Thinking Anglicans

Dioceses Commission recommends collaboration

press release 3 August

Recommendations for collaboration between dioceses shared following consultation

Recommendations outlined following ‘bishops and their ministries’ diocesan stakeholder consultations

The Church of England’s Dioceses Commission has shared outcome themes from a consultation looking at bishops and their ministries, as part of a series of listening exercises exploring how the Church of England can best serve the nation in the 2020s and beyond and make best use of resources.

Recommendations will include suggestions for new collaborations between dioceses in areas such as Net Zero, Racial Justice, Ministry Training and Education, either on a regional level or between a number of dioceses.

The consultation asked diocesan stakeholders for views and suggestions on how dioceses might cooperate to use resources better and on how The Church can best enable the important ministry of suffragan and area bishops, including whether any structural changes should be considered.

In the letter, Dame Caroline Spelman and Martin Seeley, Bishop of St Edmundsbury & Ipswich say that there will not be any centrally-led structural changes to dioceses, or combinations of dioceses as a result of the consultation.

Stakeholders are now invited to join an autumn workshop to look at practical steps for those who are either already leading inter-diocesan collaboration projects, or who are interested in exploring further.

Read the letter here

The Church Times reports this with the headline: No ‘big bang’ restructuring of Church of England dioceses, says Commission.

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Shamus
Shamus
10 months ago

Shock, horror…inter-diocesan collaboration. Surely only 50 years overdue?

Froghole
Froghole
10 months ago

It would appear that some clerical careerists still crave (strange as it may seem) control of ‘baronies’, even if those baronies are increasingly worthless, at least in terms of status and the exercise of tangible power, whether political, moral or financial. What it seems the centre is trying to do via this communication is to reassure the barons (and, perhaps more significantly, their retinues – since the barons are so often here today and gone tomorrow) that the centre still has their backs. They are telling them this because of the pseudo-sacral shibboleth of ‘local autonomy’ (diocesan autonomy matters chiefly… Read more »

David Hawkins
David Hawkins
Reply to  Froghole
10 months ago

Froghole all of us here respect your input very much but on this topic I think you have got it wrong. The problem is that Stalinism begats a Joseph Stalin. A slimmed down and rationalised Church of England would give absolute power to the people who sacked Jasvinder Sanghera and Steve Reeves, a Head of Safeguarding who thinks there is too much emphasis on victims, a former Royal courtier who rules the Church of England like a real Baron and an Archbishop who thinks our church should be managed like an oil company and who clearly thinks the Coronation is… Read more »

Last edited 10 months ago by David Hawkins
Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  David Hawkins
10 months ago

I think that, in many ways you are right. However, the current system also creates the risk of a number of provincial despotisms – we have seen some striking instances of that in the recent past (for instance in Winchester). What I would like to see is a consolidation of assets so that the finances of the Church, which are currently diffused to the point of incomprehensibility, can be scrutinised clearly and by one body: Synod. I should like to see Synod have the ability to veto budgets and so risk putting the centre in financial jeopardy unless and until… Read more »

David Runcorn
10 months ago

This represents a significant change of national church policy away from mergers like Leeds. And it needed the fact-finding/research work this Commission has put in. I am relieved and grateful and think the proposals make sense. Of course a great deal of collaboration is already happening actually. So I think this has been a good process with a good outcome.

Adrian
Adrian
Reply to  David Runcorn
10 months ago

Perhaps it is a considered reflection on the Leeds experience and an evaluation of its success, or lack of thereof. Or perhaps not…

God 'elp us all
God 'elp us all
Reply to  David Runcorn
10 months ago

A couple of thoughts: ‘National church policy’- that’s an interesting reflection- did we have one? ‘Good process’? Perhaps the report will demonstrate the extent and weighing of alternatives I recognise the wish to not repeat the ‘Leeds Experience’. I also recognise your ‘relief’, David. That sounds like the concern referred to by David Liddington (also a victim of ‘preferment’ as reflected in government reshuffles) for those concerned for their loss of position and ‘power’. Was Caroline Spelman part of the government retreat from reorganisations of local government, police, ambulance services and Eric Pickles’ ‘localism’? With whom should for instance Truro… Read more »

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