Glanmire Parish, County Cork, Ireland - part of the Catholic Diocese of Cork and Ross.

Glanmire Parish Assembly – one year in.

June 27, 2017

The Parish Assembly is a group of parishioners who assist with the running and development of Glanmire parish. A new assembly is formed every 3 years.  The current assembly was formed in 2016.

The chairman of the Parish Assembly is Peter Falvey, vice-chair is Tim Murphy with Claire Gibson as secretary. The full membership is Doris Murphy, Loughlin Ryan, Niamh Buckeridge, Linda Cashman, Carmel Cleary, Helen Harrington, Rachel Kelleher, Billy Meaney, Catherine McGovern, Catherine McPhillips, Maria O’Keeffe, Kathleen Twomey.  As priests of the parish, Fr. John Newman and Fr. Anthony Buckley are automatically members of the Parish Assembly.

There have been a number of previous parish assembles in Glanmire and a long tradition of people helping to run the parish. Each new Parish Assembly benefits from the work of previous assemblies and other parish groups.

As part of formation training the new group creates a list of projects it would like to implement over its 3 years and in turn pass on to the next group. Glanmire parish assembly has 3 sub-groups; Community Connections, Liturgy and Faith Enrichment and Communications.

The Community Connections group works at ensuring the parish continues to be well connected within the community. They reach out to, and form connections with, people, groups and clubs in the parish.  They work at providing structures that help to meet the needs and challenges of the parish.

Projects for this group tend to be long term initiatives and the realisation of the work of this group will be towards the end of the term and in some cases work in progress projects will be handed over to the next parish assembly.

The group is working on plans to build a connection with the local schools to set up an initiative where transition year students meet with and help elderly parish residents.  The group is also working on establishing regularly themed masses in the parish such as youth masses and multicultural masses.

The group identified a need for more bereavement support within the parish which would include having masses for specific bereavements such as bereavement arising from a suicide or bereavement arising from the loss of a child. The group is working towards building structures that allow for these masses to be arranged at short notice.

With the new parish building close to completion this group plans to organise tea and coffee mornings at this centre after masses on some Sundays.

The community connections group welcomes ideas anyone has to benefit and enhance the community we live in.

The Liturgy and Faith Enrichment Group looks at how liturgy and faith could be developed and enriched within and for the parish. This group works with many other long-established groups in the parish and supports the many groups involved in Liturgy Celebration in Glanmire, e.g. Eucharistic Ministers, Readers, Cantors, Choirs, Baptism group, Altar society, Alter servers, Church cleaning.

This group takes responsibility for the arrangements for major Liturgical Events : Easter; Christmas, St. Patricks Day, Mass for the Bereaved; Graveyard masses and blessings.  It assists the Baptism group with the Blessing of the Babies mass and assists the Youth Choir with the annual Toy Mass. The group benefits from the plans from previous groups to manage these events. After each event the group reviews the events and documents any lessons learned with suggestions for changes and/or improvements.

This group organised a retreat in Ennismore for new Assembly members immediately after formation.

The group did a lot of research into a parish mission with the aim to organising that mission during the next 12 months.

One of the needs identified by this group was the need to review and improve some of the parish information provided to members of the public. The group started with the wedding guidelines booklet and have created a draft booklet for further review. It is hoped that this new booklet can be published for use within the next 12 months.

The Liturgy group is also tasked with taking part in the Wider Pastoral Area Development group. This group identifies and proposes arrangements to cater for diminishing Priest numbers within the diocese. The group’s initial report has been returned for rework and representatives from Glanmire’s Parish Assembly will continue to participate in this group along with representatives from Glounthaune, Watergrasshill and Carrignavar parishes.

In addition to continuing the organising of Liturgical Events, the main initiative for this group for the next year will be the parish arrangements for participation in World Meeting of Families which takes place in August 2018.

The Liturgy group welcomes ideas anyone has to improve any of the events it organises or to improve its involvement with the other lay groups in the parish.

The Communications group looks at ensuring effective communication takes place within the parish and the wider community. This group has built on the social media initiatives setup by previous groups. Regular communication happens via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  This group reviews and updates the content on the parish website to ensure it is up-to-date, relevant and representative of the current parish arrangements.

This group identified a need to set up structures to allow 2-way communication with the parish. While the group invites and welcomes feedback and comment via social media, it also recognises that many in the community may not use social media. The group has ordered suggestion boxes for both churches and these will be placed in the churches in the near future.

This group also looked at the signage in the parish and identified one inaccuracy relating to confessions on the large sign at St Joseph’s. However, it felt that the cost to replace this sign didn’t represent good value as research showed that most people will do an online search when they visit a parish to find out arrangements.

Over the next 12 months this group will continue to ensure there is regular and effective communication of events in the parish or of interest to the parish. This group welcomes any suggestions to further improve communication.

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