Plan of the way forward for the Parish of Belper with Duffield and Ripley after the recent consultation

Published Fri, 21/04/2023 by

SJR = St Joseph’s Ripley

OLPS = Our Lady of Perpetual Succour Belper

SMC = St Margaret Clitherow’s Duffield

  1. The principles set before us by Bishop Patrick of Encounter, Discipleship and Missionary Discipleship are to be the motivation for everything that happens in the soon-to-be canonically united parish, to put it on a true mission-footing. 
  2. Retain SJR as the principal church for the parish for the foreseeable future.  SJR to be a locus for most weekend Masses, most weekday Masses, weddings and funerals, and its Presbytery as the likely future domicile for the next Parish Priest.  
  3. Meanwhile the Presbytery at Ripley to continue to be rented to provide a source of income for the Parish which, together with the rental from the hall, will help provide the salary of a Parish Office Manager (see 4 below).  When the time comes for the appointment of my successor, a decision will have to be taken as to whether the Presbytery will at that point become his domicile.
  4. St Joseph’s to become the parish hub, particularly with regard to administration.  Appoint a Parish Office Manager at the earliest opportunity to organise and oversee this development.
  5. Retain the church and hall of OLPS in the short to medium term.  These premises at Gibfield Lane to be the locus from which missional outreach is launched in the Derwent Valley area until such time as a more suitable alternative can be found (see 7 below).
  6. The former Presbytery at Gibfield Lane to be retained to help provide a steady source of rental income, together with whatever grants for mission projects may be available, to fund the appointment of a lay part-time Pastoral Assistant at the earliest opportunity to work in collaboration with and under the direction of the Parish Priest in reaching out to engage with Catholic families of children from the parish who attend St Elizabeth’s and St Benedict’s Schools; also, to establish and maintain mission-oriented initiatives in the Parish and other agreed pastoral duties.
  7. Task a group to source and secure premises in the Belper area that are accessible for elderly and disabled parishioners, safer (particularly for young people and vulnerable adults), and lend themselves more fully to the liturgical needs of the parish (especially for a potentially larger congregation with more suitable audio-visual facilities).  When this is achieved dispose of the premises at Gibfield Lane.  
  8. Close SMCD.
  9. Train more Extraordinary Ministers to ensure the availability of the blessed sacrament to the sick and housebound in all areas of the Parish.
  10. For the Diocesan Curia to enter immediately into such negotiations or legal actions as are necessary with the Bowmer family and/or the relevant local authorities, to realise the value of the asset at Hall Farm Road on the most favourable financial terms for the benefit of the whole Parish.

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