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Pastoral Council

Guidelines of the Parish Pastoral Council

“The Pastoral Council is a team comprising a number of parishioners and parish leaders together with the parish priests. The Council’s role is to offer considered advice and assistance to their Parish leaders on ways to foster pastoral action – action which is centred on and inspired by Jesus Christ; action which proclaims the gospel in terms that are relevant for members of the community; action which builds the parish community as a communion for mission” (Pastoral Council Draft Guidelines, Archdiocese of Melbourne 1995).

Role of the Pastoral Council

 The St. Paul Apostle Pastoral Council carries out this role by:

  • Adopting a listening and receptive attitude towards the Parish community and its members.
  • Identifying the current pastoral needs of the parish
  • Discerning the future needs of the Parish
  • Prayerfully reflecting on the needs of the parish
  • Calling forth gifts of parishioners for service within the parish and wider community
  • Sharing in pastoral leadership with the Parish Team
  • Liaising with other parish groups
  • Being committed to the initiatives discerned by the Parish Pastoral Council
  • Being committed to on going formation.


  • Ideally, the membership of the Pastoral Council should reflect the wide ethnic, cultural, age and gender demographics of our community. There should be a balance between the numbers of men and women.
  • The council will be made up of twelve members of the Parish Community, plus the Parish Team and School Principals.
  • Casual vacancies will be appointed after discernment from the Parish Priest and Council.
  • Others may be appointed as special circumstances dictate.
  • Nominations for membership will usually be called at a time set by the Pastoral Council – (normally around the time of the Parish Assembly).
  • Membership is for a two-year term.
  • Members are eligible for two consecutive terms making a total of four continuous years.  After a break they are eligible for re-election.
  • The term will normally begin at the start of the school year.


Members of the Council are expected

  • To attend a monthly meeting on the first Wednesday of the month from 8 – 10 PM.
  • To participate in one of the Parish groups or committees.
  • To attend a formation weekend early in the year.
  • To be a regular member of the worshipping community.
  • To hold membership of the council for the duration of the two-year term.

Office Bearers

At an early meeting of a new Council, a Chairperson and Secretary will be chosen from the members. Other members will take on areas of responsibility so that parish groups are linked to the council.