The Parish Evangelisation Council
‘For the Church, evangelising means bringing the Good News into all the strata of humanity, and through its influence transforming humanity from within and making it new.’ (Pope Paul VI, Evangelii Nuntiandi,1975)
Each of us is called by Christ to evangelise. The Gospel of St Matthew finishes with the ‘Great Commission’:
‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples
of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.’ (Matthew 28: 19-20).
Jesus died for everyone’s salvation, and so we have a duty to bring the Good News to all people. Moreover, evangelisation does not just bring others to Christ, it also enables us to grow in our faith. It supports the growth and vibrancy of our parish.
Some in the parish choose to be actively involved in groups, either as leaders or members, and many of these groups play an important role in evangelisation. While some choose to play a prominent role in seeking to develop faith in others, many of us are involved just through the daily contact we have with non-Christians. Each of us acts as a witness to Jesus and his teachings through our words and actions, whether we choose to or not.
Given the central role that evangelisation should play within our Catholic community, the parish has set up a Parish Evangelisation Council (PEC) to lead and coordinate this work. At one of its recent meetings it was agreed that the Committee needed to establish an overall picture of evangelisation currently taking place within the parish before establishing priorities for the future. The PEC will therefore be undertaking a full review of the work done by various groups and ministries in the parish. It is intended that a committee member will either attend a meeting of the group or, where such meetings do not take place or are inappropriate, speak to several key people involved in that group or ministry. This should provide a full picture of the work currently going on and help the PEC to offer support to groups/ministries to enable them to develop their work. It is important to emphasise that this review is not about making judgements on groups/ministries; it is about establishing what is currently happening within the parish.
To ensure that a full picture is established the PEC have identified three key questions that will be asked of each group (as appropriate):
- How was your group formed and when?
- In what ways does your group help in the mission of evangelisation either in the parish or to the wider community?
- What methods do you use to recruit new members?
The groups will also be asked about what difficulties they face in evangelisation and what support they would like to receive to support their role; the relationship between groups and any national affiliations will be explored where appropriate.
The PEC will be making its own responses to these questions at the beginning of the process and will make recommendations as to its own composition and function as a result. Equally, Fr. Chris will have his own views and priorities. These may result in changes to the composition of, the operation of and recruitment to the PEC.
Once the PEC member has met with the group/ministry, the responses to the questions will be discussed by the PEC. One or two individuals from each group will be invited to attend the PEC meeting at which their responses are to be discussed. Following the completion of the review, there will be an open meeting of the PEC to present the findings of the review; any member of the parish will be welcome to attend this meeting.
The PEC plans to start this process in October this year and hopes to discuss the findings from 2 or 3 groups at each of their monthly meetings. It is expected that the review will be complete in the first half of 2021.
‘But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’ (Acts 1:8)
PEC, September 2020