St Mary of the Angels Parish Pastoral Council



Note: The Parish Council is scheduled to shortly review its charter. This charter provides the framework and focus under which the Council operates, and was last formally reviewed eight years ago. Preparatory to this review the Council discussed whether there was a need to immediately address the Council title. The Council’s primary purpose is to provide counsel and support to the Parish Priest, whilst also providing an overview and review mechanism for parishioner views, ideas and issues to be addressed. Members agreed that the focus of pastoral support would be reinforced with a change to the Council title. Parish Council members are acutely aware that they are not charged with addressing issues associated with Parish finances or management. This is the prime focus of the Parish Finance Committee (note: several Council members are on the Finance committee), in concert with the Parish Business Manager and the Parish Priest. Fr Jim Clarke has endorsed this view. Consequently, the Council title has now been revised. In future, the Council will be known as "St Mary of the Angels Parish Pastoral Council".



St Mary's Parish Pastoral Council is the senior advisory body to the Parish Priest which is comprised of members elected from St Mary’s, St Margaret’s, St Robert’s and Christ the King parish communities. It provides an overview and review mechanism for parishioner ideas views and issues to be addressed.


Membership (ex-officio) includes Fr Jim and representatives from the parish primary school principals. Elected members are selected from each of the parish communities which make up the wider St Mary’s community: Christ the King (2 members); St Margaret's (2 members); St Mary's and St Robert's (4 members combined).


Each member is elected for a fixed 2-year period and may serve a maximum of two consecutive 2-year terms (totalling four years). Elections are held annually for half the council members in order to provide continuity of policy and familiarity with ongoing parish initiatives. A further six members may be nominated to serve particular temporary roles within the council: Four by the parish priest, and two by the parish council. These are flexible 2-year positions that may be renewed or re-nominated if required.


The offices of Chairperson and two Deputy Chairpersons are elected by the council from within its membership, and together with the Parish Priest constitute the Parish Council Executive.


Parish Priest: Fr Jim Clarke


Chairperson: Barry Leith

Deputy Chairperson: Brendan Sullivan

Secretary: Nola Schwidlewski

Other Council Members:

Brian Everett (Principal, St Margaret's Primary, East Geelong)

Mark Soldani (Principal, St Roberts Primary, Newtown)

Annice Lappin (Principal, St Mary's Primary, Geelong)

Jose Blackley (Principal, Christ The King Primary, Newcomb)

James McTernan

Maria Monea

Jayson Sandian

Deb Smit

Ian Shawcross