Return to St. Mary’s Parish Pastoral Council

Parish Pastoral Council Constitution




1. Purpose

The Parish Pastoral Council is a consultative and representative body of Christ’s faithful whose purpose is the promotion of the mission of the Church in all its aspects in this Parish.

The members of the Parish Pastoral Council will at all times work in close collaboration with the Parish Priest to advise him in matters pertaining to pastoral ministry.

This constitution has been drawn up in accordance with the Code of Canon Law and Diocesan Norms for Parish Pastoral Councils.


2. Membership

The Parish Pastoral Council will be made up of members freely appointed by the Parish Priest in consultation, where opportune, with others.

The following are ex-officio members of the Parish Pastoral Council:
     The Parish Priest
     The Parish Finance Officer

It is the intention of this Constitution to make provision for the full Parish Pastoral Council membership not to exceed twelve persons.


3. Selection of Members

i. Eligibility for membership

All those who are fully initiated Catholics and regularly attend Mass at Saint Mary’s, accepting and living in a harmonious way with the Church’s teaching on faith and morals are eligible for nomination to the Parish Pastoral Council.

ii. Groups and Organisations

From among the various groups and organisations in the parish nominations for membership will be sought by the Parish Priest.

iii. Sunday/Vigil Mass representatives

Members of the congregation will be invited to nominate parishioners to serve on the Parish Pastoral Council.

iv. Procedure

The Parish Priest will then select from among those nominated by groups and Sunday/Vigil Masses, bearing in mind the needs of having a diverse range of parishioners. Other members will be appointed directly by the Parish Priest.

The Parish priest, after advice from the Parish Pastoral Council, may co-opt one member who shall serve for a period not in excess of three years


4. Mandate

The Parish Pastoral Council is to be renewed after every three years. At the end of each term all members lapse. At this point the Parish Priest will initiate new nominations as outlined above.

If one of the places on the Parish Pastoral Council should fall vacant during the term the Parish Priest may nominate someone to take the place for the reminder of the term.


5. Office Bearers

There shall be a Chair, Vice-Chair and Secretary.

When a new Parish Pastoral Council term has begun, or to fill any vacancy, the Parish Priest shall from among the members of the Council propose a Chair, Vice-Chair and Secretary. In the event of more than one person being nominated there shall be a secret ballot.

The Parish Priest will preside at sessions of the Parish Pastoral Council. In his absence he will appoint a delegate to preside in his place.

It is the role of the Chair (or Vice-Chair) to manage the meetings. The Secretary will be responsible for taking the official minutes of the meeting; and circulating them to all members prior to the next meeting.


5. Frequency of Meetings

The Parish Pastoral Council will meet at least quarterly and at other times at the discretion of the Parish Priest when parish needs so require. The meeting towards the end of the pastoral year will evaluate the pastoral life of the parish during the past year and plan for the forthcoming year.


6. Attendance and Competence

Members of the Parish Pastoral Council are expected to attend meetings in person. If unable to be present members are required to submit apologies for non-attendance.
A quorum is constituted by the Parish Priest (or his delegate) and equates to one third of the members.


7. Publication of Minutes

The minutes of the meeting of the Parish Pastoral Council are to be available for scrutiny. Draft minutes should he circulated to all members in advance of the next meeting and, once agreed, are to be made available to the whole parish e.g. posted on the Parish Website. A copy of the minutes is to be sent to the Dean.


8. Finances

The Parish Fabric and Finance Group will present a regular report on the financial state of the parish to the Parish Pastoral Council.


9. Sub-committees

At the discretion of the Parish Priest, the Parish Pastoral Council may set up sub-committees or working parties from time to time to look into particular matters affecting the pastoral life of the parish or the ongoing development of the Parish Pastoral Council.


10. Alterations

Without the approval of the Bishop, a newly appointed Parish Priest will not alter the membership of the Parish Pastoral Council for six months after taking up his appointment. Any change to these Constitutions requires the approval of the Bishop and that the Parish Priest hears the view of the whole Pastoral Council.


11. Initial and ongoing Formation

Since the Parish Pastoral Council is established to assist the Parish Priest to exercise his ministry, its deliberations are to be informed by the word of God, the teaching of the Church and the directives of the Bishop.

To ensure that it is capable of doing so adequately, every meeting will begin with a time of prayer and reflection.

Each year members of the Parish Pastoral Council will be given opportunities to deepen understanding of their role by periods of prayer, study and reflection, either as members of the Parish Pastoral Council or along with other members of the parish, deanery or diocesan community.

Dated – January 2018