Campaigners from the group Save the Parish today celebrate one year since the formation of their group.One year ago today, the Rev’d Marcus Walker gathered members of the Church of England at his church in London. With an audience of over 200 in person and thousands online, he, alongside the Rev’d Prof. Alison Milbank and the Rev’d Stephen Trott launched a campaign for General Synod, with people committing to stand under the banner “Save the Parish.”
"The Archbishop’s interrogator was Canon Giles Fraser, Vicar of St Anne’s, Kew, and a member of the Save the Parish steering committee. He spoke of “anxiety that the centre of gravity is shifting away . . . as clergy numbers have been cut and parishes become more and more amalgamated and bigger, and that there are more and more people around the diocesan photocopier doing jobs that we don’t understand, and this creates a sort of crisis of trust.” This generated loud applause."
Campaign group Save the Parish (STP) last week (Thurs 7th July) held their summer conference in York, a day before the General Synod kicked off. STP attracted over 100 attendees to their event at All Saints’ Pavement in the city centre, which hosted the Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell after a last minute change to the running order.
"The combined scent of damp hymn books, dahlias slightly past their best, candlewax, Brasso and Victorian radiators: breathing in this intoxicating smell is one of the delights of living in England, with its 12,500 parish churches at the heart of every village and town. To press down the latch and feel the church door opening rather than remaining stubbornly shut is one of life’s great reassurers."
"Over the last couple of difficult years, the parishes have proved themselves full of courageous and generous insurgents. Church House and the dioceses less so. The parish system in this country is a deeply embedded capillary network of neighbourliness and personal relationships. But Church House and the dioceses no longer seem to view it as vigorous and life-sustaining.
In an exciting, last-minute addition to their plans- Stephen Cottrell, the Archbishop of York- is to attend a conference event hosted by campaign group Save the Parish (STP) this week in York. The conference- which is to take place this Thursday (7th July)- is billed as a day to “hear from and meet with those on the STP team, listen to some excellent presentations by friends of the campaign, and get to know fellow supporters.” It is hoped it will be a ‘rallying cry’ for the Parish campaign one day before this summer’s General Synod.