Pope Francis writes  “I dream of a ‘missionary option’, that is, a missionary impulse capable of transforming everything, so that the Church’s customs, ways of doing things, times and schedules, language and structures can be suitably channelled for the evangelisation of today’s world rather than for her self-preservation.”  (Evangelii Gaudium 27)


On the First Sunday of Advent 2017, our Diocese of Clifton entered into a ‘Year of Mission’. Guidelines were presented to each parish to inspire and support them in their response to Pope Francis’ call to become a more outward-facing Church.  The introduction to those guidelines states:  


“The Lord is creating the Church anew in our time.
  The Church is not a static reality… we are called to missionary creativity.”


In the Salisbury Catholic Churches we have responded to the call to mission by committing to a number of new and brave initiatives – we have employed an Outreach Worker, we now run Alpha programmes, we have opened the Project 99 Mission House and have four young people working in our parishes with us.  We have also developed our parish database which has enabled the formation of a large team of Outreach Volunteers who have gone out into our communities, making connections and building communion.


The development of a new website is our latest exciting response to the call to ‘missionary creativity’.  The internet gives us an amazing ability to share resources universally and we need to exploit this more.  High quality resources do take a lot of effort - and money - to produce, so the wider the benefit that can be derived, the better.  Poor or outdated use of any given medium of communication can hinder the reception of even the best message.  The Gospel deserves the very best ‘vessels’ we can provide to carry it.


Of course, part of having a good website is simply a matter of presentation.  Just as we maintain the exterior of our churches, signboards and other aspects of the material presentation of the parish, we must also commit to the presentation of our parish in the digital world.  A poorly designed or managed website could be a significant discouragement to someone making their first tentative approach towards our churches.  Our website needs to speak of our faith, our community and our God - not simply of our buildings and locations.


Our new website provides a snapshot of Catholic life in Salisbury: Go to the ‘Catholic Salisbury’ section and discover all that is going on in our parishes, who is doing what and how to join in one of the many and varied aspects of parish life be they social, prayer or sacramental.  If you are one of the vast number of parishioners who supports the life of our churches in a practical way, go to ‘Church Support’ and see your ministry there.  If you want to know what’s on this week, go to the ‘Upcoming Events’ or ‘Calendar ’sections and, as always, you will be able to download the newsletter, find our churches, our staff, our schools and check Mass times.  


We need our website to be an ever-changing, constantly-updated resource for the parish and we are blessed to have Tony and Sean who have volunteered to make that possible but we will need your help.  We need you to keep us informed - via the parish office - of any changes to group arrangements, events planned, dates for the diary, reports and photographs from events that have happened.  We would like to receive updates, photographs, news, corrections and comments, your thoughts on the new website and your suggestions as to how we improve it. 


Most importantly, however, our new website is so much more than a presentation of ourselves and of Catholic life here in Salisbury - it is a treasure trove of resources, reflections and explanations of our faith, catechetical materials and opportunities for online learning.   I encourage you to explore the Why Catholic? section of our website extensively over time – read the articles, watch the videos, strengthen and inform your faith.  It is only by taking time to nurture our faith and through prayer that we will become equipped to share our faith with others and become those ‘missionary disciples’ that we are called to be.


Caroline Williams

Outreach Worker


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