“What we vicars need is a bishop who, like an elder sibling will swoop into our parishes and help sort out nonsense, and if required (safeguarding rules permitting) give us a hug. Bishops should be able to hang around in a parish for a few days, not just a few hours. In my mind a bishop should be to the vicarage family like a grandparent who says to the vicar and his wife, “You are overworking, so tonight I’ll look after the kids so you two can go off to the cinema.””
“[The archbishops] must also follow up on their commitment to consider what I think is fundamentally wrong with the parish system: there are too many dioceses. It is impossible to justify the present 42 when, 200 years ago, in the Church’s heyday, there were 26.”
Ahead of expected details about the upcoming Triennial Budget to be published by the Archbishops’ Council, campaigners from the grassroots group Save the Parish say they are looking forward to the budget reflecting the Archbishops’ statements in support of the parish system.
A new Cornish campaign group has called on the Bishops of Truro and St Germans to stop wasting vast sums of money on bloated administration and failing high-cost new schemes while they are imposing brutal cuts to clergy and churches across the county.
The Church Commissioners are accountable to Parliament. The General Synod is a devolved administration whose legislation (Measures) have to be approved by Parliament. One manifestation of this constitutional arrangement is that Parliamentary Questions can be asked of the Church Commissioners. This is done through the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Andrew Read more…
“Meanwhile, the 17 parishes struggle to reach an agreement on any benefice-wide issues. Just getting representation from 17 PCCs in one room at the same time is an achievement.An equitable division of our benefice’s parish share request around all the parishes is still not agreed upon after years of trying.”
“Where is the accountability for such mismanagement? The Bishop of Grimsby is quoted as saying that Lincoln plans more clergy reductions, despite its being “the diocese that proved that cutting stipendiary clergy is disastrous”. Rather than embark on more restructuring of parishes, perhaps this diocese should be put into special measures, whereby (i) its bureaucracy is put into the hands of a financially competent diocese, (ii) all the ordained staff from Church House, including archdeacons, are put into parishes, and (iii) the space thereby made vacant in Church House is let out.”
“The story of our parish is echoed around the deanery. Last week, a visitor told me that none of the churches in Wigan were happy. I can believe this. Revolution is in the air.”
“Even the Church of England’s 2021 paper GS 2222 acknowledged (para. 35) that “Anecdotal evidence from Wales suggests a super-parish type model has not worked well.” It added “but there is an absence of hard data.” Where is there any empirical evidence that mega-parishes are more viable and sustainable than the local parish system?”
It is said that we tend to undervalue that with which we are most familiar but in our small parish (about 150 inhabitants) thanks to the foresight of the Diocese and especially the vision of one Archdeacon, we have learned afresh the importance of the traditional parish system which has, for centuries, given the church a foothold in every community.