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Monday, 24 September 2012

Area Ministry: the Business Solution

Map: Wikipedia

Landmark report by Church in Wales recommends replacing parishes with ministry areas: 
"Key recommendations include replacing traditional parishes with "ministry areas" modelled on the catchment areas of secondary schools. Each area could include around 25 parishes." - WalesOnline.

In reality the 'landmark report' only repeats what the Archbishop of Wales forecast back in 2006 in a lecture organised by 'The Christian Centre for Rural Wales' when Dr Morgan said:
  "there are provinces across the Anglican Communion in America, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada and in many dioceses of the Church in England and now in Wales, which have begun to examine the setting up of local ministry teams without diminishing the role of the clergy, but which take the discipleship of all God’s people seriously.  Instead of seeing the Church as a community centred around a priest, the church itself is seen as a corporate body which becomes a ministering congregation.  In other words, it ceases to be a congregation which is ministered to but becomes an active congregation and lives out God’s mission in the world."

So the 'Independent Review' is effectively an endorsement of Barry's plan based as usual on the performance of the failing Episcopal Church of America. In this example of area ministry we have the now familiar liberal agenda in a PowerPoint presentation, a business based solution to confront the shrinking membership of the church.  [Download viewer here if required.]

Those members who have already been active in the Church in Wales, seeking to live God's mission in the world, will be sadly disappointed having responded to their Archbishop's urgings to take part in the Review. Evidently eager to tackle the top heavy structure resulting from severe losses suffered in their church, it was suggested by a clear majority [that has a familiar ring! - Ed] that the number of dioceses be cut to three, no doubt with commensurate reductions in senior posts but while the Review recommends that the number of administrative areas be reduced to three, the seven bishops would remain - even if the number of dioceses is eventually reduced! This was the assessment of the 'independent review':

 15. Dioceses: their number and administration
We have received a wide variety of views on how many dioceses there should be
in Wales, fluctuating wildly between one and the opinion that every deanery
should be a diocese! The majority view was probably that there should be three
or four dioceses, with some re-drawing of boundaries. However, we believe that
this is the wrong time to be changing the number and shape of dioceses. It would
occupy time and energy for the next ten years and distract the church from the
urgent changes which are necessary now, irrespective of the number of
dioceses. The present number and shape of dioceses may not be ideal. If we
were starting again we would have three. However, the present number and
configuration works and we think that the Church should continue, at least for the
next four years, with the present six dioceses. ... These recommendations should be reviewed after three years, with a view to evaluating the effectiveness of the change. At that point a judgement should be made about whether or not the church is best served by six dioceses with three administrative centres, or three dioceses. If the latter, we believe there should still be the same number of bishops as at present, namely seven.

No doubt the seven bishops will be well satisfied that the Lord Harries of Pentregarth managed to produce a report which they think makes the Church in Wales 'fit for purpose'. Actually the Lord Jesus Christ did that long before these revisionists started tinkering with His plan. The consequences for the US Episcopal Church can be read here.

1 comment:

  1. I am afraid that you cannot place a form of gagging order ( a custom of the Welsh media to prevent upsetting Bazzar) on what is seemingly a historical fact that the 'mission area' model was presented and discussed at a provincial level as far back as 1994.

    So also was the issue of a certain parish being able to fund and support its own ministry, until of course, a certain cleric unwittingly stumbled across the scandal of clergy pensions.
    The rest, thanks to Bazzar, became history - the scandalous history of the Church in Wales.

    The conclusion which the Provincial Board of Finance arrived at was this: 'If the parishes of ...........were allowed to do this it would be the end of the Church in Wales as we know it'.

    Apart from a massive spiritual drought under the present bench and leadership in Cardiff, what exactly has changed to make it sound as if Lord Harris happens to be the best thing since slice bread?

    Of the documents that I and many others have seen and read, and which are in the public domain, it appears that Bazzar is playing copycat again. Never let it be said that he doesn't believe in the resurrection. The resurrection of someone else's vision.By heck lad! The name is 'craft' not 'daft'.

    But who knows, he may yet discover a more Christ like direction, which can only be a good thing. If not, then history will find it impossible to identify his remains.

    So, brethren, do not give up on giving up on Bazzar. That Jesus may touch his heart, and the hearts of all bench sitters evrywhere. Amen