In the year 2000 the two parishes of Epping and Carlingford entered a common relationship through the sharing of a single Parish Priest. Over the next six or seven years the parishes entered a process of increasing collaboration and sharing of resources and pastoral programmes, including the sharing of a common parish staff. In July 2007 the two parishes formally became one parish with the name of The Catholic Parish of Epping and Carlingford. In the model we are following however we still retain two distinct (though of course collaborating and cooperating) communities within our single parish structure the communities gathered around our two parish churches of St Gerard's at Carlingford and Our Lady Help of Christians' at Epping.

For more information about our way of working as two communities within one parish please click here.

Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Times

Dear Parishioners,

Today’s bulletin contains a summary of the main “ingredients” contained in a brief which will be included in material given to those interested in working with us in developing the parish site at Epping. This material, as many of you would know, was presented and discussed at our last parish forum and subsequently a summary was made available in the churches for parishioners who were unable to attend the meeting to take home and provide feedback if they so wished.

However, to ensure everyone has in fact seen the material and had a final opportunity to provide any further feedback, I am including another summary in this week’s bulletin. Obviously much discussion and work will need to take place to see if all “ingredients” of the brief are viable but I want to ensure, as much as possible, everyone has been consulted before we go out to the market and progress to the next step.

Secondly, as you may be aware Broken Bay systemic Catholic schools receive the majority of their funding from Commonwealth and NSW governments which is supplemented by tuition and school based fees. Together government grants and school fees pay for the staff and running costs of our schools.

Mr Peter Hamill, Director of Schools in Broken Bay Diocese has recently written to all parents and caregivers of students in our Catholic systemic schools: “Over recent years there have been changes in the funding arrangements for non-government schools. The Gonski Review of Funding for Schooling recommended changes to the way that Australian schools were to be funded. In 2013 the Commonwealth government enacted the Australian Education Act. The legislation increased funding for government and most non-government schools. It also increased the proportion of funds for schools with students from low Socio-economic Status (SES) areas, students with special needs, those who are indigenous or who attend small schools or schools in isolated parts of the country.

The Act also requires school authorities to take account of the relative financial capacity of each individual school community. This is known as the ‘capacity to contribute.’ Schools whose parents live in higher SES suburbs are expected to make a greater contribution.

As a result there is a need for differentiated fee increases within the Broken Bay Diocese. It is with reluctance that I inform you of this increase in tuition fees.

It is recognised that the percentage increase in fees for 2017 in many cases is several times greater than what would normally occur in any one year.

For some of our schools this rise in tuition fees will be more marked than in others. I would encourage any parent who is concerned at these changes to speak to either myself or one of our school principals.

Fr Peter
This week's parish bulletin
(For urgent or late notices not available when the bulletin was printed please click on Stop Press)