Community, Communion, and Communication!

We can easily see how these three words and ideas are very closely connected. All of them come from the two Latin words unum and cum – one and with. The Church is a community of faith, and each parish is too. We might even say that the congregation at each Mass is a community, because as Christians we belong to one another. It’s been that way since Jesus called the Twelve, not to be “Lone Rangers” but to form a family, a gang if you like, linked together by bonds of faith, of practice and of the structure of the church around our bishops. So we can say that communion might be a better description than community, as those bonds are so deep and strong. And “communion” evokes the spiritual dimension, which for us reaches its height in our sharing of Holy Communion, the Body of Christ. Through this we share in the ultimate communion – the life of the Trinity.

For all this to work and function we need that third word – communication. To build community and develop communion we must be communicating! It is not surprising then, that in the ongoing Synod process, our parish responses, like so many others, stressed the importance of improving communication in the Church. On Tuesday our two Parish Councils and our Synod team met to discuss moving forward on issues that our Synod reports raised that could be done on a 3 Churches level. Communication in our 3 Churches was centre stage. Issues like our newsletter and website, parish registers, an expanded magazine, an updated 3 Churches Directory, and noticeboards outside and inside our churches – all of these were discussed. The communication of meeting agendas and minutes, information about groups and activities within our parishes, communication with our schools and College, extending the live-streaming – all of these and other issues too were discussed in an open and friendly way.

As a result a small group, a Comms Group if you like, consisting of the officers of our two parish councils, was set up to address and act on this whole agenda. The group is asked to report progress by the New Year. Similar progress was made on the subjects of training for those undertaking roles in parish life such as catechists and parish council members, and the search to improve our provision for children, families and especially young people. Watch this space!

Fr Matthew