Posted by: Caroline Hirst | October 15, 2011

The Parish Listening Team

Every good conversation starts with good listening

There were two meetings in September to discuss with the Parish Listening Team where they are, where they see themselves going and how they would like to get there!

Concerns were raised with regard to the number of parishioners who have been listened to…are we getting out there and listening to enough and the answer was NO! So how can we address this, in general the best way forward was to hold Parish Listening weekends after each Mass. There is provision in the centre on Sunday morning and evening so it would be a case of getting access to the centre on Saturday evenings.

One of the groups that met suggested that the information could go both ways – it could be used as an opportunity to let people know what has been happening on the ground and what progress is being made.  This in turn led to a discussion about the first events that were held when the project started back in March/April time. It was voiced by several members of the PLT that something similar would be good for the parish community as there is a wide-spread concern that although things are happening people don’t know what is going on where and another “catch-up” event could allow information to be given to all interested parties.

Moving from updating the parish back to listening to them it was decided that a menu of available options should be produced for the parish listening team to use, so if someone showed an interest in X activity which is already provided for within the parish the listeners could give people details about who to contact and how to get involved.

Following on from weekend listening meetings someone mentioned that it would be good to hold a listening session after nursery or “at the school gates” for parents to express their concerns and voice changes  that they would like to see.

So having decided to run the listening sessions after Mass, we just needed to book them, 15/16th October 26/27th November. The Listening team will go to their normal Masses and then be available after Mass for parishioners to approach and talk to. It was also mentioned that having some people available at the Christmas Market would be good, just to take follow-up details as people may not want to get into in-depth conversations when they are out for a family Christmas event.

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