The Pastoral Area of

St. Joseph

Some years ago, it became obvious that the number of active priests in the Archdiocese had reached the point where there would no longer be a priest for every parish. Ignoring this problem was clearly no longer an option, and something had to be done. This would inevitably mean a more flexible use of the priests we are likely to have, and a need for a lot more co-operation among neighbouring parishes. To help this happen, all the parishes in the Archdiocese were grouped into 'Pastoral Areas' with Working Groups to see how this sharing and co-operation could be done.

St. Margaret Mary's has been linked with the other parishes on this page into a Pastoral Area under the name and patronage of St. Joseph, in a geographical area which can, loosely, be called Stoneycroft, it has its own web-site. Here on our page are the parishes which will have to work together and share priests. In 2012 The Archbishop required each church in this area to consult with its parishioners so that the Working Group could present to the Archbishop a plan of how these aims could be put into practice.

The first definite news for St. Margaret Mary's is that while we will remain as a single parish, with a resident priest, he will be increasingly less available to us, having to provide Masses and religious help at a number of other local churches and Mass centres, such as Carmel and the local hospitals. Also, the number of Sunday Masses he can provide for us will be reduced from three to two; one in the morning, at 10.00am, with the 6.00 pm Mass remaining.

This will inevitably mean that parishioners will have to become more involved in the provision of religious facilities, taking on board just about everything that does not absolutely require an ordained priest. This process - of reaching a type of parish life which is so different from what we have all known from childhood - is known as 'Leaving Safe Harbours'.
St. Oswald &
St. Brendan's Shrine

St. Paul &
St. Timothy