Parish Pastoral Council

I am Gillian Howarth and I have lived in the parish since 2008.  I was born in Scotland and have lived in Kent, Yorkshire, Bogotá and Mumbai before settling here.  I am married to Tim (who grew up on Sunnybank) and we have 2 children who are both at St Monica’s. I am a civil servant and in my spare time I enjoy reading and spending time with my family.

I have been a reader at St Bernadette’s for a few years which I really enjoy doing.  I hope that as part of the Parish Team I can help the parish thrive and connect with new members.


The Council is a consultative group that collaborates with our priests in planning the spiritual and pastoral needs of our parish.

It will support parishioners and other parish groups and increase awareness and application of Christian values in our community.

The Foundation Document sets out the primary mission of the Parish Pastoral Council; that is, to collaborate in planning the spiritual and pastoral needs of the parish. It also details the structure of the Council, how it will operate and the roles within the Council. The Parish Priest is President and is a member of the Council, the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Council are members of the laity who are elected by the whole Council.

The Foundation Document also outlines procedures covering the selection of new members to the Council. When appropriate, advance notice of the need to find new members will be published in the parish newsletter and a document similar to this example of the Nomination Form will be made available to parishioners.

The Call, The Journey and the Mission We have had an invitation from the Bishops of England and Wales to Reflect on the Gift of Marriage and Family Life. These 3 documents will help us prepare a response in March 2015. There is a 1-page letter from Cardinal Nichols. A 5-page document outlining the 6 topics that we are asked to reflect on and a 3-page response sheet which parishioners may prefer to fill in and return to PPC members. Any responses will be treated as anonymous.

A TIME TO LISTEN is a Pastoral Council initiative which gives all our parishioners an opportunity to influence the developing future of our parish. It will be based on conversations between parishioners and two members of the Council. To find out more please see this LISTENING document . To get involved print out the second page of the document which contains the form. Return the completed form to a member of the Council or put it in the Suggestions Box in the porch.