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Future of Glasgow’s parishes now under scrutiny

Catholics in Glasgow are being consulted before Christmas, ahead of Archbishop Philip Tartaglia's individual meetings with each Glasgow priest during Lent

Priests and parishioners in Glasgow Archdiocese are to be consulted by the Church on future plans for the parishes in the diocese.

A leaflet asking some tough questions under challenging circumstances about falling congregations—and the way congregations are served at local parish level—is currently on its way to all Glasgow parishes. The majority of Scotland’s Catholics live within Glasgow Metropolitan Archdiocese and its two suffragan dioceses of Motherwell and Paisley.

When was the last time you saw your church packed?

Called simply Archdiocese of Glasgow: This Affects You, the leaflet ‘lays the groundwork’ for potientially necessary ‘changes’ to come, according to a Church insider.

“When was the last time you saw your church packed?” the leaflet asks of Glasgow Catholics. It also highlights that the number of parishes in the diocese have fallen from 111 in 1977 to 93 today.

The population of Glasgow has fallen from 1,100,000 to 585,000 since the 1950s and Mass attendance has dropped by 51 per cent in the last 25 years.

The leaflet, which also reaches out to lapsed Catholics via New Evengelisation, includes a roadmap that calls for a meeting in each Glasgow deanery of all priests, deacons and parish council members before Christmas, followed by a discussion paper for parish pastoral councils in the New Year. Strategic meetings in deaneries are expected to take place during Lent next year, a time during which Archbishop Philip Tartaglia plans to meet with each Glasgow priest individually.

A fall in Mass attendance and fewer priests in dioceses have already prompted changes in the way parishes are run in Scotland, with some priests—particularly in rural areas—already ministering to more than one parishes. Galloway Diocese is another diocese formally looking to find a way forward and it is understood that Motherwell Diocese, which awaits the appointment of a new bishop, is also in the early stages of discussing future organisational plans with its clergy.

Glasgow parishioners are asked to keep their eyes on their parish bulletins over the coming weeks for more information.






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