Pastoral Planning

Bishops and priests ask their Pastoral Councils investigate some aspect of the church, reflect on it, and recommend their conclusions. In brief, the work of the pastoral council is pastoral planning. 

Although anecdotal evidence is often the basis for day-to-day decision-making, a more scientific collection of information such as the demographics of the population provides a better grounding for longer term ministry and resource development. For example, a parish knowing that they have a higher than average percentage of people living by themselves may consider developing ministries to reach out to those living alone.

In 2011, the National Census was conducted throughout Australia, and such information is currently being packaged for parishes around the country by the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the Pastoral Research Office of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference.

Parishes in the Diocese of Broken Bay, along with many others from across denominations also partook in the National Church Life Survey in 2011. Feedback from parishioners about their faith and prayer life assists parishes in refining existing ministries and developing appropriate faith formation programs and parish processes to enhance the faith and worship life of their community. Parishes have received their parish profiles and many embarking on new Pastoral Plans are looking at how to use this data.

The Office for Evangelisation is able to assist parishes in working through their ABS and NCLS data. Overlays for google earth maps identifying locations of parish boundaries, churches and schools are also available to parishes from the Office for Evangelisation.

The Diocese of Broken Bay works closely with the Pastoral Projects Office, the National Church Life Survey Research, and is a member of the National Pastoral Planners Network.


Useful Links


Catholic Diocese of
Broken Bay

Building 2, 423 Pennant Hills Road
Pennant Hills NSW 2120

PO Box 340
Pennant Hills NSW 1715

Phone 02 9847 0000
Fax 02 9847 0001

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