Transition is the new buzz word in our diocese, it’s a word which is causing lots of conversation amongst our churches. As leaders it is our responsibility to share as much accurate information with our churches as possible, as it seems there are lots of inaccurate conversations where incorrect information is filtering down which of course is causing some upset and concern.
Please can I thank the parishes who have so far invited me to help them start their discussions. It has been a great opportunity for me to get to know groups of people within the diocese who are new to me and of course to help direct the positive energy which needs to be harnessed to facilitate change.
Work on appointment of LMA Deans is almost complete, Job descriptions have been formulated for both Dean and LMA Vicar and will be available following the Bishop’s staff meeting early in April. Bishop will be contacting people shortly regarding appointments, apologies this has taken some time to put into place but Bishop Joanna wanted to ensure she had a solid selection criterion to enable her to make the most appropriate appointment for each Dean’s position.
Can I assure those of you who have expressed concerns over management of finances once the transitions have taken place that Howard Llewellyn, our Diocesan Secretary, and I are working with our Finance Officer Nia Evans to provide training which will be offered to each LMA during its formation period. It is essential that we give support to our current treasurers; can I also assure you that the change will not bring as many challenges as perhaps you are anticipating, especially if you are currently using the CiW financial returns format in your parish. Information on Gift Aid, registering as a charity and other issues pertaining to finances will also be discussed at this session.
As people are starting to get to grips with the concept of an LMA I’ve had a number of requests asking for information about how this will all happen, so this news letter will focus on the process we have adopted as transition team.
Process for change: Meeting with clergy and Leaders
– Initial meeting to discuss what is an LMA.
– How will the United parish framework work?
– Who has legal responsibility?
– How will pastoral and worship provision be made?
– Finances how will they be handled?
– What responsibilities will the churches retain?
– How can churches continue to express their individuality?
– Discussions re nomination of a communications officer to deal with advertising of meetings and sharing of information during the process who could potentially be the communications representative on the final LMA council
– When will this happen?
– How do we begin? Go back to your churches, start talking about change and encourage your churches to have a voice in the launch day – hopes and fears for the future ought to be discussed to bring back to launch meeting. Also begin to think about how your LMA council will form start discussing representation on that council with your PCCs.
Launch day: Open invitation to anyone with a vested interest in the churches/communities within the proposed LMA
– What are the groups expectations of the day?
– What are their hopes and fears for the future?
– What is an LMA and why do we need to change- presentation.
– Questions encouraged as presentation is given to give clarification.
– Lots of opportunity to talk as a group around issues of change.
– Tea and coffee breaks to encourage the people of the LMA to begin to get to know one another.
– Handbooks given out to take home to help consolidate the information discussed.
– Close with prayer
Between the launch and second meetings PCCs will need to meet, a church member from each church must be elected by PCC and will alongside the wardens represent the Church at the LMA council within the new LMA structure.
LMA Standing Order draft template will be issued to shadow council members prior to second meeting for information.
Meeting Two approx. two weeks later- Shadow Council only.
– A meeting to begin to discuss application of legal framework.
– Shadow Council to consist of clergy, readers, church wardens + 1 representative from each church in the LMA- depending on the size of your LMA, lay representation could be more than one per church.
Following the Launch Day, transition team members will organise meetings to talk to individuals or groups of people from the churches to get a feel for the churches/ communities to find out where any support can be given and also to share with the council areas and ideas that are working well. The transition team in the third meeting will then present these findings and encourage the council to begin to put together a mission plan.
Meeting Three approx. 4-6 weeks later- Shadow Council.
– Presentation of discussions- workshop to begin thinking about the future, what can be done together, do we need to offer any training.
– Continued meetings as necessary to provide support as the new LMA is licensed and LMA council is officially formed and adopts their newly agreed legal framework.
As the transition team we realise that the pace of this change has been difficult for some, the eight weeks of preparation for licensing is intense and will take hard work and commitment from the churches, but can I reassure you that once you have been licensed we will continue to give support and training as necessary, and once the diocese has been licensed in its entirety the work to form and shape our areas within our new LMA team will continue onwards into the years ahead.
Our first cohort of LMAs will be licensed in September, but for those of you who fall into the March 2019 cohort (licensing March 2019) I will be contacting you to organise dates to start preparations with you in June of this year, so that you are aware of when work with your LMA will begin. I hope this will help with diary management and may I stress that the Bishop wishes these dates for preparation and formational meetings to take priority in the life of your parishes.
If I can help at all, with initiating any discussions, or indeed you need any further information please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Your sister in Christ, Marianne firstname.lastname@example.org 01437 214612