Posted by: Caroline Hirst | October 26, 2011

Listening weekend after Mass with the Parish Listening Team

The weekend of the 15/16th October saw the first weekend listening session with the parish listening team.

It was quiet but successful! Saturday night, was very quite but Sunday Morning saw an increase in interest and interaction and it was good to see people sitting round tables chatting about the things they love about not only about where they live but also about Holy Trinity community too.

People were interviewed and others showed an interest but didn’t have time to chat so left their details to be followed up at a later date.

Those who spent time with members of our parish listening team gave very positive feedback saying that interviewers were polite and friendly, that they enjoyed talking with our volunteers and that they felt the relevant questions had been asked them.

Several people who were spoken to both briefly and at length mentioned that they would like to have more information via a newsletter. It was good to be able to let them know that we are in the process of putting a Neighbourhood Challenge update newsletter together, and it will be available shortly.

Sunday night saw  different members of the Parish Listening team and they spoke to a couple of people  some were reluctant at first but when they realised there was no agenda for the conversation other than people wanting to listen them they opened up and shared some views. From the Sunday evening session also came several follow-up sessions which will be explored by a member of the parish listening team alongside Alex or Alexa our community animators with RE:generate.

We have learnt several things from this weekend.

The first being that it would possibly be better received and attended if it was mentioned by Father Michael at the end of Mass (instead of just advertised in the newsletter) so parishioners know that there are people there and available to talk to.

 We also learnt that having an updates newsletter of some sort would encourage and develop conversations more deeply as people were quite amazed by actually how much has happened within the parish. 

Finally we learnt that huge numbers alone don’t necessarily mean success. Positive reactions from those who were listened to is one of the most important and fulfilling parts of this role! To have been able to reach out to someone who may feel that they don’t have a voice and for that person to go away happy and know that their opinions were noted and valuable gave our volunteers a real feeling of satisfaction!

We have plans to have another listening weekend at the end of November/early December and we are going to use what we have learnt this weekend to make the next session more viable and interesting and we hope to reach even more people next time.



  1. Hi Caroline
    This is great. Root Solution Listening matters works well when people are meeting folk at all times of the week. To hear that listening teams are out there on a Sunday night is fantastic.
    The Community Animators that make that effort always succeed in my opinion.
    You are so right about quality over quantity.
    Be patient. You will find that those you have listened to will discuss their experiences with their peers and link them to you.
    You are building trust, respect and relationships and that will grow and spread.
    I was delighted to hear from Nick tonight about all the different projects that are emerging after only six months. You have actively engaged hundreds of people – many taking action for the first time. The family nights, the strategy team training, the downtown cafe business, the bereavement group, the music project Amazing.
    What a team.
    I note that members of the Regen team are developing a sustainability plan and all looks promising.
    Well done. Stick to and trust the RSLM process and you will transform your community for good.
    Best wishes
    Stephen Kearney
    CEO Regenerate

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