Review of Churches and Presbyteries

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      Announcement on Recommendation to Cardinal John

Dear Parishioners,

You will recall that back in February Cardinal John asked all parishes in the Archdiocese to undertake a review of their churches and presbyteries. 

On behalf of the Parish Pastoral Council, Parish Leadership team, and the steering committee, I would like to thank all parishioners for the passion you have shown in your feedback that has contributed to our process. We have been greatly challenged in our discernment process and most grateful for the input of so many parishioners.

Last month we shared a possible recommendation based on a three-church proposal for our parish, and we informed you that confirmation of this was subject to undertaking due diligence on what this would mean for the parish in terms of providing adequate churches to accommodate our current and future mass counts, to be able to operate the parish on a financially sound basis, and to be able to provide sufficient resources so that we can go about providing an approach to pastoral care that delivers new  and different ways of becoming “missionary disciples.”

We have now received financial information on our preferred three-church approach; however, this information show that the outlined proposal for developing a new church facility and new presbytery facility is not fiscally viable.

While we would still like to be able to deliver an option that guaranteed the retention of as many of our existing churches as possible, this is not practical.  We will therefore be providing a modified recommendation to Cardinal John based on a staged implementation that will involve the sale of the Avalon property. We will look to some modest alterations of Taita church and look to refurbishing the Lower Hutt presbytery and office, if that is more economically viable than building a new presbytery and office facilities.

We also see that over time we may need to move to a two-church one presbytery parish as doing so will provide us with resources to be able to consider implementing new and different approaches to delivering ministry and outreach to the poor and marginalised.  We believe it appropriate to take a staged implementation as this will give us the opportunity to take into consideration the impact of any changes to the number of churches in our neighbouring parishes of Te Wairua Tapu and Our Lady of the Valleys.

In reaching this decision we are mindful that this approach, if approved by the Cardinal does have a direct impact on communities which have gathered in a specific place for a number of years, and we ask for continued prayers and support as well as mindfulness for these communities as we move forward.

Cardinal John will be consulting with his advisory bodies over February and March and hopes to be in a position mid-April to respond to parishes recommendations. The process Cardinal John is using for his discernment on the proposals he receives will be published in the December Welcom, which comes out next weekend.

Again, I thank you all for your prayerful input into this review and ask that you continue to pray that our approach will bring us together as a stronger and more outwardly focused Parish community.

You can read the final recommendation paper to the Cardinal here.

Tony McKone
Steering Committee

Prayer to guide our discernment of the Cardinal’s directive
We ask that you guide and help us consider the future
of our churches and presbyteries within the Parish of Te Awakairangi.
Help us be mindful of what change might mean to our communities
and the impact it may have on individuals. Guide us to be a sound
judge of all situations that change may have within and across our Parish.
Open our hearts to ensure our thoughts, words and actions
are focused on building a stronger parish community that supports
and provides for the Pastoral Care of all peoples in our Parish.
We thank you for your guidance and for being with us
as we discern the property needs of our Parish.
We offer this prayer in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ. 

Our Discernment Journey

Information about our Parish

Proposed Option

High Level Options Paper

Initial Discernment