“The value of the parish system comes from the fact that it can reach out to all sections of the community across England. Yet, as many of your correspondents have pointed out, the parish system is under threat – not, as you might imagine, from external forces, but from within.

Due to financial pressures there is a move in many dioceses to accelerate the closure of parish churches, including many in rural areas, and move to bigger parishes (with some being described as “super parishes”), and reduce the number of clergy. These moves fly in the face of all the evidence, which clearly demonstrates that once you remove the “local” from a community, support in all its forms drops away.”

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