Church 21 is offering parishes the opportunity to apply to participate in its Programme of Parish Development.
Applications should be submitted to the Bishop of Connor via Bishop’s Secretary Mrs Rosemary Patterson, by Friday December 3.
Paul Hoey, chair of the parish development working group said the parishes which would benefit most from participation in the programme would be those where there existed:
• A good working relationship between clergy and people based on trust and listening
• Some kind of recognition that patterns of ministry which worked well in the past do not necessarily meet the needs of people today
• An appreciation that ministry is to and for the wider community rather than just the church community
• An openness to share with and learn from churches from a wide variety of outlooks
• A desire to develop the gifts and resources available in the parish and to help both the parish and individual members reach their full potential
• An acknowledgement that there is a cost to change
• A commitment to persevere on the journey
Mr Hoey said that it was acknowledged few parishes would display all these characteristics which should be regarded as general criteria.