Reform and Renewal in every generation Diocese of Rochester

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1 Reform and Renewal in every generation Diocese of Rochester Rev Angus MacLeay and Mr Philip French, General Synod Rochester Diocesan Synod, Saturday 14 th March 2015 with thanks to: David Jennings, Resource Strategy & Development Unit, National Church Institutions William Fittall, Secretary-General, General Synod 14 March 2015 ROCHESTER DIOCESAN SYNOD 1

2 1. The challenge facts, figures and projections 2. The vision Discipleship (GS1977) Resourcing Ministerial Education (GS1979) Discerning and Nurturing Senior Leaders (GS1982) 3. The mechanics Simplification (GS1980) Resourcing the Future (GS1978) Church Commissioners' Funds (GS1981) 14 March 2015 ROCHESTER DIOCESAN SYNOD 2

3 1. The Challenge - a national perspective The average decline in Church attendance has been 1.3% per annum for the past 30 years. The average parish in the Church of England has 79 people attending. This means that the average parish has been declining by around one person per year. The average age of our congregations is more than ten years older than that of the population as a whole. 14 March 2015 ROCHESTER DIOCESAN SYNOD 3

4 C of E Age Profile trend 60 Average Age (All Age Groups) yrs (estimate) (estimate) Church Census England All UK National Data 14 March 2015 ROCHESTER DIOCESAN SYNOD 4

5 Attendance Projections - Rochester 35,000 Rochester Parishes 30,000 25,000 20,000 15,000 10,000 5,000 Growth Steady State Decline 0 Assumed rates of net new members in Growth Scenario : Ages 18-25: 3%; Ages 26-45: 2%; Ages 46-55: 1% Ages 56-65: 0.5%; Over 65: Nil Under the Steady State Model the number of new entrants at age 18 remain at 2007 level, otherwise no losses other than through death. Under the Decline Model the number of new entrants at age 18 declines at a rate of 1% pa; above age 18 net leavers by age follow trends from the previous 8 years. 14 March 2015 ROCHESTER DIOCESAN SYNOD 5

6 Is the ambition realistic? 14 March 2015 ROCHESTER DIOCESAN SYNOD 6

7 Stipendiary Clergy Projections 14 March 2015 ROCHESTER DIOCESAN SYNOD 7

8 Clergy Projections: Rochester Newly Ordained Stipendiary Clergy Average Age 42.9 Number per year 5.0 Average Age (2012): 52.9 Average Age (2021): 54.4 Average age at retirement Age Distribution of Stipendiary Clergy March 2015 ROCHESTER DIOCESAN SYNOD 8

9 2. The Vision Discerning and Nurturing Senior Leaders (GS1982) A. What do we want our leaders to do? B. How are we going to train them beforehand for these roles? 14 March 2015 ROCHESTER DIOCESAN SYNOD 9

10 2. The Vision Discerning and Nurturing Senior Leaders (GS1982) The intention of the programme is to enhance the priestly and prophetic, theological and apostolic ministries of those called to demanding leadership roles in the Church, forming them more deeply in their responsibility to shepherd - in ways that are properly collegial those churches, communities and organisations under their care and to lead them in the mission to which the Church is called. 14 March 2015 ROCHESTER DIOCESAN SYNOD 10

11 2. The Vision Resourcing Ministerial Education (GS1979) The Church of England as a whole needs to make a significant shift from a passive approach to vocations work to a proactive approach to seeking the numbers and quality of candidates the Church requires. How effective and cost effective is our present ministerial education? 14 March 2015 ROCHESTER DIOCESAN SYNOD 11

12 2. The Vision Resourcing Ministerial Education (GS1979) Our vision as a Task Group is to see: every minister equipped to offer collaborative leadership in mission and to be adaptable in a rapidly changing context a cohort of candidates for ministry who are younger, more diverse and with a wider range of gifts to serve God s mission An increase of at least 50% in ordinations on 2013 figures sustained annually from 2020 the rapid development of lay ministries a continued commitment to an ordained and lay ministry which serves the whole Church both geographically and in terms of church tradition. 14 March 2015 ROCHESTER DIOCESAN SYNOD 12

13 2. The Vision Developing Discipleship (GS1977) A revised Catechism The present Catechism is a faithful summary of Anglican belief yet is written primarily as a resource for children growing up into the faith in a predominantly Christian society rather than as a resource for children and adults aiming to live out their discipleship in a complex and changing world. 14 March 2015 ROCHESTER DIOCESAN SYNOD 13

14 2. The Vision Developing Discipleship (GS1977) Ten marks of a diocese committed to developing disciples 1. A lifelong journey of discipleship and growth in Christian maturity 2. The importance of discipleship in daily life is affirmed 3. Gatherings for worship celebrate the discipleship of all the baptised 4. Disciples are equipped to help others to become followers of Jesus 5. Diocesan work on vocations is based on all the baptised are called 6. Good practice in facilitating learning and formation is developed 7. Gifts of leadership are recognised and developed among all 8. Innovation and experiment are encouraged 9. Specific diocesan policies and plans promote discipleship development 10. Diocesan resources are committed for the whole people of God. 14 March 2015 ROCHESTER DIOCESAN SYNOD 14

