Catholic Parish

Parish Future Group

Summer of 2019 – Meeting with members from the Diocese to discuss the future of the Parish buildings. Between July and December, a survey of the Hermitage was undertaken and then a meeting with Fr Peter was set up.

On December 20 th a letter from the Archbishop to our parish informed us that the Diocese were planning on selling the whole of the site to include the Hermitage, stable block and the Church.

The cost of repair to the Hermitage was beyond the Diocese and Parish funds. The Area Bishop is moving to Canterbury and therefore the Bishop side of the house is not required. The cost would be over a Million to get it into a good state of repair.

Members within the Parish set up a petition page where we had over 2,000 hits. We held a Parish meeting on 16 th January 2020 when Parishioners were given time to vent their anger and frustration, that no one from the Diocese had come down and discussed the sale with us. After all the media support the Diocese did put out a press release to say that they were willing to discuss how we could keep the Church and all that was needed to keep our parish together.

It was decided that we would set up a group to organise the Future of the Parish as requested by the Parish Meeting on the 16 th January.

The group met on Friday 24 th January to prepare a letter to the Archbishop. Future meetings and points of interest will be published in the Newsletter.

Parish Future Group Statement of Intent.

The Parish Future Group was created following the ‘Extraordinary Parish meeting’ on Thursday 16 th January 2020 to coordinate and represent our stance as a Parish on the matter of the sale of the our church, it’s grounds, the stable block and The Hermitage. The group supports with the continuation and future of the parish and extended parish.

The group is formed of parishioners from different groups within the parish. This should not deter anyone from attending Parish Future Group meetings as they are open for all with a vested interest in the parish to attend. The group will call upon ‘experts’ to support and advise when needed and may invite groups or individuals to join specific meetings as appropriate.

The ethos of the group is of utter transparency and openness. No meetings are confidential. Minutes of group meetings will be emailed via the parish office and paper copies will be made available at the back of the church following meetings. In order to reach as wide an audience as possible a Facebook page, (St. Thomas More- Church Campaign) will be used to post updates, these updates will also be emailed through the parish office and paper copies will be also be available.

The Parish Future Group is not a decisions making body. The purpose of the group is to coordinate the agreed parish response. The group makes suggestions to the parish based on research and feeds back progress. All decisions will come through the parish. The group invite comments, questions and suggestions from the parish, please direct communications through the parish office.

We are in this together!

The Parish Future Group

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