ThE CELEBRATION WEEK
Our Celebration Week launches on a weekend. Our team of around five missionaries will arrive, and our priest will speak at all your Masses. The first special event is a themed Sunday afternoon celebration. Our experienced visitors, partnering with your parish volunteers, will spend the week knocking on the doors of known Catholics, to share faith and pray with people in their homes. Throughout the week there will be a variety of prayer experiences, special Eucharistic celebrations, and three evening presentations. We can also offer workshops for key parish leaders. On the closing weekend there could be a social event on Saturday evening. The Celebration Week concludes with an exhortational message at your Sunday Masses. We look forward to working with your Parish in Mission team who will continue to facilitate your ongoing mission after the Celebration Week.
We can add optional events for young people or ecumenical gatherings, but experience shows us that these are only fruitful where there is a pre-existing youth group or strong inter-church links already.
THE FESTIVAL WEEKEND
A Festival Weekend enables you to draw upon Sion Community's experience and expertise, to create a particular moment in the life of your parish.
Prior to the weekend we will work with your parish to create a programme tailored to your needs. This could include presentations for the whole parish, and workshops for particular groups. We are keen to involve family groups, children and teenagers. The team priest will preach at the Sunday Masses.
Integral to the weekend is the opportunity to call parishioners to be missionary disciples. We can offer tasters of different ways that your people can share faith and further the missionary outreach of your parish.
THE "IN-MISSION" EXPERIENCE
Every Sion Community mission opportunity is designed to help a parish launch (or reaffirm) its identity as a Parish in Mission.
A Parish in Mission is invitational. It is committed to deliver some kind of simple introduction to our Christian faith on a recurring basis. Usually this will look like some kind of course which your parishioners will offer regularly. We can work with you to identify the right material for your parish from the many courses available.
We are available to help with subsequent training to run such courses; we also have a residential centre which you might consider using for retreat days and weekends.
WHAT DOES IT COST?
An In-Mission Parish Experience is an investment in the life of your parish. Sion Community receives no central funding from the Catholic Church to do this - our support comes entirely from the parishes and schools who partner with us, and regular donors who believe in our mission work.
As a charity, we do not charge a fixed cost for our services, but we do rely on parishes offering a realistic donation, without which we wouldn't be able to sustain our full-time missionaries. For guidance we have a suggested amount which will enable us to continue working with parishes.
Typical donation for a Celebration Week (including travel expenses for team members and three preparation visits to your parish): £3250.
Typical donation for a Festival Weekend (Friday evening to Sunday evening): £1250-£1500
We can offer suggestions for donations for other bespoke events.
Become a Parish in Mission with Sion Community
Traditionally, we have run parish missions. It’s been our core activity - we have more than 30 years’ experience. Sion Community teams have visited hundreds of parishes throughout the British Isles.
Today, we are conscious that the Catholic Church needs a fresh approach. Our urban parishes are filled with members of diverse ethnic communities. Many parishes are served by priests who have to spread their energy over more churches. Patterns of work and childcare have changed, meaning it’s harder even for faithful Catholics to turn out every night for a week of mission activities. What will help your parish and your people to thrive in these challenging circumstances?
Sion Community wants to partner with your parish to help you become a Parish in Mission. A Sion Community Team will come and help, inspire and enable your parish community to grow in its particular mission. Our time together will be a launchpad for your parishioners to be refreshed in faith and become more equipped to be missionary disciples.
We offer a variety of mission opportunities that may be suitable for your parish. The most popular are the Celebration Week (9 days), and the Festival Weekend, but we are happy to work with you to find an approach that meets your needs. You may be interested to know that these events can run in tandem with a mission in your primary school(s). You can read more about this in the info boxes. We look forward to hearing from you as to how we can collaborate fruitfully.