What factors influence the need for reorganisation?
- Diocesan Initiatives such as Generous Churches Making and Nurturing Disciples and Deanery plans
- Local requirements (boundary simplification, churches pooling resources)
- Increasing deployment of self-supporting, part time, and lay ministry
- Decreasing congregations and problems with church buildings
What kinds of reorganisation are there?
There are various different forms of reorganisation depending on what is right for local circumstances. These include:
- Uniting benefices
- Uniting parishes
- Altering boundaries and names
- Creating team or group ministries
- Church closure (where appropriate)
Sometimes pastoral reorganisation will also involve changes to patronage and a review of housing provisions.
What is involved?
When reorganisation is being considered a meeting will be held to discuss the way forward with the PCC and the Archdeaconry Pastoral sub committee, chaired by the Archdeacon. In cases involving the possible closure of a church, a public meeting is held also involving local people and other interested parties.
When draft proposals have been agreed they are reported to the Diocese’s Pastoral and Mission Committee. The pastoral team at the Diocesan Office then draw up the proposals and sent them out to PCCs, clergy, patrons, rural dean and deanery lay chairs in a two part consultation. The proposals are recommended to the Archbishop and, if there is general agreement, the proposals are brought into effect by means of a Pastoral Scheme or Order. As a rough guide this process takes about 9 months, but can be longer.
Usually the patron’s right of presentation to the benefice is suspended until the process is complete. This means that during this period the patron cannot “present” a priest to be vicar or rector. Instead the Archbishop licenses a priest to be Priest in Charge, which gives more flexibility for discussions to tale place. There's more information on this in a document below.
What should I do if I need advice?
Contact either your Archdeacon, or Shirley Davies on 01904 699500, or Angus Deas on 01904 699507, and they will be pleased to help.