I am delighted and excited to be appointed as the Marriage & Family Life Project Worker, working as part of the Adult Education Team, following a successful bid for funding from The Bishops’ Conference.
The aim of the project is to enable parishes (three pilot parishes initially) to create a particular pastoral outreach to families through the sacraments and through key moments in their family’s life.
Initially, working with these three pilot parishes (St Bernadette’s, Whitchurch – St Mary’s, Swindon – St Mary’s & St Michael’s Glastonbury & Shepton Mallet) I will be focussing on forming catechists and facilitators for baptismal preparation. Then, in what feels like a natural extension of this, forming parish teams to work with parents to create solid support as they accompany their children to the sacraments of Eucharist and Reconciliation, allowing them to be first teachers and to make home a holy place. To do this, I will be drawing a team to help me, with an emphasis on good catechesis, a sense of prayerfulness and community building. The formation will also encourage connections to be made across the parish and to embed a culture of support for the family, and emphasise a sense of belonging and welcome. Whilst the project is based around the three pilot parishes initially, I hope there will be interest from other parishes too.
The fruits of the project we are hoping for include:
- building on the diocesan family days that have celebrated family in our diocese and drawn families around our bishop
- building on the diocesan vision set out in ‘Called to be a People of Hope’ offering a greater understanding of the needs of the modern family in the life of the church today and a greater understanding of the need to accompany families
- developing a sense of building community in parishes, a good catechesis that deepens the faith and prayer of young families and parents, a good formation of catechists for baptism, and encouraging parishes to celebrate family life in their communities
- drawing on and tapping into the wonderful skill and ability, as well as lived experience, of people in our parishes
- celebrating new members to our families and parishes, and new life!
This project seeks to emphasise a desire to be of service to our parishes and to our diocese. There is recognition that the family – in all its shape and frames – is the bedrock of our diocesan community. We want to strengthen that, to build on that, to support and encourage that, as well as grow in our respect for families.
Just to introduce myself; I’m a wife to Chris and mother to Will, Jack, George and Freya. I have a background in adult training and catechesis, and excited by a revival in my own faith, I am keen to reach out and share my joy in the Lord with others.
Please keep an eye on this website as I will be posting regular updates and adding progress reports as the project unfolds. Do get in touch via my email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Adult Education 0117 902 5595.
By clicking on the link below you’ll be able to follow Anitra’s reports and the progress she is making in her new job.