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Guidelines for our parish Pastoral Council

4. Guidelines for our parish Pastoral Council 

taken mainly from the Brisbane Diocesen Manual for PPC's and adapted to our situation.


Our  pastoral  councils  role is to promote  the church's mission  to live and communicate the  love and values of Christ in the world around  us.  Our pastoral Council shares  in the  responsibility  for  the ongoing life and development  of our parish community, working together with parishioners to provide Support for their efforts to live as followers of Christ.

Our Parish Pastoral Council seeks  to:

.Listen and respond to the hopes, ideas, needs and concerns of parishioners.

.Encourage and Support the continuing good work of existing groups within our parish.

Provide opportunities  for parishioners

- to grow in their relationship with God and with each other

- to support  and encourage  them in their continuing  efforts  to be a Christian  influence  in the wider community.

.  set short-term  and  long-term  pastoral goals  for our parish community  within  the framework  of diocesan Priorities.

.  contribute towards making parish decisions  that reflect  the values of the Gospel  and  the  teachings of the Church.

Provide support for our Parish Priest, working collaboratively with him and with each other.


There will be up to 12 members consisting of our parish priest, and eleven members nominated by parishioners and discerned by the PPC.  In addition, ex-officio members will include assistant priests in the parish, school representatives and the parish youth minister.   

The Council will have as broad a membership as possible, including 2 youth members (between 20-30) and a variety of age, gender and ethnic origin (if applicable).   Each member of the parish council is a representative of the whole parish community and not a representative of a specific parish group.  There will be an information session outlining the role of council members for each newly appointed member of the council.  


The term of membership is three years.   Elected members must stand down after one term and cannot be immediately re-elected.  


All parishioners will be asked to recommend  parishioners for possible nominations  to the Council.  From those recommended the PPC will prayerfully discern using the criteria outlined above for the necessity of the PPC to be varied.   Then those people will be invited to an information Meeting or to an individual meeting with a pastoral councillor,  to receive current information about our Council.  Within a week of that meeting, participants will be asked to indicate whether they wish to accept or decline nomination.


In a spirit of prayerfulness each member of  the Parish Pastoral  council will:

.  Attend the regular meetings of the Parish Pastoral Council.

.  Provide input  to deliberations  of  the Council.

'  Develop  a spirit of enquiry  and  the ability  to listen and understand the issues affecting the lives of parishioners.

'  Provide prayerful  support  and encouragement  for other members of the Parish Pastoral Council.

'  Embrace opportunities  for personal  faith development  and for gaining  skills  to assist with effective participation  in the Council's  operations.

.  Represent  the Parish Pastoral Council  when required -  eg other Parish meetings, deanery or diocesan meetings.

- Take on being the parish representative to a number of our parish groups.  Here the role is to connect, support the leaders, and keep the PPC informed.

The Parish Priest plus Chairperson and a rotating councilor (3 months)  will  form the executive of  the Pastoral Council. The office bearers, chosen by the members, will be chairperson, and secretary. The  role of  the executive  is to:

.  Reflect on the effectiveness of each previous Council meeting.

'  Organise  the agenda  for each meeting,  incorporating  input  from all pastoral councillors.

'  Arrange distribution of  the agenda,  minutes and all relevant material one week in advance  of that


.  Coordinate  the business  of  the Council between meetings.

'  Arrange additional  formation opportunities  outside  the regular meetings.


There will be a minimum of  ten monthly meetings of the Pastoral Council each year.    The agenda,  incorporating  input  from all pastoral councillors, will be  finalised  by the executive at an agenda meeting.  lt will be circulated  to members  in advance  of  the meeting, together with the minutes of the previous meeting and any notes  or other  relevant material  required.  There is usually a half day on a Saturday in late January or early Feb to begin the year.


Sub-committees  (or short term  task  forces) may be set up for specific purposes  for a definite  duration.  Usually,  these groups will  include at least one member of  the Pastoral Council.


There are 4 types of decisions made with the council and these will be explained in more detail.   The aim of the council is to let you know at what level of decision making you are working on different tasks.

1.  Autonomous - Decision has been made and we are striving to make it known and support implementation.

2.  Consultation - The parish priest is looking for guidance and your wisdom to help him  make a decision for the parish. 

3.  Joint - These issues are decided by consensus of the council.   We need to arrive at a position where we all can support the decision even if it is not our first choice.   The parish priest is one of the members here, and each has equal responsibility and position to reach this consensus.

4.  Delegation -  A group of people are given autonomy within defined guidelines.   The parish priest and the council will determine these guidelines and then trust the group given the task to implement it in their way and to stay within those broad guidelines.

Majority  voting, lobbying, competition  and domination  are to be avoided.


The Pastoral Council will report to the parish  community via the bosconian and the parish website.  It will seek  the input of parishioners through various  means, e.g. parish consultations,  suggestions box, conversations.

REVIEW OF GUIDELINES These Pastoral Council Guidelines will be reviewed once every 5 years (2010, 15, 20, etc) or more frequently if the need arises.