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Bishop of Bradford explains his views over changes to diocese
As choosing a new bishop to head the Super Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales gets underway, Bradford’s Anglican leader has soundly backed the decision which cost him his job.
Candidates are being assessed but there is time to make suggestions by the closing date of Monday, September 30.
The Bishop of Bradford, the Right Reverend Nick Baines is explaining his support for changes to the Bradford, Ripon and Leeds & Wakefield dioceses, which will be merged to create a single ecclesiastical body.
Writing in today’s Telegraph & Argus he says the twists and turns of church decision makers may have bewildered many believers. “The Church of England might be a mystery to some, but recent decisions by its governing body, the General Synod, might suggest that it has lost its mind,” he writes.
“As reported at the time, the Synod voted in July to dissolve the three dioceses of Bradford, Ripon & Leeds and Wakefield, creating from them a single Diocese of Leeds – to be known as the Diocese of West Yorkshire & the Dales.
“This means that from Easter 2014 the Diocese of Bradford will cease to exist as a separate diocese and I will lose my post as the diocesan Bishop of Bradford.”
But the Right Reverend Baines goes on to explain why he is convinced church sanity is intact and also of the merits of change during testing times for older branches of Christianity.
And he believes better use of resources through “economy of scale” is a key advantage.
“Effective use of the church’s resources of people, plant and finances is vital,” he said.
“Belonging to a larger diocese will eventually bring economies of scale, more scope for development of clergy and better strategic leadership at a more local level,” he writes.
Talking of his passion for Bradford after two years in the job, the Bishop says that a new network of “Area Bishops” might actually lead to more church time being devoted to troubled areas.
“I love Bradford and the richness of its gifts and challenges,” he said. “No Bishop of Bradford could ever be bored.”
The winner is likely to be announced in February, 2014 and take up the post later that year.
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