Parish Council

One of the ideas generated during our synodal gatherings, and indeed elsewhere in the life of the parish, was the re-formation of a parish pastoral council (or a parish council for short).  I think that it is a very good idea and I am keen to reestablish one. 


In simple terms a parish council is an advisory group that helps the parish priest to think over and in some cases plan pastoral events and other matters relevant to the life of the parish. It can also help suggest ways of implementing them. It can be a great way of bringing good ideas people have to a place where we can talk about them sensibly and plan them well. It can also be a way to feedback, both to the parish priest and possibly even to the diocese, any concerns or other questions people have. Here Canon Law reminds us that the lay faithful “are at liberty to make known their needs, especially their spiritual needs, and their wishes to the pastors of the Church” and that “They have the right…the duty, in keeping with their knowledge, competence and position, to manifest to the sacred pastors their views on matters which concern the good of the Church.” (Canon 212)


The things we might discuss could range from organising parish pilgrimages and social events, to organising teas and coffees after Mass. From suggesting new initiatives or groups in the parish, to discussing and planning what we should do for Easter and Christmas etc.


While the Parish Priest might have the final say at the Parish Council, if there is one thing I do know is that I don’t know everything, nor can I do everything by myself. This is our parish for as long as we are here. We are all in this together, and so a parish council would be a way to help us ‘journey together’ as the recent synod documents put it.


For a parish like ours, I would envision that a parish council would be quite small, probably about 5 people and would probably meet 4 times a year, but those details are probably one of those things we would discuss at a parish council meeting! 


If you are interested in being involved, please let me know either in person or via email at


God Bless, 


Fr Emmet