Lay parish admins on cards for Ferns says new bishop

Lay parish admins on cards for Ferns says new bishop Bishop Ger Nash in St Aidan’s Cathedral. Photo: John Mc Elroy.

The new bishop of Ferns has said he will be exploring a ‘parish administrator’ role for laity, which aims to alleviate some administrative burdens from clergy.

Bishop Ger Nash, who was ordained on Sunday in the Cathedral of St Aidan, Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford, told The Irish Catholic that one of the reasons for creating the role is that “we don’t want to be draining the energy of ordained ministers”.

“I’ve been talking to different bishops previous to this who would be saying that the burden of safeguarding regulations, financial regulations, charity regulations and data protection regulation has become a huge task, which is totally non-ministerial but absolutely has to be done…” Bishop Nash said.

“Parish administrators, to be effective, would have to be working beside the priest, not for the priest, taking full responsibility within the community for that area of life and there are people who would like that too, who would have skill in that who might not like a public profile. It’s an area for exploration because these regulations are not going to become less, they are going to become more.”

He added: “I’ve come across examples of it in Australia and New Zealand but I think doing it here, it would be a mixture of training people in the practicalities but also to train people for ministry they have to have an understanding of what Church is about. They’re not just administrators.

“It would be giving them a vision of Church as well and low-level knowledge of Canon Law and civil law. I could envisage maybe a one- or two-year training programme with practical experience built-in.”

Read more here – Steering Ferns towards a sustainable future