15 3. The Mechanics Simplification (GS1980) The Simplification report, the product of a Task Group led by the Bishop of Willesden, proposes a wide range of changes to the Church s rule-book, valuing missionary licence over excessive regulation. Amongst the reforms proposed are: easier means to make fixed-term appointments (e.g. for turnaround interventions in failing parishes, when a vacancy arises); simplification of the lengthy consultation procedures for pastoral reorganisation; more flexible arrangements for team and group ministries (particularly in rural areas, as recommended in GS Misc 1092, Released for Mission Growing the Rural Church); streamlining Bishops Mission Orders. 14 March 2015 ROCHESTER DIOCESAN SYNOD 15

16 3. The Mechanics Simplification (GS1980) It will be for the Archbishops Council and the House of Bishops to decide whether to bring to Synod in July the amendment of Clergy Terms of Service Regulation 29, to make it easier for short-term appointments to be made. The more wide-ranging changes proposed to the Mission and Pastoral Measure will require fresh primary legislation which cannot, in practice, be introduced until early in the life of the General Synod which will meet for the first time in November The proposals in the report will be the subject of detailed consultation first. In addition, the Optimising the Role of the National Church Institutions report canvassed the idea of a new enabling measure which would make it significantly easier in future to change Church legislation. (Comparison with parliamentary practice shows greater use of secondary legislation such as Statutory Instruments for secular law.) 14 March 2015 ROCHESTER DIOCESAN SYNOD 16

17 3. The Mechanics Resourcing the Future (GS1978) This report, which was presented in characteristically barnstorming style by Canon Dr John Spence CBE (chair of the finance committee of the Archbishops Council), is concerned primarily with how Church Commissioners funds are to be allocated between dioceses. The objective, strongly endorsed by General Synod, is couched as removing the current formula systems which provide mechanical, ineffective subsidy and replacing them with investment focussed on fulfilling dioceses strategic plans for growth, with a strong bias towards the poor. General Synod requested that consultations with dioceses and other parties on this and related reports (e.g. GS1979 Resourcing Ministerial Education) be carried out swiftly but thoroughly, and that detailed implementation proposals should return (via the Archbishops Council and House of Bishops) to Synod for approval. 14 March 2015 ROCHESTER DIOCESAN SYNOD 17

18 3. The Mechanics Resourcing the Future (GS1978) The key points in the report include the following. There is a widespread desire among dioceses to have more leaders (lay and ordained) and to make other changes which will facilitate the Church s mission and growth. The current ways by which the Church s national funding is distributed have only a superficial link to growth and have failed the poorest communities. A large amount of money is subsidising decline. In future, all of the funding distributed to dioceses should be investment for mission and growth. Half of the sum available should be earmarked for the support and development of mission in the poorest communities. Half should be for the pro-active investment in new growth opportunities. The funding to support and develop mission in deprived communities should be distributed to dioceses through a process involving objective measures of need and through conversations with dioceses. This will ensure targeting on the poorest and effective cohesion with diocesan plans. The funding for pro-active investment in growth should be available for all dioceses to apply for, on a matched funding basis, with a bias in the distribution to the poorest. 14 March 2015 ROCHESTER DIOCESAN SYNOD 18

19 3. The Mechanics Church Commissioners' Funds (GS1981) GS1978 Resourcing the Future also stated that: The transition to the new funding arrangements should be done carefully over a ten year period, but we hope that additional distributions from the Church Commissioners can be found to accelerate the build-up of funding available for proactive investment in growth. We hope also that additional national funding can be made available to provide extra investment across the Church for recruiting and training church leaders. In addition there should be greater investment in national Church infrastructure and activity which can improve the mission of the whole Church. Andreas Whittam Smith CBE, the First Church Estates Commissioner, presented the thoughtful report GS1981 to General Synod. Since the damage caused to the Church Commissioners assets in the early 1990s by overgenerous income distribution, a close watch has been kept on their investment portfolio. The guiding principle has been inter-generational equity, i.e. retaining the real value of the endowment in perpetuity. 14 March 2015 ROCHESTER DIOCESAN SYNOD 19

20 3. The Mechanics Church Commissioners' Funds (GS1981) The Commissioners approach has paid dividends (literally), with excellent investment management achieving returns in excess of RPI+5% consistently over the past twenty years, resulting in a portfolio now valued at some 6.1B. This funds annual expenditure of approximately 210M (of which, around 120M goes towards paying clergy pensions). Recognising that maintaining the real value of the endowment against a backdrop of 1.3% annual decline in numbers may not actually be a long-term survival strategy, the Church Commissioners are keen to support the reform programme. Specifically, they are willing to consider a time-limited increase in annual distributions, given clear linkage to mission and growth. That will mean deliberately breaking the iron rule of inter-generational equity, this time with eyes wide open and with due safeguards. General Synod warmly welcomed this approach. It is now for the Church Commissioners to consider the basis on which they might, for a period, release additional funds. Specific requests would need to be made by the Archbishops Council, in consultation with the House of Bishops and the dioceses in the light of the emerging conclusions on the various elements of the reform programme. 14 March 2015 ROCHESTER DIOCESAN SYNOD 20

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