Holy Martyrs Cluster


The Pastoral Planning Committee and the Holy Martyrs Cluster

In 2012, the Diocese of Norwich formed a series of committees organized by deaneries to help develop plans to restructure the churches within the diocese. Restructuring can take several forms. In the Diocese of Norwich, those would be:

  • Merger – The closing of one or more parishes combining the communities with an already existing parish. The separate canonical structures of the parishes are changed to one entity.
  • Yoking – The pastoral care of two or more parishes is entrusted to one pastor. Each parish maintains its own organizations, committees and finance councils. The canonical structure of the parishes is not changed.

The first step was to cluster parishes into groups to work together. Within the New London Deanery, or geographical area, several clusters of churches were instituted.  St. Agnes Church was joined with St. Matthias Church of East Lyme and St. Paul Church of Waterford to form the Holy Martyrs Cluster.  Each cluster was asked by the diocese to share as many common functions as possible while retaining their own identities.  The Holy Martyrs Cluster shares a Youth Minister, Advent and Lenten missions as well as First Communion and Confirmation ceremonies and a variety of other functions.

The joint Pastoral Planning Committee, composed of representatives and the pastors from all three churches, organizes open information sessions for the three parishes to explain diocesan and local plans and initiatives.  The committee meets on an as needed basis and is appointed by the pastors of all three churches.