The parish church ‘is under real threat’, says Bishop of Truro

Sep 27, 2021 by

by Julian Mann, Christian Today:

The Bishop of Truro in Cornwall has admitted that “the parish church today is under real threat”.

Speaking on Saturday to members of Truro Diocesan Synod, Bishop Philip Mounstephen said the key threats were “an ageing demographic, declining congregations, the burden of maintaining buildings, the struggle to engage with missing generations, and declining income”.

“Those are real and serious threats which require real and serious responses,” he said.

But he also stressed he was “certainly not blaming anyone for this state of affairs”.

“This is really no one’s fault. The forces that have led to this state of affairs have been in play for at least 150 years,” he said.

The bishop spoke about the Save the Parish campaign launched in London in August ahead of elections to the CofE’s parliament, the General Synod.

“It was launched to counter what its organisers perceive to be a centralised plan to do away with the parish system,” Bishop Mounstephen said.

He told synod members that he and the area bishop of St Germans, Hugh Nelson, wrote to clergy when Save the Parish launched, saying: “We want to assure you that there is no central plan to undermine the parish system or to side-line the ministry of clergy. (And even if there were nationally, there would not be in this diocese!) And nor is there any such plan.

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