Plans mean churches could close

Bishop Joseph Toal
Bishop Joseph Toal

Churches in Motherwell Diocese look set to close after Bishop Joseph Toal announced new plans for pastoral provision.

In a video message to congregations the bishop listed some of its problems being faced including a shortage of priests, falling congregations, inability to cover school and hospital chaplaincies and less opportunity for priests to make house and pastoral visits.

Bishop Toal is now looking to merge some existing parishes with a new name and new parish priest.

He said: “Whilst I understand change can be challenging for all of us, new structures and ideas can be invigorating and create opportunities for growth and new life.

“I ask all of you to come together, to work together and to plan together to create a vibrant, loving and caring parish.

“I know how loyal and dedicated many of you are to your own parish and are very attached to what you have. It is, however, increasingly difficult to maintain the current position.

“I think now is the time to move ahead and my proposal to reduce the number of parishes will assist clergy to cope with the added workload they face.”