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Shaping the future of parish ministry, through consultation

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By on December 1, 2021

Co-chairs of the Shape of Parish Ministry Consultation, the Rev. Dr. Jon Martin, Barbara Gagné and Anne-Marie Clysdale reported on the team’s work and progress so far.

The team has interviewed 78 congregations across the Diocese and three special interest groups. Martin and Clysdale gently joked about some common themes that emerged in parish challenges: “Everyone seems pretty sure that if we could just get the young people back in church, all of our problems would be solved,” and “If we could only change everything up and be a new church while still doing all of the traditional things we already do, but better, then we would be fine.” But then seriously and sincerely, they expressed admiration and appreciation for the “amazing work being done in all corners of our diocese.”

Barbara Gagné thanked everyone in the parishes for all the hours and work that went into preparing for the interviews. 

She explained that the consultation team had produced two-to-three page parish profiles from the interviews combined with demographic reports and summary statistical review data. The profiles would be sent back to the parishes for review.  All of the profiles would then be published together in the Parish Compendium in late November.

The second stage of the work, moving from data gathering to analysis will run from November to February 2022, Gagné said. “The objective for every parish will be to use the Compendium to consider the local realities and how each parish relates to the wider Diocese. The SPM Team will provide a toolkit with training or facilitation as needed.

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