HeartStone: the parish of Sacred Heart & St John Stone, Ainsdale
Living the Love of Christ: everyone welcome, everyone matters, everyone involved.
We are living our Parish Vision through commitments to
WELCOMING, OUTREACH, COLLABORATIVE MINISTRY, SPIRITUALITY and COMMUNICATIONS.
Servants of Christ’s Kingdom: RECEIVING OUR PARISH VISION
This statement of Vision has come from reflection, prayer and discernment among the listening and sharing of all participating parishioners. It is a working, draft statement for us to put into practice, building on the already good practice and strengths of our community, as appreciated and celebrated in the listening process and Discernment Team with Fr Tony.
We review how we are doing, and the statement, at Pentecost Time each year.
Please continue to pray the Prayer for Mission in our Time and Place.
“Christ at the Centre” is vital to our Vision being fruitful, and Jesus was known for his generous welcome of all and his daring to share time, affection and food with everyone. HeartStone already has a strong tradition of this spirituality which is much appreciated, and will continue to be treasured as a valuable legacy of the Augustinian ministry.
Local people and others who know us perceive HeartStone as friendly, welcoming and open, with good facilities for a good social service to welcome local people in the Parish Centre and Sacred Heart Hall.
In our personal lives of faith and prayer, we are all called to extend our attitudes and actions of respect and appreciation of God’s gifts seen in Creation, in our Families, in other people, all of whom are created in the Image and Likeness of God our one Father.
In our parish life, parishioners have said they want to extend our welcoming by becoming more inclusive in various ways, some of which have been already discovered:
- extending an invitation and hospitality – spiritual and material – to Catholics who have felt alienated and separated from church in the past. To be more generous to people with marital situations, gender challenges to teaching, or other ways of feeling separated.
- trying to make the majority of our congregation who are of an age continue to feel the welcome but find ways to welcome young families and young people.
- coping with the challenges of including the sick, mentally and physically, and the lonely, extending the opportunity for people to receive a visit, or consolation
- the hospitality ministry is vital and flourishing, and yet invites more volunteers to ensure the rota is not too heavy: for after mass, for Bingo, for meetings, for occasional parish gatherings.
- the Greeting ministry for mass is invaluable. There is a call to be more friendly and greet each other in the congregation, noticing when people are missing etc.
In our life as Christian Citizens in the world, how do we show inclusivity and welcome to others as neighbours, and welcome the refugees, migrants and strangers in need as part of today’s “ Flight into Europe”.
The witness of Christian Unity is vital and integral to being a Catholic today, and we look forward to welcoming other Christians with shared action and prayer with the other churches.
In harmony with the Pastoral Area Plan we will reach out to welcome new people to find out about Christ and our faith with us, and begin learning how, as a parish and Pastoral Area , with the Archdiocesan teaching of RCIA (Adult Initiation).
Like the whole of the Catholic Church, we must face up to scandals, such as the sexual abuse crisis and cover-up, with more openness and transparency in the way we work, so excellence in safeguarding procedures is a vital service to our quality of welcoming all.
When people are hurting, and don’t know where to go, we pray we will find ways to help….whether it be struggles with faith, grief, the demands of life , or injury…
Pope Francis has called all Christians
- to experience the love of God who consoles, pardons, and instils hope.
- that the witness of believers might grow stronger and more effective, so that we break down the barriers of indifference that too often reign supreme and mask our hypocrisy and egoism
- that we cultivate and share generously both the Corporal Works and the Spiritual Works of Mercy.