Conference Parish Mission Encourages Parish Innovators: ‘The Holy Spirit Wants It’

Bishop van den Hout then stated that every baptized person must take responsibility within the parish. “You shouldn’t wait for the pastor or point to someone else,” he said, “but of course you can’t just make your own plan.”

On the other hand, according to him, priests must make space for innovative initiatives—a sore spot for many lay people, as will become clear later in the day. “Not all pastors are equally enthusiastic,” said Van den Hout, “but they should give him a place.” “The parish is not its own tuko that others should stay away from.”


After the service, Hannah Vaughan Sprouse took the floor. In the UK is ultimately responsible for Divine Renewal, an international organization that supports parishes to become missionaries. As an expert by experience, she urged the public not to get discouraged when results were delayed: “Regeneration takes more than a year.”

At conferences, terms like innovation, mission and development are thrown around, “but in practice they turn out to be much more difficult to achieve,” said Vaughan-Sprouse. “Giving up can be tempting.”

According to her, parishioners have to “detoxify” in order to change: they have to say goodbye to things that do not contribute to success. This causes withdrawal symptoms, but according to her, it is the only way to attract new people and create a healthy leadership structure.

‘Do not complain’

Vaughan Sprouse also answered questions from the audience. The question “What if the priest is not interested in the concept of a sent parish?” He was greeted in the hall with many votes of approval; In many parishes priests and laity seem to have different ideas about regeneration.

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“It can be hard when you want to do this like a normal person,” admitted Vaughan-Sprouse. She advised ordinary people to pray for their patron, saying that she knew of cases when priests changed their minds over the years. “You shouldn’t shake his head and be negative, but watch and help, then a lot can change.”

Megan Vasquez

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