More than courses and groups: Christian formation in the parish

Philip Dyer-Perry writes that the concept of formation is central to any Christian community, including a parish.

Formation doesn’t always have a good press. Some of the comments in the letters page of The Tablet seem to suggest that ‘formation’, especially of priests, is basically a form of clericalist brainwashing. Yet formation is something the whole Church is engaged in – it is the way that individuals and communities become who they are called to be, and it goes without saying that it is an ongoing journey.

The last two years have been tremendously disruptive to parish life. You’d have to be particularly heartless to describe the Covid-19 pandemic as anything less than a terrible tragedy and a traumatic trial, but nevertheless a side effect was that it exposed a lot of things to the light, which is arguably a positive. It has certainly forced us at parish level to take a good hard look at what we get up to.

It is with this in mind that I want to say a few things about formation in a parish setting.

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