So how did the Bishops of England and Wales respond to Listening 2004?

They had heard stories of people wanting to belong, and yet feeling isolated – even when they did come to Mass. People wanting to feel known and accepted, and to experience the parish as a wider family that would be there for them in the ups and downs of life, reinforcing their values, offering spiritual nourishment, and showing real practical concern for their lives ‘outside’ Sunday Mass.

As a result of all these Days across the country, the Bishops produced a report ‘Not Easy but Full of Meaning’ covering important areas:

  • Family Life in a Changing World: Values, Balancing family/work/home, changing family structures, mobility/communications, and hurting families
  • Family Life and Living the Faith: valuing faith in God, communicating faith, lost generations, sharing faith at home, family spirituality, family faith at home and in the parish
  • Our beliefs and pastoral practices: engaging with ‘real’ families, valuing difference, consistency in practice, gender/sexuality/fertility, single people, inter-Church families, divorce and the Eucharist

Three priorities were identified from Listening 2004, and these were shaped into the Celebrating Family project

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