After the summer break, will it be ‘business as usual’? There is a change in the air, and it is not just the weather. For many there will be a significant change in their daily routines: children starting new schools, young people starting new courses at college or university, or perhaps a new job. At work, a new boss arriving or it’s just time to put out this season’s products, to entice the customer. At home the garden or the window boxes need a tidy, clearing away the faded summer blooms, planting bulbs for the spring; while indoors some re-decoration to be done, to make the rooms brighter, to capture the autumn glow. With the changes, there may be some anxiety, but there is also excitement as we look towards new adventures, new opportunities and new growth.
September is also a good time to refresh and renew our Proclaim work in the parish. The Proclaim Initiatives which were started earlier in the year – or may be as far back as 2015 when Proclaim first began, can be reviewed to see if they are still effective. New initiatives, already agreed before the summer, are now ready for implementation; while the Parish Evangelisation Team considers new opportunities and new ideas for the autumn and beyond. The work of evangelisation is one of constant renewal. The work of Proclaim reflects the words of Pope St John Paul II, that the mission of bringing the Good News is ever ‘new its ardour, new in its methods, and new in its expression’. We respond to the changing world around us, taking up the invitation of Pope Francis to be ‘bold and creative in this task’ of evangelisation.
This autumn, to help parishes to ‘review, refresh and renew’ their Proclaim work, the Agency for Evangelisation has arranged nine ‘Proclaim Workshops’ across the diocese, running from September and December. Each parish is encouraged to be represented at one of these workshops by their Parish Priest and by members of their Parish Evangelisation Team, or those who could help form such a team in the parish. The focus of the workshops is ‘Initiatives & Resources’; and will provide an opportunity for parish teams to share their success and ideas, to learn about how Proclaim Westminster is being progressed, and to set out or develop further local evangelisation strategies that will support them in the continued growth their parish as a ‘Missionary Parish’.
For parishes to register for one of the workshops please contact Warren Brown by e-mail at the Agency for Evangelisation: firstname.lastname@example.org (Telephone contact is 0207 798 9152)
Deacon Adrian Cullen