My brother lives in a village, Ansley, in Warwickshire. The Parish has 4 churches; St Lawrences (which like Bibury Parish Church has a Karl Parsons window), St Wilfreds, St Michaels and St Johns. They had a stipendiary Vicar, the Rev’d Peter Allen who retired in 2015. There followed an interregnum period of 3 years.
In this period their PCC was ‘invited’ by the Coventry dioceses Archdeacon to submit an advert to apply for a replacement Vicar at a cost £1,400.00 (by contrast in their interregnum, Bibury with Winson PCC had been invited to write a ‘Parish Profile’ at no charge). In 2018 a replacement Vicar, the Rev’d John Langlands, was appointed. He was officially only part-time (3 days/week) and paid as a Curate, apparently because he hadn’t fully completed his training. John was ‘retired’ by the diocese in June 2020.
Early this year the future of the Parish was discussed. Church members were told of diocesan plans to extend the Parish boundaries to include Fillongley and Corley, thus adding an extra 4 churches. The diocesan provision to oversee the churches and provide pastoral support to the residents of the villages amounts to half an ordained Vicar. Hubs, led by lay readers, were to be opened in various facilities in the nearby town of Nuneaton (the Myriad scheme).
Aside from the tragic loss of local leadership and pastoral care to those who have filled the diocesan coffers over many years, the glaringly obvious flaws of applying this CofE hare-brained scheme to the area are firstly that there is woefully little parking in Nuneaton so folk who live outside its boundaries have no interest in driving into town for such events. Secondly, the CofE is seemingly totally unaware of the massive housing developments that have grown up around the villages in Warwickshire. Where is the help and spiritual support that the CofE should be offering, through its local parish priests, to the families that have moved to these developments?