At the moment Ascent is gradually fading away. I heard one piece of good news today, however, that the Ascent group in Scarborough has rejoined, but two have closed including the only one in Liverpool and two have merged so there has been an overall loss of two groups but Ascent in general is gradually declining with other groups losing their oldest members and not replacing them.
With an ageing population, and other organisations for the retired and semi-retired like U3a - the University of the Third Age growing, Ascent should be too.
What is there not to like? An organisation specially for Catholics which is not just concerned with spiritual matters, but also with friendship and mission should be appealing to far more people. Our group has social events, fundraising for local and other Catholic charities but it isn't expensive to be a member and to take part and, unlike some other Catholic organisations, one doesn't have to be invited to join or attend dinner dances so we should have wider appeal!
I regularly talk to parishioners who are in the right age range for Ascent, but why is no attempt being made to spread Ascent into the dioceses which have no Ascent groups at all? Is it because the wider church does not know that such an organisation as Ascent exists, or that the message is not being heard?
Can I appeal to the National President, and the National and Regional Committees, to get some active promotion going? I know that we have some very supportive clergy but we need to get the word out to the diocesan bishops and local deaneries and for them to know who to contact. I would be quite happy to speak to places within an hour or two's drive but we do need to have an information pack and good enquiry link pages on the national website.