Com­mit­tee to re­view Church in Wales

The Church of England - - NEWS -

THE CHURCH in Wales has an­nounced the for­ma­tion of a com­mit­tee tasked with re­view­ing pro­pos­als made by a com­mis­sion chaired by Lord Har­ries, the former Bishop of Ox­ford, to re­form the Welsh parochial sys­tem.

On 10 Jan­uary the Church an­nounced that five mem­bers of the Gov­ern­ing Body, the Church’s gen­eral synod, would “re­view the rec­om­men­da­tions and the re­sponses re­ceived to them, draw up a timetable of ac­tion, act as a li­ai­son point and mon­i­tor progress.”

The di­rec­tor of the Welsh NHS Con­fed­er­a­tion, He­len Big­gin, will chair the com­mit­tee and will be joined by Bishop Andy John of Ban­gor, busi­ness con­sul­tant James Turner, mar­ket re­search pro­fes­sional Nigel King, and the Vicar of Haver­ford­west, the Rev Paul Mack­ness on the com­mit­tee.

On 14 Septem­ber 2012 the Gov­ern­ing Body unan­i­mously ac­cepted a report for a com­mis­sion chaired by Lord Har­ries that pro­posed an over­haul of the lo­cal or­ga­ni­za­tion of the Church.

“The par­ish sys­tem is no longer sus­tain­able,” Lord Har­ries said. “We have to rad­i­cally re­think the way we look at our min­istry, and be­gin with the con­cept of an area min­istry.”

Amongst its 50 rec­om­men­da­tions were the amal­ga­ma­tion of parishes into “min­istry ar­eas”; the em­ploy­ment of a full­time youth worker in each archdea­conry; “cre­ative use” of church build­ings to gen­er­ate in­come and serve the wider com­mu­nity; train­ing lay peo­ple for church lead­er­ship re­spon­si­bil­i­ties; in­vest­ing fi­nan­cial re­sources in youth work; adopt­ing new forms of outreach akin to the Church of Eng­land’s “Fresh Ex­pres­sions”; pro­mote the doc­trine of tithing; cre­ate three ad­min­is­tra­tive cen­tres to serve the Church’s six dio­ce­ses; re­form the process for elect­ing bish­ops; and des­ig­nate the Dio­cese of Llandaff as the per­ma­nent archiepis­co­pal see of the Church in Wales.

Mrs Big­gin’s com­mit­tee is to is­sue its first report to the Fe­bru­ary meet­ing of the Gov­ern­ing Body’s stand­ing com­mit­tee with a full report to be given to the next meet­ing of the Gov­ern­ing Body.

“This is a really ex­cit­ing time for the Church in Wales,” Mrs Big­gin said, as the “Re­view Group has made some rad­i­cal and chal­leng­ing rec­om­men­da­tions, which of­fer great op­por­tu­ni­ties.

“To­gether with an en­thu­si­as­tic team, I am look­ing for­ward to help­ing meet th­ese chal­lenges and de­liver the changes that will en­able the Church to thrive as it serves com­mu­ni­ties through­out Wales.”

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