Recommendations from the Parish Pastoral Council regarding the Church and other buildings

Carmel Bulletin, 24 November 2013

Church Renewal ProcessAt its meeting last Tuesday night, the Parish Pastoral Council received recommendations from the Church Renewal Committee and me, Fr Paul, which we had formulated at our meeting the previous week.

These recommendations came after a long and thorough process of study, reflection and discernment by the Liturgy Committee and the Church Renewal Committee, dating back to 2007.

With all the background process taken into account, the Church Renewal Committee and I put the following recommendations to the Parish Pastoral Council, which it endorsed:

  • Preserve current North/South orientation of Church with centre aisle
  • Retain sanctuary space as is
  • Preserve Narthex as is
  • Retain Choir Gallery as is – doing any necessary repairs to make safe
  • Retain Marian Shrine
  • Plan staged introduction/management of following issues as finances permit:
  • Seek architectural advice and confirm that there are no structural issues to be addressed in the Church before proceeding further
  • Look to developing Master Plan for overall Parish Plant (considering car parking, parish offices and toilets in particular) before embarking on staged Development Plan for the Church
  • Commission new liturgical furniture (Altar, Ambo, Baptismal Font, President’s Chair, Tabernacle stand)
  • Consider placement of a new Baptismal Font
  • Make minor adjustments to seating in light of placement of a new Baptismal Font and processional needs – then recarpet the sanctuary and the body of the Church as appropriate
  • Renew both Bennett & Garfield Street entrances – to create more light at the back of the Church, brighter vista for the Church and greater architectural consistency between the various Church buildings on the streetscape
  • Develop new toilets
  • Repair kneelers as necessary and consider removal of kneelers in front rows
  • Blinds for western windows

I am very grateful to all those in the Liturgy Committee and the Church Renewal Committee for their commitment, over a long period of time, to the Church Renewal project. I think we have arrived at a point where we can now proceed further, having agreed on the parameters and process for taking the project forward. As I have said above, we will be proceeding step-by-step and as finances allow.

We will keep parishioners informed of any significant plans for changes as they are developed, inviting feedback on anything that is proposed.

Paul Cahill OCarm
Parish Priest

Frances Sullivan
Chair, Parish Pastoral Council

Church Renewal Committee Report

Carmel Bulletin, 22 September 2013

Church Renewal ProcessIn July, architect Jesse Mowbray presented to the Church Renewal Committee three potential design options for the renewal and reordering of the church.  Early this month, the committee met to consider these options and propose the adoption of a suitable option. This has been a lengthy process, but has been necessary to ensure the best possible result.

The three options presented offered a range of options and provide some ‘food for thought’.  There are some ideas presented which we believe fit well for the overall vision for our parish and its liturgical space.  Other proposals that Jesse has made challenge us to think about how we can improve on issues such as encouraging the entire assembly to gather together in the church whenever possible, rather than be spread out between church and narthex.

The Church Renewal Committee has now responded to the architect, outlining our discernment so far and the principles and ideas that have arisen within our discussions as being of highest priority.  In the meantime, our incoming parish priest, Fr Paul Cahill, will be briefed on the process to date so that he may be ready to make his own contribution to the process once he arrives.

Further details are available in the latest edition of the Church Renewal Process Update newsletter, available in the literature stand in the parish centre, or online.  Any comments, questions or feedback on the Church Renewal Process can be sent in writing to the parish office, emailed to litcomwenty (at) gmail (dot) com, or made in person to committee members.

9/9/12 – Church Renewal Committee Report

Church Renewal ProcessThe Church Renewal Committee met recently and finalised details of the renewal of the Church.

Staged Works

The Church Renewal Committee envisages the completion of work in three stages.  Stage 1, to be completed as soon as possible, includes necessary maintenance work and reordering of the church.  Stage 2 is the installation of mechanical heating and/or cooling systems when funds allow.  The final stage will involve possible modification of the parish centre to accommodate additional toilet and storage facilities.


The finance committee has confirmed that the parish has funds saved that will be allocated to the completion of Stage 1.  These funds will meet the maintenance works that must be undertaken, with funds remaining to meet reordering costs.  We will seek donations for aspects of the renewal of the church, but intend to complete Stage 1 without going into debt.


The Church Renewal Committee will begin the process of developing a plan by working in collaboration with architect Jesse Mowbray.  Jesse, a parishioner of the Diocese, has a particular interest in church architecture.  He is already familiar with the Guiding Concepts for this project, and has a good working relationship with our liturgical consultant, Fr Stephen Hackett MSC.

Further information about our recent progress can be found in the latest edition of the Church Renewal Process Update newsletter, available in the parish centre today or online.

12/8/12 – Church Renewal Committee Report

Church Renewal ProcessThe Church Renewal Committee has met twice in recent weeks.

For the first of these meetings, we invited an architect to join us for an initial conversation.  The architect was recommended to us by Fr Stephen Hackett MSC, our liturgical consultant for the renewal process.  A very productive and fruitful discussion was had at this meeting.  The architect indicated that we already had much of the documentation and information in place that would be necessary for the development of design concepts.

The Church Renewal Committee met again this week to consider whether the architect should be appointed to the project.  The committee is confident that the architect would be able to develop an effective design that would reflect the vision and needs of our parish community into the future.

The committee is concerned, however, that more specific details may need to be developed to supplement the guiding concepts, thus making clearer the scope of work given to an architect.  The finance committee has been asked to determine the budget for the project.  This material will now be developed over future meetings before the architect is formally engaged.

Please remember that you can review the process that has been undertaken so far, and the Guiding Concepts, at  Feedback on the process can be sent to the committee via the parish office or by email to litcomwenty (at) gmail (dot) com.

1/7/12 – Church Renewal Committee Report

Church Renewal ProcessThe Church Renewal Committee met on Wednesday to continue the planning process.

Given the amount of expenditure required, the finance committee has since sought further quotes for the painting of the interior of the church.  The three quotes now obtained vary significantly, and further examination is needed.  The finance committee also intends to make some inquiries regarding the cost of refinishing the timber floorboards.  The quotes being collected will assist the finance committee in determining what works can be funded from parish savings, and what would need to be funded from other sources, such as direct parishioner donation.

The Church Renewal Committee also considered the feedback it received from Fr Stephen Hackett, Liturgical Consultant for the process.  While some work has been done to try and envisage different ideas for the arrangement and general plan of the church, it is a challenge to try and develop a single idea which successfully balances the desires of our community as expressed in the Guiding Concepts.

As such, Fr Stephen recommended to the committee that an architect be consulted.  In seeking the advice of an architect, the committee sees the potential to draw upon specialised expertise and experience.  Through the architect drawing together the parish’s guiding concepts, liturgical requirements, existing ideas and practical needs, a more cohesive plan can be developed of how the church can be shaped to serve the parish into the future.

The Church Renewal Committee will now make contact with an architect recommended by Fr Stephen, and initiate a professional conversation to determining the feasibility and suitability of developing design concepts.