Dr Clare Watkins
Dr Clare Watkins gave the main presentation, in which she proposed a view of the Parish as an outward-looking entity, with all its functions focused towards mission.  She reminded us that the Parish has developed as a local organisational reality in response to various contexts - and that our context today is changing rapidly.  The Parish should not be viewed through a clerical lens, with the Parish Priest directing everything.  Instead, the Parish should have an external focus with the laity playing their proper roles in the world, which are according to the Catechism, served by the clergy.  All of the laity, through Baptism, are called to be missionaries and are equipped to respond to the Spirit in the world.   The Eucharist and the other sacraments are not just ends in themselves, rather they are places of empowerment and sending.  The Eucharist must be lived in the world after the celebration, in our daily lives.  Sacramental life is missionary in nature.

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