Church of England cannot survive by ‘spreading clergy more thinly’ – Justin Welby

Nov 26, 2021 by

by Julian Mann, Christian Today:

The Church of England cannot achieve its mission “only by spreading clergy more thinly”, the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has admitted.

In a speech this week to the National Farmers’ Union, Archbishop Welby appeared to acknowledge that the reduction in clergy numbers, especially in rural areas, was not helping the CofE to be “the Church for England”.

He quoted figures revealing that around two thirds of all CofE churches and parishes are situated in rural areas.

This proportion, he admitted, presents challenges for the Church.

“I want to take this opportunity to say that the local church is there for everyone in the parish, whether they are a churchgoer or not,” he said.

“This is a challenge to and for the Church as to how we ensure churches in rural areas flourish and support local communities.

“We need to change, to reclaim the vision of being not only the Church of England, but also the Church for England, every part, rural and urban.

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