Last week I reported on the Combined Parish Meeting held on Sunday, 17 October. Today I am able to report further on some of the feedback received from those who were in attendance. Our Parish Transition Team is made up of representatives from each of our Parishes. Peter Collery and Madeleine Jones are from Surrey Hills Wattle Park, Michael McCloskey and Vince Curatore are from Camberwell, Geoff Rankin and Cathy Jenkins are from Deepdene and Balwyn, and Tricia Norman and Trac Nguyen are from the Parish Staff. Together this group is working with me on the establishment of a new representative Parish Council that will serve our three parish communities. We are also working on the establishment of the new ministry of Parish Life Teams (with a leader and team members) for each of our five worshipping communities. If you have not had a chance to catch up on this news you can read more on our website at Building Stronger Parish Partnerships for Mission.
What was the response to these proposals from our parishioners? After making these proposals, those at the meeting were invited to join small groups and provide their feedback. We had thirteen group leaders who collected responses from each group.
In relation to the establishment of a single representative Parish Council there was overwhelming support. This support is summed up in a couple of the following comments from those who provided feedback:
“I really like the image of the tree of life…the structure provide more opportunities. It is insightful, it branches out and embraces all the communities.”
“I am excited about the opportunity to share resources productively across our parishes.”
There was even more support and encouragement for the new ministry of Parish Life Teams. This was the most talked about aspect of the meeting. It came up over twenty-five times in the small group discussions. The following comments are indicative of the feedback.
“The proposed Parish Life Teams concept is a real game changer for the parish.”
“I am excited that each church will have representatives to form a Parish Life Team in order to retain its individual history and knowledge.”
“Really pleased that the proposal may give women a chance to be more involved.”
“The Parish Life Team is a great idea, it keeps the parish linked together.”
The proposal that our Parish Staff work across our three parishes was also met with approval.
“It is good to spread the Parish Staff knowledge and expertise across all parishes.
So the work of our Parish Transition Team will continue. We now have four working groups to bring these proposals to life. Cathy Jenkins, Madeleine Jones and Trac Nguyen will be working on the establishment of the new Parish Council. Tricia Norman, Vince Curatore, Michael McCloskey and I will be working on the development of the Parish Life Teams. Geoff Rankin and Peter Collery will continue to work on communication and timelines.
There is still time to have your say so keep in contact with us via the Building Stronger Parish Partnerships for Mission page of our website.