Guidelines for our parish Pastoral Council

4. Guidelines for our Parish Pastoral Council 

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

Here is a link to this manual


Our pastoral council's  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 counsellor,  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 the 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 councillor (3 months)  will form the executive of the Pastoral Council. The office bearers, chosen by the members, will be the 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;  it 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 by 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.