In November, the Parish Evangelisation Team at St Francis Church in Handsworth, had a “Celebration of Parish Life” event.
Our aim was to bring the parish together in a way which helped regular parishioners to appreciate and see close up, many of the apostolates or groups that happen in the parish. These groups can often continue unnoticed, or people are simply unaware of why they exist or what they do. The tragedy is that groups may miss out on newer members, offering more people a way of severing their parish. This event made it possible for people to showcase the vital work they do, without which parishes would be much the poorer.
On 5th November, following the two Sunday morning masses, about 12 different groups gathered in the church hall and prepared to welcome parishioners for refreshments, while allowing them to see what they do from week to week. Tables included Rosary and prayer groups, religious congregations, vocations, readers, flower groups and servers plus others.
About 70-80 people came from both masses to socialise and find out how they could be part of their parish in concrete ways. There was also a raffle, and prizes were generously donated, particularly by the Sisters of Mercy. This event has given the parish an opportunity to get to know one another better, but it was also a place to welcome new members to the parish – to evangelise. Many thanks to all those whose hard work made this possible and who continue (with their parish priest) to envision “a church that exists in order to evangelise”.
Please visit Evangelisation Blog for more ideas on parish evangelisation.
Also, find the document we used to encourage the groups to participate in this event: Parish Celebration Day Invitation