The Catholic Parish of
Saint John Henry Newman

 Covering most of East Leeds

Newman Parish - First Year

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The New Year marked the first anniversary of the new parish. As ever time goes quickly by, and a busy diary of events and activities is already in front of us for this second year.

In Place

At first a lot of energy went into organising ourselves to work as three Churches and co-ordinate the running of the parish week by week. On the whole most of that goes reasonably smoothly. Each Church has its own committee or service group to look after the immediate needs of each one and what happens there.

We also spent time thinking and praying about the future of the new parish. What should our priorities be? From that came a Mission Statement, with some specific areas to work on. In turn that led to the formation of a new Parish Council which meets for the second time later this month. Its aim will be to help the parish start to implement the priorities we identified. Planning has also begun with the Sion Community for the Mission to be held in the parish in July – our own spiritual Olympics perhaps!

Many people have been quite pleased that overall such a big change has gone reasonably well. Now that it is settling into a pattern some things are becoming clearer. A lot of parishioners are helping in different aspects of parish life. That is an enrichment of what we do together. It is also essential, since the two priests are obviously rather stretched. They find it hard to be less available to people individually, and not to be as visibly present at some activities. We are fortunate that Fr. Paul Williment, who works at St. Gemma’s through the week, has offered to be with us regularly on

Looking Forward

The number of children coming for Baptism continues to grow. Supporting families and reaching out to them to become involved in the parish is going to be important. The three schools in the parish are very good, and parish to school links need to be strong and fruitful. There are very many fellow Catholics around us who are no longer in contact with the Church. Listening to them and their needs, and about what has happened to separate us from them, should be important to us. The July Mission may give us the impetus to help reawaken “the sleeping giant” that is the East Leeds
Catholic community.

Published Sun 26th Feb 2012 19:29:49

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