Executive Summary

Executive Summary

Prepared for the people of the Diocese of Broken Bay

The Pastoral Discernment Central Coast (PDCC) Project was initiated by Bishop Anthony Randazzo in August 2021, to engage the people of the Central Coast in a synodal journey. This Executive Summary provides the key findings from Phases 1 and 2 of the project, in preparation for writing the final report. Phase 1 was concerned with correlating statistical data on the Central Coast. Phase 2 invited personal and communal consultation.

A Pastoral Reference Group was established to provide guidance for the discernment process. The final report will be compiled and presented to Bishop Anthony Randazzo in June 2022 for his consideration. Subsequent to the Bishop’s response to the Report, a task group will be established for the implementation phase of the project. The project themes and process have drawn on the language and ideas presented for the 2023 Synod of Bishops.


The data collected through out Phase 1 of the project has been sourced from the following areas.

  • Australian Bureau of Statistics
  • CatholicCare
  • Catholic Schools Broken Bay
  • Catholic Schools NSW
  • Central Coast Local Health District
  • Education Services Australia
  • NCLS Research
  • NSW Central Coast Aboriginal Community
  • NSW Government
  • The Diocese of Broken Bay
  • Mass attendance data from the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference National Count of Attendance 2001, 2006, 2011, 2016, and 2021 and 2022..


The people of the Diocese of Broken Bay were invited throughout Phase 2 to provide feedback through participation in the PDCC synodal journey. Submissions opened January 31, 2022, and closed March 31, 2022. Fifty-Two submissions were received, and approximately 1500 people engaged in the listening and dialogue consultations. Seven major themes emerged and are summarised below:

pdcc-icon-01 Inclusion and dialogue: there was a strong desire for a Church that is welcoming, inclusive, and non-judgemental, particularly when journeying with young people and vulnerable members of the community. There was also a desire for opportunities that enable ongoing listening and dialogue.
pdcc-icon-02 Youth: many submissions expressed a strong desire for increased support, services, and opportunities for youth, and young families, on the Central Coast, across all parishes and communities in the region.
pdcc-icon-03 Customs and Practices, including Liturgy: many responders felt a desire for a change and application of the liturgy to assist with re-engaging young families and young people, such as through the review of music. It was identified by some participants that the Central Coast community ‘lacks Catholic Identity and Culture’, with a sense that this needs to be strengthened.
pdcc-icon-04 Building Community: there was a desire for greater connection between the various arms of the Diocese, which was a common theme expressed by schools, parishes, and CatholicCare. Responders felt that an increased presence of both Clergy and school staff across each of the communities would help to build community and relationships across communities.
pdcc-icon-05 Social Outreach: some responders felt that there needs to be avenues and ways for Social Justice initiatives to be strengthened, promoted, and supported on the Central Coast, working beyond ‘what’s on our doorstep’, with support from Parish Leaders and Diocesan staff to initiate this work.
pdcc-icon-01 Community Resourcing: many responders called for additional resourcing to assist and provide guidance for the many ministries across the Coast, both those in schools and parishes. There was a strong desire for a Central Coast team dedicated to supporting ‘on the ground’ work in parishes and school communities to accompany, those who are less fortunate and vulnerable.
pdcc-icon-02 Difficulties of the Past and Present: historical abuse and wrongdoings of the past were identified throughout the submissions as an area of great pain and hurt. Responders also identified the difficulties that COVID has presented and the many social and complex challenges that people on the Central Coast face.



In addition to these emergent themes a number of particular considerations have been identified that require pastoral attention:

  • The need for pastoral response to families with children with special needs
  • The presence of Corrective Services facilities at Kariong for which there is no Diocesan involvement
  • The level of domestic violence on the Central Coast
  • Mental health and housing affordability on the Central Coast
  • The unique combination of school and parish at Warnervale
  • Particular parish questions of financial viability