Bishop Philip Egan of Portsmouth has announced an eight-point plan for “bringing people closer to Christ” in his diocese. He set out his plan in a pastoral letter on the fifth anniversary of his episcopal ordination.

He said it was a “vision statement of my hopes and aspirations for the next decade”, and asked Catholics to “develop strategies … to implement the vision in their own contexts”.

The first priority was mission, he said, to “enable immeasurably more people to hear the Gospel afresh”; the second was to “assist all Catholics, especially those who are not yet practising, to reach a deeper personal relationship with Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist, to be more intentional disciples and, discerning their charisms, to become more actively engaged in the Church’s mission”.

Thirdly, in “shifting from maintenance to mission”, he wrote, “we trust more completely in God through prayer, imploring the Holy Spirit to inspire our clergy and our laity with constant joy and creativity to develop and realise new, innovative ministries and ways of Christian living”.

His fourth priority was to “help our parish and school communities to become outward-facing service centres”.

These priorities led to three areas of attention, he said: a focus on youth, promoting vocations and prioritising the diocese’s resources.

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