Towards ‘every member’ ministry

From overlapping C of I and RC parishes in west Co. Dublin, Maria Murphy of St Patrick’s Esker, and Very Revd David Godfrey of Lucan, reflect on the actuality and potential for collaborative ministry in their area, where their churches work together in a number of areas.

“DO NOT BE AFRAID”, the risen Jesus’ command to his disciples, could well be taken as a motto by churches today as they face the growing need for ‘every member’ ministry, given the increasing shortage of clergy. Such a shortage should never have been necessary for us all to wake up to the implications of St Paul’s teaching that all believers are necessary parts of the Body of Christ,1 with gifts to contribute to the flourishing of the whole. “Do not be afraid. Go tell my brothers . . .”2 but the institutional Churches have been slow to hear and respond – in this area at least.