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Parish Pastoral Council

The Parish Pastoral Council is a group of committed people of God who meet every month with the priests to investigate pastoral matters, reflect on them thoroughly and recommend practical conclusions. 

The monthly meetings are marked by prayer and scripture and openness to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  The process of decision-making has to reflect this faith dimension.  In a Parish Pastoral Council it is
not “my will against yours”, but each of us prayerfully seeking the will of God.  It takes time and practice. 

In this consultative body decisions are taken by consensus.

Council members are working in different areas such as: Education, All Saints’ Pastoral Response to drugs and alcohol, and the GIFT programme for those who have been Confirmed, arranging the Parish Mission, Inter-Church dialogue and the Cell Groups.  


Ballymena Parish Pastoral Council came about as a result of the work of a core group of parishioners coming together in 1998.  The primary function of this group was to work towards the formation of a pastoral council, facilitating the election of and the raison d’etre of such a council.

Elections were held and the council formed to coincide with Jubilee Year 2000.  The group was comprised of sixteen parishioners alongside the priests of the parish.  The Council adopted the constitution as formulated by the initial core group; electing a chairperson, vice-chairperson and secretary. 

The Parish Priest of the time,  Monsignor Sean Connolly, was the President of the Council.  The members were to be representative of all areas of the parish.

The function of the Parish Pastoral Council is to deal with the mission of the Church's long-range and short-range goals and objectives and to design those procedures and processes by which the pastoral work of the Church is achieved.

In accordance with current norms, the Council shall have a consultative role only.  Through its deliberations, insights, expertise and considered advice, it will help the Priests with the identification, implementation and evaluation of pastoral initiatives and policies best suited to the spread of the gospel in the parish.

The council meets one night per month with the exception of the summer months.  The meetings take the form of a period of reflection followed by discussion centred on the gospel of the week.  This is followed by a discussion on issues currently of importance to members and the parishioners whom they represent.  Strategies and plans for action may evolve as necessary.  Members of the Parish Pastoral Council serve a three year term but can be re-elected.  Six members will retire and six members will stay on to support the six newly elected members.


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