As many of you will remember, the Bishop wrote us a pastoral letter in February, in which he mentioned the imminent rearrangement of the deaneries to treat changed circumstances of the Church in this diocese, with respect especially to the priorities of the diocese’s missionary goals, but also considering the colossal decline in church attendance over a period of decades. This is what he had said in the letter, where he had called for deanery roadshows all around the Diocese, which began in March and concluded in April.
“In just a few days’ time I will begin a journey around the deaneries for a series of evening ‘roadshow’ events. I will be accompanied by the two Vicars General, the Chief Operating Officer of the diocese and the Episcopal Vicar for Finance and Administration. At each deanery ‘roadshow’ we will meet with parish representatives and clergy. This will be an opportunity for me, and those who work most closely with me, to present the reasons for the proposed reorganisation of our deaneries. It will also be an occasion to explain the support that is being put in place to enable this to happen, to listen carefully to the discussion, and to answer questions. These evenings will help shape the necessary reorganisation now needed in each deanery, to both enable the whole diocese to become more missionary and to respond creatively to the declining numbers of parishioners and priests…”The Bishop, Pastoral letter on the seventh Sunday of Ordinary time
That meeting took place for our deanery at the beginning of April, and the proceedings of that meeting have been placed into the document here linked:
The most important point to be made with respect to this parish of Saint Joseph is that it will be united with the parish of Our Lady of Lourdes in Mickleover and, the two churches and properties being maintained, there will be a new parish named to contain both, and with a single priest serving both with the assistance of local deacons (and the inevitable reduction in the number of Masses that would involve). We still have our old parish church on the hill by the school, serving as S. Maksymilian Kolbe for our brothers and sisters of the Polish community. Our primary school should continue to serve both parishes, as it already is. Please feel free to come up to either myself, or to Father Jonathan at Mickleover, if you would like to talk this over.