Vol. 11 No. 6 JUNE 1997

What makes a parish work?


To live is to change
The Editor

Beyond the numbers game
Desmond Ryan

The story of a parish
Placid Meylink OSB
It often helps to see how a parish evolves over time. Placid Meylink, the parish priest of Christ the King at Cockfosters in north London, recounts some parish events over the last sixty years and looks at some important principles which are needed for a parish to work well. 'On the whole where our priests and people have determined on a course of action in their ministry, it has usually been realised.'

Liturgy and the parish
Owen Cummings
Good liturgy is of critical importance in the success of a parish. What makes for good liturgy? Owen Cummings who is a permanent deacon of the Diocese of Salt Lake City and Professor of Systematic Theology at Mount Angel Seminary, the seminary for the diocese of the Pacific North-West, offers a five step answer. 'The unity of the parish, a growing grasp of the faith, the worship of God comes about when the liturgy is celebrated well, and the five steps seem to me to secure good celebration.'

Working together for the glory of God
Anne Smith
Anne Smith shares her enthusiasm for her parish of the Assumption of Our Lady in Englefield Green, Surrey, and describes some of the ways in which the parish helped her to come through a crisis in her life and examines the building blocks of true community.

On managing to be a successful parish
John Morrill
It is an advantage to have seen parish life from both clerical and lay perspectives. John Morrill, who is an academic historian and Vice Master of Selwyn College, Cambridge, was recently ordained to the permanent diaconate and ministers in his Newmarket parish. Here he draws on two perspectives to assess what makes a parish successful.

Fellowship, worship and mission
Gerard Murray
Gerard Murray, parish priest of Our Lady of the Wayside, Shirley, Solihull, sums up the nature and purpose of a parish in three key words.

What is our mission?
Christine Fletcher
Christine Fletcher, our assistant editor, until recently employed as a consultant to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, points out the importance of a parish working out a mission statement. 'The parish priest gains involvement and commitment from his parishoners, the parishoners realise that they are not "customers" but joint custodians of the parish...'

In the Catholic tradition: St Thomas More
Richard Rex
On June 22nd the Church honours one of England's greatest saints who has universal and contemporary appeal. Thomas More was a married man and a leading politician who was willing to die for what he believed in. Richard Rex, who is lecturer in church history at the University of Cambridge, draws a reflective portrait.

Preaching and teaching the word
John Deehan
John Deehan, who is a priest of the Archdiocese of Westminster and teacher of Scripture at Allen Hall, London offers some reflections on the lectionary readings for the Sundays in July.

Through a presbytery window


Book reviews

Postscript: What's in a name?
Gemma Simmonds IBVM

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