shall need to do this together: it is those who engage in these activities who know them best. We can ask whether we work in the service of others, whether we wit¬ness to our faith, and whether we show ourselves as disci¬ples, welcome others and draw them in.
At meetings in May, those who lead any Ministry or other activity in the parish are being asked to take those involved in the activity on a journey to carry out this reflection.
The Bishop has pointed out that his plan does not seek to impose uniformity but to offer a framework within which we can respond. Nor does it seek to add a further workload on top of the many good things that are already happening in the parishes. It seeks to deepen our understanding of what we already do, and offers ways in which that can develop and grow.
A possible approach would be as follows:
- Invite the other members of your team to a meeting, either in the parish hall, or (if anyone volunteers) in someone’s home. Try and fix a date and time when everyone can make it.
- Plan how you will run the meeting. Should there be refreshments? Will you want anyone to keep a record?
- Begin the meeting with a prayer.
- Outline the Bishop’s plan.
- Ask people to think about the various aspects of your activity. Are you all agreed on its real purpose? Who are the people, both parishioners and others, who are affected by it?
- Discuss what is going well in your activity. Celebrate it and your achievements.
- Ask yourselves whether there are any aspects which could go even better, and how. What help would you need for this, and how could you get it?
- Is there anything else you could be doing which would help? What would Jesus say about that?
- Sum up your discussion, and agree your conclusions.
- Will you need another meeting to sort out any details? Please try to get the reflection complete by the end of September.
The Roadmap Group and Father David would be very pleased if someone from your group could explain to them what you did and what conclusions you came to. You could do this either in writing or by coming to a meeting.
If you have any queries about this, pleasae don’t hesitate to contact one of us:
- Mark Bradley
- Tracey Sessions
- Mark O’Sullivan. Tel: 01225 480970
(members of the parish Roadmap Team Reflection Group)
A copy of the presentation given at the Roadmap is available here. Please note this file is large (16MB) and may take an extended time to download.
Please can you bring your ministry group together to reflect on Bishop Declan’s questions, in particular:
- What are we already doing well?
- What could we do better?
- What are we not doing that God might be calling us to?
Please can you complete this reflection by the 11th July?
You can download a Microsoft Word copy of the reflection here.