The Diocese’s 87 parishes and 71 Catholic schools lie at the heart of communities across Hampshire, Berkshire, Oxfordshire, the Isle of Wight and the Channel Islands, reaching out to 3.2 million people each year. It is through the parish network that the diocese meets its charitable objectives, aided by the Framework for Collaboration teams and supported by the central curial services.
Parishes provide an inclusive hub for people of all walks of life to meet, form friendships, participate in religious services, education and formation. They provide a structure for parishioners to reach out to the wider community to serve in social action, in particular to serve the poor, the isolated, the vulnerable and those most in need. It is through the provision of the liturgies and sacraments that Catholics are sustained to live out their faith, personally encountering Christ through the Eucharist and in the sacrament of reconciliation.
Parishes deliver a host of events, initiatives and programmes both within the Christian community and to the wider community. Clergy and parishioners engage across various vital areas. For example, offering chaplaincy to 51 Hospitals, providing vital care and support, often in times of great difficulty or in end of life situations. Chaplaincy is provided to 4 prisons, comprising a prison population of 2,071 inmates with various spiritual needs. Minority group chaplaincy provides support to many people from different nationalities including Poland, India, Philippines, Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, Venezuela and China, meeting spiritual and social needs in various languages.
Parishes provide pastoral care services to the travelling community, for youth ministry, ranging from pre-school to young adulthood and chaplaincy to refugees and seafarers, particularly in our parishes situated in ports.