Burnley helps to shape future of Church of England

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THE Church of England in Burnley and across Lancashire is set to undergo change to make it fit for purpose and cope with dwindling numbers of clergy.

Members of the church, led by the Bishop of Burnley, the Rt Rev. John Goddard, have drafted a report on its future called The Shape Of Things To Come.

The report, which proposes a series of changes to be implemented over the next five years, will be debated all over the Blackburn Diocese.

Mr Goddard said: “The drivers are not simply financial, despite reducing budgets.

“Our main concern has been to contemplate how the considerable resources at our disposal, both lay people and ordained clergy, may be responsive to the challenges which face us.”

He said the diocese needed to develop its growing readiness for change.

“Unless there is a real sharing of ministry, we will not be able to tackle the issues outlined in the report.

“This impacts not just on pastoral reorganisation, but also the sharing of financial and ministerial resources.”

The report was drafted by three working groups, looking at theology, ministry, and the groups of parishes that form Church of England deaneries.