Archive for September, 2012

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Deanery Pastoral Council: Chairman’s Report

Bexley Deanery Pastoral Council

Chairman’s Report, 19 September 2012

The Bexley Deanery Pastoral Council is a meeting of the laity and clergy of the Deanery with the support and guidance of the Dean. Two representatives from each parish provide the Dean with a laity view of issues affecting our faith and parish life. It is a forum to exchange good practice, share ideas and support neighbouring parishes.
We are fortunate that we have well attended meetings often with Parish Priests and Deacon. Active members generate vibrate and useful discussion. We have encouraged Erith parish to find two representatives to join as they are certain to have much to contribute.

Over the past year we have been kept informed of the outcomes of the Council of Priests, the S.E.Area Dean’s meetings and the Deanery clergy assemblies. This keeps us in touch with the church views on a range of topics and developing initiatives. Sadly the Diocesan laity Commission no longer meets with the Archbishop which also provided a hub for Deanery exchanges. We do have a connection with Mortlake Deanery as a means of continuing to share the promotion of Deanery matters.

The D.P.C. meets each quarter, rotating the venue at each parish and our minutes and decisions are freely available. A notable success in the Deanery is the Third World project. With a dedicated committee to administer it and widely supported it delivers a target of financial support to projects suggested in the Deanery that make a significant difference to the communities they reach.

Justice and Peace had a small active group which has declined recently. We received a presentation on “Women at the Well” which offers aid to vulnerable women in the London area who have been trafficked to the UK to be exploited. Support continues to the homeless via several centres. We would welcome new interest from anyone who would consider helping J&P issues.

The D.P.C. is no financial drain on the Deanery. We have little funds and are usually able to raise what is needed to fulfil commitments.

Church unity has the driving force of Rev Michael Baldry providing the catholic input with churches across Bexley. This is a way to share our faith and develop understanding through join communication, events and service. Michael was also our Olympics Chaplain in this special year.

The Deanery provides a day of reflection for Readers and Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist to deepen their ministry and offer guidance. We plan to extend this to our music groups and choir’s in the immediate future.

Communication is ever prominent particularly for our young people. We are aware that our means of communication needs to keep pace with their trends and our web site hold an inviting appeal to them.

We responded to the new Catholic Environmental Group with examples of environmental care in our schools and parishes. To assist with parish administration we developed a format to help the priest by detailing the countless jobs and tasks that need to be undertaken in parishes. This can be tailored to each parish as a guide to who does what and highlight where help is needed.

Our meetings begin with a prayer and we now have our own that asks for God’s help and blessing. Our work is always open to new ideas and suggestions so that we act together for the benefit of the Deanery.

The London Borough of Bexley provides our Deanery boundary which gives us an even stronger sense of belonging. With your prayers throughout our area the D.P.C. will strive to continue to share information and joint ventures that unites our parishes and spreads the word of God.

Kenneth Atmore.
Bexley Deanery Pastoral Council.