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St Luke's Church, Eccleshill - The Link magazine
The Link is published monthly at 40p (Senior Citizens 35p), and we deliver free within the parish and post copies (at the reader's expense) to those who request it. Please contact us if you would like a free copy for a trial period.
July 2009, Page 8.
Too many chiefs?
This month Iíve drawn the short straw and am down to propose a motion at General Synod:
That this Synod request the Archbishopsí Council to formulate proposals for reductions in the numbers of episcopal and senior clergy posts, taking into account reductions for the numbers of stipendiary clergy since 1979; and submit a report with recommendations to the General Synod within three years.
The C of E system is that any Church Council can send any motion up to Deanery Synod for debate, the Deanery can send it to the Diocese, and the Diocese can send it up to the General Synod. And so this one started in Tong when they were asked to look after Laisterdyke as well as Holme Wood, and they asked: Why should we have to operate with fewer clergy, but dioceses be immune from cuts? Itís a good question.
But itís also hard to see how to cut senior clergy. You canít cut bishops in Bradford - weíre already down to one. You can only Ďcutí archdeacons if you make the whole diocese into one archdeaconry, but then the travelling becomes horrendous. And is it really good for bishops and archdeacons to have to work solo all the time? So should you amalgamate dioceses? Likewise you canít cut back on Deans of cathedrals without cutting cathedrals - but that also means cutting dioceses. So is this a motion to cut dioceses? If so, Bradford, being one of the smallest, will be one of the first to be absorbed or combined with another diocese.
No, Tong didnít mean it like that, and neither does Bradford Diocese. Rather, weíre wanting a proper examination of the way we should be organised and the structures we need to do our job properly. Would bishops work better in teams? Should we have archdeacons at all or would it be better to make them all bishops? Should there be Deans for cathedrals, or should we simply make the diocesan bishop into the vicar of the cathedral as well? Should dioceses decide how many clergy should staff the cathedral, rather than every cathedral automatically getting a dean and two canons? Should there be a more official way of getting some local clergy to oversee others (as rural deans do informally)? Should dioceses use Human Resource Officers or Personnel Officers to look after clergy? - they are, after all, trained for it, which bishops arenít! The Tong Church Council, and the Bradford Diocese, are really asking that this question is properly looked at, instead of us simply continuing with the same number of chiefs when the indians like me on the ground are being reduced.
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This web page was last updated on 22nd June 2009.