On whether, were he to begin his tenure again, he would focus more on the renewal of “the little, the local, the ordinary parishes” rather than “flagship projects”, he said: “I think it has to be a balance. . . What we have to do is find ways of getting the whole Church to live for the flourishing of the whole Church. And that means that certain groups that have very large resources should be encouraged to share those resources very extensively, of people and of leadership and of money, and that involves things like church planting, church grafting, building new churches. We opened more churches last year than we closed. . .
“It also involves for the rural parishes, where they have an enormous weight of buildings, putting a lot of extra support into that and simplifying the bureaucracy of looking after them. And stopping the business of closing parishes and spreading clergy ever more thinly but being more open, I believe, to the ordination of those who are the natural community leaders and who are faithful Christians, so that we aim back towards many more parsons in the parish particularly in the rural areas.
“But we mustn’t forget the outer estates . . . those actually have a huge call on our money and our time and our energy.”
THE evaluation of a project to transform Wigan into a “missional powerhouse” — which entailed the grouping of 33 churches in a single benefice — has reported mixed success after seven years and the spending Read more…