Pastoral Areas in the Diocese of Northampton
Bishop David sees PACs as at the heart of our diocesan strategy for the future. Our new constitution states:
Pastoral Area Councils exist to serve the mission of the Church in their local area.
They offer opportunities to undertake new projects together and enhance the life of individual communities.
They connect people across a locality, sharing experience, talent and opportunities for growth. They facilitate the fulfilment of our baptismal vocation.
Here is his vision for Pastoral Area Councils, as shared with the Deans and Lay Chairs in September:
We have eight Pastoral Areas across our diocese:
Our new PAC constitution has been developed to be a living document, requested and signed off by Bishop David, to support PACs to be agents of change and mission in their local areas. It will be reviewed with the PAC Chairs and Deans in a year’s time.
Download the Constitution for Pastoral Area Councils v.1
Central to the Constitution is Pope Francis’ teaching on synodality – a new way of thinking and working. Chris Knowles’ presentation points to exciting new ways for Pastoral Area Councils to be together:
Thinking about structures:
With all this in mind, the next step is to work out what local structures are going to be best: what will the Pastoral Area Council look like in my context?
Connecting with the Synod For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, and Mission
Bishop David is asking the PACs to be a key part of our diocesan response to the 2023 Synod for a Synodal Church. You can find out more about the Synod process here: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/vatican-city/news/2021-09/the-synod-listening-to-the-faithful-preparatory-document.html and further resources will be published as soon as they are developed.