In September 2018, Bishop Richard issued a Pastoral Plan for the Diocese, called 'The Word Who is Life'. Writing in the introduction he said:
"We are in an ever-changing context and this Pastoral Plan, seeks to provide a way forward for the Diocese that will enable us to proclaim Christ in this new setting. Formation in the Christian Life, at an ever-deepening level and at every age, is necessary. We are Christ’s instruments in a society that is in need of Evangelisation. This is the Mission of the Church – the 'New Evangelisation' to which Pope St John Paul II, Pope Benedict and Pope Francis have called us. There is so much good work already being done in our parishes and deaneries, in our schools and chaplaincies – but we must look to the future with renewed resolution and energy, growing from ever-deepening prayer and aided by continuing growth in understanding."
In October 2022 Bishop Richard undertook a new Pastoral Plan for the Diocese. Writing in the opening paragraphs he says:
"It is now over three years since the publication of the Pastoral Plan for the Diocese. That first document was the fruit of a process of consultation across the Deaneries of the Diocese and the Plan was presented in each Deanery. In the intervening time, a number of positive developments have taken place. However, we have also been living with the Covid-19 pandemic for nearly two of those years and this has impacted significantly on every aspect of our lives."
"The Word Who is Life is our subject, and the Mission of living and proclaiming the message of Salvation must be the focus for our every action, the measure by which we reflect upon our lives as the community of the Church."
"I therefore take this opportunity to invite everyone in the Diocese – lay faithful and religious, deacons and priests – to join with me in forging our parishes into communities of saints, into strong, lively and welcoming schools of discipleship. May they be communities where the Lord is known and loved; where the liturgy is experienced as an encounter with the wonder of heaven; where daily prayer is a natural part of life; where all are welcomed and their dignity as children of God always recognized; where young people grow in deep love for the Gospel, for the sacramental life of the Church and for prayer; where all know the riches of the faith and seek to share it with others."
Please click here to read the new Pastoral Plan. Click on the button below to read the previous 2018 Pastoral Plan.