It took the Methodist Dave Warnock to bring to my attention Jonny Baker’s post a hopeful moment in the church of england. Despite its 1st April publication date and its complete lack of capital letters, this does seem to be a serious report of what is for once good news for the C of E.
It is good news because it shows that the church is beginning to realise part of what I wrote last December, that the parish system is a historical relic which is not helpful in the 21st century and needs to be abolished, or at least radically modified. Basically, as described here, what has happened is that a new “pastoral measure” has been brought into force introducing “Bishops’ Mission Orders”, which permit church planting initiatives which cross parish boundaries or involve collaboration between parishes.
It will be interesting to see how widespread such orders will be and how successful will be the resulting church planting. But the main implication of this “pastoral measure” seems to be that parish boundaries are no longer inviolable, and therefore that incumbent (senior pastors) cannot claim a monopoly for their own particular style of Christianity within particular geographical areas.