7. Parish Databases
Parish Database systems are designed to help the parish staff and volunteers, keep abreast of all the parishioners, which is a large group of people.
Most parish databases are largely used as a record of people's addresses, and for tracking the planned giving program.
In an evangelising parish, there are certain understandings that exist. Let's take for example the understanding that every person should be involved in ministry. The database is then used to see which parishioners are involved in ministry and which are not, therefore enabling the parish staff or volunteers to visit and talk to non-participating parishioners. Where possible, those parishioners should be encouraged to find out their gifts and use them in ministry.
Another understanding in an evangelising parish is that every person who comes to the parish should be properly welcomed. The parish staff or volunteers should use the database system to ensure each new parishioner or parishioner family is visited, becomes involved in ministry and is introduced to people that might become friends within three months of their joining the parish.
The main database products in use in Australia are:
Parish Data System
PDS is the main software product used in NSW and Queensland, and also includes enhancements such as sacramental registers and excellent planned giving processes.
Sandhurst is the main software product used in Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania. It is currently being replaced by a new program known as "Parish."
A Microsoft Access based program is currently in use in a number of parishes in Perth, contact the Archdiocesan Office for details.
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