Ireland: new map for Diocese of Armagh

source: Irish Bishops Conference

source: Irish Bishops Conference

On 12 July,   the new pastoral areas of the Armagh diocese come into effect. This map is the outcome of a  three-year consultation and reflection by all of the Catholic faithful within the archdiocese.

Each of the 61 parishes had at least two facilitated focused conversations, religious congregations were consulted and almost all  second level schools were engaged in making their contribution to the final map.

The views of thousands of people were listened to and considered objectively before the final map took shape. The vast majority of those who engaged with the process are happy with the final outcome although, the diocese says,  some parishes remain "somewhat disappointed".

A spokesman said: "It was not possible to give every parish its ideal cluster. Ultimately, Cardinal Brady had to make his final decisions in the best interests of the diocese and he sees the new reality as the best way forward to strengthen parishes for the twenty first century.

"The success of the new structures will depend on priests and laity working closely together in collaboration and there will be an intensive training programme put in place to enable this to work effectively. Seminars, skills training, workshops and theology courses will be presented throughout the diocese in an ongoing manner over the coming years to train priests and laity to meet the needs of the Irish Church at this time in our history."

Source: Armagh Diocese

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