Bishop Peter's discussion paper

Supporting and Developing Missional Communities: A Contribution to Discussion

View the discussion paper here.

The Bishop of Chester has invited comments on proposals outlined in his discussion paper. Chapters, Deanery Synods, PCCs (where desired), and other diocesan bodies, are asked to discuss this paper and to send comments to the Diocesan Secretary by 31 October. These will then be considered by the new Bishop’s Council at its inaugural meeting early in December.

The Bishop's discussion paper can be downloaded from the link at the top of the article. Its contents should be self-explanatory, and it serves two basic purposes:


To enable the diocese to take stock after a long period of transition from the situation 20 years ago, when the Church Commissioners met half the stipend and pension costs of our parochial clergy, to the current situation where all costs are met by the diocese, almost entirely through parish share contributions.

Whilst there are considerable financial challenges in prospect over the next few years, it is good to report that for 2016 and 2017 the main DBF accounts showed a small surplus on ordinary activities, and our parish share collection rate has reached our initial goal of 95%. There are, nevertheless, substantial financial challenges in prospect over the next few years, especially due to the increased number of stipendiary curates which we plan to train, in line with national policies.

As explained in the paper, our financial structure is quite closely tied to the inherited parish system, with new initiatives largely emerging locally from within that structure.

Looking at ‘renewal and reform’ initiatives in other dioceses, it is important to ask whether our current structures are adequate to meet the challenges and opportunities which are before us.


To propose that we set up a five-year Development Fund, with a suggested allocation of £250,000 per annum. We hope this will be largely fundable from the current surplus which we have generated on our Pastoral Account (from the sale of parsonages, glebe etc). Historically, the Pastoral Account has been used as a general strategic reserve against large unbudgeted costs, and also for capital initiatives (eg the refurbishment of Foxhill 15 years ago, or the more recent construction of Church House).

The paper contains some suggestions about the potential use of this new Fund, and careful thought will be given to how potential bids are adjudicated.

View the discussion paper here.

Please send comments to the Diocesan Secretary by 31 October. 

George Colville 
Diocesan Secretary
01928 718834

Church House,
5500 Daresbury Park,

Page last updated: 2nd October 2018 10:33 AM