Kilkerley Pastoral Council decided that as a means of Mission & Outreach a Visitation Team would be set up in the parish. In a rural parish, it is not easy to get people to volunteer to undertake this role as people are still locked into the idea that priests are the people for visiting parishioners.
However, a willing Team was formed and they decided that all homes in the parish would be visited. For this initial visit, they would merely be a ‘point of contact’ with the Parish Community, saying hello to parishioners, welcoming new people, and noting those who were sick, lonely or in need of a visit from the Parish Priest.
A parish brochure was designed and printed. It contained a welcome from the Parish Pastoral Council and its Mission Statement, a brief outline of the Diocesan Pastoral Plan with its three components of: Mission & Outreach, Spirit-Filled Worship, Understanding Our Faith & the Diocesan Prayer for the Pastoral Plan. The brochure also provided information on the services & ministries available in the parish and the contact details of the priest and sacristan as well as a note on our Primary School with its contact details. We also gave each family a small candle.
During Lent 2016 all homes in the parish were visited and the feedback was very positive. Our Visitation Team plan to develop its ministry further in 2017, by visiting homes again and asking parishioners how the parish can help in practical ways. This time they aim to focus on area of need in the parish e.g. loneliness, grief, maybe there are elderly who need care or help or people who care for a family member who are in need of practical support. The aim is to recognise the needs and hopefully to respond to them in a loving and practical way.