The Building Stronger Parishes research project explores how Catholic parishes, in various contexts, use their strengths and available resources to respond to a variety of challenges. The aim of this research is to identify and analyse some of these initiatives in parishes throughout Australia, which can then be implemented in other parishes facing similar challenges. Particular emphasis is given to stories of vitality and hope that bring life to their communities and have an underlying foundation in an ecclesiology of communion.
The project which began in late 2008 is now in the analysis and reporting stage. Research was conducted in Catholic parishes from around Australia that had been identified as having developed particular programs or activities of importance to the study. These parishes were identified through discussions with the Project Reference Group, key diocesan staff, especially those involved in pastoral services, and people active in parish life. Data collection for this research was done at parish visits by researchers who visit the parish over 2-3 days. This involved interviews and observation of liturgical celebrations and other events in the life of the parishes. Other forms of data collection from documents such as Sunday bulletins, parish council minutes and parish website resources were also used.
This website provides all information on the Building Stronger Parishes project and has several features which will be continuously updated as the research progresses. Please remember to check back for the latest information on the project.
To view a printable summary of the project please click here.