Diocesan Pastoral Council

Pastoral Development

Diocesan Pastoral Council

One of Bishop David’s commitments from the Assembly is to create a Diocesan Pastoral Council to focus on mission and help him think creatively about the diocese. The Diocesan Pastoral Council sits among a number of consultative bodies to meet with Bishop David at diocesan level.  These include:


  • The Bishop’s Council: the episcopal vicars and Vicar General
  • The Trustees: lay people and senior clergy responsible for the running of the Trust
  • The Cathedral Chapter: the Canons who are the canonical College of Consulters to the Bishop
  • The Council of Priests: a representative group of priests from around the diocese
  • The Council of Deacons: a similar body for the deacons

One of the puzzles of setting up a Diocesan Pastoral Council has been to establish its purpose and remit among these other bodies. The Trustees have to have particular expertise to ensure the compliance of the diocese with charity legislation and have stewardship of the assets of the diocesan Trust. The Diocesan Pastoral Council is envisaged as a more creative body to represent the voice of the lay faithful at the highest level of the diocese.


Members are being drawn from the group of Assembly Delegates where possible so that they share the experience of the day and can help carry forward the vision.

  • One lay representative from each Pastoral Area
  • One representative from the religious communities
  • One representative from the schools
  • One representative from the Council of Deacons
  • The Provost (Chair of the Consultors) and Chair of the Council of Priests
  • The Chief Operating Officer

The Council will be facilitated by Fr Francis Higgins and Avril Baigent, from the Vicariate for Pastoral Development.


After much reflection, it was decided that we would establish an initial group to discern the Diocesan Pastoral Council’s remit and ways of working, as well as its relationship with these other bodies. This seems the best way to ensure that the group can walk with Bishop David and serve the diocese well.

The first meeting of this group is on 14th July.  Details of membership and an account of the meeting will be posted here shortly afterwards.