Letter to the Editor
Leicester Diocese Illogical
Leicester Diocese’s decision on 9 October to replace its traditional Parishes with ‘Minsters’ is both spiritually and financially illogical. The Church of England’s own growth report ‘From Anecdote to Evidence’ shows that amalgamating parishes causes their decline.
Minsters cover very large areas. Their creation risks squandering the loyalty which parishioners feel toward their geographical parish communities, their vicar, their local Christian community, and the buildings which were built and paid for by them, especially parsonages and historic churches. The CofE’s own studies show that the presence of stipendiary vicars is directly linked to levels of church attendance and giving. The people have less need of multiple Bishops and Archdeacons and an array of bureaucratic jobs at the diocesan offices, so these should be reduced instead.
It seems that, when it comes to growing its bureaucracy, Leicester Diocese has no worries about spending money. The creation of Minsters will see a reduction in parish vicar numbers. However, it will involve the creation of new diocesan management posts.
Other dioceses have pledged not to reduce vicars and managed to increase their giving income. The parishes fund the dioceses. How is reducing services to Leicester’s parishes going to increase income? Surely any sensible person in a parish is going to question whether they are getting value for money under the new Minster scheme.
Professor R G Faulkner