Friday, July 20, 2012

The Church in Wales: radical overhaul on the cards?

The Church in Wales has just published a radical report on how to restructure for the future. The BBC report on it has this helpful summary:

The review's findings have been compiled in a report which makes 50 recommendations, including:
  • Replacing parishes with larger "ministry areas", each containing around 25 parishes, which would mirror the catchment areas of secondary schools, where possible. They would be served by a team of clergy and lay people. The report said that small parishes are no longer sustainable, with some priests having to serve as many as 10 parishes, "with all the extra attendance at meetings and administration this involves".
  • Training lay people to play a greater part in church leadership.
  • Engaging more with young people by working more closely with all schools, not just church schools, along with using social media and training people in the church who can relate to them
  • Developing new forms of worship to reach out to those unfamiliar with church services, such as holding them at times other than Sunday morning, perhaps in other buildings like schools.
  • Using some church buildings for use by the whole community, while possibly closing others that are not needed.
  • Selling parsonages so that clergy can buy or rent their own homes.

The review group included a former CofE bishop, and entrepreneur and author Charles Handy. The press release from the Church in Wales is here, and gives more background and details on the report.
Thanks to a link from Thinking Anglicans, my post on restructuring the CofE 'The Leading of the 5,000', this week became the most viewed and most commented on piece I've ever blogged.  It's good to see that a similiar denomination is having these thoughts before it's too late to do anything about them. Are you watching CofE?
Sermon prep and other commitments mean I won't be reading and blogging in depth about the Wales report for a few days, but if you want to beat me to it, please go ahead, it'll save me a few hours work!!
Archdruid Eileen has further, um, 'comment'.


  1. I don't know if these are the right solutions for the Church of Wales - and the Church of England context is significantly different anyway. But I do find it tremendously energising that serious commissions are now ready to make this sort of proposal.

  2. Why one priest for 10 parishes? Why not 30 priests and 30 deacons, making 3 each, and the present "one priest" to train them, and perhaps be their bishop?