Westminster publishes first results of diocesan consultation

 The Diocese of Westminster has released its 'Green Paper' - 'Graced by the Spirit - Planning our future together '. Based on consultations carried out in 214 parishes around the diocese, the report analyses the responses to six questions concerning the ways in which parish communities can continue to develop and grow, under changing circumstances, including an increasing shortage of priests. While Westminster does not suffer from declining congregations, (this year saw the highest number of people -780 - becoming Catholic through the RCIA programme in 15 years) the number of priests is set to drop sharply in the next 15 years, (going back to 1940 levels). There have also been considerable shifts of population, which means that some churches and schools are no longer near the areas where Catholics have made their homes. The Consultation remains open until the end of September and comments and suggestions are welcome until that date. Later this year or early next year the 'White Paper' or final plan for the diocese will be published. Graced by the Spirit can be read on the diocesan website at: www.rcdow.org.uk or can be obtained from the Vicar General Mgr John Arnold, Archbishop's House, Ambrosden Avenue, London SW1 1QJ. Comments and suggestions can be sent to Mgr Arnold at the above address, or by e-mail to: gracedbythespirit@rcdow.org.uk

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