A Church of England report has controversially proposed the abolition of the Diocese of Bradford.
The proposals contained in the 120-page report by the Dioceses Commission include:
- The present diocese, founded in 1919, would lose Craven, Sedburgh in North Yorkshire and parts of Cumbria.
- Along with two other Yorkshire dioceses, Ripon and Leeds, and Wakefield, it would be subsumed into a larger Diocese of Wakefield.
- Under a diocesan bishop, who would double up as area bishop for Wakefield, there would be four other area bishops covering Bradford, Leeds, Ripon, and Huddersfield.
- There are also fears that if the shake-up goes ahead the administration for the new diocese could be based in Leeds, which could mean cuts in Church of England funding to Bradford and a reduction of the 16 full-time and part-time staff.
The Dean of Bradford Cathedral, the Very Reverend David Ison, pointed out that it was proposed that the Bishop of Bradford would work in the area of the Bradford Metropolitan District, which was “a sign of the importance given by the Church of England to the crucial role played by the Bishop there in interfaith relations and in exercising leadership in an area of particular deprivation”.
He added: “The report also underlines the importance of Bradford Cathedral for the life and cohesion of the City of Bradford as well as the importance of the Church’s presence and ministry in rural areas.”
He said he accepted change was needed and urged people to take part in the consultation process.
- Read more on this story in Friday's Telegraph & Argus