John Spence introduced the theme of Renewal and Reform (website). This emerged from a realisation that the Church of England was no-longer representing the whole of the nation, and that dioceses wanted to focus on growth – but didn’t have a strategy.
A key issue is maintaining the number of clergy, while releasing the talents of lay people. This means that we need a 50% increase in the pace of ordinations.
It was clear that the formula for distributing funds had lost its relevance. It rewarded failure. Fifty Million of funds can now be distributed to poorer parishes and to strategic development funding.
John payed tribute to deaneries, and to the commitment of people working across diverse areas.
The term “growth” is an issue. It must be used in a way that is relevant in diverse areas.
There is a report coming which will say something about the empowerment of all God’s people.