Parish Merger Survey January 2024
Feedback from St. Winefride’s and Our Lady of the Angels
Overview and analysis by Mark Hessey - St. Winefride’s, Shepshed &
Sean Hale – Our Lady of the Angels, East Leake.
Total Number of Respondents 110
66 respondents from St Winefride’s
44 respondents from Our Lady of the Angels
Question 1:
We will be retaining the two existing church names and create a new overall parish name.
a) What impact do you envisage this having on you personally?
Overall Summary: 35 responses indicated that the merger would have very little impact on
them personally. Several people across both churches indicated that because of the
proposed Mass times they would need to consider attending Mass elsewhere.
Feedback from St. Winefrides
17 people said that it would have no impact on them at all.
12 people said that the distance to travel to East Leake would mean they would
not travel to East Leake to go to mass etc.
The proposed mass time change to 09.00am on a Sunday would mean that
some parishioners who were dependent upon carers or had work issues could
not guarantee they would go to mass at that time.
Several people mentioned attending Mount St. Bernards or going into
Loughborough instead.
The choir, due to health needs, work requirements or other commitments, felt
they would not be able to continue if the Sunday Mass moved to 09.00am.
The feeling was that the parish priest would be too busy to know the parishioners
It was mentioned that there would need to be a robust enquiries and
emergencies facility.
Feedback from Our Lady of the Angels
18 people felt it would have minimal or no impact on them personally.
The proposed 4.00pm Saturday Mass time was of concern to some people who
felt they would probably look for Masses elsewhere but not Shepshed.
b) What impact do you think it will have on your existing parish community?
Overall Summary: 12 of the responses across the 2 churches indicated that there wouldn’t
be major negative impact on the existing parish communities. However, concerns were
raised about potential fragmentation due to people choosing to go to Masses at other
Feedback from St. Winefrides
3 people thought that there would be very little or no impact.
Transportation to and the lack of parking at East Leake was highlighted as a
reason people would not be travelling to East Leake and would rather go to
churches that were perceived as nearer such as the Monastery or in
The overall feeling was that the priest would be very busy, and this would
eventually result in reduced numbers of masses, people going to other parishes
and an eventual decline in Shepshed as a parish.
Alternatives suggested included, move priests from academic work to parish life,
more on-line masses, have a Deacon at St. Winefride’s as well (is he going to be
shared?), reduction to 3 masses over the weekend over the 2 parishes.
The choir would eectively disappear at St. Winefrides.
The travelling between the 2 parishes would mean that the priest would not be
able to attend or stay for coee mornings.
There would be a reduction in weekday masses.
Feedback from Our Lady of the Angels
9 responses indicated that there would be little or no impact on the existing
parish community.
Some people were concerned about a potential fragmentation of the
community they currently feel a part of. This was mainly relating to the 4.00pm
Mass time resulting in people going to Mass elsewhere.
c) Do you think the merger will bring any benets?
Overall Summary: Generally speaking, most people couldn’t perceive or were unsure about
any benets. Some people identied that there could be new ideas, nancial savings, new
friendships made, with more social events and more spiritual ties created.
Feedback from St. Winefrides
18 people thought that there would be no benets at all.
13 people were unsure about any benets.
There was support for it in that there could be new ideas, nancial savings, new
friendships made, with more social events and more spiritual ties created.
The biggest benet mentioned was that it would keep the churches open.
Having 2 churches gave people more exibility as to which mass to attend.
Feedback from Our Lady of the Angels
Whilst very few people indicated positive impact, some did recognise that there
may be opportunities in the new arrangement e.g.: a new approach, single
administrative processes and for people to come together socially.
d) Do you think the change may cause some diiculties?
Overall Summary: Main concern raised was around the geographical distance between the 2
churches and lack of public transport. Concerns were also raised about the availability of the
Feedback from St. Winefrides
The availability of transport and the availability of the priest were the 2 biggest
There were questions about how that would aect the nancial and
administration of the parishes, including whether that meant if there would be 1
or 2 Diocesan parish fees.
Diering Mass times were also provided – especially for Sunday morning at 9.30
or leaving it as it is, with East Leake having a later mass.
The role of Deacon Keith was questioned and whether he could do the masses
at East Leake instead, whether he could and is he going to be shared across the
2 parishes.
Feedback from Our Lady of the Angels
A number of people felt that building a new single parish community would be
problematic due to the distance between East Leake and Shepshed and the lack
of any convenient public transport.
With some people considering leaving the parish there may be impacts on
Question 2: Mass times
Overall Summary: The proposed 4.00pm Saturday Mass did generate some unfavourable
feedback. Issues around the change to a 9.00am Sunday morning Mass at Shepshed with the
Choir members. Strong indication that people would not be prepared to travel between East
Leake and Shepshed or vice-versa to attend Masses.
Feedback from St. Winefrides
33 for Saturday @ 6.00pm
19 for Sunday @ 9.00am
The rest abstained or said that they would not come to either church.
Feedback from Our Lady of the Angels
12 for Saturday @ 4.00pm
28 for Sunday @ 11.00am
The rest abstained or said that they would not come to either church.
Question 3: What level of ministry would you like to see outside the weekend Masses (e.g.
Confessions, weekday Masses, Christmas and Easter Masses, Sacraments etc)?
Overall Summary: A signicant majority of people wanted to maintain the current levels of
ministry they experience. There was some recognition that services at Easter and Christmas
would need to be shared. Access to sacrament of reconciliation appeared to be less
Feedback from St Winefrides
The vast majority of people (29) wanted no change to the existing arrangements.
7 asked for guaranteed masses at Christmas and Easter.
A further 10 asked for weekends and Holy Days of Obligation (as generally they
didn’t come at other times) with a further 3 also asking for the HDoO’s and 3
wanted just the weekends. (I think that his should be all lumped together, with
people just expecting to come at the weekend and for HDoO’s.)
Other options included on-line services, more lay people being trained to deliver
the sacraments, priest needed for funerals, sacraments (reconciliation
mentioned), using Deacon Keith and asking the Deanery for more help.
Feedback from our Lady of the Angels
50% of the respondents (23) indicated that they would like the current
arrangements to continue.
4 asked for Masses at Christmas and Easter to be available.
4 people requested that confession was available on a regular basis.
2 respondents specically requested Masses on Holy days of Obligation.
Question 4: What are your views on Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist carrying out
weekday services/Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament etc when a priest is not available?
Overall Summary: There was generally good support for the Extraordinary Ministers of Holy
Communion taking weekday services in the absence of the priest.
Feedback from St. Winefride’s
There was a lot of support (about 2/3rds) for Eucharistic ministers providing
services in the absence of a priest.
6 said that they would support it only in cases where a priest was not available.
7 said they were not in favour of using Eucharistic Ministers in this way.
There were concerns that if the parishes moved to this model, there would need
to be more Eucharistic Ministers, as several of them work and they would not be
able to pick up many more activities.
One suggestion was that they let women and married men become priests – but
this falls outside of the remit of this survey.
Feedback from Our Lady of the Angels
Almost unanimous support for the use of Eucharistic Ministers providing
services in the absence of a priest. This is already the case in East Leake.