New Deanery Structure for Broken Bay

By Vicar General
Very Rev Fr David Ranson PP VG

Bishop Anthony has been considering the significance and configuration of the Deaneries of our Diocese since his appointment in 2019.

Throughout 2021 he sought advice from the Council of Priests and was then able to share with all the clergy at their Conference on 4 November 2021 that he would bring to an end the former configuration of Deaneries
and implement a new structure, replacing the five current regions with three:

  • Central Coast
  • North Shore
  • Northern Beaches

Though two of the new Deaneries will increase in size, Bishop Anthony envisages within the Deaneries ‘hubs of shared ministry’ will emerge which provide more personal opportunities for collaboration. These ‘hubs’ will, for example, bring together clergy who relate to a health care facility (e.g. Gosford Hospital) or to a regional College. The Deaneries, themselves, will suggest which ‘hubs’ may be appropriate.

The three Deans for our new Deanery structure bring valued experience and shared mission.

They are;

Fr David Taylor, Dean of the Northern Beaches Deanery
Fr Colin Blayney, Dean of the North Shore Deanery
Fr Brian Moloney, Dean of the Central Coast Deanery

What is a deanery?

From "The pastoral conversion of the Parish community in the service of the evangelising mission of the Church", of the Congregation for the Clergy (20 July 2020):

52. It is necessary to recall here that “to foster pastoral care by means of common action, several neighbouring parishes can be joined together in special groups, such as vicariates forane; these are identified under various headings such as “deaneries”, “pastoral zones” or “prefectures”.

53. The Vicar Forane does not necessarily have to be a Parish Priest of a specific Parish. Furthermore, in order to achieve the purpose for which the vicariate is established, his primary responsibility is “to promote and coordinate common pastoral action in the vicariate”, so that it does not remain a purely formal institution. In addition, the Vicar Forane “is obliged to visit the Parishes of his district in accordance with the arrangement made by the diocesan Bishop]. In order that he may better fulfil his function and promote common activity among Parishes, the diocesan Bishop may confer upon the Vicar Forane other faculties considered appropriate according to the specific circumstances.

Further background can be found in the Code of Canon Law, Canon 555.

Deaneries are an important means of developing a shared mission across parishes within a particular region and to provide fraternal support to the clergy of the region. They provide the means for sharing the experience of ministry and local initiatives, developing possibilities of shared resources, and supporting the exercise of our priestly ministry. The Dean has a particular role to support the pastoral work of the region, and to provide fraternal and spiritual care of the clergy within the Deanery. The Dean will also have a formal role in Bishop Anthony’s Episcopal Visitation of Parishes and be a member of the Council of Deans which will advise Bishop Anthony on clergy personnel matters.

The map below is for illustrative purposes only to show to new Deanery boundaries and the parishes within the Deaneries.