There was a key change to the programme following the Rt Revd Peter Price’s illness when the
Rt Revd John Packer, former Bishop of Ripon and Leeds, stepped in to set the scene for the
rest of the conference.
His opening comment was that it is so important for us to help and support each other in both deaneries and parishes. Every diocese should have a rebel deanery as it asks questions that diocesan leaders do not want to hear.
Echoing the previous evening’s speaker he said that we should push our dioceses into a more positive sharing arrangement with local Methodists and he related how deaneries can be a positive force in synodical government by making proposals that reach general synod level and beyond. The role of the deanery in the community is crucial and it has a right and a duty to reflect on what goes on in its local borough.
He gave a retrospective view as to how the new Diocese of West Yorkshire & The Dales had come about which had implications for forthcoming deanery reorganisations. Deaneries, he said, had become crucial to the life of the CofE and had an increased role in its jigsaw.