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Parishes follow general merger trend towards larger units

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

SOEST/BOXMEER Dutch Roman Catholic dioceses are following the trends towards reorganizations and mergers. Eight central Dutch parishes in the area around Soest merged into one large entity, while in southern Dutch city of Boxmeer three local parishes rolled into one. The reasons for such reorganizations are the same throughout the country: a shortage of clergy serving local parishes with declining interest in attending mass, the increasing costs of maintaining monumental buildings and fewer people willing to pay for it. An additional problem is scarcer funding from the government for maintaining buildings on the protected heritage site lists. While graying is a concern as well, most parishes do have a dedicated core of volunteers.