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
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."