A NEW group is to be set up for lay people who work for the Church.
The "Network for Lay Ministry", launched at a meeting in London this week, aims to offer mutual support, encouragement and further formation for lay people working at parish, deanery or diocesan level.
Increasing lay involvement, or collaborative ministry, is being seen by many in the Church as the way forward for the Catholic Church in Britain, and a solution to the increasing shortage of priests.
Organisers of the new network say that some 30 to 40 people, mostly women who are already working within the Church as pastoral assistants, catechelical co-ordinators and RE advisers, have attended preliminary meetings to determine the purpose, aims and name of the new organisation.
According to the coordinator of the network's core group, Nicky Stevens, more than 170 people around the country have already received copies of the Network's first newsletter. "But there are many more lay people, perhaps feeling isolated in their work for the Church, whom the network would like to reach," she said.
Further information about the activities of the Network for Lay Ministry can be obtained from: Nicky Stevens, the Catholic Rectory, 38 Cambonie Avenue, London W13 9QZ.