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With our Bishop Crispian we can

"Go Out and Bear Fruit"


Salid a dar fruto    -   Idite i Donosite Plodove

Macht Euch Auf Und Bringt Frucht!


THAMES ISIS Pastoral Plan

Our Bishop Crispian says, “Together we have arrived at the stage when we can name the pastoral priorities for the diocese and accept responsibility for them.”

For Thames Isis, the model below highlights the 8 priorities which are the ‘headlines’ of the Diocesan Pastoral Plan, ‘Go Out and Bear Fruit’. This is what we will focus on for the next few years as we play our part in the Diocese of Portsmouth.

For more information, please contact our Pastoral Area Leadership Team has been established to plan and implement the development and growth of the Thames Isis Pastoral Area

Roll you mouse over each priority for more information


Why Pastoral Areas?

The present shape and form of our parishes and deaneries has evolved over the life of our Diocese, usually from very small, humble beginnings, and often reflecting the development and changes that have taken place in most areas over the last century or more. The proposals for larger Pastoral Areas are another stage in the evolution of the Diocese.

The development of Pastoral Areas, which will be larger than existing parishes, and, in most cases, smaller than existing deaneries, will

  • ensure that Sunday Mass is accessible to as many people as possible on a local basis
  • affirm and support priests in the essentials of their pastoral and sacramental ministry
  • endeavour to maintain the distinct identity of smaller pastoral groupings, e.g. churches, Mass centres, schools, hospitals
  • enable the continuing growth of hospital, prison and school chaplaincy teams, which may include priests, deacons, religious and lay people
  • provide pastoral care and catechesis more effectively
  • share gifts and expertise on a wider basis
  • be an opportunity for the further development of leadership skills by a larger group of people
  • promote efficient and coordinated use of resources, especially people and buildings
  • create more opportunities for ecumenical and inter-religious dialogue and shared initiatives
  • enable greater priority to be given to outreach, especially evangelisation and involvement in the local community.


We are about discerning how we can become more effective disciples of the Lord and what we need to do so that the Gospel can be more powerfully proclaimed.
(Bishop Crispian, Pastoral Letter January 2006)


A Pastoral Area is a geographical area of the diocese within which resources and efforts are shared so as to enable us to proclaim more effectively the Good News in the world in which we live. The Pastoral Area is the level at which pastoral needs are discerned and addressed and all pastoral activity is planned. For example, the Area might take on a particular outreach project in the local community, such as supporting a drop-in centre; preparation for the celebration of sacraments could be coordinated and perhaps offered at Area level; training for readers, catechists and other ministers could take place at Area level or across two Areas.


A worshipping community is a group of people who gather regularly to celebrate the Eucharist in a particular place e.g. church, chaplaincy, prison, school.


Each priest has responsibility for certain worshipping communities and for building up a close relationship with these. The allocation of pastoral responsibilities within the Area will be decided by the clergy (priests and deacons) together. This will include the celebration of Mass, but may also include weddings, funerals, baptisms, the sacraments of reconciliation, anointing of the sick, and other pastoral matters. Through ordination, a bond is formed between the bishop and priest – and therefore between the priests themselves. The Pastoral Area provides a means of that unity being lived out by each priest for the good of the people they are ordained to serve and supports them in that service.


The Coordinating Pastor directs the pastoral action of the Area and is responsible for it to the bishop. He is entrusted with the pastoral care of the priests and deacons within the Area, together with the task of discerning and enabling the use of their many gifts. With the other clergy he fosters and encourages lay leadership at all levels within the Area. The advantage of his particular role is that it enables him to keep an overview of the pastoral life of the Area – for the good of the people in that part of the diocese, as well as his brother priests and deacons.


A deacon is part of the Leadership Team of the Area, and works closely with the priests of the Area. The deacon shares in the pastoral responsibilities within the Area and also maintains specific links with particular worshipping communities.


The Leadership Team consists of priests, deacons and lay people, and is led and chaired by the Coordinating Pastor. In the light of the Diocesan Plan, ‘Go Out and Bear Fruit’, the Leadership Team is responsible for
• the pastoral care of the Area
• discerning and coordinating the gifts and strengths of the community in the service of communion and mission
• ensuring that the opportunity to celebrate Sunday Mass is available to as many people as possible
• fostering the growth and development of all the worshipping communities in the Area


The Area Pastoral Council works with the Leadership Team to implement ‘Go Out and Bear Fruit’ by discerning the pastoral needs of the Area. The Pastoral Council advises and supports the Leadership Team in addressing those needs, drawing on the wisdom and experience of the worshipping communities in the Area.


Where appropriate, a Pastoral Group may be formed for a worshipping community, or an existing pastoral council developed in the light of the new situation. It is hoped that existing pastoral councils will play a key role in helping worshipping communities to become part of their Pastoral Area. The Pastoral Group works closely with the Leadership Team and the Area Pastoral Council in discerning and addressing the particular needs of the worshipping community within the context of the Area and the wider community.