Archive for February, 2007

Imbalanced clergy

February 26, 2007

Canon Alan Hargrave’s question at General Synod today is a worthy one, and calls for answers not just from Ministry Division, as he requests, but also from those responsible for encouraging ministry in more difficult areas. It raises serious matters.

To summarise Alan Hargrave’s question: There is an imbalance in the number of clergy applicants for clerical posts in places of urban deprivation and isolated rural areas compared to city centre, middle class suburbia and other popular areas of ministry…What is this saying and what is being done about it?’

Well, the answer of course, is very little is being done about it.

There are some significant issues to face – for example, where are curacies offered? Where do colleges or training courses encourage placements? When will senior clergy set an example and live in deprived areas? How will NSMs or readers be encouraged to work in deprived areas? What incentives will the church offer to those willing to sacrifice some aspects of comfortable family life in order to work in deprived or isolated areas? How do we encourage those involved in ministry to move beyond their ‘comfort zone’?


Reorganising questions in Ely Diocese

February 23, 2007

Proposals for reorganisation and deployment of clergy in Ely diocese are often discussed. Indeed, the Church of England as a whole has to look at where its clergy are, and at how society is changing.

However, sometimes one wonders whether those in authority in the church are targeting parishes too much. One wonders whether the questions asked are searching enough.

For example – What proposals are there for a reduction in senior staff and administration in the diocese? How is it proposed that they will contribute more to worship and ministry in parishes? Do those in authority wish to lead by example?

What proposals are there to involve much more closely university, hospital, prison and college chaplains into the life of the diocese? We know the reply will be that they are paid by others, however the Bishop (or a bishop) licenses them and strong encouragement can be put to them to have links with ministries in parishes or appropriate localities.

What steps are being taken to spread out clergy more around the diocese, away from centres such as Cambridge?


What criteria for success / growth are to be applied?




February 22, 2007

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