Welcome to the Diocese of St Davids, named after Wales’ patron saint whose cathedral in Pembrokeshire is one of the jewels of the nation. The diocese also covers the counties of Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire including the western industrial valleys and the town of Llanelli.
The Bishop of St Davids is pleased to announce the appointment of the Revd Canon Dr Sarah Rowland Jones LVO OBE as the next Dean and Precentor of St Davids Cathedral.
Canon Rowland Jones is currently the Priest-in-Charge of the city centre church of St John the Baptist, Cardiff in the Diocese of Llandaff. The new Dean will take up her post sometime in the Spring of 2018 at a date to be determined. Please pray for Sarah, her husband Peter and their family as they prepare to move to St Davids and Sarah takes up her new Ministry.
DIOCESAN CONFERENCE: LMAs ARE HERE TO STAY
(so let’s have a go at getting them right!)
Bishop Joanna has issued a clarion call to the whole diocese that signals a fundamental change in the way it works and is structured.
In her first presidential address to the Diocesan Conference [Saturday October 7th], she announced that the programme of conversion from traditional parishes into new Local Ministry Areas (LMAs) is to be accelerated and radical changes made to the way they are configured. Opting out of the process will not be an option.
It means that, by January 1st 2020:
- all the 100 or so benefices that currently make up the diocese will be amalgamated into 22-23 LMAs
- These will become United Benefices with a single PCC made up of representatives from each church.
- Each LMA will also become its own Deanery.
- Each will have at least two stipendiary clergy and two church wardens. Individual churches will have sub-wardens and their own church council.
- The united PCC will be the ultimate decision-making body
- Ministry Team Leaders are to be re-named Convenors to emphasise the collegiality of a ministry team of equals.
- Church accounts will be consolidated annually. Training will be offered to assist with this
- Ministry Share will be calculated centrally and charged to each church, as at present
- Progress and performance will be reviewed every two years
Existing LMAs will continue but there may need to be changes to legal and constitutional issues. They may also be required to adopt parishes not presently within the LMA framework.
The Bishop stressed that the harsh realities of a changing world meant new ways of working are now essential. We simply don’t have the money to sustain the existing pattern of ministry,” she said.
“I hope that in five years our LMAs will be communities who have learned new ways of being rooted in their communities..working together to enable them to live out and share their faith.”
The change was also needed, she said, because of the adverse effect current methods were having on clergy. “It’s making them ill,” she warned.
So, under the new regime, no stipendiary cleric will take more than three services on a Sunday; no lay minister will take more than two. And retired clergy can no longer be expected to fill in except in cases of emergency, holidays, sickness or sabbaticals.
This way, LMAs can be “places where Christians of all ages are well resourced and working together to develop focal ministry that will preserve a commitment to the local.”
“We are experimenting,” Bishop Joanna concluded, “so let’s have a go at doing things differently. We’re not going to get it right first time, but let’s keep talking to each other, learn from our mistakes and share our resources.”
IT’S MAD – BUT IT HELPS!
The Bishop has also appointed Revd Marianne Osborne as the diocesan Ministry Area Development Officer, who will head up a mission team equipped to help local church communities with the transition. “Change isn’t coming,” she told conference, “it’s here but we can embrace it if we have some help.”
All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need. (Acts 4: 32-35)
A full report from Conference + LMA FAQs will be posted shortly