Caroline Williams is employed by the parishes for 20 hours per week to support and co-ordinate our outreach activity.
CHURCH OUTREACH TEAMS
Following our ‘Outreach Day’ which was held in November 2017 to launch the ‘Year of Mission’, parishioners were invited to form an Outreach Team centred on their parish church.
The purpose of the Outreach Team is twofold – to meet, discuss and direct Outreach activities that will take place from their own particular church. In this way it is hoped that each church will be able to respond to the particular characteristics of their own local area and in a way that feels right for them. Their second purpose is to be a group that are committed to praying for our Outreach activities, for those involved in our outreach work and for those to whom we come into contact as we reach out beyond our church walls.
Our Outreach Volunteers are parishioners who have volunteered to forge links and be a point of contact in the immediate area around their own home.
We first called for volunteers at our Outreach Day in November 2017 and we were delighted that over 50 parishioners stepped up for this challenge.
Christmas Visits 2017
Our first task was to call upon every parishioner household listed on our Salisbury Catholic database, introduce ourselves as a neighbour and fellow Catholic and deliver to that house the Christmas Mass Times card. These deliveries took place during the first two weeks of Advent and were a resounding success. Whilst the primary aim had been to begin to forge links between neighbours and develop our sense of community, it became clear very quickly that a really important secondary benefit was the updating of our parishioner database.
There were many positive pastoral outcomes: new connections and friendships made, elderly, sick and housebound parishioners brought to our attention; parishioners who attend infrequently (or not at all) were welcomed and encouraged to join us at church over Christmas. We also identified several parishioners that had moved within Salisbury or had left the area and were able to update our database. We received resoundingly positive feedback from parishioners and volunteers alike and it was decided to repeat the process at Easter to build upon this success.
All of the pastoral information gathered by the volunteers was recorded and parishioners who requested further contact as a result of their visit were contacted by one of our priests, deacons or by our outreach worker.
Mince Pies and Mulled Wine!
In celebration of our first successful project, Fr Michael invited everyone to join him after the evening Mass on the Third Sunday of Advent. Fr Michael thanked all those present, the mulled wine flowed and many mince pies were consumed and a good time was had by all!
Easter Visits 2018
With our parish database updated and improved by the information gathered from our Christmas deliveries, volunteers were once again asked to visit their Catholic neighbours to deliver our Holy Week and Easter Mass Times cards.
This time around we gained 30 more volunteers! 82 volunteers visited a total of 728 households across our city! AMAZING!
If you would like to volunteer to join the Outreach Team or simply find out how you can help (there are lots of different ways), please contact Caroline on 01722 502503 [email protected]