Letter from Fr. Simon Gillespie
Re. Canonical Process of a new parish name
To be read after each Sunday Mass in the parishes of Cotgrave, Keyworth, Radcliffe on Trent, and West Bridgford, throughout August 2022
Following the extensive consultation which has been going on in our four parishes of Saint Margaret Clitherow, Keyworth; Saint Anne, Radcliffe on Trent; Our Lady of Grace, Cotgrave; and Holy Spirit, West Bridgford, over the past few months, to co-ordinating group from the four Parish Pastoral Councils met with Father John Martin, our incoming parish priest, and Father Simon Gillespie, the Bishop’s Private Secretary, at the end of July.
With a background in canon law Father Simon explained the canonical – Church Law – elements of the process which now have to be undertaken to bring together our four parishes into one new parish. There has been lots of consultation in each parish, in different ways, and although many different views have been expressed and thoughts shared, the prevailing opinion is that it’s a good idea to bring our parishes together, and that we will be a stronger, more missionary, and more outward facing Catholic parish in our communities when we work together, rather than separately.
During August members of the co-ordinating group will be gathering the evidence of our parish consultations, so that all the information about parishioners’ views is ready to be formally presented to each Parish Pastoral Council, and Parish Finance Committee, in early September. Following this the information is discussed at the Nottingham Deanery Meeting, and if it’s been favourably received at each stage Father John, as parish priest of the four parishes, will then formally petition Bishop Patrick to create one new parish out of the current four parishes. The Bishop has to consult with the Council of Priests, a group of about 20 priests representing all the areas of our Diocese, before he can make a final decision.
If the consensus at each stage is that we should proceed in this direction, and if the Bishop then makes a formal decision to canonically amalgamate our four parishes, we could be in a position to celebrate the creation of our new parish before the end of 2022.
If you have any further thoughts, questions, or responses, please speak to your priest after Mass, or contact him directly. Each person’s opinion matters, and throughout this process the Bishop is keen that as many voices as possible are heard, so that we are truly listening to the Holy Spirit as we journey into God’s future together.