Constitution of the Parish Pastoral Council of
St. Vincent's Catholic Church Ashfield


This council will be known as the Parish Pastoral Council (PPC) of St. Vincent’s Catholic Church Ashfield.



In recognition of the workload of the Parish Priest to provide pastoral care, our Parish Pastoral Council is a group of parishioners who come together with the Parish Priest to share and to offer advice on planning the ongoing life and development of the parish community by:

a) Offering advice and assistance to the Parish Priest to provide pastoral care
b) Fostering, encouraging and assisting the activities of Parish ministries
c) Discerning the needs of the Parish Community
d) Assisting with the vision and the agenda for the future direction of the Parish
e) Provide opportunities for parishioners to grow their relationship with God and each other
f) Develop initiatives that assist parishioners in continuing their efforts to live as effective Christians in society

Our vision is to:

- Enrich and promote Christian values within the St Vincent’s faith community

- Encourage and develop the spirit of unity and understanding

- Empower the qualities and abilities of the faith community to provide assistance and service to the needs of our parish and the wider community.



3.1 Membership

a) There will be up to10 elected members, together with the school Principals or their delegates
b) Should a vacancy arise this position should be filled as per section 3.3
c) Ex-Officio members will consist of at least one of the three Parish Catholic Schools or their nominees/delegates of the three Parish Catholic Schools known as St Vincent’s Primary School, Bethlehem College and De La Salle College Ashfield

3.2 Responsibilities of Members

Each member of the Parish Pastoral Council is required to:

a) act in accordance with the purpose of the PPC;
b) attend regular meetings and formation day/s;
c) be a liaison officer and listen to parishioners so as to understand and respond to the issues affecting the life of the parish, including those of the structured ministries;
d) represent the Parish Pastoral Council when required (for example at other parish meetings, deanery or Diocesan meetings);
e) take their opportunities for personal faith and skill development for effective participation in the Parish Pastoral Council.

3.3 Appointment

 i. Nominations:

a) Nominations for the PPC will be accepted, from regular worshipping members of the Ashfield Parish who acknowledge that appointment to the PPC will be as representatives of the entire Community;
b) Nominations should reflect representation from St Vincent’s Ashfield Parish;
c) Any Parishioner may recommend any other Parishioner for nomination to the Council;
d) An information session will be held for those nominated. At the end of this session nominations may be accepted or declined;
e) Nominations can be forwarded in writing to the Chairperson of the PPC;
f) Nominations will be called for at all Masses for at least two weeks prior to elections.

ii. Attributes

Nominees must:

a) Be an active member of the faith community of Ashfield Parish faith community;
b) Be willing to work as part of a team;
c) Be willing to listen to and represent the many diverse views of the parishioners;
d) Have a willingness to commit to a monthly meeting of two hours and to follow up with implementing the decisions of the Council.

iii. Elections:

a) Elections will be held for vacant positions where the number of nominations exceeds the number of vacancies;
b) Future elections will be held in February each second year;
c) The new PPC will assume office on the first of March;

iv. Insufficient Nominations

a) In the event of insufficient nominations being received, those accepting nomination will be considered for election;
b) The Parish Priest in consultation with the elected PPC members may appoint nominees to fill the vacant positions;

v. Maximum Term of Office:

a) After a period of four years a member must relinquish their membership of the PPC for at least two years.
vi. Tenure:

a) A member shall be deemed to have resigned if that member fails to attend three consecutive meetings of the PPC without apology.

3.4 Office Holders PPC Officers:

At the first meeting following an election, the new PPC will elect, from their number, the following Executive:

a) A Chairperson, who will Chair PPC meetings and arrange the calling and administration of elections to the PPC;
b) A Deputy Chairperson, who will assist the Chairperson and act as Chair should the Chairperson be absent;
c) A Secretary, who will record and present Minutes of all meetings, ensure that Minutes and agendas are distributed to PPC members and kept as a continuous record of PPC business.

Roles of the Executive are outlined in Appendix A.

3.5 Meetings

a) The PPC will meet at least ten times a year – normally every month, but more often if necessary, providing a quorum is met;
b) Meetings shall be conducted in an atmosphere of prayer, reflection and discernment, with the well-being of the entire Community uppermost in mind;
c) Each meeting should be limited to two hours unless the PPC decides unanimously otherwise;
d) An Extraordinary Meeting may be called by either the Parish Priest or the Executive as required, with a minimum of one week’s notice.

3.6 Decision Making Process

a) It is understood that the PPC is a consultative body making recommendations to the Parish Priest;
b) When difficult decisions need to be made, they are best made by discussing differences of opinion and trying to understand the varying points of view;
c) If a decision by consensus cannot be reached, the relevance of the issue will be reviewed and discussed with time taken for prayer and reflection;
d) It is the aim of the PPC to reach a consensus in a spirit of mutual respect, with the understanding that failure to do so will make the Parish Priest’s authority more difficult to exercise.

3.7 Sub-Committees

a) A task-oriented Sub-Committee may be formed to gather information and/or deal with certain subject matters;
b) It is the responsibility of the PPC to set the terms of reference for the sub-committee’s action;
c) Sub-Committee(s) may be formed from the wider Parish community and must include at least one PPC member in order to facilitate communication;
d) Sub-Committee members shall be subject to same attributes as PPC members as stated in 3.3 iia-d;
e) The Sub Committee will provide summary reports to the PPC Executive, which will be communicated to the Parish by any means deemed appropriate by the PPC.

3.8 Quorum

A Quorum shall consist of half the PPC members (excluding Ex-Officio) plus one.

3.9 Reporting

a) The PPC sees communication with the Parish as of fundamental importance, and will facilitate this by every means possible
b) Any adopted minutes of PPC meetings are to be made available to parishioners on their request
c) Minutes of any appointed Sub-committee shall be taken and a copy made available to the PPC;
d) The Chairperson or a nominated member of the PPC will report briefly to the Community via an article in the Parish Bulletin.

3.10 Raising Matters with PPC

Every opportunity will be made to listen to the views of parishioners, such as through a Parish Assembly, website communication, suggestion box.



To assist the community to develop their spiritual growth, the PPC will foster, encourage and assist Parish Ministries, Working Parties and Task Forces etc as needed, always in consultation with the Parish Priest.



It is the responsibility of the PPC to prepare a budget for the PPC and submit this to the Finance Committee in time for inclusion in the Parish annual budget.



This Constitution can be amended only in the presence of an ex-officio member of the PPC and in the following circumstances:
a) After receipt of a written submission circulated with the meeting papers and its consideration by the PPC at two consecutive meetings resulting in at least 75 per cent agreement of  those voting members present, or;
b) By written notice from the Parish Priest, and consideration by the PPC at two consecutive meetings resulting in majority of those voting members present 75 per cent agreement;

In the event that a change is made, the Community will be notified.



This Constitution was accepted at the PPC meeting on Tuesday 24 March 2009.



Pastoral Council