Diocese in Europe

by
13 July 2012

THE Draft Diocese in Europe Measure returned for revision.

Robert Key (Salisbury) suggested that the Anglican community in Europe "works in a way that puts us to shame in many respects". The self-financing was "remarkable". The Church owed it to this community to "help modestly" with finances, and to change the balance of governance to empower people in the diocese's chaplaincies. It was a "good Measure" that the Synod should support.

The Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe, Dr Geoffrey Rowell, was "greatly heartened by the expedition with which bringing the Measure to Synod has passed through these processes". The diocese in Europe, the largest in the C of E, had since 1980 doubled in congregation size to 300 congregations and 160 clergy. It was "at the forefront of many of our ecumenical relations". Nevertheless, because it was "not always easy" to provide stipendiary funding for ordinands, many of those with "highly interesting European backgrounds" came to serve in England. He wanted to remind the Church of England of the wider context of Europe. It was a diocese concerned with mission, which wanted to provide "free-standing archdeacons in mission" rather than have those who were, at the moment "stretched".

It served not only British expats, but a range of people "who choose to worship with us".

Gavin Oldham (Oxford) said that he was "full of admiration for the work and ministry of the diocese in Europe", but, "as matter of prin- ciple", he continued to believe that it was "not the role of the Church Commissioners to fund churches on the continent of Europe". He encouraged others to join him in rejecting the Measure.

The Archbishop of York, Dr Sentamu, praising the Bishop in Europe for moving the diocese in a "creative" and "mission-minded" direction, argued that the C of E money "belongs to the rest of us": "We are guardians of that fund." The Bishop in Europe sat in the House as an equal member. He hoped that members of the Synod would "fully back" the Measure.

The Bishop of Peterborough, the Rt Revd Donald Allister, said the diocese in Europe's clergy served "in situations which we would find it hard to imagine". The diocese in Europe was "part of our Church. . . We ought to be supporting it in the same way we would our own."

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