by Christopher Rails A DIVIDED community from Orton met Fr Paul Hypher of All
Souls' group ministry,
Peterborough, when further discussions were held last week to determine the future of Orton in the face of the Bishop Clark's impending withdrawal of the resident priest.
"In some ways it was an unhappy meeting" said Fr Hypher, leader of the group ministry. Apart from two or three
vociferous speakers, he said, it was difficult to gauge what anyone really felt.
There were those who felt the issue of a resident priest should be pursued, some hoping that a member of a religious order could be sought out to fill the gap left by Fr Michael Griffin's departure in September.
Fr Hypher said there were also some constructive suggestions. One of these was the holding of a "mini-mission". This entailed a month to six weeks "throwing the entire ministerial resources at a place" said Fr Hypher. In this way they would try to build up the community.
"In many places this approach has worked unbelievably well" he said.
If this was successful, there would be a follow up aimed at strengthening community awareness, with a large celebration at the end.
He said the current Mass attendance in Orton was "a bit low", and that any boost to the Catholic community which caused an increase in active members would obviously strengthen the case for separate parish status.
Another idea put forward had
been the election of geographically representative groups (Orton is made up of a group of villages).