Christian Celtic Cross (18Kb)
St. Joseph's Presbytery, Birtley Lane, Birtley, Chester-le-Street DH3 1LJ.

Part of the St Benedict Partnership of Parishes
(Birtley, Chester-le-Street, Easington Lane, Houghton-le-Spring, Penshaw, Sacriston, Washington)

Father Mark Millward: 0191 416 3583, Father Paul Hopper: 0191 410 2923, Father Jim O'Keefe: 0191 416 3805.

Deacon: Peter Lavery
: (0191) 410 2530. Mobile: 07743 807 312. Email:



St Joseph’s Parish Birtley
Purpose of the Church Pastoral Council
Version Approved at Meeting on Sunday 8th October 2006
1. The Pastoral Council is a consultative and advisory body that exists to support the Parish Priest.

2. The purpose of the Pastoral Council is to enable all parishioners and all parish organisations to participate in the life of the church.

3. The Pastoral Council will support the Parish Priest in providing spiritual leadership and sound administrative procedures for the parish.

4. Important and specific aims of the Pastoral Council should be:
• To pray that with the grace of God and the guidance of the Holy Spirit that they are witnesses to the presence of Christ in the Parish community;
• To develop a sense of community in the parish;
• To foster growth and maturity and the recognition of the need for change where appropriate; and
• To plan for the future of the Parish (e.g. by developing a statement of its mission, vision and objectives).

5. To this end the Pastoral Council will co-ordinate and promote the activities of the parish and the organisations within the parish in the following key areas:
• Christian Formation
• Liturgy and Worship
• Ecumenism
• Social and Community Activities
• Property and Maintenance
• Finance and Administration

Membership of the Pastoral Council

6. The membership of the Pastoral Council will be made up from members of the Parish, as follows:
• The Parish Priest,
• A Chairperson appointed by the Parish Priest,
• Other priests, deacons and religious working in the parish (at the invitation of the Parish Priest),
• A representative of the following parish organisations:
• Catholic Mens Society (CMS),
• Catholic Womens League (CWL),
• Society of St Vincent de Paul (SVP), and
• Mothers Guild,
• Two representatives of the young people of the parish;
• Up to nine elected members; and
• Additional members can be co-opted on to the council to facilitate discussions on particular issues (i.e. co-ordination of activities with parish schools).

7. The representative of the parish organisations will be nominated by their respective organisations.

8. The young people of the parish will select their representatives on the parish council.

9. The elected members of the council will be elected at the annual general meeting (AGM). Elected members will normally serve for three years, with one third (three) places being elected each year.

Officers of the Pastoral Council

10. The Pastoral Council will have the following officers:

President - the Parish Priest shall be the president and Spiritual Director of the Council.
Chairperson - the Parish Priest will appoint a chairperson to the council, the chairperson will be appointed for a period of one year. The chairperson's appointment can be renewed at the end of each year.
Secretary - the Council will elect a Secretary (normally) from among the elected members.
Communications Officer - the Council will elect a Communications Officer (normally) from among the elected members.


11. The Pastoral Council will meet monthly (the council will not normally meet in January and August).

12. The Pastoral Council can set up sub-committees to take forward particular aspects of the Pastoral Council’s responsibilities. Sub-committees will be chaired by a member of the Pastoral Council who will be responsible for reporting back to the Pastoral Council.

13. The Parish Finance Committee is not a sub-committee of the Pastoral Council but it will normally provide reports (for information) to the Pastoral Council.

14. There will be an Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Pastoral Council during the month of May each year to which all parishioners will be invited. At the AGM the Pastoral Council will give a report to the Parish of the Council's activities over the past twelve months.

15. Elections to the Pastoral Council will take place at the AGM. Elected members of the council will normally serve as members of the council for a period of three years. Three of the nine elected members will be subject to election (re-election) each year. Elected members who have completed a period of three year may offer themselves for election for a further period of three years.

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