Find out more about the discussions on parish configuration and clergy deployment in our diocese…
Our Synod Acta (available here) under Charter Point 8 (Structures) commits us to ensure our diocesan structures are apt for evangelisation and lay participation in times to come.
Specifically, it asks us to consider the configuration of our parishes and the deployment of our clergy. It asked if we now have too many parishes relative to our lower number of priests and if they are in the right places given so many ongoing local population shifts? It suggested we may need to make changes to allow us opportunities for real growth in coming years?
With the Synod’s call for a diocesan plan for growth, our priests met with Bishop John last week in an Assembly of Clergy to begin discussion on this issue. We agreed it should be a matter for the people at the local level to try to discern, deliberate and come up with their own workable solutions, rather than for the bishop to bring forward proposals from above. We also agreed that the people should be approached in open meetings during 2108 to consider the issues and come up with local plans for the generation ahead.
We felt that transparency and good communication were paramount and decided that a Bishop’s letter in January 2018, in line with the Synod’s requirement for good consultation with the laity and for good processes of dialogue and discussion, would be the next immediate step.