St Joseph’s

Roman Catholic Church

Meeting Lane, Penketh,

Warrington, Cheshire, WA5 2BB

Leaving Safe Harbours

The population of the Diocese continues to fall and the age profile of the clergy means that in the future there will be fewer priests to serve less people. In the light of these factors the Archbishop decided that the Diocese should be consulted about the way forward. This consultation became known as “Leaving Safe Harbours” because it was initiated on the Sunday when the Gospel reading was Matthew 14: 22-23.

After a 12 month consultation period  the Archbishop gave his blessing to the proposals. The Diocese was sub-divided into the new units of Pastoral Areas. Each Pastoral Area (and there are 24) would comprise of approximately 20,000 Catholics and in the future would be served by 4 or 5 priests. This change of name was not simply a re-organisation based on geography and demography; it was a conscious decision to encourage evangelisation, to develop new ways of working together collaboratively, to use better our limited resources and to deepen faith and love.

Two developments which provide great hope for the future are: the meetings of Pastoral Area Leaders (formerly Deans) and the Pastoral Area Working Groups that have been set up in each Pastoral Area. The quality of collaboration and the honest sharing of problems and challenges has characterised the meetings of Pastoral Area Leaders. These are held every 2 months. The Archbishop is always present.

Pastoral Area Working Groups are asked to meet 6 times a year. From these groups people are coming forward to assist in the mission of the Church.

Pastoral Area Working Group Warrington

We belong to Pastoral area 20 - Link to Pastoral Area Churches

Information on the PAWG can be found on the Sacred Heart Web site together with the summary minutes and reports

Pastoral Area Working Group link