The following is the text of a press release from ACTA. 

A North London deanery pastoral council and a sharing of good practice in parishes were two proposals discussed by the North London  A Call to Action (ACTA) group last Tuesday.  

Representatives from six parishes in the Camden, Islington, Hackney, Haringey, Enfield and Barnet deaneries heard a report from ACTA’s first national Diocesan Leadership Seminar in Leeds in early May, attended by representatives of 15 dioceses.

The North London group welcomed the fact that Fr Marcus Stock, general secretary of the Catholic Bishops Conference of England & Wales, had represented the bishops at the meeting. It recognised that many good things are going on in parishes in the diocese in the spirit of Vatican II that deserve to be better known, and plans to collect and share information. "We are not a protest group," one member commented.

The group sees itself as part of the process of dialogue in the Church started by Pope Francis, especially by his decision to set up a commission of cardinals to collate ideas for the reform of the Roman Curia.

The North London group is a local response to the ACTA movement brought into being by an open letter from seven priests last June. The North London group defines itself as a local part of ACTA (A Call to Action), who wish to promote a spirit of genuine dialogue and solidarity among lay Catholics, priests and bishops in North London. 

The ACTA Core Group will be meeting next week, and will discuss another national meeting, probably in the autumn. Further information will be available on the ACTA national website:

North London ACTA will have its next meeting on Friday 5 July at 7pm. at St Mellitus Church, Tollington Park, London N4 3AG. Representatives from other parishes are welcome.


On Christmas Day 1961 Pope John XXIII called the Council, which opened in October 1962. So far (May 2011) nothing much has been heard about the celebration of its 50th anniversary: understandably, with the ultramontanist move away from its reforms. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (3rd ed., 1997) noted that "... in practice both collegiality and several other major conciliar themes, such as that of 'the People of God', have made little permanent impact upon the Church as a whole."

This page aims at occasional reports about the impact at parish level of the Council documents or their rejection. 

The story so far. Rashly, we proposed a three year parish renewal based on the principles of the Council and running along with the three year's course of the Council. A few week's later the Pope announced a Year of Faith running from October 2012 until late 2013 with the emphasis on evangelisation. That sounds laudable as far as it goes but rather short of the range of renewal which the Council called for. 

A meeting here has been arranged for 7.30pm on Friday 25th November 2011 by and for interested people. An earlier attempt to do this through the deanery came to nothing. It is to be hoped that the Pope's proposal and a mention of the anniversary by the Archbishop will help to change attitudes. 

At a recent deanery meeting some clergy admitted to that they were hardly born at the time. A question about their memory of how it was taught in their seminaries revealed a certain vagueness. 

At the bottom of this page are two attachments for information. VaticanIIanniversary150811.doc is a sort of agenda for meetings, written by a parishioner. Vatican II and its outcomes is a very good summary  by Brian Davies of the four major conciliar documents. (9 November 2011)

A follow-up meeting failed from poor attendance. That was a wake-up call: only some of the elderly are  interested in nostalgia for 50 years ago. At the February parish council meeting we started on a list of specific parish activities in which we need to catch up with the Council. (18 February 2012)

John O'Leary,
9 Nov 2011, 08:11
John O'Leary,
9 Nov 2011, 08:10