Your Diocese needs you!
Archdeacon Paul Mackness, Clerical Secretary to Diocesan Conference, encourages us all to get involved in the future of St Davids Diocese
The diocese now comprises 24 Local Ministry Areas; getting to this point has been what seems like a long, sometimes painful and laboured journey in a relatively short space of time. We know that Bishop Joanna fast-tracked the move to the current LMA set-up primarily due to financial reasons and to ensure that all churches are covered by clerics as part of a wider ministry team.
What next though? Where does our Diocesan Strategy progress to as we move into the future? The Growing Hope Strategy that we currently have concentrates on four areas:
- Reimagining ministry
- Restructuring the diocese
- Revitalising the churches
- Rejuvenating the people
It could be argued that we have done the first two (though in any strategy you should revisit all parts on a regular basis) and done little on the last two. The Bishop and her Senior Staff are keen to involve the rest of the diocese in building the vision for the next stage of our common life. We are seeking to engage the wider diocese in shaping the strategy as we move into a post-Covid environment.
The body that has responsibility for this is the Diocesan Conference and its Standing Committee. In the upcoming online conference (Saturday 17th April) which replaces last October’s meeting, members of the new Diocesan Conference will be asked to consider ways in which they can engage in being decision-makers and what our priorities are moving forward - these will help inform the Diocesan Board of Finance in how it funds these priorities and diocesan life.
Therefore, we need you to be as involved as you can and use all of the channels available to make your views known. We need people to stand as Conference members, to stand for election to Standing Committee and other diocesan and provincial bodies when they arise, to bring the views of those you represent to the appropriate body. I’m afraid to say that we are constantly trying to fill places where people have not stood for election and the turnout in voting is frankly abysmal and extremely low.
We are all very good at moaning about things and what is wrong, but we urge you to bring your concerns, gripes, hopes and aspirations to the front by actively involving yourselves in the life of the diocese and its decision-making bodies. If we do not use the opportunities that the democratic process provides, we only have ourselves to blame when things go in a different direction or our voices are not heard. Therefore, paraphrasing President Kennedy, Ask not what your diocese can do for you but what you can do for your diocese…
It is only by being involved that we can influence the future.