Dear STP Supporter,
Thank you. Thank you for your support, or at the very least for signing up to hear what we’ve been up to at Save the Parish. This has been a movement that has developed very quickly, tying together many different strands of concern. In all honesty, this time last year I didn’t think I would be standing for election for General Synod in 2021, nor that I would be joined by hugely talented writers, lawyers, priests, admirals, academics, and a powerful army of churchwardens, treasurers, PCC members, bellringers, musicians and dozens of others who care passionately for their local church, and the national church to which we all belong.
Since Save the Parish was launched at the beginning of August we dominated the discussion in the national media about the Synod elections and saw over 150 candidates be elected while standing on platforms supportive of our aims.
Proposals to water down legal protections against the shutting down of parish churches, which rejoiced in the unthreatening name of GS2222, were spotted by eagle-eyed members of Save the Parish, explored and explained by a supportive QC, and triggered the largest response to any C-of-E Synod consultation before – more than 1,700 responses were received! We don’t know what the upshot of this will be, but we have fired a very significant shot across the bows that such proposals won’t go through without a fight.
Most importantly, perhaps, we saw a complete change in the narrative over how figures in the national church talk about the church and the parish – even up to the Archbishop of York proudly proclaiming to be a supporter of Save the Parish himself in his address to General Synod. Whether this will manifest itself in a change of direction we have yet to see, but the fact that the central church feels the need to talk up the parish can only be a positive indicator.
There is much to do in 2022 and beyond– most especially in directing money & authority back to local parishes (where it belongs) – but we have made a very good start, and I would like to thank you for the support you have given us.
With many thanks, every blessing for the new year, and on this seventh day of Christmas, a merry Christmas!
-Fr Marcus Walker, on behalf of Save the Parish