♦ Research Update February 2015
The Building Stronger Parishes project is now in the last stage of Data Analysis and Reporting. We are close to finishing a major report on the project. The report will summarise the entire project and report on the major findings. It will also be the foundation on which the subsequent thematic reports will be based. These reports will be released periodically over the rest of 2015.
A proposal for a series of National Seminars on the Building Stronger Parishes project was recently approved by the Australian Catholic Council for Pastoral Research. The aim of these seminars is to create greater awareness of the project and disseminate project findings and to encourage further consultation in parishes and dioceses in order to form and implement appropriate pastoral strategies. Further details of these seminars will be released in the coming months.
♦ Research Update October 2014
We are now in the stage of Data Analysis and Reporting for this project.
An in-depth case study analysis of ten participating parishes has been completed as part of PhD thesis. We are currently in the process of preparing a major report which we hope to publish next month.
The Project Reference Group will meet again this month to discuss plans for further data analysis and the publication of research findings through a series of several minor reports to follow.
♦ Research Update July 2013
We have come to the end of the fieldwork phase of the project with data collection being completed in all parishes. We will now focus our efforts on analysis of the data for the rest of this year.
In May, we presented some of our initial research findings at the NPPN conference in the Gold Coast. We are currently working on a paper on the project that will be presented at the SSSR (Society for the Scientific Study of Religion) conference in Boston, Massachusetts in November this year.
If you have not already done so, please click on the Publications page to access a digital copy of the Preliminary Findings 2012 report that was published at the end of last year.
♦ Research Update September 2012
The Building Stronger Parishes project focussed on rural parishes this year. Fieldwork in terms of data collection has been completed in five parishes so far. These are:
•Sugarloaf (Maitland-Newcastle diocese)
•Bulahdelah (Maitland-Newcastle diocese)
•Cororooke (Ballarat diocese)
•Harris Park (Maronite diocese)
•Mt. Isa (Townsville diocese)
Our recent parish visit to Mt. Isa parish was very successful and it was inspiring to see a Catholic parish deeply engaged in the local community. As we continue our fieldwork this year, further visits have been planned to parishes from the dioceses of Sandhurst, Bathurst and Toowoomba.
In August, we presented some of our research findings at the PROCLAIM conference in Sydney. These were very well received and we have had inquiries coming in from people in other parishes who were eager to learn about the good things that were happening in parishes involved in the project. We are currently working on a paper on the project that will be presented at the SSSR (Society for the Scientific Study of Religion) conference in Phoenix, Arizona in November this year.
♦ Research Update February 2012
The Building Stronger Parishes research project has reached the halfway mark. Fieldwork in terms of data collection has been completed in ten parishes so far with another ten planned for this year. Our most recent visit was to Bulahdelah parish in the Maitland – Newcastle diocese.
At the end of last year we put out a Preliminary Report which included information on the project and a write up of each of the nine parishes that we had completed. You can access it from the home page of this website. Feel free to download a copy and distribute it to anyone who might find it useful.
♦ Research Update May 2011
We have begun our first round of fieldwork for this year which includes six parishes, one each from the dioceses of Melbourne, Adelaide, Canberra, Sale, Parramatta and Brisbane.
Research has been completed in two parishes, Kings Park parish in Melbourne and Willunga parish in Adelaide. We are currently completing research in the Narre Warren parish in the diocese of Sale.
Over the next few months we will be visiting the parishes in Parramatta, Brisbane and Canberra.
♦ Research Update March 2011
The Building Stronger Parishes project has progressed from the planning and development stage to the implementation stage. Ethics approval for the project was received from the Human Research Ethics Committee of the Australian Catholic University in late November last year. A pilot study was then conducted in St. Francis Xavier’s Catholic parish in Montmorency. A team of four researchers observed two Sunday Masses and conducted interviews with the parish priest, parish and school staff, Pastoral Council leaders and parishioners. The information obtained from this initial study was very encouraging and stimulated a lot of ideas for subsequent research.
A training workshop for field researchers and members of the Project Reference Group was held on the 1st of February this year to discuss the project and familiarise them with the research techniques that will be employed throughout the duration of the project. A plan was also prepared for the fieldwork that will be carried out in the remaining parishes.
We will be visiting up to 10 parishes in 2011, from a list of parishes that has been compiled through discussions with the Project Reference Group, key diocesan staff, especially those involved in pastoral services, and people active in parish life. Our first round of fieldwork for this year includes six parishes, one each from the dioceses of Melbourne, Adelaide, Canberra, Sale, Parramatta and Brisbane. These parishes will be invited to participate in the project. The remaining parishes will be chosen and researched in the latter part of the year.
♦ Research Update August 2010 – Click here