Outcomes of the Synodal discussions in the Deanery of Amber Valley – January 2022

Published Wed, 02/02/2022 by

The following points were raised by the Amber Valley Deanery in considering the submissions from the following churches/ cluster of parishes:

  • Alfreton (Christ the King) and Clay Cross (St. Bridget)
  • Belper (Our Lady of Perpetual Succour), Duffield (St. Margaret Clitherow) and Ripley (St. Joseph’s)
  • Hassop (All Saints) with Bakewell (English Martyrs)
  • Matlock (Our Lady and St. Joseph)

Summaries from each cluster of parishes were read and discussed to see what commonalities were coming from the discussions of laity and clergy in each are.  These are below:

  • A deep desire to see the opportunities of the Second Vatican Council to be realized.
  • The need to see a greater role for women in the liturgical and leadership of the world-wide church.
  • All willing to ‘walk’ together on the synodal journey, especially with other denominations – we need to take ecumenism seriously.
  • Flexibility in authority rather than a centralized, hierarchical structure that excludes or alienates people.
  • A greater involvement of the laity in the life of the parish, diocesan structures and the decision making of the wider church; everyone has a role to play in parish life.
  • Addressing the shortage of ordained, presiding ministers of the eucharist (priests) is a major problem – what can/ will be done?  Married priests?  Women priests/deacons?
  • Addressing the use and the number of buildings in our local area.
  • Relevance of the church – making it attractive to young parents and the youth of the area.  Encouraging younger members of the church and younger families to participate in the life of our church communities.
  • Making the church community more than Sunday Mass.
  • Helping people find their way back to the church, welcoming all comers and making Christ’s message relevant, by refocusing on Jesus’ teachings.
  • Being active in the community, beyond the church building.  OUTREACH – Looking outward, focusing on the wider community
  • Re-set Catholic education – is the message of Jesus Christ and the work of the church the centrality of the schools’ mission; address the dissonance between the Bishops Directory on Catholic Education and what diocesan commissions are promulgating.
  • Re-set Youth Ministry – what is being done is not working, there needs to be a very different emphasis.
  • Inclusion needs to be a key driver of missionary activity – especially regarding those who feel marginalized and separated from the church e.g., divorced, LGQT+ community, etc.
  • A need to look at our weaknesses, as communities, and see what is common.
  • A greater sense of mission – focusing on community; Christian teaching; the marginalized and a multi-faith engagement programme.
  • An identified need to get contacts through undertaking a quality census programme to allow an effective communication strategy e.g., “Welcome Home” during Lent.
  • Looking to become a “Hub” for services to the local community, where these do not already exist.
  • Sacramental life – sacramental preparation being more than a programme, but an evangelisation of families; sacraments as a welcoming point to the church community, rather than a “hurdle” to be overcome.

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