WORKING TOGETHER TO EVANGALISE THE GOSPEL
"The important thing is not to walk alone, but to rely on each other as brothers and sisters, especially under the leadership of the bishops, in a wise and realistic pastoral discernment."
From Bishop Alan
"As I write this foreword I have just returned from the diocesan pilgrimages to Walsingham and Lourdes. At Walsingham, together with over 3,000 pilgrims, I entrusted the future of the diocese to the care of Mary the Mother of Jesus. On the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes earlier this year, I wrote of the need to respond to the needs of a quickly changing world – our parishes, schools and all our communities will need to face this challenge. Last week, in our biggest ever pilgrimage to Lourdes, I glimpsed an image of the Church as it could be – young and old united together in prayer, charity and joy. The Stewards of the Gospel initiative has already borne much fruit in many of our parishes. There have already been many conversations and wide consultation. I am grateful for the continued energy and faith of our Stewards and their helpers. In my Pastoral Letter earlier this year I wrote that it is clear to me that we now need to make important choices for our own diocese. Pope Saint John Paul II almost 30 years ago urged dioceses to embrace “Collaboration, dialogue, discernment... and consultation of the lay faithful, women and men.” Pope Francis takes up this challenge and points to a way forward, “A proposal of goals without an adequate communal search for the means of achieving them will prove illusory... The important thing is not to walk alone, but to rely on each other as brothers and sisters, especially under the leadership of the bishops, in a wise and realistic pastoral discernment."
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Steward of the Gospel
St Thomas of Canterbury Parish