Pat Jones, Chair of the Analysis Group has sent out this interim report on 'Graced by the Spirit' - the diocesan-wide parish consultations currently underway. 'Graced by the Spirit' is the process of reflection on the future shape of the diocese. Parishes and deaneries have been invited to discuss key questions and send in their responses to a diocesan analysis group. So far, over 160 reports have been received and analysed. The reports show that most parishes recognise the challenges to come. Fewer priests will mean different ways of organising parish life. Attitudes are changing; lay people will need to take on more leadership. What matters most is that parishes continue to grow in faith even if their size and structures change. There is also a sense of mission with many examples of parishes reaching out to their local communities. Most people are hopeful about the future and ready for new ways of working. The next step in the process is a Green Paper which will be published early in 2005 and widely circulated so that everyone in the diocese can play a part in shaping its future.
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