The Bishop, His Lordship John Arnold, is proposing the establishment of a new parish which will include the area currently served by the three parishes of St Charles’, Rishton, St Mary’s, Clayton le Moors, and Our Lady and St Hubert’s with St. Wulstan’s, Great Harwood.
In his recent pastoral letter to the three parishes the Bishop refers to proposals in his 2017 document "Strengthening our Presence as Church: A Journey in Hope".
He speaks of a decision regarding the future of St Charles Church building in Rishton but is clear that the question of the amalgamation of the parishes, of which he gives a summary history, must first be decided.
The letter inaugurating the consultation is here. The consultation, we are informed by the diocese, begins with the publication of this letter and should take no more than three months. This consultation is to help the bishop to “seek out the necessary information and, insofar as possible, hear those whose rights could be injured” (cf. can 50). (procedural Guidelines. Cong. Pro Clericis 30 April 2013). Diocesan authorities have stressed that this consultation is not about closing any parishes but rather about ‘the opportunity for fresh life and a new start that amalgamation offers at a challenging time as the Church in Salford diocese is faced with a decrease in the number of clergy and a shifting Catholic population’ (Amalgamation of parishes. Guidelines)
The Vicar General with responsibility for this process has observed that ‘due to the times we are living in, much of the consultation may have to be on line’. I hope this site makes that process easy. Completing the consultation might take about 40 minutes. Please out of charity assist any people you know who may find computers a mystery and please be assured that people are free to respond in writing if they wish to do so. You will be asked to register to take part in the consultation. This is so that you can draft, redraft and update your contribution should you wish to do so. It will allow you to decide if you want your contribution to be public or private.
Data protection law will be observed.
Consultation will close on December, 12th at 12 noon.