*** DEBUG START ***
*** DEBUG END ***

Cuts in parochial ministry in Southwark diocese

by
11 January 2013

iStock

From the Revd Marcus P. M. Stewart
Sir, - You report (News, 4 January) that Southwark diocese has proposed a stipendiary-clergy reduction of 30 by 2017 (10 per cent). This appears in a November 2012 report; yet, in December, two archdeacons were appointed to fill a complement of six (their stipends being more than a third more than parish priests'); and there are four bishops. Reduction of these senior posts has been rejected.

Parish clergy will find it breathtaking that only parish posts are to be cut. The total number of stipendiary parish clergy reduces every year, according to church statistics, and yet the number of dignitaries remains constant, and Oxford, for example, is appointing an additional archdeacon. This is a disgrace.

Southwark is an obvious candidate for episcopal and archidiaconal reduction. "Archdeacons continue to play a vital role in encouraging and equipping the Church's mission and ministry and it would be wrong . . . to reduce their number," it states.

Parish priests are bound to ask why, apparently, they matter less in the "vital role" - particularly as it is they who generate funding. Senior staff complain that they are relatively busy, owing to common-tenure administration - a self-inflicted burden that has, in any case, been assuaged by the appointment of HR officers. Another self-inflicted wound was the Clergy Discipline Measure - a sledgehammer to crack a nut. This has added hugely to central expense.

Parishioners and clergy need to be asking some hard questions.

MARCUS STEWART
Highgate, 29 Callis Court Road
Broadstairs CT10 3AH

Browse Church and Charity jobs on the Church Times jobsite

Letters to the editor

Letters for publication should be sent to letters@churchtimes.co.uk.

Letters should be exclusive to the Church Times, and include a full postal address. Your name and address will appear below your letter unless requested otherwise.

Forthcoming Events

 

Church Times/RSCM: 

Intercultural Church for a Multicultural World

28 May 2024

A Church Times/Church House Publishing webinar

Tickets are FREE

 

Church Times/Modern Church:

A Political Faith?

Monday 3 June 2024

This panel will explore where Christians have come to in terms of political power and ask, where should we go next?

Online tickets available

 

Church Times/Modern Church:

Participating in Democracy

Monday 10 June 2024

This panel will explore the power of voting, and power beyond voting.

Online tickets available

 

Green Church Awards

Closing date: 30 June 2024

Read more details about the awards

 

Church Times/Canterbury Press:

Festival of Preaching

15-17 September 2024

The festival moves to Cambridge along with a sparkling selection of expert speakers

Early bird tickets available

 

 

The Church Times Archive

Read reports from issues stretching back to 1863, search for your parish or see if any of the clergy you know get a mention.

FREE for Church Times subscribers.

Explore the archive

Welcome to the Church Times

 

To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)