Diocese of Portsmouth

    Your views needed on structural plans

    16 Nov. 2005

    WORSHIPPERS will be asked what they think of radical plans to re-shape central diocesan structures before any decisions are taken.

    Our diocesan synod backed the principles outlined by our Diocesan Structures Review Group, which suggested getting rid of some boards and committees to help us focus more effectively on mission.

    The group, which was set up as part of the Kairos process to look into central diocesan staffing and structures, based its report on the principles of more support to parishes, cementing Kairos thinking at the heart of decision-making, more accountability in the system and a leaner diocesan structure.

    Those principles were accepted. But synod agreed there should be consultation across the diocese before the small print of the report is debated at a special, Kairos synod meeting on February 25. It will decide whether to implement the report.

    Proposing a motion to endorse it, the Archdeacon of the Isle of Wight, the Ven Trevor Reader, said: “This points us onwards from a maintenance mode, to become a mission-focused diocese.”

    The chairman of the group, Dr Clive Dilloway, told synod: “We suggested a cut in the number of committees because too much time is spent polishing seats and thinking we are serving the Lord. But the more flexible a system you have, the better.

    “There is no one perfect organisational structure for all time. This is work in progress, and will have to adapt to the next stage of the Kairos cycle. As parishes succeed in Kairos initiatives, other changes may be needed at the centre.”

    The report recommended that the main responsibilities of the Board of Mission, Council for Social Responsibility and Board of Ministry be shifted to the Bishop’s Council. It also suggested working with other dioceses to create a joint Board of Education and Diocesan Advisory Committee, and joint arrangements over IT, accounts, human resources and legal support.

    It also suggested a new structure for central diocesan staff, working in four teams in the fields of education, discipleship, society and central resources. But diocesan secretary Michael Jordan also reassured synod members that no member of the existing staff would be made compulsorily redundant.

    Copies of the report have been sent to all PCC secretaries, and a copy is on the diocesan website here. If you have any comments, positive or negative, please send them to Sally Read, the Archdeacon of the Isle of Wight’s PA, 5 The Boltons, Kite Hill, Wootton Bridge, Isle of Wight, PO33 4PB or adiow@portsmouth.anglican.org

    Later in the meeting, synod members voted against a proposal to allow lay staff appointed as part of Kairos plans – such as administrators, youth workers and evangelists – to live in clergy homes. They were told that the rental income from empty vicarages had already been factored into budgets for future years.