Bishop Richard has issued a new Pastoral Plan for the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton. The publication The Word Who is Life: The Call to Mission marks an important new stage in the development of diocesan parish structures, creating new pathways for apostolic mission and meeting the challenges of an increasingly secular society with renewed confidence and openness to the Holy Spirit.
Bishop Richard was installed as the fifth bishop of the diocese in 2015, writing in his first Pastoral Plan issued in 2018 he said:
“There is much good work already being done in our parishes and deaneries, in our schools and chaplaincies - we must look to the future with renewed resolution and energy growing from ever-deepening prayer."
The Call to Mission focusses on the significant potential of diocesan parish communities to act as “beacons of light... not in an era of change, but in a change of era” consolidating the work already undertaken across the diocese to place prayer, formation, and mission at the heart of diocesan parish and school community life. Reflecting on the new plan Bishop Richard reiterated his overarching vision for the Diocese:
“I invite everyone - lay faithful, religious, deacons and priests - to join with me in forging our parishes into communities of saints and 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 and where all are welcomed and their dignity as children of God always recognised.”
In the coming months, the present eleven deaneries will be re-configured as parishes; priests and deacons will work together with one of the priests appointed Moderator. Speaking about The Call to Mission Canon Kieron O’Brien, Episcopal Vicar for Pastoral Planning said:
“By creating a ‘community of communities’ people across our diocese will have the opportunity to live out their faith in a way that is resilient, sustainable, and adaptable. Parish teams of priests will be able to cooperate more closely and serve the life-giving sacramental needs of their communities in a flexible way, bringing their many gifts to the service of the Church in mission. Each parish community will continue to have its own identity with each exercising their particular gifts and the whole becoming greater than the sum of its parts.”
You can download the full and abridged versions of the Pastoral Plan below.
Bishop Richard hosted a Pastoral Plan Webinar for people across our diocesan community with Lizzie and Jon from our Formation Team on Wednesday 10 January. You can watch the webinar below: