There have been rumours circulating about the future of the Parish System. Now I am not against exploring new ways to ‘do church’ but the Parish System is core. A key anxiety is that new church plants will be funded by dismantling parishes. This needs to be clarified and if true opposed. The past 18 months have proven that when everything else fails, the Parish is still there for us. So the Parish system needs to be both defended but also funded to thrive.
Nye Bevan is said to have once stated "The NHS will last as long as there’s folk with faith left to fight for it". I feel that this also true of our Parish churches. Especially our beautiful rural ones. I remember once being with my family on holiday in the Lake District when we stumbled upon a small unlocked church near Cat Bells. I still remember the smell as we walked in and the perfect peace. It was the first time I ever felt the presence of God. We must defend churches like this. Firstly Diocese should be declaring that they back our Parishes 100% and will do everything they can to avoid church closures. It should be a last resort, not part of the solution. Secondly GS222 must be challenged. Surely making it easier to close churches without consultation and without allowing local people to appeal is just wrong. You can do your bit in defending our churches by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org by 31st October strongly stating your objection. The Save the Parish Campaign have also put together a document that will allow you to go into greater detail if you wish. Thank you for taking the time to object to these worrying proposals.